Yoga from yuj, to yoke; the yoking of the individual sense of self to the divine Self; samadhi, "same as the highest"; ecstasy, bliss, enlightenment, Self-realization.

People come to the mat for different reasons. Some thinking that yoga will make them whole or fix broken things. Others looking for a sweat or fitness. I started because I was at a time in my life where I needed to commit to something. I ended a relationship, moved back to AK, returned to a profession I didn't want to do, and generally needed some sort of anchor. I had practiced yoga on and off over the years. It made me feel good and helped work through old snowboarding injuries so I decided to commit to 82 days. A random number chosen for no particular reason. During that time I developed a strong home practice, read a million books, completed thirty of those days at Anchorage Yoga as part of a 30 Day Challenge, and somewhere toward the end I registered for a 200-hr teacher training with Tiffany Cruikshank because I was so hungry to learn more. It has been six years since I started those arbitrary 82 Days of Yoga and there is nothing I would rather yoke myself to than this practice.

Jess Young