Yogis of Karma - Clair Jameson

Karma Yoga is nothing without its community of yogis. You allow us to share yoga with you day after day, and we are so grateful for the opportunity. We wanted to showcase Denton and this tribe in all of its awesomeness in a series we have deemed - Yogis of Karma. Seeing Claire walking up to class with her mat in hand, always brings a smile to my face. She is a constant source of inspiration for myself, and the pure joy that radiates from her every being is catching. This lady brightens my day, and never ceases to light up a room with her smile.  These pictures were taken in the Day of the Dead exhibit at the Greater Denton Arts Council. I couldn't have asked for a better spot to get to photograph Claire, her eyes lit up like a kid on Christmas when she saw the decorations, and I was so grateful for this local art that she is so passionate about, to be the back drop for her photos. 

- Tiffany Johnson

“A wise woman recognizes when her life is out of balance and summons the courage to act to correct it.”  – Suze Orman

The western world is notorious for our lack of work-life balance.  We shovel food down at our desks in front of our computers while our European counterparts close up shop to head home for a leisurely lunch break.  We barely have time to take our hard earned vacations and when we do, we are so exhausted by the work it takes to get away and then to recover from the time taken, that sometimes it hardly seems worth it. 

 Like a lot of people in our culture, I found myself lost in the “commute-work-commute-sleep-repeat” cycle….that was, until I found my balance at Karma Yoga Denton.    

 

Over a year ago, I transitioned from a community job into a corporate lifestyle.  I took a job with greater opportunity for impact.  I had the chance to help more people - make a greater difference but somewhere in the process, I lost the delicate balance that I had created and found myself merely existing to work each day.  I dedicatedly tried to empty my constantly-full “inbox”, answering emails on the weekends, taking phone calls from communities in the evenings.  So busy with the next item on the “to-do” list, I never stopped to consider what “work-life” balance looked like and how I had managed to stray so far away from it. 

 

 Last winter, weather conditions pushed my commute to over 2 ½ hours each way and I finally broke.  My coworker, while listening to my frustrations, mentioned that my recent travel time wasn’t a “commute, but rather a road trip”.  While I saw the humor in her statement, I was almost to the point of tears.  I had no time in the morning because of my long and arduous commute and the evening was no better.  Something had to change. 

 

I kept seeing a weekly notice on DiscoverDenton.com announcing Yoga classes at Audacity Brewhouse.  I didn’t really know anything about yoga and I had never been to Audacity.  I had done yoga at home when living in Los Angeles with a DVD I rented from the public library but that was the extent of my familiarity with the practice.  The weekly ads kept after me, wearing me down, along with my grueling weekly routine, to come try something new and make a change. 

 

Finally, one rainy Saturday morning, I gave in.  I had bought a yoga mat at Tuesday Morning (in one of the nagging moments for change) and scrounged together what clothing I had that resembled a yoga outfit.  ThatSaturday morning, I had several arguments with myself about whether going was the wise thing to do or not….I’m happy to say that Yoga won….and ultimately that meant a win for me.

 

Perhaps it's possible to practice yoga and not have it transform you both inside and out but I only have my experience for a frame of reference.  I know that my practice has changed me as a person and the way that I look at the issues that I face on a daily basis.  I came to depend on my weekly yoga practice, I changed my work routine to accommodate more classes and began to feel better than I ever had. Because of Karma Yoga Denton, I now have extra "tools in my toolbox" to handle the challenges that life presents to me. The teachers and fellow students have become my "tribe" and within the safe confines of our community, I've found a place to practice, grow and improve my world from the inside out.

  -Claire Jameson

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