Diane is a longtime member of the Saraswati’s Yoga Joint family who practices with us from her home in Texas. We caught up to talk about her life, her yoga practice, and what the SYJ community means to her.
Name: Diane Cunningham
Place you call home: Austin, Texas
Tell us a little about your relationship with SYJ. When did you practice with us in person, and what has being a part of this community meant to you?
I became a member of SYJ many years ago when everyone was still practicing above Fat Cats on Wall Street. There was something about that old building with its creaky stairs and prankster spirits. It still makes me smile to think of getting to the top of those stairs, taking a deep inhale of the sweet smell of it and seeing everyones smiling faces on any given day. Even though I had practiced for a number of years, it was there that I learned from the best teachers I had ever come across and yoga became a part of who I am on and off the mat.
The SYJ community has brought me some of the most meaningful relationships of my life, taught me resilience and grace and helped me learn more about myself than any gathering of hearts I have ever had the pleasure of being with.
When you aren’t on your mat, what can we find you doing?
Walking and hiking, taking pictures, happily hanging with my daughter and her little Cowboy Corgi Percy, road trips, riding my Harley, cooking, music festivals, bottling bourbon at Garrison Brothers, or visiting wineries in the beautiful Texas Hill Country.
There is no shortage of yoga studios where you live. Why SYJ?
There is a heart connection and a feeling of belonging to a family that is still there for me even though it is virtual. It’s like a little visit home to Connecticut with every class. That, and the teachers at SYJ are inspired and inspiring. The knowledge, vulnerability, and grace of each and every one comes through. The new platform was a gift and my favorite COVID silver lining.
What skills has your yoga practice given you that you’re leaning on during these challenging times?
One. Breath. At. A. Time.
Tell us about your home practice space. How have you made it special? Do you have any frequent class visitors, like pets or children?
I roll out my mat in the living room where I can look out over my bird feeders and the gorgeous Austin greenbelt. I always light a candle, check in for a quick hello with whoever is teaching so they know I’m out here, and pretend I am in my old spot in the front row of the studio!
What’s one beautiful thing that happened to you during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The lack of urgency to be or do or go anywhere opened up such a beautiful space for self reflection and growth. My meditation practiced blossomed and my heart cracked open. The only word that I can think of that comes close is transformational.
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?
Right here in my beloved Texas.
Thank you, Diane! We are so thankful to have you as part of the SYJ community!