Baby Steps: my path to Naam Yoga and beyond…

by Jenny Dinoia

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. –Lao-tzu

I was living in New York City about to embark on my first production as the director, producer, choreographer. I was scared out of my mind and didn’t really know what I was doing. I knew I needed to find a space and I was recommended to check out Universal Force Yoga near the Flatiron building. I wanted to see the space and took Dr. Levry’s (aka Gurunam’s) Wednesday Night Master class. I brought my lighting designer Greg Emetaz with me to get a second opinion on the space. We sat up front and I remember feeling something quite unique during his class. Little did I know that a baby seed was planted that night in my heart that has grown into one juicy fruit tree after over ten years! Mango tree perhaps?

I was quite a workaholic back then and had never had a meditation practice. That evening in class, Dr. Levry, and he seemed to speak to me specifically, which is his gift, (he can sense what each person needs in a group and directly touch them), said to begin meditating by simply looking at your hands for 3 minutes a day. He said you can even do it in the shower. And I thought…hmmmm ok, I can do that.

And so, I started my first meditation practice, which oddly enough started standing up, naked in my shower, with my eyes open. Not exactly what most people imagine, right? Most people imagine, or at least I did, that I had to do it for twenty minutes minimum and sit still. The point is to just start. Start where you can with the time you have but START. There is such power in taking even the smallest step. One small action is worth more than all the intentions in the world.

And those 3 minutes were my saving grace, when I started my day during one of the busiest times of my life. I was so overwhelmed with all of my responsibilities and that brief moment of safety to simply give myself permission to just breathe was such a gift.

The show ended up being a success. We ended up booking Universal Force Yoga. And the path I have embarked on towards yoga, meditation and now even as a teacher is incredible. And it started with three minutes in the shower!

I share this because I know what it is like to feel like you don’t even have one minute for yourself, to be running around all day and feel exhausted and have a very busy mind. Please do not feel that you are too tight for yoga, or that you don’t have time to meditate or don’t know how. Trust in the power of a practice. Even a 3 minute practice.

Years later, after completing my Naam Yoga Therapies teacher training, I eventually was almost constantly meditating. I would wake up before dawn to begin my first hour long practice, plus I meditated while cooking, sitting quietly before eating and in addition before each of my classes (I sometimes taught 4 classes a day). Then I would chant during my classes and privates throughout the week. Wah! It goes to show you what a transformation can occur within one individual.

I feel a little bit more balanced now. Not having zero time in my day to meditate besides the shower, nor the other extreme of being in a constant state of vibrating sacred mantras.

I know beginners can start a meditation practice and I also know you can evolve for the better. I am very thankful for this gorgeous space to be creative and have the community join and share the divine spiritual wisdom of many Masters.

Thank you to Dr. Levry for planting the seed of Naam in my heart before the system even had a name. I felt the magic of Naam Yoga from Dr. Levry in that first class. It is a heart-opening wonderful feeling and I so wish everyone on the planet can experience it. Know that you too can feel such incredible divine love and peace and send that spark of light out to the entire Universe.

I can see from my own growth the power that baby steps have when taken regularly. It truly is extraordinary, the power that resides inside a small seed. Indeed, inside a seed is the potential for a tree.

Until the next time and remember to Stay WILD!

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