Growing up in the Soviet Union, I didn’t know much about yoga. To me yoga was some mysterious thing done by withered old men in India who could sit comfortably on a bed of nails. There was no yoga studios, no books, and no YouTube.

So you can imagine my delight when I moved from Russia to the U.S. and discovered that there was  a yoga studio in  a walking distance from my house (this was important since I didn’t drive). I decided to join. To my surprise, there was no bed of nails, no withered old men – instead we were greeted by our teacher – a radiant and extremely flexible young girl.

For the whole hour, I had to stretch, flex and bend my body in so many ways. It felt good, and yet, I couldn’t decide if this was indeed  something I wanted to learn. So I didn’t stick around long enough to see any benefits. I tried and I quit. Of which I now regret, because since then I have seen many people who achieved great flexibility of their bodies and balance of their mind through yoga.

Several years later I was first exposed to something called NLP – the neurolinguistic programming. For the whole hour during my first session I felt that I had to stretch, flex and bend my mind in so many ways. It felt refreshing to look at old problems from new angles, to experience reality in a whole new way. It was like doing yoga all over again, but this time with my mind, not my body.

This time I did stick around long enough to see the benefits. NLP and hypnosis helped me transform my speech and redesign my self-image. As I progressed I realized that the more I flex my thinking, stretch my imagination and bend my perceptions, the easier it becomes. I learned to enjoy this new flexibility of my imagination and my ability to create inner peace and balance in place of turmoil and strain.

On February 15th, 2014, my friend and colleague Gaia Hawkin and I are presenting a workshop – Yoga for the Mind. If you live somewhere in Seattle and vicinity, you are welcome to join us. To learn more go to You can also find this workshop on Meetup (