I met Yoganand in 2006, when I started my 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training at Crofton Yoga.  Our training was held in a small studio in Crofton, Maryland with about twenty other students.  From what I heard, this particular training was going to be an unusual experience because trainings offered at other facilities usually had much larger attendance requiring several teaching assistants and less of an opportunity to interact personally with Yoganand.   The intimate setting gave me the opportunity to speak with Yoganand one on one throughout the program.  I had just delivered my second child two months prior to the training start date and felt very disconnected from my body and myself.  Yoganand allowed me to vocalize my fears, concerns, and even confusion as to the work I was doing on the mat.  Without giving advice or a solution to my issues, Yoganand would listen intently, gently nod his head, provide a yogic perspective, and in the role of my teacher, utilize a technique that I would later come to realize was holding space for me.   As my teacher, he allowed me to work through those uneasy feelings and recognize the energy and churning that the yoga practice created.  As I continued my training with him to pursue my 500hr certification, the work became more emotionally and physically challenging.  Sometimes I would be exhausted from just preparing to leave my children for the weekend to attend an advanced yoga training.  However, during these weekends led by Yoganand, I learned how to find emotional and physical strength that I never knew I possessed, confidence in my abilities as a student and a teacher, and compassion for myself.  I remember the moment I came into my own personal power on the mat while he was leading a practice during the Spiritual Doorways weekend.  I felt such a strength radiate from within when I let go of all the self doubt, criticism, and anger towards myself and I admit some frustration towards him (I’m sure there were a few fire hydrant poses in this sequence!). Nine years later, I still regard that moment as my yogic awakening; a time when the lessons and the practice came together in a moment of clarity.  Through these experiences during trainings, traveling with him through India, and reflections during my personal journey, I have come to respect his knowledge and experience as a yoga master and my teacher.