While we were all called to take our first yoga class for different reasons, I believe the undercurrent of our choice is the same: we are seeking a movement practice that is integrated.
Whether we are looking to calm the inner critic, become more flexible, increase balance or strength, or perhaps just even out a training program–we were brought to a yoga mat for integration. In Sanskrit, yoga translates as “to yoke”–a union of body, mind, and spirit. Perhaps just one of the body, mind, and spirit trifecta called us to that mat; however, regardless of our intention, the practice of yoga harmonizes all three pieces of self.
On this International Yoga Day, I feel so grateful for the combined art and science that is yoga.
I began a formal yoga practice in 2008. The rowing team had an option of an extra strength workout per week or to join a yoga class off the downtown square. I walked in with my assistant coach and found a healing modality that would stick with me for 11 years and counting. Starting a yoga practice while competing as a Division I athlete helped me integrate mind and spirit into a season of life where body was the main focus. I found peace in slowing down, moving with my breath, and honoring my body’s needs.
After my rowing career ended, yoga remained. I tried every yoga class in Bloomington that I could get into, and visits home to Atlanta became another opportunity to learn from more teachers and classes. I cycled through vinyasa, Bikram, restorative, yin, and hatha yoga. Each style fed my mind, body, and soul in different ways and each led to a fuller, more integrated way of being.
In 2017, I became a 200-hour registered yoga teacher under Matece Skow at Nourishing Heart Yoga. I waited for a training that I felt honored the traditional roots and lineage of yoga, and until I had a decade of experience as a student. Today, my favorite part about teaching is holding space for others to come home to themselves the same way my teachers have done for me. There is no greater gift than a body and mind that is linked to its own breath and movement.
A forever student, I continue my studies through both online studies, reading, and continuing to practice in a group setting with trusted teachers. I am so grateful for a movement practice that has empowered, healed, and strengthened me along the way. This practice has busted my heart and mind wide open, and I couldn’t be more honored for the students who trust me with their most valuable asset: themselves.
The best part about practicing yoga? You can integrate your mind and body, strengths and weaknesses, all in a format that’s available any where, any time. If you have your breath and a place to sit, stand, or lay down, you have an opportunity to practice yoga.
Namaste, (the light in me honors the light in you),
Group classes will continue through the end of June and start back in August. Ready to grow your individual practice? Give into one on one teaching with Anna this July!