I began practicing yoga after suffering a back injury due to a car accident. The ability yoga gave me to reinvigorate my body after injury versus living in pain inspired me to undergo training to become a yoga instructor. As a former gymnast and dancer, yoga appealed to my physical sensibilities immediately, but it was the effects on my mental space that I found the most profound. My training in yoga and breath work has taught me to slow down my movement and sense on a deeper level how my body should be moving, every day, all of the time. For me, yoga is no longer about testing my flexibility, it is a practice in calmly approaching situations and moving fluidly through challenges without obsessing over the outcome, and in that release of ego learning to treat myself with kindness.
In a class setting that translates to a strong, deeply intuitive practice that builds heat and resilience in your body and clears out your mental junk so that you can process the bombardment of life as it comes. Breath meditations and yoga asanas are tools to help you reconnect with yourself and discover what's really happening inside. I encourage my students to bring that awareness into their everyday, paying attention to how they walk, sit, eat, communicate and react so that their mind can become less burdened by negative self destructive thoughts and their body can begin to realign with its natural state ..one that is not aggravated by outside stimulation and influenced by cultural biases...or controlled by hormonal disfunction and nutritional deficiencies. I believe we all possess the ability to ease our suffering, but without placing our energy and attention on the present moment we have no chance of changing our patterns. Mindfulness is the first step. If you pay attention to what your body needs in the moment to moment you are less likely to injure yourself, and you will begin to understand on a deeper level what nourishes you and brings you into balance.
Read Rebecca Jo's yoga story...
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