Flash forward years later when I wound up in Katie of Slainte Yoga's class. She was so real, so approachable, so imperfect.... in a REALLY good way. She was not perfect at doing everything, she had days where she wasn't super flexible and she was so accommodating. If you can't do this, try this..... etc. I just finally felt at ease and like I belonged and I was doing just fine.
THAT to me is an excellent teacher! She knows this is not my comfort zone and made me just really take a breath and yeah breathe...
I learned yoga is more about the breathing than it is about the perfect form. I realized I can really relax with some practice. I found an inner stillness and happiness that brought me to tears! But I also learned just how awesome yoga could be to work out them muscles.
I mean have you looked at Madonna lately... she is ripped in her 60's all from yoga.
But I am not here to teach you about Yoga, I will leave that to Katie!
Katie's Philosophy about Yoga
As a yoga guide, I’ve heard a lot of reasons and excuses as to why people don’t try yoga: “I can’t touch my toes,” “It’s not a good workout,” “I’m embarrassed to go to class,” “I don’t understand the ‘language’,” and the list goes on. The truth is, yoga can be whatever you want it to be. If you can bend your knees, you can touch your toes. If you throw some planks and boat poses into a sequence, it’s a full body workout. You can find yoga videos in a number of different styles to do in the comfort of your own home (I recommend looking into Tara Stiles on Youtube, which doesn’t use any Sanskrit and describes the movement as it looks).
There are plenty of myths out there about yoga, and there are even more reasons why you shouldn’t listen to any of them. There are countless articles online about the medical, emotional and spiritual benefits about yoga and I’d like to give you a personal perspective on why I decided to quit my day job and have a full-time career practicing and guiding others in this thing called yoga.
Personally speaking, I had a good job that paid well. I had received a promotion only a few weeks prior to me leaving the company. Every night I would come home tense, with a lot of anxiety. I was unhappy, nervous, and didn’t enjoy what I did day-in and day-out. Fitness has always been a passion of mine, but I found that having a job I disliked so much made it hard for me to motivate myself to prioritize. So, I made a decision with my husband to dive into a new career path that I was passionate about. After taking my first yoga class, I was hooked.
So, what is yoga and, more importantly, why should you try it? Well, “officially” speaking yoga is a practice combining the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of the body and mind to transform oneself. But to simplify, it’s just something that makes you feel fantastic! There are so many benefits of practicing yoga that go beyond the obvious. First of all, it will increase your flexibility, and I don’t just mean in your body. When you practice yoga, your mind becomes more flexible as well. What you practice on the mat, you bring into your everyday life! A flexible body equals a flexible mind, and vice-versa. That alone brings about a whole other list of benefits!
Let’s talk about anxiety. It’s hard to be a human being without experiencing anxiety from time-to-time. For me, I have issues with social anxiety. I’ve had them my whole life. Public speaking terrifies me! Yet, here I am guiding people through yoga classes. I feel capable because doing yoga daily has put my mind at ease. When you practice, you calm your mind. When you have a calm mind, you are able to make better, easier decisions. You can see things more clearly and can approach life with ease, day-by-day. And doesn’t that also take care of the stress aspect? Life is not meant to be a series of events to suffer through and become tense about. It is meant to be moments passing, day-by-day, to be enjoyed. Doesn’t that sound much more pleasant? When you practice yoga, it lifts a weight off your shoulders.
Don’t think I forgot about you fitness fanatics. Yoga can make you crazy strong and fit! One of the bigger misconceptions that I come across is that a lot of people feel that yoga cannot give you a good workout. But, if you look at the yogis in the world, you will see defined biceps, lean legs with muscle, and definitely some of the strongest core muscles around. That’s not just a coincidence. Moving through a practice can increase your cardiovascular health while burning fat and building lean muscle. If you’re still skeptical, let me know and I’ll prove it.
As I said before, yoga can be whatever you make of it. It will help you eat better, make easier decisions in life, give you a strong and capable mind and body, and the list goes on. Yoga is for you, if you want it to be! There is yoga for just about any ailment, feeling or worry within the body and mind. I understand that not everyone wants to do yoga. But I encourage trying it out. If you’re scared, I’ll take a class with you!
You can like Katie's page on Facebook HERE. She is currently teaching classes at Debbie's Gym in Holbrook. You can contact their Facebook page HERE for more details. Or call them at (631)567-6522.