Another Monday is upon us and we are so excited to share another chapter in our "My Yoga" series featuring a Budapest based student, Kate Megee. Kate is a fabulous Aussie woman who has spent the last 8 years living in different parts of the world, while building her business as a health coach. Here is what yoga means to Kate:
My yoga is a new found friend that has quietly taken me by surprise and silently crept it's way not only into my heart but into a deeper part of me that I never knew existed before. My yoga slightly blind sided me!
I had been wanting to start doing yoga regularly for a very long time. Living abroad meant it was hard to find classes in English, times that suited my schedule, studios that were reachable and a teacher I felt inspired by. Late last year a sassy Canadian goddess walked into my Instagram feed and announced her presence in Budapest. She ticked all the boxes; classes in English, studio super close to my home and classes offered at various times of the day that fit in with my coaching business. To boot she was just the inspiring, breath of fresh air I needed to keep me going to the classes and interested in making it a regular habit.
Initially I wanted to do yoga as a compliment to my gym routine, to help me find more flexibility, stretch out my hunched up back and try to improve my posture and back aches. I only ever thought that yoga was a form of stretching.
After doing yoga for 3 months, 2-3 times a week, as my only source of exercise I was super shocked the first time I went back to the gym after this 3 month hiatus. I walked in thinking I would need to take it easy on my first day back and go light on the weights but what I found was that I had just as much strength, if not more, than the last time I was there! What the…? It was the first time I realised how toned my shoulders looked, how strong my abs were and how lean I actually felt. In that moment I gained a new and deep respect for my yoga practice. I had no idea it was doing that to my body!
With this new found respect, I returned to the mat for my next yoga class and suddenly everything seemed different. This new respect allowed me to see yoga in a whole new light, not just as an amazing workout, but as a conversation I was having with my body. During that class I found myself more connected to each movement, better able to focus more on each breath, open and questioning of how much more I could do in each pose, how fantastic it felt to move my body, mind and muscles in that way and in awe of this body mind connection I was experiencing. My yoga had touched a place deep inside me, a place I had not connected with before, a place of inner inspiration, guidance, knowing and trust. A place I am now drawn to and find some much joy from.
My yoga is a new journey and one I am excited to be on. My yoga is opening up new worlds and opportunities for me and I'm looking forward to seeing where this path will take me.
You can find out more about Kate here: http://www.katemegee.com/
We hope you all have a wonderful week full of discovery and positive surprises. Namaste.
How was your weekend? We hope it was fabulous and that you are looking forward to this week ahead. On this #MindfulnessMonday our "My Yoga" series continues with a glimpse into what yoga means to New Yorker, Jonathan Stone. A multifaceted man, Jonathan works at Google as a Display Specialist, J. Stone (his stage persona) spits out beats on stages around the world and Jonathan J. Stone (the culmination of the two) sweats it out on his mat at Modo Yoga NYC and gets upside down here, there and everywhere. Here is what yoga means to this guy:
"My yoga is my sanctuary amidst the madness, my humble oasis in the hustle bustle of New York City, my daily reset button."
You can check out J. Stone's beats at mouthmatics.com
Enjoy the week ahead and may you all march to the beat of your own drum, or in Jonathan's case, mouth. Namaste!
Happy Monday and happy February! January is already behind us, can you believe it? Time is going fast. For today's #MindfulnessMonday we are continuing to share what yoga means in the lives of different students, teachers and leaders.
Today we are excited to share with you the "My Yoga" of Ruby Knafo. Ruby is a registered occupational therapist and is the studio director at Union Yoga + Wellness in Toronto. Ruby also has a masters in Psychiatry (Research) from McGill University, she has studied mindfulness meditation at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies (Toronto), and the Department of Social Work at the University of Toronto, and she is a registered experienced yoga teacher (RYT-E 200) with Canadian Yoga Alliance. Oh, and she is a mom to a beautiful two-year old boy. And a little fun fact: her first official date with her husband was at a yoga class. Here is what yoga means to Ruby:
My yoga is my "me" time. No phone, no computer, no mid-practice conversations with the person next to me. In other words, it's nothing like my gym workouts where I can't seem to keep myself off my phone - and for what? (what do I think I might miss?!).
While I love the community aspect that some of best yoga studios promote and embody (community was actually the number one motivator for me when I opened my own studio) the 60 or 75 minutes that I am on my mat is sacred quiet time. It's my opportunity to break the cycle of constant distraction and the need to always be thinking and doing - and to just BE. With each breath I wake up to present moment and see myself more clearly. Sometimes I see distraction and irritation and anxiety, sometimes I see judgement and criticism and ego, and sometimes I see acceptance, kindness, and compassion.
My yoga practice has made me more patient and accepting of myself and others, and is much less about the physical aspects of asana than it was 11+ years ago when I took my first class. These days my practice looks more like 10 minutes of meditation and a few minutes of slow and mindful stretching.
If you want to practice with Ruby, look for her at Union Yoga + Wellness in Toronto!
Have a great week everyone, namaste.
Samara Zelniker is a yogi, wine drinker, pet lover and travel junkie.