How long have you practiced yoga?
I first tried yoga sometime in 2006. I found a DVD in a bookstore, tried it a few times, and later worked up the nerve to go to a Jivamukti class near my apartment (I had no idea what Jivamukti yoga was). I practiced off and on for the next several years, sometimes with months off between practicing. Three kids later, I was ready to go steady with yoga. I started practicing more regularly each month in 2012 or 2013, becoming more consistent with each year.
How long have you taught yoga?
In April 2015, I completed teacher training through The Yoga Stand, a Yoga Alliance-registered yoga teacher training school. I began teaching pretty much as soon as I completed the program. Now, I teach about once a week.
What style of yoga do you teach?
I teach Baptiste-inspired hot power vinyasa yoga. This means I teach a briskly paced class in a studio heated between 90 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. At our studio, we aim for moving meditation, linking breath mindfully with each movement.
Why hot yoga?
There are many health benefits to hot yoga — the muscles are more supple, circulation increases, and the body experiences a runner’s high type experience afterward — but since I don’t just love sweating, those benefits didn’t draw me to this style of yoga.
I began regularly attending classes when I was finding it challenging to process the stress I was experiencing at work and at home. I had always found yoga to be relaxing, and I decided to try hot yoga because a friend taught at a hot yoga studio. I was surprised when I actually liked the heat. Because of the heat and the fast-paced class, all I could focus on was the pose I was currently in, and not the stress that awaited me when I left the studio.
Yoga is often spoken of as a practice that leads us through challenging poses to help us learn endurance, perseverance, and equanimity one breath at a time. The heat adds another element that challenges the mind to focus only on the task at hand. That’s what drew me, and what continues to draw me to this style of yoga.
Do you always practice the same style of yoga?
I mostly practice hot power vinyasa style yoga since that’s the style of my home studio. I also connect with the vigor of Ashtanga yoga, the meditative aspect of Jivamukti yoga, and the calm and patience that’s cultivated through yin yoga.
How often do you practice?
Since December of 2015, my yoga practice has consisted of six days a week of asana,usually lasting an hour to an hour and a half. I take one day a week to rest.
During the year prior to this schedule, I practiced about two to four times a week.
How long does it take to get flexible?
Everyone is different, and every pose is different. There are some poses, like warrior one, which came immediately to me. Others, like compass, took a couple of months. Still others, like full lotus, took several years. I’m still amazed that some people who are new to yoga can fold easily into double pigeon, while I know it will probably take me a couple more years to do that. Every body is different, each in its own journey. Consistent practice a few times a week is the best way to find greater ease in the poses.
I want to try yoga. Where do I start?
I think the best way to start is to find a class. A teacher can help you understand the alignment of the poses, plus I’ve always found it helpful — and even energizing — to practice among other people. It’s a beautiful reminder that yoga looks great on every body, and that no two people practice identically.
If there are no classes near you, try a DVD or an app like Cody App. Read my post on getting started in yoga for more recommendations on how to begin your journey in yoga!