Yogi of the Month ~ Helena Pittman

How long have you been practicing?   

3 weeks

Any advice on how to make time for practice with a busy work/family schedule? 

I’m retired so it helps. Yoga is a part of my schedule now.

Describe your yoga practice in one word: Novice

How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies? 

Relieves pain in shoulder, better sleep (compared to no sleep for 30 years!)

Why did you start practicing yoga? 

My daughter’s enthusiasm inspired me to take it up.  She made me feel I could participate because of the many ages, body types, & physical abilities she sees on a daily basis. And she was right!

How does yoga impact your everyday life?

I’m surprised and inspired by taking on this new endeavor, meaning that other activities I didn’t think I could do I might be willing to try now.

What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing? 

I didn’t know what yoga was beyond all the complicated poses shown on social media, or why anyone would want to do them in the first place. It’s so much more! You don’t have to look a certain way or be a certain age to do it-anyone can do yoga!  Just do what you can and breathe! And you don’t have to wear a bikini ;)


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Teacher Feature ~ Sharlotte Fedewa

Sharlotte teaches every Friday morning 6 am Sunrise Flow.  Keep an eye on the schedule for her Kid's and Toddler yoga classes.

 

When were you first introduced to yoga, and what got you hooked?

I was first introduced to yoga in my college dorm. My new friends and I went to a class together. They liked it but I loved it. I fell in love with the way yoga made me feel. I started to consistently go to yoga classes. Sometimes I would go twice a day. 

What made you decide to become a yoga instructor?

I wanted to go over seas and I wanted to get away from school because I didn’t feel passionate about my studies. I quit school after I became an instructor and don’t regret it. 

What’s your favorite pose?

Triangle— it’s nuanced. I like showing people how to lift their torso up, so their abs start to burn.  

How do you remain grounded outside the yoga studio? 

When I feel overwhelmed I take really slow breaths and remind myself life doesn’t have to be so serious. 

What does your personal practice look like these days? 

I am a mom, so I don’t have much time for myself. I try to practice as I go through my day. Sometimes, I get to go to yoga classes. I do the Ashtanga primary series at home when I can. I have to remind myself to not get down on myself because my practice is not consistent. It will get better once the kids get a little older! Letting go is yoga, right? 

What advice do you have for the beginner yogi, other than only focus on yourself? 

If you feel like you can’t sit still you probably need meditation or restorative yoga more than a power yoga class. Balancing out your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system can help you lose weight because you let go of unnecessary mind stuff, make quicker logical choices and create space for good thoughts. Fast yoga doesn’t always = lose weight.  

In your opinion what the biggest misconception about being a yoga instructor?  

Yoga instructors get to “do” yoga all the time. No, we get to “demonstrate” all the time, which is way different. It’s hard to link your breath with movement when you’re telling people link their breath with movement. Sometime you can get so caught up in teaching that you forget your practice. 

One healthy food you swear by, and why? 

Are garlic stuffed olive healthy? So satisfying. 

 


Yogi of the Month ~ Kari VonStrohe

How long have you been practicing?   ~4-5 years

Any advice on how to make time for practice with a busy work/family schedule?  

I feel so much better when yoga is a part of my regular routine – both physically and mentally.  That definitely helps me prioritize yoga classes.  And there are so many different classes offered at Yoga Story throughout the day that it makes it easy to integrate it into my schedule.

Describe your yoga practice in one word:  Can I have 2 words??  Stress Relief

How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies?  

I run regularly and practicing yoga has helped me to manage my breathing during long runs, as well as make me stronger overall.  Since starting at Yoga Story, I’ve been able to consistently increase my speed and distance.  

Why did you start practicing yoga?  

I was looking for an alternative to running & weight lifting and decided to try yoga.  I was hooked instantly and saw more changes in my body faster than any other workout I’d tried before.   

How does yoga impact your everyday life?  

Yoga has helped me to better manage my breathing – especially in stressful situations – and has helped me to focus more on myself & my journey than where I am in comparison to others.

What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing?

Before I started practicing, I thought of yoga as stretching & meditation.  It does provide that benefit, but so much more! I’ve become stronger, pushed myself beyond what I thought I could do and have found a local community in Yoga Story. 


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Teacher Feature ~ Erin Hulliberger

Favorite pose and why?

Dancer (Natarajasana). I love the combination of balance, strength, flexibility and meditation it takes to get to a full expression… and how amazing I feel when I do.

First introduced to yoga?

I found yoga as a way to build strength and flexibility while marathon training in my early 20s. I never looked back.

10 words or less on why I love yoga?

Yoga is my reset button. It both reenergizes and grounds me.   

How does my practice make me stronger?

Yoga strengthens my mind more than anything. It trains me to be present in the moment – not focused on what has been or what is to be.

How do you remain grounded outside the yoga studio?

I take 15 minutes of quiet time every day to meditate and pray.

Advice to beginner yogi?

Keep trying! Everyone was new once, and even experienced yogis fight for certain poses. The struggle is the journey.

Mantra or intention?

My favorite intention is “Growth and comfort do not coexist.” I have found it to be true both on and off the mat, physically and mentally.

Biggest misconception about being a yoga instructor?

That you are really, really flexible! My hamstrings are like guitar strings!

One healthy food I swear by and why?

Eggs. There are endless ways to eat them, and with lots of protein and good, healthy fats, they always fill me up.

Yogi of the Month ~ Jonathan McArthur

Jonathan McArthur

How long have you been practicing? 6 months.

What’s your favorite pose and why? Purvottanasana… because isn’t it everyone’s favorite pose?

In 10 words or less describe why you love yoga: The nourishment of not only my body but my mind.

How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies? Reducing the times that I am injured only leads to me being more active. I would like to say it increased the time I spend in other hobbies but my practice has really led to me progressing deeper into yoga.

Why did you start practicing yoga? I had been experiencing neck and lower back pain from my career as a farmer that led to multiple chiropractic visits without any real relief. Yoga has not only helped alleviate those discomforts it has made me more mindful, and introduced Laura and I to a healthy positive community.

How does yoga impact your everyday life? I feel a lot more balanced.

What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing?
That yoga is truly for any body.

Yogi of the Month ~ Laura McArthur

Laura McArthur

How long have you been practicing?  Since May, so almost 6 months.

What’s your favorite pose and why?  I love chair.  I feel rooted, active, and powerful.

In 10 words or less describe why you love yoga: It is movement and rest.

How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies?  It motivates me to do more and try new things. 

Why did you start practicing yoga?  Jonathan and I wanted to have a healthy hobby that we could do together.  I also really needed a better way to deal with anxiety/stress and have more exercise on a regular basis.

How does yoga impact your everyday life?  Using mindfulness.  Eating thoughtfully.  Moving more often.  Having a heart full of love.  I want to live this way always, and yoga helps me keep these as priorities.

What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing?  I was a bit intimidated at first, but I quickly realized I had no need to be.  My practice is my own. The community of people at yoga story is so beautiful and I love being a part of it.


Lee Williams

We all have stories!  Some more interesting, some more colorful, some more sad and some more glad. ☺  In my mind, the stories are the essence of our society, or at least it once was.  Today everyone is running around and being so busy they miss the stories and the people who carry them (this includes me!!).  I once walked around downtown Denver during morning rush hour.  The office workers were running to and fro, trying to make the early rounds of their day.  I walked for 30 minutes and only had 3 people give me eye contact, as if to say, “I see you and greet you this morning.”  We need to stop for a moment meet, greet and talk to people, “You May? Just Like Them!!!”  They could be fun and a story exchange might take place, then you also could carry and remember the story.

So here comes the Lee Williams “Yoga Story” (Short Version)

In 2011 my wife (Marzelle) and I moved to Bella Vista from Oklahoma.  I was an avowed workaholic, in a high stress job and had all the usual health conditions, high cholesterol, stress, minor bouts with high blood pressure and of course there was a minor bout of cancer.  I had a hard time relaxing and letting my mind rest for a while, the act of “Being here Now”, had been lost to me many years ago.  I think my many years of running my behind off had finally taken their toll, but I had not figured it out yet.

So, needing to do something with myself in BV, I thought Yoga sounded good.   I went to a senior yoga class in Bella Vista.  The people there were nice, but I thought I needed a little more.  I was still working part time in Tulsa.  So, I went to the Tulsa YMCA and was introduced to Vinyasa flow.  I never went back to the seniors.  About a year later, I stumbled in to the hot Yoga classes at Yoga Story and the rest was history.  I never went back to the YMCA either!!  I was hooked and actually would go to hot yoga classes in Bentonville and Salt Yoga in Tulsa, when I was working in Tulsa.  Yes Yoga Story, I was two timing you!! I should say, I was sorry, but I loved every minute in both Studios and have no regrets or remorse!!  

I love to get on my mat, clear my mind and just going with the flow of the workout.  Hot yoga has helped me to focus more on my inner self.  I want to use Yoga as a path for better physical and mental health and hopefully more meaningful time with my family, friends and mat buddies in the future.  It is a real physical challenge for me to go through the routines.  I sometimes wonder, “What this Old Guy is doing here?”  I walk on my mat and realize, most parts of my body have aches and pains, however, after the workout,  I feel fantastic.  I have lowered my cholesterol, lowered my blood pressure, lost about 5 pounds and firmed up a bunch.  

I really think that the best part of my Yoga Story experience is having had an opportunity to share a story or two that I carry and having the opportunity to speak to a few who give me eye contact, allow me into their space and come to know  a little about me as I learn about them.  Then we can share the essence of our society and be as one in mind, if only for an instant in time.  “Namaste”

This was the short story, the long version may require that we have an hour or two. ☺  See you on your mat.

Yogi of the Month ~ Christine Horwart

How long have you been practicing?   Not long enough.

What’s your favorite pose and why?   Depends on the day.  My body, mind and spirit dictate.

In 10 words or less describe why you love yoga: Yoga makes me a better person.

How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies?  I am stronger, yet more forgiving.  A powerful combination.

Why did you start practicing yoga?  I truly don’t remember.  Divine intervention?

How does yoga impact your everyday life?  I am stronger, yet more forgiving.  A powerful combination.

What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing?  Yoga is for sissies.  

Yogi of the Month ~ Madalyn Overstreet

How long have you been practicing?
A little less than a year

What’s your favorite pose and why?
Tree pose is my favorite because it's the one pose I can count on where my mind is completely still and   I can just be present.

In 10 words or less describe why you love yoga:
Yoga helped me reach peace and simplicity in life. 

How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies?
Yoga has become my hobby. I find myself more curious about the origins and different practices. It has helped me break out of my comfort zone.

Why did you start practicing yoga?
I started practicing yoga because a friend convinced me to try it out. I continued yoga because it became a stable thing I could count on to fulfill my day.

How does yoga impact your everyday life?
Yoga has helped me find the positive in any situation presented. I feel more balanced in all aspects of life, personal, work, and physical. The teachers and other yogis have helped me to feel more confident than ever.

What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing?
The one misconception I had was that you needed to be flexible. I quickly learned it is all about letting your body be where it needs to be that day. Fully into the pose or just child's pose.

Yoga embraces Wabi Sabi, "the wisdom and beauty in imperfections."

Yogi of the Month ~ Gita Chakrabarti

How long have you been practicing?  15 years or more.  The first good classes I went to were in early 2000. 



What’s your favorite pose and why?  I love many poses, but plow is my favorite.  It’s a good shoulder and back stretch for those of that sit hunched over a computer.  I also love that it pulls your whole body out.



In 10 words or less describe why you love yoga: It’s relaxing and makes your whole day and relationships better. 



How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies?  Yoga helps me balance motherhood – I have a busy 4 year old – and an intense job.



Why did you start practicing yoga?  I started to practice in earnest after a white water rafting injury cause some hip and pelvis mis-alignments



How does yoga impact your everyday life?  It puts things in balance and helps you breathe.  I can do whatever kind of yoga I need on a given day – a hot flow during the week if I need to lose some energy, or a deep restorative if I want to relax and complete chill out and make the weekend an even better detox.



What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing?  It’s really great exercise and changes the shape of your body.

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