Yogi of the Month ~ Lynette Menna

How long have you been practicing?  I have been practicing yoga regularly for a little over 1 year.

 

Any advice on how to make time for practice with a busy work/family schedule? I am blessed with a great support system at home and with friends.  I often have a friend, my husband or my daughter join me in class.  I take advantage of the weekend and evening classes and yoga is a priority in my life.  I need it so much to balance my life, that I make sure and attend between 2-4 classes in a week. 

 

Describe your yoga practice in one word: Essential

 

Why did you start practicing yoga? Honestly, I was going through a very difficult time in my life and was having difficulty sleeping and suffered from a lot of anxiety.  Yoga story classes have helped me learn so much about myself and taught me how ‘breath’.  It has changed my life for the better!

 

How does yoga impact your everyday life?  Well, I have great balance standing on one foot now!  I remember to breath more, manage my anxiety and sleep better. My overall quality of life is better when I do yoga.

 

What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing? I thought that I couldn’t do it because I had chronic neck pain.  But the teachers taught me how to listen to my body and build up gradually.  There are so many different levels and classes at Yoga Story that I was able to go at my own pace. A year later, I surprise myself by easily finishing a challenging hot flow class. 


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Yogi of the Month ~ John Watson

How long have you been practicing?

 

I started practicing yoga in 2013, taking free classes at the gym. I started at Yoga Story around January 2014.

 

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

 

It's something you really have to prioritize – schedule it like a major appointment every day. Ultimately, every individual has to be responsible for their own well-being.

 

Describe your yoga practice in one word: swashbuckling!

 

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

 

Practicing yoga consistently has certainly made me stronger and more balanced– it enhances all the little muscles and supporting structures of the body and makes me a more resilient runner, biker, or hiker.

 

Even the breathing exercises we practice in our yoga classes help me push past discomfort and then focus on expanding my limitations.

 

Why did you start practicing yoga?

 

I originally started practicing as a way to assist myself from getting injured while running. Yoga ended up being a catalyst for me transforming to a much healthier lifestyle though!

 

How does yoga impact your everyday life?

 

I find I can deal with stress fairly easily, and also slow down to appreciate the little things in the everyday world a lot more.

 

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

 

It is actually very accessible to everyone and to all abilities. With some enthusiasm and a consistent practice, I think most people could surprise themselves at what they would learn about yoga and their own abilities.


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Yogi of the Month ~ Melinda Wilkie

How long have you been practicing?  

I've been practicing 2.5 years

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

I think we all make time for the things that are important to us. Practicing yoga helps me find balance with my family life & work life.

Describe your yoga practice in one word: 

Happy! 
Practicing yoga makes me happy! 
Sorry that's 5 words. 

Why did you start practicing yoga? 

I started running last year and yoga definitely helps me stay stretched and flexible.  My friends invited me to a yoga class. I was intimidated at first but quickly realized that everyone's practice is different and nobody judges anyone. I was hooked!

How does yoga impact your everyday life?  

Yoga has helped me relieve stress, helped me be more patient, it's helped me with strength, balance, confidence and self love. 

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

That yoga is easy. Boy was I wrong. 


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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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Yogi of the Month ~ Romilla Pandita

How long have you been practicing?

I have been doing yoga for 3 years but have been regular only after joining Yoga Story.

What’s your favorite pose and why?

My favorite pose is the Warrior pose. It gives me a sense of balance.

In 10 words or less describe why you love yoga: 

Yoga gives me a sense of peace and calm which normally I don't experience.
 
How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies?

Frankly speaking at present my only passion/hobby is Yoga. But even my routines look less daunting the day I practice yoga. My concentration increases and I worry less about the unknowns.
 
Why did you start practicing yoga?
I started yoga as a form of exercise to keep fit but now I treat it as something essential for my mental and physical well being.

How does yoga impact your everyday life?
Yoga helps me keep calm. I am able to be less attached to unnecessary stuff and laugh at silly stuff.
 
What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing?

I started practicing yoga as a way of exercise to increase strength and flexibility. Though I get all of that by practicing yoga, I have realized with time what I cherish more is the mental peace and calm I get as a result. As a wise man said, "Yoga is internal engineering."

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Yogi's of the Month ~ Mark and Lisa Hufford

How long have you been practicing yoga?
Mark ~ I began practicing yoga in January of 2016 with my wife Lisa.
Lisa ~ I've been practicing since Jan. 2016. I started because I was invited by a friend and found out Mark was interested in trying it too.

What's your favorite pose & why?
Mark ~ Not sure I have a favorite pose, but I love moving through the chataranga's (no idea how to spell that) as a foundation element to each practice. In any endeavor you have to love and
embrace the foundational aspects and disciplines - no matter if your a novice or expert.
Lisa ~ My favorite pose is half pigeon. My hips are always tight and it's such a great stretch!

10 words or less describing why I love yoga?
Mark ~It's a fun, sweat inducing, breath relaxing, core
strengthening, flexibility-enhancing, teacher inspired challenge! (Sorry 12 words).
Lisa ~ I love yoga because it encompasses all areas of fitness including breath control and focus.

How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies?
Mark ~ Yoga benefits my overall goal of maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle which includes doing
things like hiking, tennis and working out.
Lisa ~ I play a lot of tennis and yoga is a great balance to all the pounding on the court.

Why did you start practicing yoga?
Mark ~ I started practicing yoga through encouragement that it might help my chronic low back and hip
pain - and it really has!
Lisa ~ My body feels better when I'm consistent with yoga and I'm more mindful of being in the moment.

What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing?
Mark ~ My misconception about yoga is an embarrassing one. I had no interest in doing yoga because
I was one of those guys who thought yoga was something that only women do............. I stand
corrected and my only regret is not doing yoga years ago!
Lisa ~ The biggest misconception I had about yoga was that it was easy and mostly stretching. Boy, was I wrong! Who knew I could sweat that much!:)

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Yogi of the Month ~ George Spear

How long have been practicing?

I have been practicing since approximately December of 2013

What’s your favorite pose and why?

I like “Chair” pose and variations of it like “revolved” when we twist left or twist right while in chair.  o Chair pose makes me feel “grounded” and I can truly feel the impact of stretching to places that are not typically reached in a more cardio based regimen.

In 10 words or less describe why you love yoga.

I love Yoga because its peaceful, calming, challenging, reduces stress, and provides flexibility and strength.

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

My Yoga practice benefits my other passions and hobbies because it complements
yet reinforces those passions. My other interests and hobbies include family time & events, running, music, singing, and other types of exercise like biking. I have found that the physical and mental balance that yoga provides helps me with those activities by reducing stress and keeping me strong.

Why did you start practicing yoga?

I started practicing Yoga because after 13-14 years of running (9 marathons, many half marathons, and some back surgery, too), I had to find better balance, core strength, and flexibility. I also needed to find even more life balance.  I found Yoga Story because my two oldest daughters had danced ballet for over a decade and had been to Yoga Story and encouraged me to try it.

How does yoga impact your everyday life?

Yoga impacts my everyday life because 1st I have met great people at YS and that’s affected me in a positive way each day. Then, in addition, my everyday life has been impacted because the Yoga classes and workshops have help shaped a completely new regimen for me to build core strength and flexibility, both mentally and physically.

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

I don’t think the general population, especially people who have recreationally played traditional sports like football, basketball, & baseball, truly understand how physically strenuous Yoga is. I still remember the 1st few months of being in Lynn’s classes and because of my lack of flexibility and core strength, I thought I’d never make it through the 1st 15 minutes of class, let alone be able to pull off the Bow pose.

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Yogi of the Month ~ Jimmy Beasley

How long have you been practicing?

Introduced to yoga in 2011 at a Bikram studio in Fort Worth. But I've only been "consistent" since March of 2016.

What’s your favorite pose and why?
Everything other than downward dog. I'm still trying to figure out how downward dog is a "resting" pose.

In 10 words or less describe why you love yoga: 

Balance. strength in weakness, weakness in strength. Desirable humility 

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

It enhances my training & helps to provide perspective to my life and others in my life.

Why did you start practicing yoga?

Natural progression. It made sense.

How does yoga impact your everyday life?

My life is more in focused with a broader view.

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

Mostly a woman's activity. I believe men would benefit just as much, if not more, from a spiritual, soulful, and physical perspective. Our son even practices yoga. The whole family benefits.









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Yogi of the Month ~ Katie Dennis

How long have you been practicing? About 4 years



What’s your favorite pose and why? I enjoy dancer because it is so beautiful and graceful (if I can hold it J)



In 10 words or less describe why you love yoga: Yoga brings me peace, clarity and it cleanses me.



How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies? When I practice yoga, it makes me happy. The happiness flows into the next day. When I am happy, I take part in more of my hobbies with more joy and passion.



Why did you start practicing yoga? I initially started to tone, now I practice for a multitude of reasons. I believe God blessed me with a strong and capable body and I should use it and strengthen it every chance I get.



How does yoga impact your everyday life? Yoga helps me to deal with my anxiety- it is better than anything a doctor can prescribe. It is truly one of my most helpful outlets or resources for stress and helps me exercise an intentional focus which I can use outside of the studio.



What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing? I thought it might just be all about stretching, not so much of a work out. That changed quickly with my first heated class. Not only is every class challenging, but it tests your mind to focus.

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Yogi of the Month ~ Rachel Ackerman

Confessions of a Reluctant Yogi
by Rachel Kaye Ackerman

I do not have a magical, love-at-first-asana yoga story.  After an hour of intense, shaky postures and stretches, I panted with exhaustion, horizontal at last.  Everyone else seemed blissed out in the final resting pose, savasana, but I failed to catch that vibe.  I was too busy breaking out in hives.

All over my body, angry welts puffed out in protest.  I resisted the urge to scratch and inspect, loathe to disrupt the serenity of the sculpted yogis around me.  If hell is a quiet and motionless place, I had somehow stumbled upon it.  As soon as possible, I snuck away, vowing never to return.  The hives never returned either, dissipating within a few hours.  Whatever triggered them remains a mystery, but my response was unequivocal fear and avoidance.

Flash forward fifteen years and fifteen-plus pounds.  In a stroke of serendipity, my workplace offered lunchtime yoga.  With equal parts hesitance and desperation, I unfurled my mat again.  A sedentary lifestyle had done me no favors; I was as weak and wobbly as ever.  I abhorred boat pose with a venomous passion, and my trees toppled with all the grace of a drunken toddler.  Sweet savasana could not come soon enough.  It didn't take long, however, before the twice-a-week, thirty minute sessions became a refuge from my stress.  The stretching, the exhaustion, and the soothing voice of my instructor took me to a place of deep calm.  Despite my notorious aversion to physical challenge, I kept dragging myself back to the mat~and yoga kept offering compelling reasons to stay and deepen my practice.

Prior to yoga, I noticed my body for primarily negative reasons: pain, discomfort, disgust.  I hoarded tension in my jaw, my shoulders, and my back.  I became a regular at the chiropractor's office.  At times, my neck was so out of whack, I couldn't turn my head to speak to someone in the back seat of a car.  Shielding my knobby knees and freakish toes from public scrutiny, I refused to wear shorts and sandals for years.

These days, my naked toes make regular appearances at Yoga Story, and I appreciate how their extraordinary length roots me to the earth.  I relish feelings that never registered before:  energy coursing through my form, the exquisite release of relaxing muscles, the cleansing detox of dripping sweat.  My spine has grown supple; my chiropractor has become a stranger.  I am overwhelmed with gratitude for a healthy body that still knows how to grow stronger, more flexible, more fluid, and more alive.

Buoyed by yogic meditations on a off the mat, my gratitude even extends to the lesson of those long-ago hives.  As an educator, I know discomfort and challenge serve as powerful learning catalysts~provided one responds with a growth mindset instead of fear.  Before my yoga journey began in earnest, however, I did not apply that understanding to my own flesh.  Now, I live this lesson daily. I am committed to a lifelong yoga practice. Now, at age 43, I am stronger in mind, body, and spirit than ever before.

Namaste.





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