I experienced my first yoga class ten years ago. I initially came to yoga to find balance with my active lifestyle as a marathon runner and avid cyclist. It was the space that yoga opens for one’s breath and the opportunity to explore the mind and body that I fell in love with. The more I learned about the philosophy and lifestyle of yoga, the more I found ways to contextualize my thoughts and ways of living.
I have now been a yoga teacher for 3 years. I love teaching yoga: bringing people into their bodies through their breath and providing a series of postures is the most incredible experience. I hope that through the physical practice of yoga my students will begin to feel and explore the benefits “off the mat”.
One of the greatest challenges for me, even as instructor, has been developing my own daily practice.
The first year I was a yoga teacher I was teaching many classes as well as studying to stay on top of my studies to become a Registered Massage Therapist. I would attempt to practice at home but I found it more enjoyable to go to a class and be welcomed by friends and the voice of another to take me through the yogic breath and asana (practice).
In the past few years I have spent a lot of time nurturing my own practice. But it wasn’t really until this summer that it came into full fruition. In this process I have found many benefits – a deeper connection with my breath, with my environment, with silence. I can choose when to practice and for how long. I am able to breathe at my own natural rhythm. I can truly turn inside and experience a depth of my poses that I had never realized before. I can choose the space that I practice in and am not distracted by anyone coming in late, or leaving early. The environment is free of unwanted scents and other such factors. I can really focus on my own issues, the core of what I’m working on at that moment.
Last summer I was in a serious bike accident and broke my elbow. My recovery was a long journey that included two surgeries and several trips to the emergency room. This experience made me appreciate the connection that I have with my mind, body, and spirit most of which I have gained through yoga. I had to modify my practice and engage in what I called a re-setting. Since the accident I have been re-learning my yoga. At first I found it to be a struggle, especially for my ego! I continue to develop certain poses that I used to move into with great ease. However, this process has all been very humbling. I have a new lens when I watch my students move through their practice. I have a greater appreciation for my body and the amazing things it allows me to do. Being able to practice at home, with a tool like Coostom, is a wonderful thing to have access to when one is going through a time like this. It opens up a path of self discovery, of truth.
While I still enjoy the experience of attending a yoga class – connecting to great teachers and friends – nothing compares to how I feel at the end of my own personal practice. I am much more connected to myself.
I strongly encourage you to begin the journey of your own practice. Start today, even if only for a few minutes. I promise you’ll thank yourself.
Sarah experienced her first yoga class ten years ago. She came to yoga to find balance with her active lifestyle as a marathon runner and avid cyclist. It was the space that yoga opens for one’s breath and the opportunity to explore the mind and body that she fell in love with. The more Sarah learned about the philosophy and lifestyle of yoga, the more she found ways to contextualize her thoughts and ways of living.
About a year ago Sarah became involved in Coostom yoga - a tool for people to create their own practice. It enables people to do yoga anywhere, anytime for however long they choose. It allows you to choose the poses and play around with the order. It is very practical for people who are struggling to get to the studio, be it for time or cost. It is a great companion when you are traveling and want to continue your daily practice.
In April she graduated from the Massage Therapy Diploma Programme at Algonquin College and will begin her journey as an RMT this winter. She plans on specializing in pregnancy massage and will also be working towards becoming a Doula in the new year.