♥ happy hippie family ♥
I found yoga when I was just 12-years old and I will never forget the awe I felt the first time I came out of savasana with that clear-minded, light-hearted presence–an awe that keeps me coming back to my mat. I immediately understood that my yoga practice was much more than a physical workout, but my inquisitive mind was always trying to understand how and why I always felt more present after a deep yoga session.
My U.S.-based yoga practice didn’t offer any clear answers; if anything, these multi-style yoga sessions left me wondering where the heart of yoga lies. After practicing yoga for over 20 years around the U.S. and internationally, I traveled to the birthplace of yoga (India) for an immersive, month-long training to become a 200-hr Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher. The training combined Hatha yoga (the most ancient form of yoga known today) and Ashtanga yoga (a more modern, series-based practice), which offered a better understanding of both the ancient roots and modern applications of different yoga practices. My inquisitive mind better understood yoga’s origins and the connection to mediation and pranic energy. But my awe for yoga has remained unchanged since my first yoga class.
I continue to be drawn to the ancient practice of yoga and am inspired by how it is just as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. The classes that I lead are my way of sharing that inspiration. I combine fitness and mindfulness to increase pranic energy and connection to body, breath, and the world around us. My interest in the energetic side of yoga has led me to become a Reiki healer. I also fell in love with the ancient poetry of Sanskrit translations, and my yoga practice is my way of expressing that poetry with my physical body.
I have learned to disassociate my ever-evolving yoga practice with the typical yoga clichés: a person tying their body up in a pretzel or a stern, serious-looking yogi deep in meditation. Instead, I have found meaning in the Sanskrit translation for the word yoga („union“) — to see and feel the beauty and joy around and in us–not separate from, but a part of the universe. My Happy Hippie Yoga mat is a reminder of the joy in this union. No matter how we intellectualize yoga, that connection is most simply expressed with a warm smile, on or off my mat.
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