How has your yoga practice changed over time?

Ask a Yogi Series

You’ve practiced with them on YogaGlo. You’ve followed them on Facebook. You might even take their classes in person once in awhile if they travel to or live in your city. But how well do you know our YogaGlo teachers? We’ve created a new series, Ask a Yogi, so you can learn more about them by asking questions you’ve always wanted to ask.

From favorite poses and tips for beginners to deeper questions about how their practice has changed their worldview, our teachers will collectively answer a new question each week. If you have a question that you’d like to “Ask a Yogi” let us know in the comments or email us at hello@yogaglo.com and we’ll add your question to the list. Today’s Ask a Yogi question is:

  • Elena Brower: It’s gotten more concentrated, focused, relaxing and healing. Simultaneously. And way less competitive.
  • Kathryn Budig: I used to be an incredibly dedicated Ashtanga yogi with immense strength. I’m still strong and dedicated, but much softer. I don’t feel the urgency that I once felt and find that the poses and practice itself is more enjoyable to me now.
  • Jason Crandell: My practice has gotten softer, smoother, and more fine-tuned over the years. I did my practice like I played hockey and rode skateboards for the first few years. And, although this was gratifying in ways, I’m finding myself more intrigued by what is still and quiet in my body and mind than what is moving.
  • Tiffany Cruikshank: A ton and not at all. It’s always like coming home to myself so in that way it hasn’t changed at all, but my personal practice is constantly changing to reflect where I’m at physically & mentally and I think it’s important to have the adaptability as a yogi to be able to do that. Otherwise we find ourselves injured or exhausted because we continue to force ourselves to do what we think we “should” do instead of what we need. This is where Satya (truthfulness) becomes so important to the practice in being truthful to ourselves in what we need at any given moment.
  • Steven Espinosa: I’m much more gentle with myself now. Back in the day, it was all about learning how to do the “hard” stuff. I would push myself sometimes to the point of injury. I took myself and my yoga very seriously. But now, as I am in my 50’s, my body is changing and I try to respect that. Therefore, my approach to the practice is also shifting. I find that doing the most basic and simple poses can be challenging in a whole new way. These days it’s all about moving my body, breathing deeply and most importantly, having fun.
  • Marc Holzman: Over the past few years three major shifts in my life have informed a new focus on what I label as “my practice:” A heart surgery, turning 50 and discovering what it truly means to meditate. I LOVE a good, hot, powerful asana practice, but those days of 108 drop backs are far behind me; my body simply doesn’t do the things it did fifteen years ago. Am I continuing to fall in love with my life? Am I meditating daily? This is Yoga for me now;  first and foremost my Hatha practice (and teaching) must support this.
  • Amy Ippoliti: When I started at age 16, I was really just getting used to all the poses, learning about all the crazy ways my body could bend. In my early 20’s that turned into more of a desire to become proficient and challenge myself by finding more challenging styles of yoga and more sophisticated teachers. From there I did my first teacher training  – so for many years my focus was all about learning alignment, meditation, pranayama, therapeutics and yoga philosophy. As a teacher, I worked on advancing my own personal practice, setting goals with my practice buddies to achieve certain poses, doing mantra and increasing my morning ritual of sitting practice. Then after a divorce, I threw myself into cardiovascular exercise to blow off steam, since getting on my mat and into my body as often as I had been doing became too painful emotionally, so I reduced my practice a lot.  I paid the price physically though, my “yoga body” atrophied, old injuries showed up again, and I turned to functional fitness and a personal trainer to get my muscles back in shape. I increased my mat time again. Now I am still not all the way recovered from that break actually, but am enjoying my practice just where it is. Teaching on YogaGlo has actually been so helpful in getting me more amped up about advancing my practice again, vs. just coasting. So I thank YogaGlo and everyone who practices for the enthusiasm and joy of doing this practice together. We are so lucky to have each other and I feel so fortunate to get to practice with my colleagues on YogaGlo too!
  • Tara Judelle: My practice changes and continues to change every year. If I were to categorize the main change, I would say that it has has moved from a muscle, bone practice to one that includes the organs, the glands, the fluids and greater ease and fluidity, than simple acrobatics and rigidity. There is an increasing desire to move with ease and three dimensional awareness rather than strict concepts of poses. There is also in my personal practice a greater bridge between dance and creativity and meditation than the earlier desire simply to achieve hard postures.
  • Kia Miller: My practice shifts as often as the seasons of the earth and the seasons of my life.  I like to stay sensitive to what my body is calling for in the moment and aware of what I may need verses what I habitually go for. This is the wisdom of many years of practice.  Sometimes I need the sweaty packed class to work it out of every cell of my body, sometimes I need a little tender sweet Yin class or an energetic Kriya. My constant companions in this season of life are a daily practice of breathwork and meditation with a physical practice that feel nurturing. For me, sometimes strong can feel nurturing!
  • Christina Sell: My practice has always been changing. While many of the poses stay the same my bodies’ ability shifts, my schedule is always in flux and my interests in the postures changes continually. I have been practicing since 1991 and so I have moved through so many cycles of practice – both interiorly and exteriorly. There is all the usual stuff now with aging- my body needs more time to recover, misalignments create tweaks more quickly, I have to work harder to go against some genetic body tendencies and so on. My metabolism has shifted a bit and all these things affect my physical practice. I am still interested in advanced postures, but I am a bit more sober in pursuing them than I used to be. My pranayama, mantra and meditation practices are more interesting to me now than they used to be and I am more aware of my energy than I used to be and how things I do and do not do affect me on an energetic level. I travel a lot right now and have little outer routines and so I am really enjoying Bikram Yoga practice. The consistency and predictability that the repetitive approach provides for me is very grounding and stabilizing. During times when I was more stable – for instance, when I was running a studio and teaching 15 classes a week in the same place for six years, I enjoyed being more creative in my practice. So all these things are variables and part of the ongoing conversation of “what to do when I roll out my mat” and how that interfaces with the outer circumstances of my life.
  • Sianna Sherman: My practice has undergone so many renovations and innovations along the way. It’s been a twisting, turning trunk of Ganapathi ever since I began more than 22 years ago. The steadiness and exploration of the practices have been a vibrant force in my life, and the multifaceted jewel of yoga continually reveals itself to me through the many possible forms of practice. I began with a focus on meditation and a little asana to support the meditation jewel. I yearned to fall in love with myself and attune my mind in a positive way. Meditation has been the very core of my practices from the beginning. Next I turned my awareness to the therapeutic aspects of asana and learned in great detail clear biomechanical alignment to support the health of the body. During these years, there emerged a deep interest in pranayama and bandhas, and I practiced in a way that focused on these jewels. I had been learning from the classical philosophy of yoga and several years into this, I was ignited by the teachings of Tantra. I then devoted myself to studying the texts and being in satsang with masterful teachers. Now I practice an integration of all these forms and my awareness is growing ever more in relationship to chanting, mantra, mudra, mythology and dream yoga. I listen deeply to know how my being wishes to embody the practices and I’m very much devoted to all of these practices as embodied life in relationship to my family, friends and expanded community.
  • Stephanie Snyder: My practice is never the same because I’m never the same. Yoga rises up to serve me as I am each day and I’m so amazed by how consistently and profoundly I am supported by the practice. I can say that my idea of what a ‘yoga practice’ is has both loosened up and become more sophisticated over the years.
  • Jo Tastula: My practice has gone through many different evolutions which range from the purely physical (high sweat and grunt) to the sublimely meditative (zero sweat and eyes half open). Now I’m not attached to it being any one thing, so I guess that’s probably the biggest change.
  • Harshada Wagner: It used to be more structured, more formal, and more compartmentalized. There used to be a specific thing I would do in a specific way and in a certain place at a certain time, etc. Over time, the yoga has become more subtle. The goal of the yoga is more readily accessible in my inner being now. It takes less “intervention”. These days it’s more about subtle shifts of attention and ways of being.

Ask a Yogi Amy Ippoliti

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