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 questions that you’d like to “Ask a Yogi”, let us know in the comments or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add your question to the list. Today’s Ask a Yogi question is:
- Elena Brower: Thankfully, it’s given me the context to make that connection.
- Kathryn Budig: I’ve learned to accept my body for how it is. My body has ebbed and flowed with weight and muscle, but my gauge is no longer how I look, but how I feel. If I feel good and strong on my mat, then my body is exactly as it should be.
- Jason Crandell: When I played hockey and rode skateboards I was more than happy to subject my body to any amount of discomfort in order to accomplish a task. And, honestly, I still respect people that use their body in this way and I feel like I understand this type of drive. That said, my yoga practice has fundamental reversed this process. Now, my body and breath are the muse. They are the topic. They are the point of curiosity and yoga is just a way that I access and experience my body in a more complete and interesting way. When I run into physical limitations, my end range of motion or my various imbalances, I’m rarely disappointed because I’m no longer using my body to try to get something I don’t already have. And, at the end of the day, I’m practicing to feel better in the body that I actually have rather than trying to exchange my body for one that I want to have. This has taken a lot of pressure off and allowed me to savor my tight hamstrings and all.
- Tiffany Cruikshank: I found yoga when I was 14 so for me it was a HUGE part of me getting comfortable in my body. I was teased a lot in school and yoga became a way for me to get to know myself and get comfortable with the awkwardness of life. Even now my practice gives me a sense of comfort in my skin that translates into so much of my life, when I’m at ease in my body my mind is less reactive and I can appreciate the beauty of life. My practice has taught me that we all have insecurities and discomforts but that my imperfections are what make me human and that humanness is what helps me connect more deeply with myself & the people I love. That’s what its all about!
- Steven Espinosa: I’ve always had a fairly good connection with my body because of dance. But yoga has helped me heal up many injuries from my past. It has also given me a greater understanding of why I might be hurting and provides me with the therapeutic tools of how to get out of pain. Of course, I still have the general aches and pains that come with being a human being in his early 50’s. Only now I know how to address those issues and prevent them from becoming chronic.
- Marc Holzman: Before I did yoga, my relationship with my body was primarily dictated by vanity. While it certainly got me to the gym, in hindsight this relationship was superficial and incomplete, fractured from mind and consciousness. I was “sculpting” my body in a non-integrated, non-holistic way. I wasn’t even aware of my breath! When I started doing yoga, I began to connect the disparate parts. Linking breath to action, connecting body to emotions. This was a monumental shift for me. Through yoga I discovered Ayurveda and Acupuncture. I traded in the Met-Rx protein shakes for kale. And I slowly released the silly notion that sexiness, masculinity, and virility were somehow linked to a big, thick, muscular body.
- Amy Ippoliti: I had no clue how my body lined up or how to breathe fully and deeply when I first started practicing. I also had no clue what my body was craving, what it needed, etc…yoga has been pretty tremendous in helping me listen more to what it needs rather than being on auto pilot.
- Tara Judelle: In every way. Everything is more conscious.
- Dice Iida-Klein: Yoga has given me the tools to listen to my body more. Someways I may feel run down and all I need is a good legs up the wall pose (Viparita Karani) and some days I need a strong practice with many inversions and arm balances, but the most important thing is that I listen to what my body needs at that time and day.
- Kia Miller: I modeled for 12 years in Europe as my first career. At the time my connection with my body was with my outer form – the way I looked. Yoga helped me to learn how to tune into my physical body from the inside out – it has healed me on so many levels.
- Christina Sell: Well, I wrote a whole book about this called Yoga From the Inside Out: Making Peace with Your Body through Yoga and another one called My Body is a Temple: Yoga as a Path to Wholeness because this topic is such a big part of my story. But here is the thing- I started yoga when I was 21 and I am now 43 years old. So I have been practicing yoga over half of my life and it is somewhat hard to give a real “before yoga” and “after yoga” comparison as the practice of yoga has been with me throughout my entire adult life and has morphed and changed and grown with me over the years. Having said that, I think that yoga gives me tools to relate to my body with greater awareness, insight and skill. To the degree that I implement the tools that yoga gives me, I have a profound, meaningful and caring relationship with my body. In 12-step recovery they say, “It works if you work it” and I feel that way about yoga. Yoga, in and of itself, hasn’t changed the way I connect with my body (let’s face it… you can do yoga violently with a ton of negative self-talk) but it has given me ways to change my connection so that I am more loving, more realistic and more accepting of myself and my body. Another thing I would like to add is that for me, having a yoga practice is very empowering as well. Knowing that through time, attention, and practice I can overcome tendencies, counteract negative impressions, and work in harmony with my body and what it needs is the real boon of the practice.
- Sianna Sherman: I now love my body with full respect, honor and recognition that I am divinity embodied. The practices reveal to me emanating radiance that is born from the churning in the very depth of me.
- Stephanie Snyder: The most important thing yoga teaches us about the physical body is that it is impermanent and always changing. This means that we dont have to get overly attached. The flip side of this is that we have to keep the body in good working order so that we can do our practice at all and so that we can do whatever good work we are called to do. I love my body and Im so grateful that it works for me. Yoga and water = long life.
- Jo Tastula: I think before yoga I was very dissociated from my body. There were parts of my body that I actually hated. Through yoga, my body has become my teacher, my home and my sanctuary.
- Felicia Tomasko: Since I’ve practiced yoga my entire adult life, and began when I was a teenager, I can’t really imagine my life without it. It helps me know what to do when I just don’t feel right, when I’m achey or tired, when I need to reboot, refresh or revitalize. But even more importantly, I think about how the philosophies of Yoga and Ayurveda ask us to relate to our practice. What I frequently turn to, in my teaching and in relating to my body in my own life, is Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra from book II, number 46: sthira sukha asanam. I love the translation of sthira to mean steady, and sukha as sweet. In our Asana, Patanjali tells us, in every pose of our daily lives, in the way in which we relate to our bodies, may we do so with steadiness and sweetness. This is how yoga helps me relate to my body: how can I be both steady and approach the relationship I have with myself with sweetness?
- Harshada Wagner: My body has really become my temple. It sounds cliché’ but it’s true. I experience the Sacred Presence in my body and connect to it first and foremost like that.