Friday, October 19, 2012

What's up with your blog?


I am grateful for the questions.... last week I had a student ask "what's up with your blog?" Wow I was like "what blog" yes, it has been that long since I visited these pages, my last teaching schedule update was June! You wonder if people read what you put out there, you wonder if people hear what you say in class, you wonder if any of it matters? Then someone tells you they miss it, or refers someone to your class or smiles in a way that lets you know you have been heard...I had one of my summer college students email with questions for a research paper and as I was answering I realized this space is as much for me as it is for others, it is a place to write the questions and sometimes the answers, mostly just thinking out loud ....hope you enjoy

Hello Mrs. Nan!

Thank you so much for allowing me to interview you for my research paper. I know you have many other things going on, so I don't need an immediate response- as long as I receive your answers sometime next week preferably! These questions are mainly opinion questions based on your knowledge and learnings since practicing and teaching yoga. 

1.     How did you first get started practicing yoga and how long have you practicing as of today? How long have you been teaching yoga? I started practicing in 1998 mainly out of curiosity..it was something not many people were doing, sort of edgy and I was running lots and had extremely tight hamstrings and quadriceps that were happy to enjoy a little stretching instead of constant strengthening & pounding from running. My practice wasn't consistent at all back then. I have been teaching & practicing regularly since 2007.

2.     What motivated you to become a yoga instructor? I fell in love with the way yoga made my me feel both on & off the mat and really just wanted others to have that as well. I wanted to practice more consistently and if I was teaching I had to continue to learn so that my classes could be fresh & new and ever expanding:) So I guess it was really a little wanting to help others and help myself in the process:)

3.     Do you believe yoga has health benefits? Have you yourself been benefited or know of someone who has been benefited in terms of health due to regular yoga practice? Oh my goodness yes, yes & yes! I had a nagging chronic pain in my left leg for years (I mean like 5 or so years) I chalked it up to running without proper stretching, etc. I went to an orthopedist, had x-rays done, went to an acupuncturist, massage therapist, active release therapist and could not find relief... I thought I'd just have to live with it. I had been doing a vinyasa free flowing yoga for a while at this point. Then I started studying & practicing Anusara yoga (an alignment based Hatha yoga) and after about 6 months of regular alignment corrections by my teacher the pain just vanished! One day I tried to feel it and it just wasn't there anymore, truly it works & that's just on the physical level...yoga offers so much more, I am a believer! my story plus many others can attest to the many benefits of a regular practice.

4.     Do you believe that yoga has the power to heal certain medical conditions? I guess it really depends on the condition you are talking about..do I think it can help alleviate the symptoms and work in conjunction with traditional medicine using an integrated health care approach toward healing,  yes, I wholeheartedly do.

5.     How can yoga affect a person's attitude or perspective? Yoga's benefits include greater flexibility & strength, improved energy levels & sleep, and a calmer, more contented mind. People love it because it is not only a powerful way to get in shape physically; it is also a fantastic way to feel more emotionally harmonious. or you could simply say there is so much truth in the old axiom "Move a muscle change a feeling" 

6.     Do you believe yoga can decrease stress levels? yes, especially when the breath is emphasized throughout your practice. Yoga offers a holistic approach to coping with the challenges of daily life. With everything so forward focused it gives us a chance to just breathe into the now, to be present with whatever we are experiencing at the moment.

7.     What do you believe are the most important or biggest benefits of practicing yoga? it makes people feel better, and when you feel better you behave better. I can  honestly say that I am not better than anyone else; but, I am infinitely better in every measurable way than I was before yoga.

8.     What does it mean to have a unification of the body and mind? For me personally it simply means choosing to step into the flow of Grace, accepting it's pace and moving with not against it.

9.     Are there certain things you try to include in your classes to ensure that each individual is getting the most of their practice? yes, I always try to offer a personal analogy that corresponds with the heart based theme and physical postures we will be working on to make them more meaningful for each student.  I try to include things that are approachable for the majority of the class (teach to who is in front of me rather than using a preset plan that can't be deviated from) and also an element of challenge to foster expansion and individual growth. Allowing students to learn that they are capable of so much more than the limited ideas they have of themselves.

10.   What does yoga mean to you? Freedom:)

3 comments:

  1. I have MISSED your blog! Do I count? I love this and you!

    Jill





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  2. I love reading what you have to say! And I'm so glad that I'm able to come to your classes again. I've told you before but I'll put it in writing on here, I've had neck/shoulder pain on and off (from poor posture at my computer) for 4+ years, went to a chiropractor for a while until that got too expensive, so I thought I'd just have to deal with it. Instead I've found that yoga wipes it out. The stretching and twisting and everything else alleviates the pain. There are still some days that I can feel a twinge but after a yoga class it feels wonderful! Thanks for all you do!

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  3. Thanks for reading Alicia & Jill! LOVE you:)

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Thanks for sharing!