I am amazed that it has been a year since this studio opened. I was looking through my notes of past classes and meditations. When Exhale opened, I had only been teaching about five months, and was still finding my teaching sea legs. My notes from those first classes were three pages long. I wrote down every cue and step that I could conceivably need for a one hour class. This has been a joyous journey of our Exhale Yoga Community, here a few things I have learned and cherished this year:
Kula means community of the heart. We as a yogi community, whether here in our studio, downtown at Monumental Yoga, or anywhere else in the universe…we are all connected as an intentional family, and for that I am truly grateful.
We are all perfectly imperfect. “I do not have to be perfect. All I have to do is show up and enjoy the messy, imperfect and beautiful journey of my life.” ~ Kerry Washington. I understand and hope I can teach the idea that we arrive from different places on our mat. And keep in mind that our body, mind and spirit can occupy a space differently from day to day or hour to hour. The fact that you show up to practice and breathe deeply on your mat, makes you a yogi.
Russell Simmons asked on Twitter for people to share their yoga mantra, the reason they practice this beautiful process. Here is my #yogainspiration: I started for the exercise, I stayed for the peace it brought me and I teach because it is my calling.
Gratitude for the beautiful blessings of my life, the studio, the community and my practice.
Joy of teaching, sharing my knowledge and experience.
Getting to know my students, they encourage me to be my authentic self and I hope I show them the way to theirs.
One part of our practice that I don’t think we spend much time teaching is setting our intention. I thought since we are reflecting over the last year, it might be a good time to revisit the need for setting our intention before we start our practice. I encourage my students to settle onto their mat with their breath and let go of everything that has happened during the day. It is time to clear your mind, put these pesky monkeys to sleep and follow your breath. Our intention helps us to be more mindful on the mat and maybe lets us carry that intention off the mat into our life. It can elevate our time on the mat from an exercise to a practice. I try to set a theme for my class that revolves around my intention for the day or the week. Sometimes I try to incorporate different yoga concepts and how they apply today and how we can use them to be of service to others. One of my favorites is Aparigrahah, for one because I have mastered how to say it, but I really love the concept. Your intention is to let go of the junk in your trunk. Physically and emotionally. As the Buddha says, “you can only lose what your cling to”.
Top 10 Yoga intentions