The Yoga Room Staff Spotlight: Adria

 

Happy Valentine's Day! Today we're excited to introduce a new feature in our newsletter: Staff Spotlight!

Our team members play a major role in the day to day running of the studio, and they are the framework of our community. We think each and every team member is awesome, and we thought it would be fun to spotlight one of our staff members every few weeks so that you can learn a little more about them.

This week we're featuring the one staff member who is both a teacher and works behind the scenes on the management of the studio. Please meet Adria!

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When did you start practicing yoga?

I started practicing in college, around 2004. When I was a kid my dad had a book about yoga. I remember that I practiced poses from the book, and I thought it was really interesting. Then when I got to college, I signed up for a college yoga class and loved it immediately. After college, my practice was sporadic. I started a regular practice in 2012.

Why do you practice yoga?

When I practiced yoga in college, it was because it helped me reduce my stress level; I felt much calmer after a yoga practice. I’d previously found that regular physical activity wasn’t particularly gratifying for me, but yoga was!

Then I moved away and got my first job after college, and I stopped practicing yoga for a while.

Fast forward to 2012… I had my daughter. When she was 4 months old, I started practicing yoga again, and I felt sooo much better. My body had changed due to pregnancy and childbirth, and when I restarted my yoga practice I felt like for the first time in a long time I was reconnecting with my body.

Over the years there has been an evolution in my practice. Now I practice primarily for the mental and emotional benefits - I’m more calm and focused. And I also like the therapeutic effect of my practice. When I have an ache or pain I do yoga postures and breathing.

What does your practice consist of?

I meditate first thing in the morning when I wake up. Sometimes it’s shorter, sometimes it’s longer. It depends on whether I hit snooze! 

Several days a week I go into the yoga studio and practice 15-20 minutes before I teach. My practice may be restorative postures, sun salutations, or breathwork; it just depends on what I feel like I need that day.

In the evenings I always do yoga before I go to sleep. Usually it’s a practice lying on the ground; it always includes breathing, and it’s usually a therapeutic practice to help release the tension in my back before I go to sleep. Otherwise I wake up with pain in my lower back.

How do you maintain your motivation for your practice?

Commitment, and also noticing how I feel when I don’t practice. When you start practicing yoga regularly, you gain a more profound view of yourself. Your body awareness improves; sometimes you notice new things you’ve never noticed before. Once you develop that deeper awareness, you can feel the difference when you miss your practice. So for me, when I don’t practice, I don’t feel as well as I normally do. So you could say my practice is self motivating - I want to practice because it makes me feel better.

What part of your practice do you gain the most from?

Pranayama (breathing practice), especially breathing meditation, is where I get the most benefit because I struggle with anxiety. When I notice myself becoming anxious, I use yogic breathing as a tool to calm down. I’ve gained tremendous benefit from it.

What made you want to become a yoga teacher?

It’s the simplest answer, but it’s true: I love yoga! When I signed up for Yoga Teacher Training (at The Yoga Room), my primary objective was to deepen my own practice, but almost immediately after the training began, I knew that I wanted to teach yoga. It’s a joy to share yoga with others. 

When did you start teaching?

I started teaching as soon as I completed Yoga Teacher Training in November 2015, so a little over 2 years.

What are your main objectives in your teaching?

To help people slow down and develop more self-awareness. We live life at such a fast pace. I want to help people notice things in their body or their breath that they wouldn’t have noticed before. That’s what I want people to walk away with.

I include restorative poses, pranayama, and meditation for the purpose of helping people stop and be still for a little bit.

Sometimes people have a hard time slowing down, but I believe everyone can slow down in their own way. For some people, slowing down requires movement; for others it means taking regular breaks during their relaxation or meditation. I encourage students to take breaks when they need to, so that they never feel “stuck” in a posture or practice.

What are you currently working on in your practice or as a teacher?

There’s a Pema Chodron quote I love about how yoga and meditation aren’t about trying to “throw ourselves away and become something better”; in her words, our practice is about befriending who we are already. This aligns closely with the yogic precepts of santosha (contentment) and ahimsa (non-harming). I’m working on being as gentle and forgiving with myself as I am with others, both in my practice and in my teaching.

Join us for our 2018 Yoga Challenge!

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I hope you're well and you're having a nice day today! How is your yoga practice going? How are your body and mind feeling?

We're all interested in the incredible benefits yoga offers, like improved management of stress, increased strength and flexibility, improved quality of sleep, and improved overall well-being. And we all know that the path to gaining these benefits (and more!) is consistently getting on our mats to practice.

But establishing a consistent practice is very often easier said than done, for a variety of reasons!

This year we're unrolling a new type of yoga challenge - the 1.14 Challenge - to support you in improving the consistency of your practice.

The 1.14 Challenge is based on Yoga Sūtra 1.14:

In order for one's practice to become firmly grounded, one must practice for a long time, without interruption, and with a positive attitude of enthusiasm.

During the Challenge, we'll provide guidance, motivation, and accountability, to support you in establishing a consistent practice.

We look forward to helping you make yoga a part of your routine so that you'll feel your best every single day and so that you can live life to the fullest.

We sure hope you'll join us!

Read more about the 1.14 Challenge here. And please let me know if you have any questions!

All my best,

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What Does "Consistent Practice" Really Mean?

As a yoga teacher, I often find myself encouraging my students to practice "consistently," and it seems like lately a lot of questions have popped up about what "consistent" really means.

And like most everything in yoga, the answer is: It Depends!

Generally,
Consistent practice means practicing daily or at least most days of the week.

But...
What if you don't have time for that?!

Well, let's look at some options and scenarios.

If you like to practice in the studio

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Most yoga studios, ours included, offer hour-long classes. Studio practitioners tend to get into a routine of attending one class per week. Establishing a routine is an excellent idea! But for best results, you want to try to attend at least 3 classes per week. 

If you analyze our Class Schedule carefully, you'll see that our weekday classes are (for the most part) set up on a MWF or TT schedule. The same class is offered with the same teacher at the same time on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, or on Tuesday and Thursday. For example, Adria teaches Moderate at 8:30 a.m. on Mon, Wed, and Fri, and Lk teaches Strong at 5:30 p.m. on Tues and Thurs.

(Please note that on Fridays we don't offer afternoon classes, so the afternoon schedule is set up MW and TT.)

We understand it can be difficult to keep a consistent schedule for both weekdays and weekends, so you'll see a bit of flexibility in our weekend schedule.

Our schedule is designed with you in mind, to help you establish and maintain a consistent practice.

If you attend classes in the mornings, you can attend MWF or TT and a weekend day to get your 3 weekly classes.

If you attend classes in the evenings, you can attend MW or TT and a weekend day to get your 3 weekly classes.

Of course, you're welcome to come see us for a class every day if you'd like!

If you like to practice at home

The pro of practicing at home is that you have a greater chance of establishing a routine that enables you to practice every day. But the con of practicing at home is that it can sometimes take a great effort to establish the routine.

If you practice at home, whether with a video or with your customized practice from your Individual Instruction session, there are a few tips to keep in mind:

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  • Identify a place in your home to practice. Keep your mat and any needed props in your practice space.
  • Establish a time of day to practice so that you build your practice into your daily routine.
  • Practice any number of minutes that works for your needs and your schedule. If you have only 10 minutes, you can do two āsanas and a breathing practice. If you have 15 minutes perhaps you can do half a video or just the standing portion of your customized practice. Follow up with the second half later in the day or perhaps the following day. Be creative, there are no hard and fast rules. The idea is to just get on your mat to establish the routine of practice.
  • Be easy with yourself. If you have an especially busy day and you can't find any time to practice, don't stress over it. Resolve to try again the next day.

Any questions? Let me know! I'd love to hear from you. And please stay tuned for next week's newsletter where I'll talk about special benefits that can be gained from consistent practice.

All my best,

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