Guest Post by Kylee Hays of Living Yoga, LLC
Have you ever considered the question “what is yoga?” Yoga is a hot commodity in our culture today and studios seems to be popping up everywhere. These studios are often advertising calorie burns, body sculpting, name-brand clothing or maybe even enlightenment. So what is yoga, a physical exercise that gives us some ideal body or a practice that helps peel back the layers of ego, culture and personality to reveal our essential nature? Historically yoga has been a practice for a better life not a better body, although this certainly can be an added benefit of a physical movement practice. Yoga is a journey, packed full of tools for the excursion, that lead us back to our truest self; our essential nature of peace, ease, well-being and a general sense of “okay-ness.”
In the midst of a very difficult season of my life that included postpartum depression I stumbled upon a yoga class at my local gym and I left that day, having had a profound experience, wondering what is yoga? I kept attending classes because I had a deep sense that whatever this was it was helping me. I decided to complete teacher training not because I wanted to be a teacher rather I wanted to answer the question once and for all “what is yoga?”. During teacher training I discovered yoga Nidra, specifically iRest Yoga Nidra, a form of meditation wherein a teacher guides you into a deep relaxed and meditative state wherein you are able to access and learn from this deepest self and connect with a place of peace and well-being. I fell in love with the practice and began training as an iRest teacher. I weave this practice, in some form, into all of my yoga classes.
Living Yoga strives to provide opportunities for people to yes move their bodies but more than that a time and space to explore stillness and practices that help people welcome their deepest self. Beginning November 8th I will be offering drop-in donation based classes Thursdays, 9:30-10:45 a.m., at Bookhouse Studio. These classes will be slow flow, the slow representing mindful movement and flow will marry our breath to these poses. While modifications will be offered to make the class accessible it will be necessary for participants to bear weight on their wrists and be able to get up and down off the floor easily. The class will be an hour and fifteen minutes so as to provide ample time to end with guided meditation.
Wherever you are on this journey please consider joining us on Thursday mornings. Come a little early and grab a tea to sip while meeting some new friends. And maybe just maybe you’ll leave wondering, as I did, what is yoga? Or perhaps you’ll walk out the door knowing.