Hello Lifties! We hope that your Thanksgiving Day was full of food, fun, family/friends, new traditions and/or old, and lots of belly laughs. Possibly even Gail's Gratitude flow! It's impossible to think of the word "gratitude" and not feel filled to the brim with it when reflecting on Lift+Studio, even beyond a day of thanks giving. Gratitude for our founder Kim Saunders, our leader Lori Denton, our ringmaster Paige Dunford and all the amazing humans who help make Lift+Studio run, pulse, embrace and thrive. Not to mention the incredible people to join us on the mat with full hearts, open minds and deep souls.
In Sanskrit "gratitude" is written beautifully as कृतज्ञता with the transliteration of kRtajJatA. Yoga offers many poses of gratitude such as child's pose, mountain pose and, of course, Savasana. These poses are ones of gratitude for the work the body has done throughout the class. How lovely and what a great idea; to establish a clearly defined action for when your are challenged mentally, emotionally, and/or physically off the mat just as when you are on it. Something we could all do well to remember with the holiday season upon us! Paige is known to say at the end of her class, "now is the end of our practice together but the true yoga begins when we leave the mat". Yes! Implement your yoga in your daily approach to life. If you ever get stumped for ideas of respite off the mat, you've got a crew of good souls happy to brainstorm with you!
Namaste Friends and be grateful and gentle with yourselves!
This week we are pleased to discuss an amazing workshop that will be held on Saturday, November 23rd at 6PM with the dynamic duo of Michael Burke and Paige Dunford at the helm. In the Sound Body Sound Mind Workshop, restorative yoga is combined beautifully with a sound bath. But what is a "sound bath" exactly and why should it be on all of our "to do" lists? We all know time speeds up this time of year with community and holiday activities. It's during these times of fervent planning and effort when it is essential to take the time required to slow down and get back in alignment with oneself. Doing this just might make the entire holiday experience much more enjoyable!
What is restorative yoga? This is a style of yoga with an aim to nourish the body into a state of deep relaxation and rest. When we allow ourselves to dip into a state of calm, all of the body's natural healing mechanisms can come to life! When we enter this state on a regular basis, our efforts toward other areas of life are more productive and efficient.
What is a "Sound Bath"? This is a shared experience in which the physical environment is filled with ambient sounds created by a myriad of instruments and tools. Michael Burke explains, “We hear with much more than our ears. We hear/awaken with each cell of our being. We hear/feel through each pore of our skin. The Sound Bath is an invitation for your being to be massaged from within. These sounds help to release and rejuvenate all that we are.”
Why have you decided to pair yoga with live music? Combining restorative yoga with a sound bath is a way to induce ourselves into a deep meditative and restful state. This is not only an experience in calming down, but one that may increase awareness of self, creativity, healing and restoration. This is a beautiful way to welcome the end of the year and is a wonderful practice in which one may come home to their body.
How will the room be set up? Michael has a table he sets up ahead of time where he can mindfully place each of his bowls, Native American flutes, gongs, rain sticks, and drums. Paige will create a space for each yoga mat that includes a variety of yoga props to soften and mold the floor to meet your body with foundation, grounding, and comfort.
How will the evening unfold? Following a brief introduction, Paige will begin guiding the restorative yoga practice. She will provide assistance in allowing each of our unique bodies to settle into the support of the props. Breath guidance will also be used as a doorway into relaxation. All the while, Michael will begin creating healing sounds. He may walk slowly around the room with his instruments, so that participants may feel the vibrations even more prominently. All movements, shapes, and practices are optional. Know that full permission to allow your body to be the way it wants to be in each moment is always present.
How might one continue this practice at home? An individuals inner calm is always there for them. Experiences like this will help us realize how we can continue to connect to that space. For one person it might be creating a bedtime ritual that includes journaling or a warm cup of tea. For another person, sitting for 10 minutes in meditation early in the morning might be their reminder. At the end of the Sound Body Sound Mind workshop, we’ll all commune together to talk about ways to keep these good vibes going through the end of the year.
You guys. This week is so amazing. This week we chatted with the lovely Ms. Elyse Robleto!! This marvelous gem of a human is fairly new to Lift, as of Spring 2019. This Florida native has been holding meditation and yoga as her touchstones since childhood. After becoming a mother she refocused her yoga practice and furthered it with yoga leadership and teacher training. Since coming to LIft+Yoga she has embraced the 6AM time slot and welcomes the day to come with her students! What wonderful and empowering way to start the day Lifties! Put it on your calendar, you will be so glad you did it!
Lift: Lovely Elyse, You've been practicing yoga for almost your whole life. Do you do yoga everyday?
Elyse: I do practice yoga daily either through asana (physical practice), breathing, meditation or a combination. I encourage my students, and anyone actually, that integrating yoga into your daily life can start off as simply as closing your eyes and mindfully taking five slow, deep breaths when you first wake up in the morning. Once out of bed, take a rag doll pose for 5-6 deep breaths and then step back to down dog for 5-6 breaths. Repeat this simple flow until you feel ready to tackle your day. It can take as little as 5 minutes but will make such a positive difference in your day! Love it, love it, love it!
Lift: This is such great advice for first thing in the morning and a great way to prepare for your morning class. What can we expect from your 6AM class and how else should we prepare ourselves.
Elyse: Yes, do the simple flow and don't forget your water. It's best to drink water consistently throughout the day. Amp up the water the day before and hours after, especially, when doing these heated classes, The studio will be between 80-90 degrees and filled with upbeat music. The flows will definitely get your heart rate up and your sweat on but will also provide opportunities to reset and rest.
The classes I teach are for every yogi, regardless of their age, experience, or level. Your alignment and safety is my priority during my classes and the flow will rise to meet you where you need it to be. My goal is for my fellow yogis to enjoy their practice, to feel strong and confident in their abilities and accomplishments. If a student doesn’t feel their body wants to cooperate in a particular pose, we look for other ways to access it. One of the things I love about yoga is that there is no such thing as the “right” way to do a pose. There are multiple safe ways to approach each one. All that is needed is openness to figure out which approach suits you at that particular moment. It’s all about what works for you and your body. For your comfort, it’s best not to have a full tummy and, again, to be well hydrated.
Lift: What do you think is the hardest, or most challenging, thing about yoga?
Elyse: The hardest part of taking a yoga class is getting in the car to go. The only prep I do is putting on my shoes to walk out the door. Once I get to class, it’s like every bit of stress falls off and I get to indulge and let go for a beautiful hour.
Lift: Do you have specific goals for your personal practice?
Elyse: The goals I set for myself are simple. Just to remember to breathe and give myself space to grow and to fall. When I fall out, I know I’ve really given it my all.
Lift: What is the most surprising thing you have found about yoga?
Elyse: The most surprising thing I have found about yoga is how letting go of what I think I’m capable of and embracing the practice itself opens up a world full of possibility on and off my mat. Just trying something new, not second guessing myself and developing a “yes” mindset. This is one of many lessons I've learned through my yoga practice.
Lift: So Elyse, where is one place in the world you'd like to do yoga?
Elyse: My "bucket list" spot to practice would be on the gorgeous, black sand beaches of Santorini, Greece!
Lift: So good! We know you are new to the area, but do you have any recommendations you'd like to share with your fellow Lifties?
Elyse: Yes, my family and I moved from Florida to Georgia last January and we are having so much fun exploring all the different places in and around Atlanta. So far my favorite, and my recommendation, is the Amicalola Falls area, particularly now! It’s a gorgeous and magical place with multiple hikes for every level.
Lift: Nice! Thank you for your time Elyse. Namaste and see you on the mat!
Hellloooooooo Lifties! We were on a hiatus because Karen was hogging all the LIft social media. She is SUCH a diva. Not to be out done we have a fantastic post this week with our beloved leader and owner, Lori Denton. If you have yet to meet Lori, be sure to introduce yourself when you come by for a class.
Lift: So, Lori. Inquiring minds want to know. You lead the helm of this amazing studio, why don't you teach?
Lori: I've done a couple of teacher training programs and I'm currently enrolled in Lift's YTT program with Kim Saunders. But, if I'm honest, I'm a terrible teacher! After 15+ years of practicing my body knows what to do but articulating that into clear, concise cues to create a cohesive and energetic practice for others to follow isn't my strength. In some ways I believe owning a yoga studio and fostering a safe and welcoming environment provides a form of guidance to others for their personal yoga practice. It's my way of encouraging all those curious to discover the myriad of benefits yoga has to offer.
Lift: Well you certainly have been doing a great job! What are your thoughts as you reflect back on the time since you've wrapped your arms around Lift?
Lori: Wow! It's been a whirlwind! The transition to take on Lift happened quickly. That's my personality. When I come upon something that speaks to my heart, I jump in without hesitation. And I'm so happy I did! Bringing the Lift community into my life has brought me so much joy! I'm thankful for KIm and the wonderful Good Vibe Tribe for all their help getting me up to speed and to our members for being patient with the changes in the studio. I love the feedback I have gotten and continue to get. I hope our members will continue to share their thoughts for what they'd like to see at Lift going forward. This is OUR community so I hope no one is shy about making suggestions! To keep learning and reflecting is growing!
Lift: So what are we to look forward to experiencing with Lift?
Lori: We have such an amazing group of regular members that I'd like to start doing more for them. I'm working on some programs that would either be exclusive to that group or, at a minimum, offer discounts for events and workshops. I'm also working to create more partnerships within this area. That's all I can say at this point but stay tuned! Corporate yoga is also a focus for me and I love that companies are starting to recognize the value of providing yoga as a part of their employee wellness plans. I've started partnerships with a couple of local companies in this capacity to both bring yoga onsite to them as well as offering discounts to Lift. If any of our readers would like to put me in touch with their company's HR department to talk details, please reach out!
I also have a referral program in the works. We all have friends who are interested in trying yoga, but for some reason feel shy. I'm hoping that by encouraging our members to bring a friend with them to class we show others the benefits of yoga in an non-intimidating way and for those already familiar with yoga, an inviting place to practice, grow, make new friends and be a part of a great community. Stay tuned for more information on this too!
One of the most exciting things on the docket for Lift in 2020 is our new 300 hour YTT program! I'm working with Rachel to develop an amazing and well-rounded 300-hour program. We have some details on the website so if your are interested go ahead and fill out the form so we can get in touch once we have all the dates nailed down! With Kim and Rachel leading our programs, I believe Lift will have the best and most comprehensive teacher training in the area. One that is challenging, insightful, welcoming, and supportive.
Lift: What are your goals for Lift as a community and a studio?
Lori: My number one goal is to take the foundation that Kim built of an inviting community and continue build upon it. To make yoga accessible to as many people as possible. I have some exciting new branding changes coming that will debut in a couple of weeks which will echo these goals. My objective is to to have Lift continue to provide well-rounded classes and add to them. I hope to keep growing our new youth class (teens on Sunday @ 4pm and kids on Tuesdays at 4:45pm) well as to add prenatal and senior-specific classes. Yoga is not just for one body type, age, gender, or situation. It's meant to be a lifelong practice and I want Lift to support that aspect of yoga.
Lift: This is so exciting Lori! Thank you for sharing your reflections, plans, and goals! Thank you for your time! Namaste.
It's Fall! We are loving and living for the cooler temperatures and how it encourages introspection into our practice. All aspects of our practice. One of the ways in which we reflect on our individual practices is in assessing our space, be it a nook in our bedrooms or the Studio itself. Part of this is includes thoughtful consideration of the props we employ at LIft and at home. We wanted to share with you guys some fantastic information on yoga mats from Cosumer Advocate. There's more to choosing a yoga mat then meets the eye so take a peak about give us some feedback! What's your favorite mat. What do you like about it or don't? Does it offer enough support on your knees? Is it too slippery? Inquiring minds want to know! Have a great week Lifties. See you on the mat! Namaste good humans. Here are the highlights and a link to the full article below including some food for though on how you might decide which mat is the best fit for you!
This week we are celebrating our Yogi of the month...the lovely Stefanie Diaz! Stefanie has been practicing with Lift for quite some time and always welcomes new "mat neighbors" with a big smile and warm laugh. Stefanie is the founder of an amazing organization called WOE-The Women Only Experience. It's an Ellen meets Oprah evening of empowerment for women of all walks of life. Returning Thursday, November 14th to St Ives in Johns Creek, the evening includes powerful speakers, dancing, affirmations, and champagne. Visit http://woeatl.com to learn more. Thank you Stefanie for making Lift even more special!
Lift: How where you first introduced to yoga?
Stefanie: It's hilarious, but it was the P90x yoga dvd! Years later, I finally took my first in-person yoga class and loved it. I joined Lift not long afterward. P90X was/is legitimately challenging!
Lift: What keeps you coming back to yoga?
Stefanie: I love how yoga stretches the body and allows for gorgeous postures. I grew up dancing and the dancer in me enjoys yoga as a go-to workout. The working, single mom in me enjoys it for the self-care and clear mind it brings. Absolutely! Self care is so vital to functioning.
Lift: Do you practice yoga everyday? If so, tips on how you integrate it into your very busy life?
Stefanie: I can't say that I do yoga every day, although it is an aspiration. I've not been able to find the same flow in my at-home practice, which makes Lift so important to me. That's what we are here for!
Lift: What are your "yoga essentials"?
Stefanie: My yoga essentials are my Lululemon mat and my WOE Essential Oil blend - created by our very own Abigail Smith! The same woman behind the Lift blend. I have and love them both. We love Abbie!!
Lift: What is the most surprising thing you've found, so far, about you and your yoga practice or about yoga in general?
Stefanie: How it has become a lifestyle for me and more than just a workout routine.
Lift: Is there a pose you are scared/nervous/hesitant to try?
Stefanie: Headstand and any of the arm balances. I dabble with crow, but stop there. Maybe one day...Yes!
Lift: Where is the most unusual place you've ever done a yoga pose?
Stefanie: I'll never forget one night trying to convince my boyfriend to do yoga and we ended up doing legs up the wall/headboard while watching our favorite show. So, I guess yoga in bed. Now we have know what you guys were watching!
Lift: Top place in the world you want to do yoga?
Stefanie: At my beach house in Puerto Rico on the deck that overlooks the ocean. This house has yet to come into my possession, but when it does... ;) Yessssss. You will have spare keys made, right?
Lift: Do you have a goal for your personal yoga practice?
Stefanie: To keep meeting myself on my mat as many days of the week as possible. My life and career are moving at lightning speed. It's easy to steal that hour away for other things, but I am reminded time and time again that it has earned a top spot on my priorities list.
Lift: What is something about you that surprises people when they learn it?
Stefanie: I'm 100% Puerto Rican and that Spanish is my first language. I've lived in Georgia most of my life and most don't look at me and see a Latina, but it's an important part of my identity. Gorgeous!
Lift: Do you have any recommendations for your yoga tribe this month?
Stefanie: "The Surrender Experiment" by Michael A. Singer (book). Yoga helps me embrace the world around me without the need to control every detail. The "journey" Singer shares in this book speaks to that same outlook. That is a very relatable topic in yoga.
Lift: Thank you Stefanie for sharing yourself with us and for being such a wonderful yogi! Namaste.
This week we have the pleasure of learning about the impact of integrating yoga in one's life with our fantastic instructor Mike Cannon. Mike teaches his Vinyasa Flow every Thursday evening at 7:15pm. Here, students will experience a balanced juxstaposition of guided movements, or flows, and an integration of stillness to calm the mind.
Lift: Hi Mike! So you completed your yoga teacher training here at Lift this past May, but your journey began the Spring 2009.
Mike: I was studying at the College of Charleston, with the intention of going on to med school, when I found myself at a hot, power yoga class by chance.
Lift: That was your first yoga experience?
Lift: How'd that work out?
Mike: Well, I almost passed out but that isn't what stuck with me. My life was haphazardly tumbling down a path I chose without much intention. There was a lot of internal chaos and I was not managing it effectively. Then I took this random class and found the sense of calm I had been, unknowingly, searching for all this time. Wow. Powerful.
Lift: So that's what kept drawing you back?
Mike: Yes, it was this organically found sense of peace and inner calm. A "reset" I needed and wanted and still do!
Lift: What's the most surprising thing you've discovered about yoga since enhancing your practice through the Lift Yoga Teacher in Training course?
Mike: That it is not about what the pose looks like or perfection; that yoga is not only achieved when you can master that really challenging pose. I've discovered that the yoga was there all along, inside of me. The yoga happened when I wasn’t looking for it. Aw, that holds the heart Mike!
Lift: Is this what you share with your students during your classes?
Mike: Well, it's a learning collective for all of us. My intention is to share the yoga through movement and through stillness. I want to impart that yoga can be experienced during the physicality of a flow but also in the shower or when you pet your dog. It's slowing down your reception of stimuli, breathing and being present.
Lift: What is your goal for your practice and/or your classes?
Mike: To further my education of yoga and then fold that information into my interests in medicine, specifically how it impacts mental health and that, in turn, can have a positive impact on the physical body. By training the body and mind to manage stress better, the body then moderates the cascade of stress hormones so it isn't so extreme and wearing. For my classes I want people to know that yoga is for the inflexible and flexible! It's a perfect complement for whatever you are into whether it's running, golf, hiking. It isn't about stretching the hammies. You don't need to "do" or "be" anything. Just come. Just you. As you are. That's perfect and that's all that's required.
Lift: Nice! Do you have any recommendations for us?
Mike: Yes! The book The Body Keeps Score and, of course, the Lift YTT program.
Lift: Ok. Rapid Fire questions. Pose that most intimidates you?
Mike: Handstand. The commitment to inverting.I'm fearful of falling.
Lift: Top place in the world you want to do yoga?
Lift: Do you do yoga everyday?
Mike: Flows? No. Mindfulness? Yes. It's all yoga folks.
Lift: Do you do yoga to music at home when you do it?
Mike: Yes. I have a rad Pandora mix.
Lift: Surprising tidbit about you?
Mike: I play guitar, sing and refinish furniture.
Lift: Love it! Thank you Mike. Namaste.
This week we are sharing a great article that features our very own beloved owner and yogi, Lori Denton and founder, Kim Saunders! This is an excerpt of an article from the online and print magazine called Mindful Studio Magazine. The focus of the article was to offer information to yoga studios on student retention. At Lift we love yoga, our instructors, and our students. Our focus is to provide opportunities for all involved to continue to grow holistically, and to empower, embrace and support one another through mindful practices offered in a variety of ways. The priority of mindful listening to the needs and desires of our students and instructors seems to resonate with all who grace our doors. We continue to enjoy seeing familiar faces and welcoming new ones all the time! It's a beautiful thing and one in which we are all very grateful. Thank you all for helping to make Lift the amazing studio that it is and enjoy the excerpt. Included is the link for the full article and access to a very cool resource! Thank you, Lift Yoga Tribe!
Keeping your community happy and coming back to practice should always be at the top of your studio’s priority list. Retention challenges are something every studio faces, but you can learn from other studio’s successes of how they make their studios enjoyable and keep students returning.
Kim Saunders, the founder of Lift Yoga and Body in Alpharetta, Georgia, focuses on the little things to help with the studio’s retention. She understands ‘life happens’ and some students will leave the studio for a few months. The trick is making sure they come back to your studio. Even the littlest things, like parking, can help.
“Because we provide such a unique combination of extremely talented teachers, large and beautiful studios, and abundant parking, this brings people back, time and time again,” said Saunders. “Parking is a rarity in Alpharetta now and it is a non-issue for us. We want things to be friendly, meaningful and easy.”
Lori Denton, the owner of Lift Yoga and Body, said Kim’s variety of programs that she built into the studio is what always keeps people coming back. “I was talking to one of our members just the other day who had started out coming to power classes and unfortunately had been in a car accident that injured her shoulder,” said Denton. “Instead of having to give up her practice entirely, she switched to more restorative classes until she had recovered and built enough strength to return to the power and sculpt classes.”
The variety of classes ultimately kept this member at the studio.
Lift Yoga and Body uses data to observe what classes are popular, days of the week and class times that are trending, and more. However, Denton warns owners not to get caught up in the data when making decisions. “I learn so much by talking to our members. We have one class that if I went purely off of the data, I may decide to cancel that class because of low attendance,” she said. “However, when I talked to the students after class, I realized that some were our most loyal members.” - Mindful Studio Magazine, September 11, 2019 post
Lift: Hello Kember, you gorgeous soul you. How did you discover energy healing and work?
Kember: Energetic healing fell into my lap in 2012. My mother-in-law went through a training and told me about it while showing me how a pendulum works. Intrigued, I immediately signed up for my first level of training. I trained first with a program called Healing Touch for about a year. Most recently I completed Level 1 of Bioenergetic Healing in which I plan to continue to pursue. There are many different types of energetic healing and they all offer beautiful qualities. Lots to learn!!
Lift: Where did you learn about chakras?
Kember: I learned about the chakras during my first weekend of training in 2012. I found and read the book “Wheels of Light” and continued to learn from there. What always stood out to me about the chakras is that I can FEEL them; I can feel the energy of the chakras swirl under my palm. Pretty incredible. Yeah it is!
Lift: How do chakras impact a person's daily life?
Kember: The chakras are an integral part of us and are effected by everything going on around us externally, internally, physically and emotionally. For example, if someone is having financial troubles, this impacts the root chakra, the center of stability, security, and groundedness. The energy in that area starts to become sticky and, perhaps, stagnant. This can move then into physical issues - perhaps adrenal fatigue or even some digestion issues. Other chakras can also be affected in the process, in this situation maybe the solar plexus and heart.
Lift: How can people tell if they could use help with their energy?
Kember: If someone is feeling particularly stuck or heavy, a feeling of general fatigue in the mind and body, that’s a good indication to give the subtle body, as well as the physical body, a good look. Some just report feeling "off". Have you ever teared up when laying in savasana after a good yoga class? Oh Yeah. I often get the question, “What is happening, why am I crying out of nowhere?” That surge of emotion comes from an energetic release - stagnant energy that has been broken up and then has started to freely flow again. The days following a release may bring more ease and space for the spirit. Well that's comforting!
Lift: So how can people get help with balancing their energy? What can one expect following energy work?
Kember: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle physically, mentally, and spiritually is the big piece of keeping energy balanced. Movement is truly medicine and keeps the energetic body flowing. Of course life happens and shifts will occur and shake things up a bit. Having an energetic healing session, or any other body work, is a beautiful way to get things moving. (Feel free to check out my website - www.kemberyoga.com - to find out more info on setting up an energy healing session with me!) As far as how it will impact someone, it is different from person to person. With some clients there have been immediate sensations, immediate shifts in energy that was felt in the body and often times that creates a release of emotions, followed by a feeling of lightness. For me personally, I typically don’t “feel” sensation within the body during a session (as a client, not the practitioner), but will start to feel shifts in the following days. The saying is true - energy flows where intention goes. Healing can and will be happening even if we don’t “feel” it.
Lift: What are things people can do to keep their chakras or energy in balance? Are they the same?
Kember: Chakras are energy, yes, but they are part of the subtle body, that entire energetic field surrounding the physical body. It’s like currents in an ocean. They are flowing their own way but still very much a part of the ocean in its entirety. The methods to keep them balanced and abundant are simple; eat fresh, colorful foods, practice yoga (asana, breathwork, meditation), practice self care and self love, go outside, MOVE! Movement is incredibly important. Movement MOVES energy.
Lift: How does yoga help with this balance?
Kember: Yoga, and I mean yoga in its entirety not just the poses we see in class, hits it all to balance mind, body, and spirit. Pranayama, breathwork, like Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) is for balancing the ida and pingala energy channels. Yoga is balance. We will practice Nadi Shodhana and learn more about it in the PLAYshop.
Lift: Any "go to" yoga poses you like to keep you in balance?
Kember: Though it has taken me years to improve my balance, I have always loved Garudasana/Eagle Pose. There is something about wrapping everything so tightly toward the midline - it electrifies my third eye and crown chakras. Ohhhh! Love it! I also return to Balasana/Child’s Pose frequently in my practice or just in my day. This shape is home base and a chance to quickly ground and arrive home to the sanctuary of the Self. There is something so powerful about connecting third eye and heart with Mother Earth. Well, She does beckon connection doesn't She?
Lift: What will be discussed at the workshop?
Kember: I’m calling this a PLAYshop because we are going to play with energy using gentle yoga asana, pranayama, and meditation - sense energy, feel it, maybe see it. We will also discuss how to protect your own energy field, and how to set up protection for your loved ones as well. How beautiful!
Lift: How can people integrate information from the workshop into their lives?
Kember: Once we have the awareness of our energy (as with gaining awareness with anything), we can begin to piece things together when things start to feel off. An example would be feeling like you’re not being heard, like no one is listening. Doing things that stimulate the throat chakra can help break up the stagnancy of the energy in that area, which could then lead to break through as to how to handle the current situation and a better flow of communication. That is very poignant this day in age. Love it!
Lift: Kember this is amazing and we cannot wait for fellow Lifties to have this mutual, amazing experience. Thank you! Namaste.
Kember: You are welcome! Namaste.
Lift: Amy you have been a yoga instructor since 2017. How has your yoga practice evolved?
Amy: My meditation practice has probably grown the most since becoming a teacher. I meditate every day, usually twice! I have become more gentle with my physical body and I allow myself to rest and take breaks or make modifications whenever I want or need. I find a lot of comfort in surrendering to the mat and allowing my practice for that moment to unfold organically. Yes! Surrendering to one's mat yields all kinds of joy when the burden of self-expectation is removed. Powerful!
Lift: What do you draws you to heated yoga?
Amy: I'm always cold so I am naturally drawn to heated yoga! I love how the heat helps loosen up the muscles and creates that feeling of detox. Heated classes push me to point where my body can rest easier in savasana and have a more successful meditation practice afterwards. Detox! So good.
Lift: What should new, hot yoga students expect and how should they prepare for the class?
Amy: First, come hydrated and stay hydrated before, during and after the class. Also, I recommend coming early to the class to set up and adjust to the temperature. Take time breathe in the heat. Third, be very gentle with yourself and take as many breaks as your body needs. It can take a few classes to acclimate to the heat and it's important to check-in with your body via sitting pose or child's pose whenever you need. Students should expect to get a yummy, physical practice, to sweat out toxins, and feel amazing afterward!
Lift: Please tell us about the new roller class and what our Lifties can look forward to experiencing!
Amy: The RAD roller class is so yummy and juicy. Think of it as a deep tissue massage you control! This isn’t a yoga class but compliments any style of yoga practice. It is also great for athletes, runners, people who stand or sit a lot, really everybody! There are different sizes of balls used to roll different areas of the body. There is also a tool called Axle and one called Helix. These are more or less the next gen foam rollers. They are designed to get deep, create traction, and work out any areas of fascia that need a little attention. We focus on about two areas of the body per class. Eventually I’d like to teach some longer workshops where we can roll the whole body. The class never seems long enough! And the "fascia" is the thin, sheet of connective tissue that stabilizes and connects all muscle, organs, etc, right? Yes! Very good! So caring for the fascia makes a huge impact on the body overall? Yes!!!
Lift: Amy, what do you wish to impart on your students when they leave one of your classes?
Amy: I hope students walk out of my classes feeling more connected, refreshed, peaceful, and full of joy. I hope they experience a peace that surpasses all understanding and are able to come back to that feeling off the mat in the midst of chaos. That’s a pretty tall order and takes time, so at the very least I hope they don’t regret coming! It’s an honor to teach every class and I learn way more from the students than they do from me.
Lift: Thank you Amy. Namaste.