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.