Nirodhaḥ Yoga Blog
What brought you to yoga?
I initially started practicing yoga while training for a triathlon, and quickly realized there was a lot more to it than just the physical practice. Yes, yoga taught me to use my body efficiently, safely, and develop a healthy balance of stability and mobility. But, I also learned to use my mind and body together, to cultivate peace within a body that didn’t always have things go as planned, and to find the potential in each situation I was given.
What is your approach to teaching?
I strive to be approachable and motivating to all my students. Therefore, I try to create a class environment that is informal, welcoming, and reminds students to have a sense of humor. My classes are filled with options and modifications so each student can be met where they are, that day, and get the most out of their practice.
Why do you choose to teach at 5KY?
After witnessing how a consistent yoga practice bettered myself and the way I interacted with the world, I knew I had to share its benefits with others. From my first conversation with Erin, I knew that 5KY was a studio that embodies all that made me passionate about practicing and sharing yoga. Since teaching here, I have felt the welcoming openness and my love for the studio has only grown. Each student and staff member I have met has only solidified my love for the studio being a place that attracts openness, kindness, and eagerness to grow as yoga practitioners.
What makes your soul sing?
Cheesy music, experiencing baseball with my husband, the waves on the beach, the Chicago skyline, being a part of a comforting community, and making music and dancing with my kids.
Independence can be a hard trait to get “right”. On the one hand, we want to make our own decisions and live according to our own standards.
But on the other hand, the compass we live by and the decisions we make affect everyone around us. Moreover, since we are on this earth with its plethora of pleasures, aren’t we meant to enjoy it?
As always, yoga offers a middle way. Our goal is to become a part of the world but free from suffering as things change around us. To enjoy things without trying to possess them.
In yoga, liberating oneself from suffering is true independence. This is called Kaivalya. Sutra 3.51 reminds us that even attachment to the benefits of our practice can bind us.
Have you ever left a yoga class disappointed you couldn’t hold a pose like last time, or that your mind was wandering more than usual?
Well, that is normal! Every day is different. But if we are attached to obtaining something from our practice, we will never be truly independent of suffering.
However, we can learn to live without grasping onto particular feelings, people, or things. We can learn instead to feel content with our experience in all its varied expressions.
When we do this, the very seed of our bondage is destroyed and we find Kaivalya. We are independent.
This doesn’t mean the benefits of our practice are harmful though. In his commentary on Sutra 3.51, Swami Satchidananda says that the benefits of your practice “are beautiful; they are good… when they come to you. When you run after them they are bad. That’s all the difference.”
When we let go of attachments, we are not worrying about whether we will get or lose something; feel a certain way or see someone again. We are just enjoying the moment. Enjoying our life.
When you think of it, is it even possible to really enjoy life while being in a state of attachment? The practice of non-attachment leads to truly enjoying the circumstances of our lives.
Because, let’s face it, life fluctuates for all of us. It always will.
May you live your life in a state of Kaivalya. May you live independent of the shifting of life. May you recognize your true nature, which is peace.
Just some thoughts about yoga as I go...
FIVE KEYS YOGA, LLC
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
[He} can express his emotions in words - better night's sleep. He does the breathing and poses at home.
My oldest has really learned how to relax and focus on her breathing. My youngest also enjoys the songs and relaxing. It is so good for their body awareness and flexibility.
What I like about yoga is that I am relaxed more and more calm. And when I am frustrated, I breathe. I like doing yoga.
Erin really takes the time to figure out your goals and challenges... Anyone can benefit from working with her because she shapes the program to fit you.