Nirodhaḥ Yoga Blog
What brought you to your yoga practice?
I had a couple of back surgeries and was in the middle of really trying to get into shape in order to avoid a third one. This was a very long process, probably 8 years changing my diet to lose weight, a ton of physical therapy, and just really changing from a sedentary lifestyle to a more active one. I had been doing dance classes in order to meet my goals for a few months, but I was running into issues with balance, flexibility, and pain levels. Yoga was very much the next step to see what I could get out of my body.
What benefits did you notice once you started practicing consistently?
Yoga has helped me out immensely with managing pain. The stretching involved gave my back some extra room and really has been key into getting more pain free days.
What I wasn't expecting was how much it'd help me learn to listen to my body and through that it helped me avoid further injuries. By predicting yoga I've learned what feelings in my muscles and joints are actually my body saying "stop now or you're going to really regret it for a few days."
Beyond that, the balance practice baked into some of the classes has really helped my poise and has helped me avoid more than a few sprained ankles in my other athletic pursuits.
What would you tell the person you were before you started practicing yoga?
I'm naturally a competitive person and I used to compare my ability to the teachers and the other students, and that was really pointless for yoga.
I'd tell myself that for yoga, it seems most useful to compare your current self with your past self. I think it's important for me to measure my work by my own progress instead of the gap between what I can do and others can do easier.
For example, 6 years ago I started doing the pigeon pose as part of my physical therapy. Back then I had to wrap a towel around my thigh because my leg did not bend far enough for my hands to reach. Daily work meant 4 years ago I was able to grab the back of my thigh. Right around the time I joined Five Keys I started to barely be able to reach further for my shins. Now the shin grab in pigeon is doable most days with a warm up.
I feel more a sense of accomplishment for this progress than any comparison with others. So in short, in yoga I think it's best to just pay most attention to where you are and where your body is, not where everyone else is.
Meet Rhonda, our very first student of the month! Rhonda found 5KY at our Gallagher Way summer classes in 2023 and has been coming ever since. She's been practicing yoga since 2007.
Q & A with Rhonda
Q: What brought you to your yoga practice?
A: I was always intrigued by yoga and wanted to practice but didn’t know where or how to start. There weren’t any studios in my neighborhood and health clubs were in the early days of offering it. When the women’s employee resource group at my former job offered a class, I jumped on the opportunity! Since then, I’ve practiced Forest, restorative, Hatha, Yin, Ashtanga, vinyasa flow and more.
I got certified to teach. I met my master teacher, ironically at a health club class when I took her Ashtanga yoga class. I started exploring the mind and spirit side of yoga. I joined her workshops and yoga retreats. I was intimidated at first because I thought my asana practice wouldn’t measure up to the other yogis.
I learned very quickly I was wrong. Yoga is about collective energy. Everyone’s path is different. That’s okay.
Today, I mostly practice Hatha yoga and study the path of Jnana yoga. I’ve read a few translations of the Bhagavad Gita. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it!
Q: What benefits did you notice once you started practicing consistently?
A: I noticed my body felt stronger, my breathing improved and my mind felt calmer. My body tingled all over after class, and still does today!
Q: What would you tell the person you were before you started practicing yoga?
A: Girl, This yoga stuff is AMAZING! Why did you wait so long to start practicing!?
Just some thoughts about yoga as I go...
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Five Keys is fantastic! The studio is lovely and soothing, and the teachers are very caring and attentive.
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