Schedule

Yoga Tribe Blog

30Jan

Staff Member of the Month February 2019: Emilie Doering



WHEN DID YOU START YOGA AND WHERE? 
The first studio class I really remember taking was with my mother I was in middle school in Arizona! I know I had done some yoga before then (perhaps with my mother and video tapes, or in PE class or something!) because the poses were familiar to me and I was already familiar with some of the philosophy. But that was the first time I really remembered taking a yoga class that really challenged me outside what was easy for my body and really made me forget the anxious day-to-day things I was thinking about for a whole hour--no small feat for a preteen! It was in the back of bookstore called the "East-West Exchange" where they had a small room with hardwood floors and mirrors and a barre.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU PRACTICE YOGA?
I'm not very consistent, so it totally varies! Sometimes I attend as many as 4-5 classes in a week! Mostly, more like 1-2 a week, and sometimes none at all for months! But I always come back. And if you count taking yoga off the mat and into my life, including personal meditation time, I would say roughly 5 times a week.

WHY DO YOU PRACTICE YOGA?
At first it was because it was the only time that I felt was 100% for me, and not about pleasing anyone else or achieving anything, just time where I wasn't supposed to be doing anything but what I was doing right then and there! There are the fitness benefits that I do really appreciate, I enjoy feeling really at home in my body and proud of my body, and yoga helps me achieve that. But my love for yoga really solidified around the time I realized that I identified as Buddhist.

WHAT ARE THE PRIMARY BENEFITS YOU EXPERIENCE?
Ha, I think the above answer hits a lot of the same points!  When I've been consistent in my practice, my day-to-day life isn't as much of a rollercoaster. I deal with a lot of rejection in my career, and a lot of uncertainty, and it can be very hard to keep a solid sense of self-worth and trust in how things are turning out. With yoga, I just feel more solid and strong in myself, so those things just don't bother me as much. I can lift heavier weights after yoga because my muscles are released and have their full range of motion! When I was young and had severe asthma, yoga helped me with my breathing and lung capacity. I also feel more in tune with the spiritual elements that are important to me, moments where I feel connected with the flow of energy within and all around me.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST CHALLENGING POSTURE? WHY?
Ardha Chandrasana, half-moon! Despite it not being the most glamorous pose, I find I struggle so much with my balance in that particular shape! I am currently struggling with single leg standing/balance poses in general, and I think that perhaps I haven't kept my small balancing muscles as strong and developed as my larger group muscles. It makes me feel so clumsy, that I know there's something I'm supposed to learn from that pose to feel at home in it finally.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE POSTURE?
It used to be Camel Pose, because I could bend so far back that my head would touch the ground, and then I could lift back up using my abs. But now I'm a lot more cautious with my lower back. My current favorite posture is definitely Garudasana, or Eagle Pose.  Someone once told me that the depth of the bind of the arms and legs is reflective of your respiratory strength! Whether or not that is true, I do feel that opening up the back lungs with such a stretch is really awesome for someone like me with a lifelong struggle with my respiratory system. I also just love the feeling that I'm wringing myself out almost like a washcloth or something. It feels great and de-toxifying to me. Even just to do the arm and leg binds in a chair or something.

HOW HAS YOUR HOT YOGA PRACTICE IMPACTED OR CHANGED YOUR LIFE?
So it was a long time before I finally embraced hot. I was so convinced it wasn't for me, that it was for "fitness"-focused skinny people, and I preferred traditionally hatha, vinyasa, yin/restorative, even kundalini--classes I considered more "spiritual" and more "yoga." But my husband (just boyfriend at the time) LOVED hot yoga and kept pestering me until I finally agreed to go with him. I made him promise to go yin for me in return... Well we both fell in love! The sensation in your body after a hot yoga class feels like I've showered from the inside out! The mental challenge to preserve your focus and inner peace with a climbing heart rate is so different and empowering. The knowledge that even if you can't do all the postures to the fullest, just being in the room is good for you, is so soothing. I also feel like hot yoga has helped kickstart my endurance with a higher heart rate, I feel like it's affected my stamina at the gym, in dance auditions, in my vinyasa practice--that was thrilling to find, especially as someone who couldn't do outdoor cardio for years because that pesky asthma thing again (it was induced by allergies, and I was allergic to the outside world! So it was pretty hard to just "go for a run" or things like that). I can't really explain why or how, but I believe hot yoga brought a new balance to my personal health routine by being such a different energy and experience than what I normally have done!

comments powered by Disqus