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Yoga Tribe Blog

29May

Student of the Month June 2019: Joanie Karapetian



WHEN DID YOU START YOGA AND WHERE?
I started taking a few yoga classes after I graduated from college, but it really wasn’t until I found Yoga Tribe that I truly found a practice I could own.  I remember my first class- Leslie was teaching and she put me in the back of the room by the door.  I sat there waiting for class to begin and I felt the sweat start to build and the heat suffocating me- I had trouble breathing just sitting there!  I didn’t know how I would get through the 90 minutes, and I know I laid down several times.  It must have taken me a year for my back to strengthen enough to allow me to bend back into camel pose.  Sometimes I am totally shocked at how far I have come when I think back to the beginning.  This practice truly has been life-saving for me.
 
HOW OFTEN DO YOU PRACTICE YOGA?
Several times per week- as often as possible.
 
WHY DO YOU PRACTICE YOGA?
Yoga just feels right to me.  I have done many types of physical activities, but nothing seems to satisfy my body’s need to move and stretch as well as yoga.  The older I get, the more I realize the need for careful, introspective movements, instead of simply pushing myself as hard as I can.  It has been a long process to realize and truly understand that not everything is a competition.  I still have to remind myself that yoga is practice, not perfection.  I look forward to these quiet, breath-oriented 60 minutes, and I truly hope we bring back a few 90 minute sessions to the schedule!
 
WHAT ARE THE PRIMARY BENEFITS YOU EXPERIENCE?
I love the centeredness and the calm I find in the hot yoga series.  There is a familiarity with the postures, a relaxation into the movements, and a comfort even in the heat. I spend a lot of time sitting at my desk and in my car and I think this hot series is especially good for counter-acting the negative impacts of this sedentary life.  My body, and especially my back, craves the heat and these movements.
 
WHAT IS YOUR MOST CHALLENGING POSTURE? WHY?
The answer to this question changes all the time, but right now “dancer” is definitely my most challenging posture.  I am challenged by levelling my hips as I bring my leg back and bend forward, so I spend a lot of time simply standing, trying to keep my legs back, hips level, and opposite arm straight and behind my ear.  I hope some day I will simply fall into place and click more deeply into this pose.
 
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE POSTURE?
I find a lot of happiness in Eagle pose- there is a grounding in this one-legged balance, and that compression of wrapping both arms and legs feels like a big hug.  I think I have learned a lot about myself thanks to yoga.  It takes discipline to stick with these postures even when you feel you’re not getting them “right”.  It’s hard to stop yourself from wiping away the sweat, or drinking water whenever you feel the urge.  This yoga practice takes the distraction out of the activity- no variations from the series, just you and the postures, stillness, breathing, quiet meditation, and fortitude.  In the end I learned that I have the determination, the self-reliance, and the stamina to step on my mat each time, and persevere through those 60 minutes.  Invariably, even when I didn’t think I wanted to be there, I am thankful and happy I am.  AND PLEASE BRING BACK THE 90 MINUTE SERIES! 😊 I have also been fortunate to share this yoga practice with my husband, Emil, who started coming to YogaTribe a few years ago. It is really a special experience to share with somebody you love- my favorite “Friday night date” begins decompressing from a crazy workweek at Leslie’s 6:30pm candlelight class. In general

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