Latest Insight From The Beaufort Yoga Blog
Practicing Yoga in Beaufort, SC
I still cannot believe I have the good fortune to wake each day in Beaufort, South Carolina. Living in such a caring and thriving community and breathtaking landscape are uplifting. I gaze out on the Broad River at home, or the Downtown Marina in the yoga studio, and begin each practice with gratitude for the incomparable beauty out my window. There is a stillness manifest in a water view that needs little else to soothe and inspire my spirit. Yoga practice in Beaufort is a beautiful gift that I never knew I needed, and could not now imagine living without.
My First Yoga Class
Walking in to your first yoga class can be so intimidating, it was for me. When I found my yoga home, I somehow knew I had found the right place, but I was still apprehensive about my first class. What would I wear, did I need to go buy yoga pants? What about a mat? Where should I buy one, OMG, they come in all colors, shapes and sizes! Do I have to change my diet? What if I can’t do all of those pretzel-bendy poses? Maybe I’m too old to try this? I wanted to enter my first class like I knew what I was doing, even though I was attending a Beginner class, go figure. Well I dove in, bought a mat that did not break the bank and wore something that was probably not cool yoga pants; loose-fitting to camouflage my “middle age” imperfections. My teacher and mentor was so inspiring, telling us that yoga is not about any of these things; it’s a practice for peace, not perfection. She said so much more and I heard it all, but it remained cerebral for some time. I still worried I was not doing anything the ‘right’ way, including breathing. And I could not help comparing myself to other Beginners. Some time into my yoga journey I looked around one night during class, sneaking a peek at classmates in Downward Dog, and something shifted. I wasn’t thinking about the pose. I witnessed the grace and poise of our class without comparison. Sweating and panting, sitting and breathing, or falling out of a pose, we were there together finding our way toward something else, something quieter and without judgement. It was such a joy to finally just settle-in and let go. Tears fell that night on my bargain basement yoga mat that was already beginning to shed. And I thanked my lucky stars that yoga found me, with or without the right stuff.
This Sanskrit word generally meaning community or assembly is such an important part of yoga practice. Sharing this experience with others changes us. The energy can add a new dimension to our personal exploration, and there is comfort in knowing we are not alone, we are together caring and supporting one another.
Yoga is the practice of quieting the mind.
When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath.
-Hatha Yoga Pradipika
I Knew I Found My Yoga Studio When…
I’ve dabbled with yoga since high school, first attempting to practice yoga in my bedroom with Richard Hittleman’s 28-Day Yoga book. On and off through the years I dropped in to one or the other studio, not quite finding what I was seeking in the combination of a physical and internal (meditative) practice. Ultimately, I found my yoga home in Saco, Maine at Saco River Yoga (now one location of the Kusum Institute). I knew when I entered the studio that something was different; there was a beautiful, peaceful, and welcoming energy present. And then I met studio owner and Instructor Penny Clum, and the rest is history. I fell in love with the Ashtanga Practice and the community practing together, beginning as a Beginner, and completing Teacher Training in 2014.
Beginner Attempting to be Perfect at Poses
When I first began taking Ashtanga classes I worked so hard trying to be the best poser ever (not really saying this out loud), but pushing myself to beyond my physical limit. You can probably guess the outcome-a very sore and injured body and ego. When I finally realized that this was sort of flying in the face of what yoga is all about, my yoga practice truly began. Sometimes it takes a bruise or two to turn the light on:)