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Lessons from a health fair..

By | Life Inspiration from a Yogi | No Comments

This week I had the privilege of representing Backwards Yoga during Arconic’s Health Fair.  I spoke with many individuals about their experiences with yoga in hopes to get them to try our studio.  For some the drive was just too far, for others it was a flat no, but for the majority- they were open to trying it.  Maybe not our hot classes, maybe not out on the paddle boards, but something about doing yoga seemed like the right thing to do.  What’s cool about sharing our passions is we never know who needs to hear what we’re saying and for what purpose.  Some individuals excused their size, “Do I look like I do yoga?!” but really, all that’s required to have a yoga body is… a body.

We all know how intimidating it is to try new things, especially in front of a mirror in a room full of people who more than likely have a better idea of what they are doing than us.  I think one of our goals at Backwards Yoga should be to stay humble in our practice to be able to share a passion for self-improvement– no matter the point at which we’ll each be starting.  Some of us started yoga for weight loss, maybe to get some time away from the kids, maybe we have some mental struggles we need to work out, or maybe we just needed to tone down the crazy… whatever our “why” is, its important to get to a point where we can be open about our struggles with other people.

I’m not saying go around flaunting our biggest fears and demons as if its no big deal, but I think there is a point you get to in evolving as a person that you have to let go of what’s no longer allowing you to grow.  I am a person battled anxiety my whole life.  I do not go around talking about it, but I’m now at a point in my life that I am no longer ashamed to have it.  Experiencing this “mental illness” does not make me less of a person, and it does not define who I am.  I have chosen to not be silenced by it, but instead live louder to shine my light for others going through the same struggle.

Its easy sometimes to feel so alone in whatever we’re going through, and I think we forget that we’re put in each other’s lives for a reason.  I’m sure I spoke with individuals the other night from all walks of life that are going through trials whether that be spiritual, emotional, or physical.  They may even start their yoga journey for a different reason then why they choose to continue, that was certainly the case for me.

Don’t let yoga be your secret hobby that other people don’t understand.  Share your passion with someone else and let them discover their why.  The holidays are right around the corner and we all know some family member or friend that maybe needs to tone down the crazy… or maybe they complain about health problems without doing anything about it… find a time that they can try a class with you.  Even if its just one experience, its sure to change their life forever.  Let go of insecurities or pride and put yourself right back in a beginner’s shoes.  Give someone hope with the gift of yoga.  Those are some of my life lessons from a health fair…

Namaste, Angela.

Stumbling across a 4,000 year old stone circle..

By | Life Inspiration from a Yogi | No Comments

“Everything happens for a reason” seems like a cliché quote we all have pinned to a board buried deep within our Pinterest archives.  This weekend I was reminded just how meaningful some of life’s “coincidences” can feel.  You know, those moments where it feels like you lucked out to be in the right place at the right time and leave feeling a little bit lighter.  I was feeling overwhelmed last week at balancing my workload and getting ready for a Folk Alliance conference this weekend in Iowa City.  As a musician, my jobs range from not only performer; but website creator, booking agent, makeup artist, LLC manager, accountant, stagehand, sound guy, and so much more.  Being a one-woman show is exhausting and I know many of us know the struggle of wearing many hats in our lives.

One of my goals lately coinciding with my teacher training, has been making the effort to do something to work towards being 1% better every day.  Being so busy this weekend, I was so concerned about being prepared for my conference that my yoga goals seemed to once again slipped to the back burner.  While in Iowa City, I met up with my friend Emily to shoot some photos for my social media.  We made a plan to go to a state park near Cedar Rapids and be back in time for my evening showcase.  As we started towards the park we quickly decided to detour to a beautiful barn on the Harvest Preserve just outside the downtown area.  Once we arrived on the property, we met the man who owned it so got his permission to shoot our photos there before getting to work.

Shortly into the photoshoot, the property owner drove back up to us and asked if we could follow him out to a special place that he thought we would really enjoy.  Figuring we would either be murdered or in for a neat adventure, we hopped in the car and followed our new friend.  Little did we know he was about to unlock the gates to a secret haven tucked within prairie grass and trees, a 4,000 year old stone circle.

We were blown away walking up to this circle of pillars- I off the cuff made a comment to my friend that it felt like we were in Indonesia or something (a culture I know nothing about).  As we read the plaque talking about the history of the stones- I got chills reading that these stones came to Iowa in 2002 from their original home, the Island of Flores—in the Indonesian Archipelago.   My photographer friend and I are not super close, but we shared a special experience there among the stone pillars.  Walking up to them she made a comment about being able to just feel the energy, and quickly the photoshoot went from a country musician vibe- to yoga.  The shots we got are truly amazing and I can’t wait to share them with you all.  I hope if you visit Iowa City you make a special trip out to see the Harvest Reserve.  Sit quietly with the stones and follow the meditation guide on the plaque.  It was a sure sign to me that no matter how busy we are, the opportunity for yoga in our lives is still very much needed and can be found in unique ways.  Like “coincidently” finding an ancient stone circle right here in our own backyards.  

Angela