Being physically active has always been a part of me. This need to move my body has led me to yoga. It began when I started gymnastics in grade school. Gymnastics not only gave me physical strength, but taught me that I can overcome mental fears and trust my body to accomplish what I asked it to do. This comfort in my own skin and drive to push my body has stuck with me through today. In high school and first two years of college, I participated in school and competitive cheerleading. When nursing school became a priority organized sports had to take a backseat and I transitioned to gym workouts. After college I continued my dedication to the gym, going most days of the week. I would go to classes, lift weights, and incorporated crossfit into my workouts.
During this time, my mom introduced me to yoga. Whenever I visited my hometown, I would go to yoga classes with her. I then began going to one or two Hot Vinyasa Yoga classes a week that were offered at my gym. The yoga instructor also taught at a local yoga studio and her style of teaching really hooked me. The classes were always packed, mat to mat, and filled the room with energy. I fell in love with how yoga made me feel and couldn’t get enough. At the time I didn’t know why it made me feel so good. Was it the sweat it gave me, the challenging poses, or the feeling of calmness and flexibility after class?
When I moved to Texas I joined a yoga studio. I went to a variety of classes, and yoga became a frequent, consistent practice. This is when I began to feel the total effects of yoga. I realized why yoga made me feel so good. It not only provided a physical practice, but also helped develop the mind-body-spirit connection. Yoga has taught me things that a strenuous workout could not. It showed me how to be mindful, use my breath to its fullest, and surrender to stillness. It has been a practice that I have craved and will not give up, for the benefits are too great.
When I moved to Tampa, The Green Locus became my yoga studio. My practice continued to strengthen and become deeper. I decided to continue my yoga journey by getting my yoga instructor certification, which I am currently achieving. A yoga training that I thought would simply teach me poses and guide me in how to be a yoga instructor, has proven to be so much more. I soon realized how much I was missing when I learned that asana, or postures, are only one-eighth of yoga. With yoga, there is always something to work toward. Whether it is getting deeper into a stretch, learning a new pose, or delving into the history and philosophy of yoga, there is always somewhere else to take your body and mind. After more than five years of practicing asana, I feel as though I am at just the beginning of my journey with yoga.
Lauren is a registered nurse currently working with cancer patients in the ICU. Being an RN, she has always had an interest in health and wellness, which has naturally led her to yoga. Her love for yoga has impelled her to deepen her practice and she hopes to become a yoga instructor one day. She is currently enrolled in the 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training at Green Locus and will graduate this November.