In addition to showcasing teachers on our blog, Yoga District (YD) is honored and humbled to have a variety of dedicated students. For this reason, we have a “Student Feature” series, Q&As with our regular students featured on our blog, so that you can get to know some of the students that make YD such a special place. Today’s Student Feature highlights a frequent visitor, Yura S.

How long have you been practicing yoga?

For about 4 years.

Please describe your first experience doing yoga.

My first yoga class wasn’t at Yoga District but it was good. I went once, liked it and never went back. Even though I had a good first experience I did not have a connection with it and at the time I felt that I needed something more aerobic where I could move fast, be out of breath and sweat a lot. A couple of years later I went to a Yoga District class and something clicked, and now, 4 years later, I am still going to classes regularly.

What do you like about yoga?

I think what I like the most is the journey. In yoga you are constantly discovering things about yourself, about people, about life, and all of this happens while feeling relaxed, challenged and reaching moments of total happiness.

Why do you practice yoga at Yoga District?

To me, Yoga District is a family! Mostly, after having taken the Yoga Teacher Training. I have met so many beautiful people there and the environment in general is so loving! There is a wide variety of classes and styles and it’s affordable!

What is your favorite pose, and how does it make you feel?

My favorite pose changes from time to time but at the moment I like Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (A, B, C) from the Ashtanga Primary series because it has taken me a very long time to feel comfortable in it. I used to not like it at all, try to avoid it, etc. but now I can feel how the practice has paid off and it makes me feel in control of myself and very strong.

Washington, DC can be a hectic place where people can become stressed out and overworked. What would you say to your fellow DC residents to inspire them to practice?

There are yoga classes for every type of person, come play, laugh at yourself, become stronger and as a side effect you might even find inner peace!!

Have you done yoga/meditation outside of yoga class? If so, can you describe the circumstance (what made you want to do yoga outside of class and what the effect was)?

Now, I do have an almost daily home practice. There was a point where I noticed that if I did not practice yoga I did not feel good, sort of like showering or brushing your teeth, so I had to make it available to my schedule.

How do you feel your practice at Yoga District has affected your stress level and the ways you deal with stress?

I am a single mother of two girls and I am a teacher juggling 3 different teaching jobs to make ends meet, it can get really busy and challenging but there is always time for yoga because it makes all the craziness go away or if not it helps me enjoy every second of it!

How will yoga continue to be incorporated into your life in the future?

I am working now on the Ashtanga Primary series, I have a long way to go and I am looking forward to it! I will continue taking classes and keep working on all of the 8 limbs. Not too long ago I had to have knee surgery and even though I had to be in crutches for over 2 months yoga kept being in my daily life. I was complaining to a friend because I could not do my physical practice and she said -There are still 7 more limbs of yoga to work on! I am very thankful for that!

What do you want to share with others about how yoga has touched your life?

Yoga has given me the ability to see things more clearly, it has taught me to be compassionate with others and with myself. It has taught me to be humble and let things go, to trust the process.

Would you consider a yoga teacher training program to deepen your practice and/or to learn techniques for sharing yoga with others? If yes, please explain.

Yes! I already took the 200 hour training and would like to continue with the 500 hour one soon. I do not teach yoga at the moment but I apply it in my life in general and I use it with my students at a high school where I teach languages.

Love and hugs,

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