Meet Carla, one of our teachers at Yoga District. Learn about her experiences with yoga and her advice for starting a practice or building on an existing routine. Check out Carla’s schedule below andsign up here.
Read on and stop by one of her classes to get to know her better.
Monday 8:00 PM,Candlelight Flow Yoga 1-1.5+ Restorative @ Glover Park
Saturday 11:45 AM,Alignment Flow + Yoga for Runners (All Levels)@ Glover Park
Teaching & Practicing Yoga
I began my yoga practice in my early twenties. I remember that the first time I took a class, I left feeling happy and peaceful.
I knew I would return to yoga. Thanks to yoga, I started to discover and understand my body in ways that I never expect. It also brought me a calm mind despite living in a society that challenged us in a daily basis.
My favorite style of class to teach is Flow Yoga with Alignment. I find that Flow Yoga emphasizes both breath and movement, is adaptable for all bodies, and fun for all levels of students.
While teaching flow yoga, I observe students becoming aware of their bodies, minds, and souls. Flow Yoga with Alignment brings both mental and physical benefits through its dual emphasis on breath and asanas (1). I also like to introduce students to yoga philosophy by reading quotes or sections of a poem that speak to other limbs of yoga (2).
3 Lessons Learning from Practicing Yoga
Yoga taught me three very important lessons: to trust myself and the universe, to practice patience, and to be appreciative.
1. To trust myself and the universe
Through the asanas and pranayamas, I improved my self-confidence and self-trust. With meditation, I learned to trust the universe and accept every challenge as it comes. Now, I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason and we need to take that situation as an opportunity to learn and to become a better human being.
2. To be patient.
Yoga taught me patience to accept that things sometimes take longer than we expect. I learned the value of being thankful for what I have. Practicing yoga helps me continue to have a patient mindset.
With yoga I began to truly appreciate all those little things that people take for granted, like nature and those individuals who are part of our daily lives.
Advice for New Yogis
When speaking with beginners or people who have never practiced yoga, I hear comments like “I am not flexible enough”, “I am too old”, or “I don’t have time.” My response is “ if you can breathe, you can do yoga.” I also try to explain the benefits of yoga and the ability to adjust practice to one’s own body and needs.
One way to bridge the yoga gap and encourage the person to get started is to practice breathing and a simple asana, such as cat and cow (3) or using a chair as a prop.
Once finished, I explain the benefits of the practice and strive to encourage curiosity about other asanas or a yoga practice in general.
Staying Engaged in Practice
Students tend to stay motivated when they feel empowered, happy, and calm. To capitalize on these sensations, I recommend practicing with an open mind. With every yoga class, we are learning and improving our practice. The more we practice, the more balanced we will be.
Variety can also be a great way to stay engaged in yoga, so I suggest trying different classes and different teachers. This might introduce students to new styles that better fit their needs and interests. Participating in different yoga workshops is a good way to find something new, and those offered by Yoga District are diverse and targeted to different goals.
Lastly, I recommend finding a friend to keep you accountable and striving to have a home practice. Making it part of a daily routine will feel great and keep you motivated to continue a lifetime of yoga practice.
The Yoga District 200 and 500 hour teacher training certification programs, registered by the Yoga Alliance are unique in their emphasis on diversity of teaching styles studied, personal attention, and trauma sensitive yoga. It's no coincidence that Yoga District is regularly voted the leading studio in the nation's capital, and that most of its classes are taught by graduates of its training program. As a full time yoga school, small group trainings are led up to eight times a year by a dedicated faculty including Jasmine Chehrazi, contributor to the Harvard Karma Yoga Project teacher training, teacher training faculty at George Washington University, Yoga Alliance Standards Committee Advisory Board Member, Yoga Activist Founder, and Yoga Service Council Advisory Board Member. So take your practice and community involvement to the next level by joining a training. There's a reason why our graduates call the training "transformative."
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