What initially inspired you to do yoga? I came to Yoga through the desire to shape my life in a new way without originally knowing exactly what that meant. What I liked about the idea of attending a yoga class was that it would be something I had never done before. And, what kept me there is that it provides me with a sense of flexibility towards always remaining open to new possibility and places within myself.
What do you remember about your 1st yoga class? My first Yoga class was at Shanti Yoga Studio in Nelson, British Columbia in 2003. I recall feeling more awake to the moment than ever as I practiced on the studio's hardwood floors and the sunlight streamed in through the elaborately-sized windows. I noticed how present everyone was in the room around me and felt at home for the first time in a long time. Both within the space around me, and inside of myself.
What keeps you coming back to your mat everyday? The need to connect to myself brings me to my mat. While, also, the realization that if I don't show up for myself, no one else will, either. The awakening came to me when practicing Yoga through the years that the experience within ourselves is the same one we'll have outside of ourselves. In noticing the quality in which I show up for myself, I am empowered in the knowing that others are then able to show up for me in a similar fashion. As a catalyst for supreme health, Yoga reminds me that my breath, movement, and my overall experience, are directly related to how I feel, and Yoga makes it possible for me to be aware of feelings and to cultivate more of the ones that are life-enhancing and life-giving!
What part(s) of yoga resonate with you? The idea of inclusiveness within a community has been around for centuries. However, the actuality of having people from all walks of life, in one room, doing our best to show up in such a way that inspires non-judgment and compassion for ourselves and others is incredibly rewarding on a physical, mental and emotional scale.
How has yoga affected your life? What does it mean to you? Yoga has returned me to the moment at hand, it has rekindled my understanding of what the value of simplicity is, and has transformed my personal ability to show up within a moment as myself, by being true to myself, and listening inward.
How does yoga make you feel? Has it contributed to some healing in your life? Yoga has creating more space in my life for original, self-directed moments to appear. Yoga has helped me reclaim my power and continues to each time I show up for myself, in the knowing that no one else can show up for me, unless I do.
What makes you avoid yoga? what makes you commit to yoga? If I ever find myself avoiding yoga because of feeling caught up with my own story or someone else's that is no longer serving them, I come back to my simple sitting exercise. This helps me to feel the strength of my center and gets me moving on the mat again.
What about yoga enables you to help others and change the world for the better? At the heart of Yoga it is a very inclusive practice designed for everyone. Yoga is for each and every human alive who makes the choice to stop long enough to open to the possibility of experiencing the moment anew. I have been working to specialize in teaching people who are in a time of transition within their lives. Yoga has healed my own fears, and past traumas. And, I have seen the process of reconnecting to the self, the breath, and the power within, work in people's lives for the greatest good of all many, many, times. That is what I aim to continue to be a part of over the upcoming years.
Do you have a favorite quote that you live by and if so, what is it? There are so many, but this is the one I'm living by as of right now: "Life isn't about finding yourself; life is about creating yourself."
Madelaine Standing lives in British Columbia, Canada and profides an assortment of well-being offerings ranging from Yoga, Pilates, Meditation, Life-Empowerment Classes and Healing Thai Yoga Massage.
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