MM: Well, fitness and health is progress. It’s progression. You have to take it step by step instead of stepping into the gym and thinking something is going to change after a week. Yoga is a process, and each time that you come to the mat you should learn something new about a pose, the class and even about yourself.
CLS: Is there a difference between yoga and mindfulness or are they connected?
MM: I think that mindfulness is a little bit different for each person, depending on how they were raised, or how they find solace or peace, or how they manage stress. I think being mindful is being connected. Listening to yourself and your body knows when to slow down. Balancing and not being overextended, overtaxed and even being overscheduled. Recognizing your cues, when am I stressed out and super fatigued I catch myself yawning in meetings or start to get cranky, all of those are usually cues to start listening to your body.
CSL: So, yoga can be used as a tool for you to slow down and connect with mindfulness. Do you recommend any other tools?
MM: We encourage people to use journals too, to keep track of their progress. Also, understanding their cues on the daily or weekly basis and how maybe their stress levels change when they practice yoga versus when they don’t.
CLS: What is a yoga practice?
MM: It’s a lot of different styles because it is a practical philosophy as well as a physical discipline. The yoga practice originated over five thousand years ago in India to help individuals prepare for meditation. Examples, if you’ve had a super busy day, multiple meetings, you didn’t eat a whole lot, and then you were forced to go into a room and meditate, how effective would it be? Probably not effective at all. Through your yoga practice, you get the kinks and wiggles out then you can relax and allow your mind to present.
CLS: What are some good tips for people starting or looking into yoga or do yoga at home?