We are so excited to introduce everyone to our March student of the month, Tyler Nash. Anyone who has practiced beside Tyler knows that her physical practice is mindful, and elegant. Tyler’s super power is her ability to slow things down, to feel the asana, all while letting the message of practice sink in to heal, to nourish, and to grow her spirit. She shared her thoughts about the practice of yoga with us.
Thank you Tyler!
“It was all kickboxing and cardio step until I experienced my first power flow yoga. Nag Champa filled the air, men and women sat in reverence awaiting their instructor’s arrival, the lights were dimmed and we immediately launched into a course of rigorous breath navigated movement. In the hot room I knew at once, I was hooked. I also fancied myself pretty good at the whole thing considering I’d never before engaged in this form of practice (something about a blazing hot room allows the muscles and tendons to release in ways previously unimaginable.) That was ten years ago and my practice has developed immensely since then. I always giggle a little when I think of this experience and realize just how ignorant I was of the practice. My relationship with my practice mirrors most other relationships in my life- peaks and valleys, on again off again- but always deeply rewarding when appropriately nourished, respected and tended to.
Learning to respect and nurture my practice has been a great lesson for me on this path, and continues to inform the way I engage with myself and those about me. I have struggled at times with my practice, pushing myself too far, ignoring my body and mind- injuries, resentment and stagnation generally result. Until moving to Asheville in October and finding Anjali, I practiced at home. My home practice taught me dedication and commitment, how to listen intuitively to my body’s needs. Sometimes it’s a strong practice filled with dynamic holds and powerful flows; sometimes its breathwork and grounding; sometimes its intuitive stretching and reflection. When I gracefully accept the needs of the day and all it encompasses, my practice is deepened. Life is like this, too.
I learned what yoga truly was for me during a therapy session. We were doing some trauma work, guided meditation and visualization. The therapist asked me to bring to mind a place in which I felt safe and empowered- much to my surprise I found myself standing atop my yoga mat in tadasana- mountain pose. “Whoa!! THIS, now THIS is what empowerment feels like!” Having this realization changed my relationship with yoga immensely. Above all, yoga is where I learned the sensation of empowerment. Yoga is NOT always easy, but it’s ALWAYS worth it.
If I were to share with others what I perceive to be some of the secrets of yoga, this is what I would tell them: There are going to be days (likely many) when you just don’t want to get on the mat, for any number of reasons. Do it anyways! I have NEVER left my mat thinking “Gee, shame I did that today.” Never, not once. There are sometimes when you can’t, and that’s okay too. Maybe you’re sick, or busy or whatever, but with regular practice of yoga, you will be present enough for your own life to make that choice, not have circumstance make it for you. Listen for the lessons from your body, heart, mind, fellow students and instructors. I carry these gems with me into daily living. Honor your body- really lean into sensation, experience the essence of your being- you really are that glorious, powerful, dynamic person! You’re also gentle, fluid and maybe a little sleepy, honor that. Learning how to listen to my body on my mat has allowed me to learn the beautiful gift of self-care.
May my practice be shared with yours and may we continue together to learn, laugh about, reflect on and respect whatever comes up- both on the mat and in life.”