yoga80 Student Highlight: Keely Minton
What is your idea of the perfect yoga practice?
The best practice is when I feel tired or stressed and don’t really feel like practicing, but I make myself go to the studio anyway. Just walking in the warm studio makes me feel better. The practice allows me to concentrate on just one thing – yoga. I am always so grateful for yoga and the studio on days like that.
What do you like most about yoga?
I’ve always been physically active with ballet, traditional workouts and outdoor sports. When I first started practicing yoga 7 years ago, I had no idea how much it would benefit my mind, body and spirit. What I love most about yoga is that it truly is a “practice”. You are always practicing, learning and pushing yourself. I love how it feels when a particularly challenging pose all of a sudden becomes available to me. I recently discovered that even though I’ve heard “scissor through to midline” a thousand times, and thought I was doing it, I actually wasn’t. All of a sudden I can get my hips square in Warrior I and can feel my practice deepening with this one nuance. Something so simple, yet so powerful. Thanks Reegan!
What pose or practice do you do daily?
I say prayers of gratitude daily and practice breathing slowly and deeply throughout the day. I practice Headstand almost every morning before work. It clears my head for the day.
- Savasana Song- the Om Chant. I love his deep, moving voice
- Yoga Pants- Zella from Nordstrom
- Sports Bra- Champion
- Yoga Mat- Manduka Black Pro- it truly changed my practice
- Yoga Towel- Manduka
- Color- Purple
- Flower- Anything tropical, particularly orchids and bird of paradise
- Vegetable- All colors of bell peppers
- Fruit- Papayas and mangos
Quote Of The Month
[quote] It does not break, it does not turn, it does not reserve, it is not intercepted. It is unbroken and steady. One idea, the same idea, no other idea, no other thought. That is concentration, and it should happen by itself.” – Hatha Yoga Pradipika [/quote]
To achieve the state of concentration is quite a challenge. We all have experienced the procrastination that comes with not being 100% interested on a task or challenge. For example, say you have a big test and need to study for it. You seem to find anything and everything else that “needs” to be done instead of studying for that important test. On the contrary, if you are studying for a big test in a subject that fascinates you, the concentration to study the information comes with ease. We taste this in our physical yoga practice as well. Through our Asana (Sanskrit for seat or posture) practice we exhaust the physical body so we can still the mind to achieve one point of concentration.
Many times new students ask me if there are easier classes they should take. Most new yoga students continually think throughout their practice. They actually need the physical challenge to be so challenging that their minds stay focused on what is being taught rather than what they are going to make for dinner that night. At yoga80 we encourage students to take breaks and emphasize concentration on the breath. The breath is the trick. Focusing on breathing will allow you to be in the present – right here and right now. When you find your breath to be labored, then take a break and connect back with your breathing, in your yoga practice or even in your daily life.
We’ve all heard that great advice when we’re in a panic, “Take a deep breath”. Your one point of concentration counts on it.