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Sunday, 1 November 2015

Let's face it we all lose it at some point.  Being a mother, wife, office slave, friend, daughter, grand daughter and the list just goes on and on, is not easy.  Don't get me wrong, it's wonderful, but busy mamas need a break once in a blue moon:).

I already shared with you my thoughts on the secret powers of yoga.  Now it's time for some expert advice.

What's more convincing than an interview with a real yoga expert?!


A Q&A with Yoga Expert, Monica Adler

Q: How did you get into yoga practice? When was your very first introduction to yoga?
I remember I tried yoga many years ago and didn’t get into it, never gave it a fair and open opportunity.

About 5 years ago, a hot yoga studio was opened at the gym I was going at the moment. Since I tried it, I loved it. I was in the right mindset and needed something to balance my work life with. Yoga gave me that sense of balance that no idea sport/exercise ever gave me.

Q: Where did you study yoga to become a teacher?
After practicing as a student for about 3 years, I had the privilege of going to Costa Rica for a month and do my teachers training certification.  This experience changed my life.
Not only did we learn the physical part of yoga, but the spiritual as well. I understood where yoga came from, practiced every day, learned Ayurveda, anatomy, adjustments and meditation.

Q: Where are you practicing and teaching now?
IAMYoga – studio downtown Toronto that offers all type of classes, heated and non-heated.

Q: At what point did you decide that you wanted to teach?
After my training in Costa Rica, I moved to Mexico City (where I’m originally from) for a year. It was the perfect timing to start new and fresh. I was lucky enough to find a part time corporate job, which allowed me to teach yoga as well.  I was teaching at different Gyms, yoga studios, corporate classes and some private ones. It’s wonderful feeling the satisfaction that comes from teaching, guiding and seeing the changes and results on students.

Q: Is there a certain style of yoga you practice?  Which one? Why?
I usually practice/teach vinyasa – which is a flow class. It synchronizes breath and movement. A lot of times referred to as a Flow class.  We go through several poses transitioning with chaturanga flows.  The breath and movement helps me stay focused on the practice and be present.  It can be a challenging class and great workout.

Q: What can yoga do/give for a busy mama?
It can give a time off, a break, a space. An opportunity to practice (no matter of how long) and take this time for yourself to be present and have no other thoughts or worries.

Q: There are so many different types of classes. What do they all mean?  When would you take one particular style vs. another?
Hatha - slow pace and simple breathing exercises, this practice holds possess for at least 5 breaths

Vinyasa - series of poses that will move you through the power of inhaling and exhaling. Movements are smoothly flowing

Iyengar - A form of Hatha yoga, Iyengar is one of the oldest forms of yoga -  emphasis is given to alignment and precision in every posture

Ashtanga - a led Ashtanga class is when a teacher leads the class, usually in the primary or secondary series (set poses and flows). Once students know the order of poses very well, they may often opt for self-led, or Mysore style practice

Kundalini - the more spiritual styles of yoga. Kundalini yoga focuses on breath and movement

Bikram - Bikram consists of a set of 26 poses and two breathing exercises at a hot room
This is a very brief description of the different yoga types of classes. I think it all depends on the student, what they want to get out from class, how they are feeling and their energy level.

I think it’s a great thing to try them and form an own opinion of each style, we all need to get something different out of practice.

Q: What is really exciting you right now in your work and in your vision of the future of yoga?
Keep learning, attending retreats and workshops, developing my personal practice.  

Q. What tools do you think are essential for starting a yoga practice?
An open mindset! And a mat:).

Q. Is there an essential yoga mindset?
Think it summarizes to being open to whatever the practice brings.

Q. What are the things to observe in yoga?
Breath; everything else will come as a result.

Q. In a class full of people with wildly different aims, how do you strive to keep everyone engaged and motivated?
Try to guide a balanced practice. Always give options and modifications.
Beauty of yoga is that the same practice can be experienced differently by each person.
I ask my students to set an intention at the beginning of class. This helps stay focused and in line, with whatever it is they need to get out from yoga that specific day.

Q. If you could do only one pose from now on, what would it be?
Shavasana:).
All jokes aside, it is definitely the most important pose. All comes together, energy comes back and we allow the body to absorb the benefits of the movement and breath.


I would like to thank Monica for taking the time to provide us with valuable information on the practice of yoga.


Disclosure: This post was written by Stella Volfovsky.


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