Happy (belated – I promise, I wrote this post on the day of!) Mother’s Day! While it is important to view celebrations as nuanced based on who is and is not able to celebrate on a given day I would like to use this day as an opportunity to honor my mother and her yoga journey on this blog.
This afternoon, after a lovely brunch and walk around the Central Park reservoir, we settled in her living room to discuss her very important yoga journey. Needless to say, I am an abundantly proud daughter.
Let’s start off…What was the highlight of your Mother’s Day? (And that can be going to yoga!)
The highlight of my Mother’s Day was seeing you and getting a gift I totally enjoyed – Sweaty Betty yoga pants.
Tell us about the yoga class that you took this morning.
Oh, this is my favorite class! Sho, a teacher at Pure Yoga, teaches a very gentle class. He also always puts in something very spiritual, which puts things in perspective and gets to the heart of what really matters: centering yourself, being the best you can be, and it is just such a good class in every which way. It helps my back and relaxes me.
Why did you start doing yoga?
I started doing yoga because I had a really chronic upper back issue: a lot of knots and really uncomfortable all the time. After doing an MRI, I was told that the only thing that would help me would be taking steroid injections. I tried that a couple of times and it didn’t help. I was inspired by my daughter’s yoga practice that I decided to give it a go myself.
Why did you continue doing yoga?
Other than having my children, yoga has been the best thing. It’s been a way to clear the mind of clutter and it’s helped my back issues. [The helping of the back issues] is almost like a fringe benefit. It’s funny because you do it for the process and the result is the icing on the cake. When people say, “Oh, you look so great! You’re walking so tall!” I kind of smile inwardly because I think that they don’t know how much I have to apply myself to do that and it’s not that you go once a week and you’re going to get those results; you have to go three or four times a week.
How often do you practice yoga, and what kinds of styles do you practice?
On a good week, I would go four times a week and I have my favorite classes at Pure Yoga. I take Yin on Monday nights with Kate Cuss who is phenomenal, and then I take Iyengar on Thursday nights, but some of this depends on my work schedule. And then I take Sho who is a combination of Yin and Iyengar on Saturday and Sunday.
What’s your favorite pose right now?
Well, I love legs up the wall. As a matter of fact, I’m doing it now when we go into savasana and I just decide that I am going to just do it now because it’s much better for my back than just lying flat. But there are so many poses, and it’s a culmination. I love Yin because your body carries a lot of your emotions, and it opens up parts that you don’t even know you’re sensitive to. You feel more open and vulnerable, but in a good way.
What’s been the #1 lesson you’ve learned from yoga?
To be in the moment.