A New Twist On Yoga

YogaMosa, Everett With Carly Hayden 

Yoga requires being quiet, still, present, and focused, all things that I am horrible at. My mind is always in a million places at once. Relaxing, thinking about nothing, is next to impossible for me. Add to that the fact that I’m a big girl, one that struggles with health problems that affect my muscle and bone strength, and you can probably guess that yoga hasn’t been high on my to do list.

But then Carly Hayden reached out to me about her YogaMosa class and I figured I’d give it a try. The lure of mimosas and girl time may or may not have played a role in that decision. My first time around, my mind was busy as usual. All I could think about was my phone not having service for me to share about the experience and the mimosa of course. My friend Paula, on the other hand, looked like a warrior goddess.

I gave it a try again last month though, and this time around I fared a bit better. Not only that, I had the opportunity to interview Carly and learn about her story and about the benefits of yoga. It actually made me feel a lot better about my chances when it comes to making it a regular part of my life. Here is what she had to say.

How did you get into doing yoga?

I have ADD, and I’ve always had a busy mind. Yoga has an incredible way of settling me into my present experience and allowing my mind to stay where it is, rather than racing ahead.

What health benefits does yoga offer?

Yoga is unique in its ability to nurture body, soul, and mind. Physically, yoga allows us to be more fluid and free in our bodies. A well-designed yoga practice should stabilize your joints, strengthen the deep slow twitch muscles, and create responsible flexibility. We set aside comparison, expectation, and competition, and simply allow ourselves to experience the practice. This is deeply soothing to our spirits, as well as being an exercise in focus in itself Yoga gives us the opportunity to work with our wandering minds and train it to stay with us. Yoga make[s] our bodies relaxed, comfortable, and tired enough to be still. This is why I often work my students hard, but let them luxuriate in a long, restful Savasana (final resting pose).

For those unsure if they can do yoga , what advice would you give?

If you have any concerns, I highly recommend arriving early for class so you can discuss modifications with your teacher. Whether you’re being careful with an injury, pregnancy, a bigger body, or even vertigo, a good teacher will empower you with the knowledge to modify class to suit your body. Remember that yoga is here to serve you, so don’t try to force yourself into the “ideal” version of the pose. Make the pose fit your body with props, modifications, and experimentation. Also, keep in mind that a certain amount of intensity and effort is productive, but pain or burning is a huge red flag. Yoga should never hurt!

Despite how hard Carly works her students, she does an amazing job of offering modifications where needed. I was able to get through the entirety of both of her classes with them even though I have health issues that affect my strength.

What else do you offer beyond YogaMosa at Bluewater Distilling in Everett?

SUP (Stand Up Paddle) yoga is just as it sounds – yoga on a paddleboard! All levels are welcome, but you do need to be able to swim, have a good sense of your body, and be willing to test yourself. My partner, Hydrology Stand Up Paddle, and I host paddleboard yoga classes year-round at Forest Park Swim Center in Everett and Snohomish Aquatic Center. Summertime classes are at Silver Lake in Everett and Edgewater Beach in Mukilteo.

My partners, Erin Matthews of Hydrology Stand Up Paddle and Manjeet Russell of Infinite Balance Life Coaching, and I host beautifully transformative retreats [multiple times a year]. We paddle, do SUP yoga, dive into life coaching sessions, and wrap each other up in summer-camp-style sisterhood. My heart swells with gratitude every single time we hold space for these women to open up, relax, and have adventures.

As far as regular classes on land, I teach Open Heart, Strong Backbone at Yoga Circle in Snohomish on Mondays at 6:30 PM, Yoga for Strength and Flexibility for Everett Parks and Rec. on Tuesdays at 10:00 AM, Basic Yoga at 5:30 PM and Restorative Yoga at 7 PM on Wednesdays at Yoga Circle, as well as corporate and private classes.

Find out more about Carly and her classes at www.catalystyoganw.com

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