To start off this spring blog series I would like to welcome my friend Carrie Hura, a local yoga teacher and massage therapist.
How did you first come to your movement practice?
I first came into yoga while working retail: books, which are very heavy. I was moving and lifting and twisting 40 pound boxes of books from pallets and standing and walking on cement floors. My low back soon felt it. I found a book on yoga and began to practice. It is Richard Hittleman’s Yoga: 28 Day Exercise Program.
How long have you been practicing?
I have practiced off and on for over 15 years, but have been a serious practitioner for about 10.
How do you integrate practice into everyday living?
Living my yoga now is in the small mindful day to day practice. My teacher, Goswami Kriyananda says, “Your daily life is your spiritual life.” So, it’s everything from stretching my body so it feels better to practicing being a better, more loving, compassionate person to those around me.
How has your practice affected you physically, emotionally, spiritually?
While the therapeutic physical practice of yoga was what I started with, I have grown so much as a result of the spiritual and philosophic aspects more so. My body has definitely become more flexible over time, particularly my back, but also overall stronger and with more balance. I Iove yoga because you fine tune the muscles by holding poses that from the outside, don’t even look that challenging. But, they are if you bring that mindful attention to how you are feeling in the posture.
As a result of studying the deeper aspects of yoga, I have become more emotionally mature, yet found an ease and flow of being. Through meditation, I have been able to be more balanced to the every day stresses and strains.
what is your favorite thing about teaching yoga?
My favorite thing about teaching yoga is seeing not only the dedication of new students, but how their practice evolves over time, like in the 6 week Yoga Foundations workshop. They come in curious, but unsure, and over the course of time, gain their steadiness in the basic postures. They become so much more confident.
What advice or suggestions do you have for folks who might be curious about trying a yoga class?
The sad thing I hear the most often from beginners is how they dropped in to a class, but “couldn’t keep up” or understand what was going on. So, do a bit of research into both the teacher and the class first to find a supportive class for first time practitioners. Usually, it will say beginners or therapeutic, or will cater to a specific population like stress relief or backs or even couch potatoes!
Or, start off how yoga was originally taught: one on one. Try a few private sessions.
And, if you do find yourself in a class you aren’t comfortable in, don’t give up, try another class and/or teacher. There are so many great yoga teachers to learn from!
Thank you Carrie for taking the time to share with us today!
Carrie Hura is a Registered Yoga Teacher and Nationally Certified and State Licensed Massage Therapist. Connect with Carrie at http://www.carriehura.abmp.com or The Yoga and Wellness Collective Facebook Page.