Marcella is my sister and when I asked her to be apart of this series, she said, “...but, I just stared doing yoga.” Even though she considers herself a beginner, I felt her perspective was still valuable and a good reminder that no matter what your level or abilities are, it does not make you any less of a yogi. Marcella is what a yogi looks like.
1. When did you start doing yoga and why?
I don’t remember exactly when I started yoga. I think it was maybe around 2013/2014. In the course of 1 year (2011-2012) I was in a major car accident, my grandma died, and we had lost our dad to a homicide. My sister had found major benefits from yoga to help her through that and she encouraged me to try it. At this point I was still have back pain, anxiety and plenty of nightmares, so I willingly went.
2. What myths or misconceptions did you have about yoga before starting?
I think the biggest misconception that I had about yoga was that I needed to be a certain level of fit or flexible to start the practice. This is clearly not the case. What’s great about yoga is that you start at the level you are at.
3. What is your favorite pose and why?
My favorite pose is tree pose. It requires a lot of my concentration to keep my balance, but once I’m there, I feel strong and tall and confident.
4. What are your thoughts on yoga and body image and has it affected your practice?
Like I mentioned earlier, I thought I needed to be at a certain level to even try yoga, but it really is for everyone. I don’t look like a fitness yoga Barbie, but I can see myself getting stronger in my practices. It’s about strengthening your whole being.
5. Do you feel that yoga conflicts or compliments your religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender identification or any other form of your identity?
I don’t feel any conflict. I grew up Christian and still practice that in my life today. If anything I feel like that helps me. Yoga helps me to stop and look around, to remain quiet and listen to what God has to offer me. It has really given me time to be open and honest about my feelings and release them.
6. What do you love most about yoga?
The thing I love about yoga is that it’s mindful. While practicing, I am mindful of all aspects of my body, and try to keep in touch with that throughout my day. I find myself watching my posture more and realizing that I’m not relaxing or breathing as I should. Stopping to take the time to do that can really help de-stress throughout my crazy days.
7. What would you say to someone who is hesitant about starting a yoga practice?
I encourage so many people to do yoga. I tell them that first of all it’s not as scary as they think. There are different levels and different types of practices and it’s about finding the one that works best for you. You don’t realize the stress you put your body through until you start working through it in yoga. It’s very eye-opening!
Would you like to be featured? I would love to hear about your yogic journey. I am looking for yogis of all levels, years of experience, backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, gender identifications and sects. Please email me at angieeatspeace at gmail.com.