Everyone has their own relationship with yoga: some practice every day, and others every once in a while. No matter how frequently you you break out the mat, there's no denying yoga's impact. We asked our favorite yogis to reflect on what yoga means to them. Hear them out!
"Yoga has and continues to teach me how to navigate. With the practice of engaging my body, mind, and breath, there is continual work being done to sharpen technique and expand my sense of understanding and awareness. With all that knowledge I can check in with my relation to myself, to others, and to a larger picture. So I guess I could say that yoga has given me the tools to navigate perspective, which inherently has led me to appreciate the many maps life has to offer, and my personal path in the mix of it!"
"When you practice both simple and challenging moments with grace and ease in your yoga, you have this grace and ease in your life. It's my secret to doing more with less effort and enjoying the ride."
"Yoga helps me watch the entire world expand from my own inner connection."
"Yoga has completely transformed my life. Through the practice I discovered how to breathe through stressful situations, a deep connection with my body, and an appreciation for my flaws. I used to get stressed so quickly, but now I recognize that calm is my natural state and anything else that arises is temporary. I know who I am, and I love the hell out of that woman."
“Yoga has taught me to embrace the unknown as a place of endless potential. I no longer fear what I can’t understand. I know I’ll succeed if I show up offering the best version of myself, stick to my intentions, and step outside of my comfort zone when push comes to shove.”
Mary Beth LaRue
"Through yoga I'm more intentional, present, and forgiving. My practice has taught me to lean into the present moment and to exercise choice with both my thoughts and words. I enjoy my life so much more (as is) because of yoga."
Rachel Brathen (Yoga Girl)
"Yoga is a way for me to look into myself, but also to reach out to the outside world. It allows me to connect with the community in a valuable way. Essentially, yoga is everything."
"The Yogic path has simplified, given meaning, and guided me on a purposeful journey through the many practices it has. Life is truly a union of body, mind, and spirit once you learn to walk this path."
"My practice has taught me to release and let go of what no longer serves me in order to make space for, manifest, and create that which serves my highest good. This practice prepares and equips me to be of service to my community and the world. Yoga teaches me to release attachment and expectations in order to live fully present in each moment."
Cat Van Haayen
"Yoga has allowed me to stretch the boundaries of possibility, challenged me to take on the limitless, given me the courage to pursue the unknown, gifted me the ability to express freely my vulnerabilities, faced me with humility, disfigured my ideals, awakened me to endless creativity, but above all and most important unearthed my truth so that I continue the path to self-growth."
"Yoga gives me new eyes to see the world. It gifts me a vision where there is no division. Seeing the unity, the oneness in all things brings peace and deep connection to every moment I'm in."
"Yoga has given me a base through which all my decisions and thoughts can filter through, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. It’s given me hope, integrity, and purpose to work for that something beyond — for that state in which we are all free and at peace."
"As a young adult, I was run over by a car in a hit and run — a life-changing accident that led me to discover the 'alchemy' of yoga to heal and transform mind, body, and soul. I went on to become a yoga teacher, studio owner, and develop the International Alchemy of Yoga Teacher Training program, which I’ve led for over 10 years. Yoga woke me up to my potential for happiness that exists in the moment from the inside out. Happiness is the manifestation of what it means to love ourselves, love our day, love our lives."
“I hated yoga, quite literally. But it let me find my passion and ideal job and now allows me to help others find theirs.”
“Yoga has changed my life in so many ways. It has brought me a sense calmness and ease, strength and grace, but most recently, and most importantly, it has given me the tools to handle the unexpected. It has given me the ability to find clarity in times of confusion, to finding healing when I am hurting, and to find peace in the midst of chaos.”
Alice Louise Blunden
"In truth, I never imagined how yoga could transform my life. From setting up The Yoga Project UK (a company connecting yoga teachers with schools across London), becoming a yoga medicine assistant, traveling the world, and learning so much. There is no doubt that yoga has given me the confidence, inspiration, and courage to believe in my own potential."