• Ren, What inspired you to become a yoga instructor?


    I had always been a mover and an athlete.  The meditation of breath and movement had been tools that supported me throughout life.  In college I began meditating a lot more.  I noticed how it broadened my perception of self, connected me more with my community and environment, and helped me focus on continuing to become more realized.  Ashtanga, Hatha, and Vinyasa had been with me for a lot of my youth.  Stumbling on kundalini yoga in college really solidified my relationship to the practice.  My kundalini yoga training engrained my love for sharing the tools that helped me be present with myself and spur my healing. 

    This month we are focusing on Resilience and Self Care: Do you have any tips on how to begin practicing self - care? How does the practice of Yoga build resilience? 

     

    Self-care looks different for everyone.  That said, we all have a body that's really good at telling us what works for us and what doesn't.  At moments it can be more difficult, but building a self-care habit, however small, is a great way to hold yourself accountable to listening to what your body is telling you.  Through showing up for yourself time and time again, your bandwidth for what you can experience while remaining centered and balanced broadens.  This broadening lends to resilience for sure. 

    Ren, you are busy to say the least.  How do you manage to balance running your own Body Work/Healing Business, Instructing classes, and making time for yourself and your own practice? 


    I feel that the quality with which I do anything, is how I do everything.  I'm always refining the balance between producing as a professional, and resting and just being for myself.  It seems though, like all of it feeds into everything else.  The more convinced I am of that, the more real I am with myself about which boundaries can be fluid and which ones have to be more rigid to support my potential.  I can't give from an empty cup.

    What is your personal philosophy about maintaining a yoga practice with a busy lifestyle?

     

    Integration is key.  Just like everything feeds into everything else, my schedule has to have a self-evident flow as well.  When I'm most busy, I use yoga to help me transition between parts of the day.  I'll rise in the morning with a succinct flow and mantra meditation to help get me going and check-in before anything happens, maybe I'll reset during the day with breathe and asana, and at night I will often use breath and a more yin practice to help tell my body that it's time to rest.  A little every day goes a long way and makes yoga inextricable from how I move through my day-to-day.

    As a teacher and a student of Yoga, you are exposed to so many facets of Yoga as a practice. What is the pure objective of yoga as you currently understand it?

     

    That's a hard one, because the words to describe it seem to always change.   Right now it seems like the pure object of a Yoga practice is to help us remember our balanced relationship with give and take.  It's an overarching theme one can apply to almost anything: to the body, our physical possessions, thoughts, emotions, relationships, etc.  For me currently, yoga offers a great tool for alignment that helps us find our balance, and thus be in flow with our lives and everything in it, or just happy.

    After four years as a teacher, how has your practice changed?

     

    After about 4 years as a teacher, my practice has definitely gotten more focused and consistent.  My students hold me extra accountable to exploring my own practice and to investigating aspects of yoga that they inspire with their strengths and areas of growth.  My students often remind me how much of a gift the practice is too.  

    What is your personal philosophy about where yoga fits in along your path to self-realization?


    As I see it, finding balance helps us observe things from a more neutral standpoint.  We can act instead of reacting, and thus uncover and witness, and engage with more parts of ourself with a kindled interest and kindness.

    Please share a little something extra about yourself!

     
    My yoga practice has definitely fed into my love singing and offering bodywork.  Consistent meditation, breath, and asana has definitely helped me find more depth in both.  When I practice craniosacral therapy especially, I follow the same feeling of connection and calm that yoga practice can give me to help people meet themselves and do their healing.  Mantra meditation and the self awareness that yoga begets have also largely contributed to opening up my voice.  I feel really lucky to have such a great tool to keep me on my toes and learning.