Please meet Ameet Beltz. She is Mind Body Flow Yoga’s featured student for this month’s newsletter. Ameet has a beautiful yoga practice and was generous in sharing it with us, as she demonstrates Airplane Pose (Virabhadrasana III).
Mind Body Flow Yoga’s Very Own Ameet Beltz
My first time at the MBFY studio was in December 2014, to purchase a gift certificate for a dear friend from work. Kim had recently joined MBFY after going through back surgery and had raved about the foundation flow classes she was taking & how it was helping her back. Kim and I both did 5K races until she had the crippling back issue.
It was around 11:30am on a cold December day when I was out Christmas shopping & my first stop on my shopping list was MBFY. As fate would have it a class had ended, the studio was open & empty and Marina was at the front desk. The studio was super warm & had the soothing aroma of lavender scent. Marina greeted me with a beautiful smile. After I purchased the gift certificate, I casually inquired about the yoga schedule and what that entailed. I had no intentions of taking yoga, but was just curious about the hype from Kim. Marina shared the class schedule and sold me on the $20 pass for 10 consecutive days. I was off from work for the remainder of the year and wanted to take advantage of the pass and try something different from running and biking. After all, I thought, how hard can yoga really be and as my 11 yr old son would say, “You pay for yoga?! You can do yoga for free by watching PBS.”
I purchased my first mat from Target & attended my first yoga class with Marina on the following Monday 6pm open flow class. Marina suggested I set up in the back of the class, in order to observe the more seasoned yogis. I felt so uncoordinated, intimidated and out of place my first class. I was in awe of all the yogis that were doing the practice with seemingly no effort and floating up into headstands. At the end of class, I loved the cold lavender cloth for the hard work I had done and focused on the inspirational message form Marina from “Journey to the Heart.” I can’t recall what the message was at the time, but I’m sure it was exactly what I needed to hear. On the 20 minute ride back home to Lockport, I continued with the deep breathing, being in a state of calmness & numbness and reflected on the class and how little I knew about yoga. I took 6 of the 10 consecutive day classes from various instructors and loved every one of their teaching styles. Each class became a little easier and I became a convert & hooked on yoga. I’ve been a member ever since then.
Three months after I joined MBFY, I purchased a mat from lululemon & passed my Target mat on to a friend interested in starting a yoga practice. As I came to my mat each time, I had no idea how strong I was getting until one day I was able to lift myself and do a back bend – full wheel. I remember the first time I did full wheel I felt a spiritual energy lifting me to accomplish this pose. As I look back, that energy was nothing more than me getting stronger & gaining confidence in my core, arms, legs and back.
Right after I joined MBFY, I was asked to take on a challenging assignment at work which I was not quite confident about taking on. Coming to my yoga practice helped me make the decision to take the assignment on, by building physical & mental confidence. Ujjayi deep breathing, where you take a deep inhale & a slow exhale that sounds like ocean waves, has allowed me to calm my mind and body both on and off the mat. I use this deep breathing when I’m faced with challenging issues at work and home and that helps me be confident on the course of action that I need to take. MBFY has truly made me a stronger and more confident woman than I’ve ever been.
I’ve been with MBFY for 2 years and 3 months and I’ve learnt that as with anything in life, we are going through a never ending journey and continuing to learn and perfect ourselves. To do that, as Marina says, we have to be a YES and welcome & embrace change and get out of our comfort zone. It’s easy to do the same pose as we are comfortable doing it, but what is it going to take us to get to the next level of the pose. We need to get past the fear and roadblocks that are stopping us to get to the next stage. I still have not fully given myself to the inversions of headstands or handstands, but my yoga journey will take me there. I’ve started doing headstands from a tripod using a wall as the crutch and I’m looking forward to the day where I gain more confidence & let go of that crutch. To do that, I need to let go of fear and practice, practice, practice.
Another change I’ve embraced is taking a job opportunity in Ohio. This change would not be possible if I did not have the attitude of being a YES. As I leave MBFY in the next few weeks and the amazing community of yogis, I will always remember the awesome inspirational messages shared in classes – like having an attitude of gratitude, to look for something positive when something negative happens and to inhale love, confidence, beautiful and exhale hate, doubt, ugly. I will always be a member of the MBFY family and will take every opportunity to come to the studio when I’m in town visiting family.
Thanks Marina & all the teachers and yogis at the studio for taking me through this awesome journey.
What is this Pose About?
This is a standing, balancing pose. The resulting shape is a deep opening through the shoulders, ankles, and legs. Watch Ameet enter into this asana from Mountain Pose (Tadasana). She will exit the pose and land back in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) as well.
Here are a few things to keep in mind, if you decide to try this pose, or if you have already started to experiment and play around with it.
Tips for Airplane Pose (Virabhadrasana III)
- From Mountain pose, step the right foot a foot forward and shift all of your weight onto this leg
- Inhale lift the left leg up and back, hinging at the hips, lowering the torso slightly towards the floor
- Arms can stay together in a prayer position at the middle of the chest, or can be outstretched forward towards the front of your mat, or can be outstretched to the sides like airplane wings.
- Look down at the floor and stare at a point for balance
- Reach out through the left toes, making a straight line from the left heel to the crown of the head
- Keeping your hips and knees in place, twist from your shoulders to the right
- Place your left elbow on your right knee and spin your chest open to the right
- Breathe and hold for 3-5 breaths
- To come out of the pose, lower the leg back to the floor and step both feet together back into Mountain pose
- Strengthens the ankles and legs
- Strengthens the shoulders and muscles of the back
- Tones the abdomen
- Tones the abdominal muscles
- Improves balance and posture
Modify this pose if you have high blood pressure, or recent or chronic injury to the legs, hips, back or shoulders.
Have you tried this pose before? What has been your experience?