Please meet Taylor Moell. She is Mind Body Flow Yoga’s featured student for this month’s newsletter. Taylor has a beautiful yoga practice and was generous in sharing it with us, as she demonstrates Eight Angle Pose (Astavakrasana).
Taylor Shares Her Yoga Journey
Wow, where do I even begin! When Marina asked me to be the featured student of the month, I nearly cried with excitement! Marina, the studio and yoga mean so much to me and it’s such an honor to be the featured student!
I was first introduced to yoga after I graduated high school by my aunt who practiced regularly. I started using it as a form of exercise and never would have imagined the impact it has had on my life. Since then, my yoga practice has transformed into a way of life for me. I bring yoga with me everywhere I go! From taking deep breaths when I’m feeling overwhelmed, to bringing a positive light to the people closest to me – I always try to be a yogi!
It has taken me a long time to become the yoga-loving girl I am today. When I first started my practice, like many things in my life, I didn’t let it get deep – everything was very surface level. I just thought of it as making myself more fit and trying to look a certain way. I remember one night after a class, I got in my car and just cried, cried because I felt so many things – I was sad, I was happy and I had no idea what was happening to me. I think at that moment I realized yoga was much more than a form of exercise. It’s a place to learn and grow as a person.
When I was four years old, I lost my younger sister to cancer and I brought that grief with me wherever I went. I would often burst into tears in my car on the way to work or school and distance myself from friends and family and found it difficult to let people know the real me. Yoga has been there, so I can finally bring some closure to the grief I still experience. Recently, during a workshop, Marina was assisting me in dancers pose, when tears started rolling down my face. At that moment, I felt grief, guilt, sadness, and resentment for not dealing with my feelings sooner. I think having Marina assisting at that moment made me realize I’m not alone in life, that I have people around me that care and will help me and allow myself to be vulnerable. Although no words were exchanged at that moment, having someone to lean on brought up so many feelings for me. It’s really amazing what this practice can stir up inside of you and make you face.
Yoga has taught me that it is okay to feel emotions – all emotions – not just happiness, and that difficulty may only last a short period with a new chance to grow always waiting around the corner. When I first began my yoga journey, I would have never thought it would be such a healing process. I am so grateful for this and I am beginning to love the person I am today and that makes me so happy.
I am still on this journey and every time I go to class I learn something new about myself. I am grateful I was introduced to this practice and like to show as many people I can its powerful ways. The practice has changed the way I view myself. I’ve gone from someone who always was striving for “perfection” and battling feelings of not being good enough, to accepting myself for who I am; because yoga isn’t about trying to be or look like someone else, but about finding and strengthening yourself internally.
I am so excited and inspired by how this practice can help me and others in the future. Through this journey, I have realized that your own self-esteem and self-talk places us on the path we are meant to be on. Stay positive and speak kindly and the impact will be rewarding.
Thank you to all the teachers at MBFY for helping and inspiring me to find the person I am today.
We appreciate Taylor for who she is and for what she shared.
What stood out the most for you in Taylor’s journey? Please share it below to let Taylor know you appreciated her story.
What is this Pose About?
*If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.
This is a forearm balancing pose that stretches your hamstrings and more. The resulting shape is a deep opening through the arms, upper back, abdominals and inner thighs. Watch Taylor 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.
- Begin seated in Dandasana (Stick Pose), with both legs extended out in front of you.
- Bend your right knee into your chest, then bring your right arm to the inside of your bent right leg. Take a hold of your right foot or ankle with both hands and begin to snuggle the underside of your right knee behind your right shoulder, as if you’re pulling on the strap of a backpack. Hook your right leg as firmly behind the right shoulder as you can.
- Keeping the calf of the right leg hugging firmly behind the right shoulder, place your palms down on either side of your hips. Spread the fingers wide, keep the chest lifted and the collarbone as broad as you can.
- Maintaining the hug of the right leg around the shoulder and the palms planted on the ground, pick up the left leg and lightly cross your left ankle over your right.
- Begin to bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle and extend the heart forward as if you are moving into Chaturanga (elbows over wrists). Keep the legs squeezing firmly and extend them as straight as you can.
- Note the tendency for the left shoulder to collapse here, and keep both shoulder heads lifted and level with one another. Stay here for 3-5 full breaths, then gently lift the torso, straighten the arms, and set your bottom back down on the ground to come out of the pose. Whenever you feel ready, repeat on the other side.
- Strengthens your arms and upper back
- Tones your abdominals and inner thighs
- Stretches your hamstrings
Avoid this posture if you have:
- Any wrist, elbow, or shoulder injuries
Enlist the help of an experienced instructor with Triangle Pose if this is your first time trying it.
Have you tried this pose before? What has been your experience?