Please meet Jan Fuller. She is Mind Body Flow Yoga’s featured student for this month’s newsletter. Jan has an inspiring yoga practice and was generous in sharing it with us, as she demonstrates garland pose (Malasana).
Mind Body Flow Yoga’s Very Own Jan Fuller
My yoga journey began two years ago with my best friend and yoga mate, Diana. Diana had been training out of another gym and was also taking a yoga class there. We are avid walkers, but during the colder months, we had a void, so she asked me to join her in some yoga sessions. Due to schedule changes, she thought it was time to find a new yoga home. Diana researched studio options and we found ourselves at Mind Body Flow Yoga one night, to inquire about schedules, etc. We decided on the introductory special, and with that first night, ending with that luscious lavender cold cloth, we were hooked.
I have worked out a lot in my life, and the years of running, aerobics classes, and weight-lifting has taken a toll on my joints. And the thought of going into another gym with just a bunch of faces and muscles isn’t for me anymore. What I got with yoga was a fantastic workout, but without the pain (well, maybe just a few old aches), a time to focus on me and the chance to be part of a wonderful community. And what I love best is that hugging and laughing are totally allowed and encouraged; even when at the end of class we tend to be a sweaty mess! There are nights that the 75 minutes have flown by, pushing ourselves beyond what we imagined. We are there for one another…supporting, learning, sharing and filling our hearts as well as our minds.
We are there for one another…supporting, learning, sharing and filling our hearts as well as our minds.
I owe a very special thank you to Marina who invited my son to play for a Saturday session in the park this summer. Not only was the outdoor experience unimaginable, but to hear my son perform during the class was just an awesome experience – pride bursts in the heart of the lioness. To be able to look at a clear blue sky and hear the wind and melodies as your body moves and your mind finds a place of peace, like no other spot in the world. My baby left for college this past week, and I, along with a few other moms in the same boat, found our peace on the mat.
…but to hear my son perform during the class was just an awesome experience – pride bursts in the heart of the lioness.
For the past 23 years, I have focused my life on work and my family; I have always had a tendency to put myself last. As time was ticking away towards my second child going on his own journey, I found that yoga gave me an outlet to prepare myself for this next phase of my life and was time just for me. How many times have I heard this, this past year during yoga practice – “this is your time, it isn’t about anyone else; focus on you and be present.” That was hard for me to do at first, but the MBFY team let me know it was ok – and it really was ok. And I find that the only time my mind is truly not whirling around the 100 things I am distracted by, is when I am on my mat. The mat is our own magical place – a place to work, a place to be present, a place of peace, a place to shed a few tears, and a place that we share more common of a bond than we could possibly imagine.
And I find that the only time my mind is truly not whirling around the 100 things I am distracted by, is when I am on my mat.
On August 31st, I celebrate my 60th birthday, at yoga, with my best friend and the community of friends we have made at Mind Body Flow Yoga, possibly in the best shape I have been in ten years – both mentally and physically. When I first started at MBFY, I would look around the studio and think how many in the class were young enough to be my children.
I focused on age as a number, not on how I actually felt. Yoga has helped to push the number out and replace it with a renewed youth in my heart, mind and body. So Wednesday, I will celebrate this renewed youth with the MBFY community of friends.
…I celebrate my 60th birthday…possibly in the best shape I have been in ten years – both mentally and physically.
And yes, we still go to Foundation Flow every Wednesday – because we love how patient Carrie is (even with our strange requests) – and no one loves to laugh more than Carrie. To Becca – the warmest and kindest soul on the planet – a big hug, and yes, we can smile through all of our challenges. And to all the other instructors who are there because yoga is their passion and it shows – thank you. To my best buddy, Diana, you support me more than you will ever know and thank you for encouraging me to try yoga. And finally to Marina– thank you for giving us such a generous gift, which we know is mostly possible because of the support you receive from your beautiful family. You are the light, and you have found the light in each and every one of us.
With love –
Leave a comment below. What stood out to you in the testimonial? What significant experience have you had in your yoga journey?
What is this Pose About?
This is a grounded pose. The resulting shape is a deep opening through the hips and groin. Watch Jan 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 Garland Pose (Malasana)
- Squat with your feet hip-width distance or a bit further apart. (Keep your heels on the floor if you can; otherwise, support them on a folded mat.)
- Separate your thighs slightly wider than your torso. Lean your torso forward and fit it snugly between your thighs.
- Press your elbows against your inner knees, bringing your palms to together at heart center, and resist the knees into the elbows. This will help lengthen your front torso.
- Instead of letting the weight bear down on your arms, keep the triceps engaged by pushing them into the knees to resist the weight. This will help you keep the shoulders lifted as well.
- Take a deep breath in and lift your knees off the triceps. Lift the hips up as the thighs draw tight to the chest. Stay as compact as possible to help your center of gravity and core engage.
- Hold the position for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then inhale, straighten the knees, and stand into Uttanasana (forward bend).
- Opens the hips and groin
- Stretches the ankles, lower hamstrings, back and neck
- Tones the abdominals
- Aids in digestion
- Strengthens your metabolism
- Keeps your pelvic and hip joints healthy
- Ideal for prenatal yoga
- Do not practice this pose if you a recent or chronic low back or knee injury. Always work within your own range of limits and abilities.
Have you tried this pose before? What has been your experience?