Mind Body Flow Yoga’s Very Own Mariella Mikienis and Her Life-Changing Experience with Yoga
Health is a gift. Yoga is something that ties in all aspects of health: spiritual, mental and physical. It came to me at the perfect time in my life. I started having issues managing stress and I was having a hard time staying motivated to go to the gym.
After years of going to the gym and seeing limited results, I got to the point in my life where it became very unfulfilling. I started to feel that it was a waste of time. With two small kids and having a law practice with my husband, time is something that was very precious to me.
I started taking yoga classes at a few different studios in the area. The classes were fine, but they were not drawing me back. I was driving down Transit one day and I noticed the Mind Body Flow Yoga sign. I called, left a message, and Marina called me back right away. I went to the studio a few days later and Marina was so welcoming and kind. I had only taken about three yoga classes before that and her class was very intense, but I loved it. I went home and told my husband, “I cannot believe it, but I actually loved the class.” At that point in my life, hearing someone who was so positive and passionate about yoga and its benefits was transforming.
One of the hardest obstacles that I have had with yoga is with being a YES. I am so not a YES person by nature. I am the maybe later, not know, maybe someday kind of person. When Marina asked me to be the featured student, my immediate response was, “Thanks, but maybe in a few months.” She persisted and one thing that she said to me really stuck, “What will be so different in a few months?” I thought about her statement and honestly did not have a good answer. So, I said YES and here I am.
Yoga is not just holding poses, it is so much more. It has provided me with the tools I needed to manage stress and has motivated me to be a healthier person in all aspects of my life.
Leave a comment below. What breakthroughs have you experienced in your yoga journey? What initially held you back?
What’s Mariella’s Pose About?
This is a pose, which strengthens the legs and the back. The resulting shape is a deep opening and stretch in these areas, as well as the inner thighs, hamstrings, calves, spine, shoulders, chest, and hips. Watch Mariella 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.
- Stand with your feet wide apart, about the length of your leg.
- Turn your right foot about 90 degrees to the right, and the turn the left foot in about 45 degrees towards the right.
- Distribute weight evenly over the four corners of the feet, lift arches and ankles up.
- Legs straight, lift knee caps and draw top of thighs up and back, roll right thigh out so the right knee is in line with first two toes, press the top of your left thigh back.
- Lengthen through all four sides of the waist, inhale and lift your arms parallel to the floor, extend through to the fingertips as you exhale.
- Inhale and extend your body over your right leg, shift your hips towards the back of the mat and exhale as you bring your right arm down placing your hand there where it ends up, on the leg, block or on the floor outside the foot.
- Left arm straight up to the ceiling, hand in line with your shoulder.
- Keep as much length in the left side waist as in the right, spiral your heart to the ceiling.
- Lengthen through the sides of the neck, keeping your neck in line with spine. Look straight in front of you, or look up toward your left hand.
- Keep your face relaxed and breathe gently as you keep extending through fingertips and lengthening through the crown of the head, for 3-5 breaths.
- To come out press your feet into the floor, inhale and reach your left arm up to the ceiling as you come back to standing straight.
- Pivot your heels so you reverse the orientation of your feet to the other side and repeat on the left.
- Strengthens the legs and back.
- Strengthens inner thighs, hamstrings, calves, spine, shoulders, chest, and opens hips.
- Helps to relieve back pain.
- Energizes, balances and focuses you.
- Stimulates abdominal organs.
- Relieves stress.
- Can help with anxiety and sciatica.
- Don’t rest your hand on your knee – if you are finding this pose difficult, as this creates too much pressure on the knee.
- Avoid this pose if you suffer from headaches, low blood pressure or diarrhea.
- If you have neck problems – do not look up – keep the gaze straight ahead or look down to the floor.
How has your yoga practice changed your life? What initially held you back?