Please meet Stephanie Levy. She is Mind Body Flow Yoga’s featured student for this month’s newsletter. Stephanie 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 Stephanie Levy and Her Life-Changing Experience with Yoga
I started practicing yoga at the encouragement of a friend a little over 2 years ago. As I sat down on my mat for the first time, she turned to me and said, “If you feel like you’re going to throw up, just step outside for a minute.”
“If you feel like you’re going to throw up, just step outside for a minute.”
As my jaw dropped and I wondered what on earth I had signed up for, class started. After 75 minutes of confusion, bobbing my head around to see what postures such as Warrior II and Crescent Lunge were, I was completely hooked. And I’ve been practicing regularly ever since.
One of my favorite things about yoga is what I like to call “the chatter.” And no one is better at the chatter then Marina. The chatter is her voice throughout the class; leading postures, sequences. But, it is so much more.
It’s therapy, a friend, a support system. Reminding me to strip away all the nonsense in my life and to find the simpler things that make me happy. She tells us for an hour that it’s ok to fall, it’s ok to rest and it’s ok to take a chance and be a yes.
When so much of our lives are based on unrealistic expectations of motherhood, our bodies, etc., being told that it’s ok to just be me was amazing. It released a weight I didn’t even realize I had been carrying and reminded me of my own confidence and strength that had somehow gotten lost in the shuffle.
It released a weight I didn’t even realize I had been carrying and reminded me of my own confidence and strength that had somehow gotten lost in the shuffle.
Yoga’s moving meditation is what has allowed me to find a sense of peace in my head, where there was so much turmoil from life’s daily stresses.
I’ve learned to be confident in my choices and to let go of my mistakes; letting go of the past and future worries and just being present.
I still have plenty of days of worrying, but I know that at the very least, I can hit my mat, refocus my thoughts and hopefully find a better outlook on those worries when I’m done with my practice.
I know that at the very least, I can hit my mat, refocus my thoughts and hopefully find a better outlook
Lastly, it’s the community that draws me to practice. Being a stay at home mom definitely is a privilege that I don’t take lightly, but at times can be a little monotonous and lonely.
When I walk into Mind Body Flow Yoga, I feel like I’ve come home. Marina and her community provide encouragement and support through my days when I’m spot on with my practice and days when I’m not.
The fellow yogis aren’t there to ever judge, but just there to practice like me.
It’s a really interesting journey and funny at times. When I first did headstand, I felt like superwoman, but then other days I am flopping all over the place. But, I haven’t once gotten discouraged. If I fall, I get back up.
It’s a really interesting journey and funny at times. When I first did headstand, I felt like superwoman, but then other days I am flopping all over the place.
If I need to take a breather, I do. I never feel like I’m not good enough, because yoga has taught me that I am. And that’s a pretty great attitude to have.
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 standing, yet grounding pose. The resulting shape is a deep opening through the chest, shoulders, and upper back. Watch Martha 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 Revolved Chair Pose (Parivrtta Utkatasana)
- Begin in utkatasana
- Set your feet to parallel with your big toes touching and your heels slightly apart, bend your knees deeply, and lift your arms up above your head
- Bring your hands in front of your chest in prayer
- 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
- Press both hands into each other for additional stability
- Look down, if one of your knees is ahead of the other, pull that leg back into your hip socket. Otherwise, your knees should be just above your ankles
- Take a deep inhale, look beyond the tips of your fingers, down, to the side, or up
- As you exhale, draw your shoulder blades together and further down your back
- Hold and breathe for 3-5 breaths
- Optional is to lift your arms, with your left fingertips pressed into the ground and your right arm directly above your shoulder (as Martha is demonstrating)
- To exit, exhale out of the twist and inhale out of chair. Repeat on the other side.
- Strengthens the hips, the front of your thighs, your inner thighs and glutes
- Strengthens and stretches your calf muscles
- Opens the chest, shoulders, and upper back
- Stimulates your abdominal muscles
- If you have low back pain, only go as deep into the pose as you can while still maintaining your natural lumbar curve. Stop before your low back flattens or rounds backwards. Continue to suck the pit of your belly in, to support your spine.
- If you have a shoulder injury, only move within your pain-free range and keep the arms shoulder width apart.
- If you have neck pain or dizziness, do not look up towards the hands. Look straight ahead instead.
- Have you tried this pose before? What has been your experience?
Have you tried this pose before? What has been your experience?