It’s Wellness Wednesday and today I’m featuring a Wellness Expert-
I met Natalie at the Success Summit that I hosted back in February. In my opinion, she stood out from the crowd. She’s young, she’s ambitious and she’s making a living doing what she loves. I was inspired and I wanted Natalie to inspire you as well so I’ve asked her to answer a few questions.
1) Tell me a little bit about yourself:
I am a passionate advocate for holistic health. As a yoga therapist and teacher, I believe that yoga practices should be accessible to everyone and teach in a way that supports and empowers individuals to facilitate their own process of healing. I am the founder of Sacred Mountain Yoga, which provides yoga therapy, corporate wellness programs, workshops, seminars around the GTA and online training.
My journey with yoga started after a traumatic car accident that left me suffering in pain. This practice has helped me rebuild my life physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I’ve been called to share my story in an upcoming book called Empowering Women to Succeed: From Burnout to Victory. It will be released on Amazon in May 2016!
As a person who has recovered from depression, trauma and chronic pain, I strongly believe that even in dark times there is still hope for a better future.
2) What is the thing you love the most about Yoga?
What I love most about yoga is how adaptable it is. The lineage that I study from believes that yoga should be accessible to everyone. As the founder, T.Krishnamacharya, once said, “If you can breathe you can do yoga.” That is what I believe and it’s how I teach. As a yoga therapist I work with people who are suffering from various illness and injuries who can’t “do” conventional yoga. So I design specific practices for them and work with where they are at and where they want to go. I’ve worked with people who have neurological disorders, heart conditions, chronic pain and mental illnesses, to name a few, and each practice is so uniquely tailored for each person.
3) What is your favourite Yoga Pose?
Postures are practiced to serve a specific function so I don’t really have a “favourite” per se, but I do enjoy the challenge of balance poses. One that I practice a lot is dancer’s pose. I just love how it feels!
4) Any tips for someone who might just be getting into Yoga?
Yes! Lots of tips!
- If you decide to go to a group class, make sure you try different styles and teachers to see what works best for you.
- If you have specific ailments or injuries it’s best to see a yoga therapist or experienced teacher one-on-one to make sure you have a safe and appropriate practice.
- Don’t give up after a few classes! Give yourself at least a month or two for your body and mind to adjust to a new pattern.
5) Where can someone take your classes?
I teach many group and private classes around the GTA, including the Integrative Health Institute, the YogaLoft and The Yoga Light Studio. I also provide on-site yoga for different businesses. My schedule is updated monthly on my website. (www.smyoga.ca)
6) Your #1 Yoga Tip?
Just Breathe! Focus on your breath; let it guide you in and out of your postures. It is the most important part of yoga. The benefits will happen with consistent practice and patience. Make it apart of your lifestyle.
7) Do you encourage Yoga at home?
Yes and no. I don’t encourage people who are just starting in yoga to use videos because there is risk of injury and doing a practice that is not suitable for them. However, home practices are very beneficial when they are customized for the individual practicing, taking into consideration their age, mobility level, lifestyle, time of day, energy level, job etc. I design home practices for all of my students. It is essential for keeping oneself independently healthy and mobile.
8) Your favourite song right now?
Right now, I love Fade Out Lines by The Avener.
9) Your favourite thing to drink?
Hot/warm water. I drink it pretty much all day everyday!
10) Your ‘go to’ healthy snack?
I enjoy fruit and nut butters. When I get hungry between classes or meals I like to take a pear or apple, slice it and dip it into nut butters! My favourites are cashew and macadamia nut as well as sesame seed butter.
Thank you so much for answering all of my questions Natalie!