Up Next for Yogini Moments is the spontaneous spunky, flexible, gorgeous Artist / Yogini CheekieBee 😀 I noticed her painting skills first and that led me into becoming more interested in her yoga practice. I lined up a few questions to see what we could learn. Check it out below.
What was your perception of yoga before you began practicing?
I thought it was something people did to relax or de-stress. It seemed like something you would do if you weren’t able to work out due to injury, endurance or health issues. Obviously I was terribly wrong. Yoga is tough!
Did you ever see yourself becoming a person that practices yoga?
Not at all. I worked out a lot. I saw myself being a gym rat maybe. Protein shakes, two-a-days, P90X and Insanity. Work out queen? Possibly. Yogi? Not at all!
What similarities do you see between art and yoga?
There are so many similarities! Just watching someone do yoga is like studying a piece of art for me. Lines made with arms and legs, symmetry and composition, the way the muscles move under skin in transition between postures, the grace of movement, the focus on faces; there is so much to study and appreciate. It’s very beautiful and powerful. Practicing is a lot like creating art as well. Every posture has a rooting point and an extension point: rooting through the feet, hands, or sits bones, extending through the crown of the head, heart, arms or legs. Your eyes follow the flow of composition as you look at art, the same way you focus on the flow of energy as you practice.
What is the best part of practicing for you?
Breathing is the best part of practice for me. I started practicing asana to see what my body could do, but since I’ve started a serious pranayama practice, my practice has taken a complete spiritual shift. I completely lose myself because I am focused on and guided by breathing. I don’t think of anything else during practice except what my body is doing. I create this blissful, blank space during my day where I do nothing but feel and notice nothing but myself and my body.
How did you find out about yoga?
I actually did yoga while doing P90X. It was my favorite part of the program because it was the toughest. I couldn’t get the breathing down at all. I actually got light headed a few times holding my breath attempting to inhale and exhale when I was supposed to. That was my introduction. I found out about all the possibilities of yoga through Instagram. So in short, joining IG changed my life!
Do you think yoga is a fitness workout or a spiritual practice?
It is of course both. I think it starts as a fitness workout for most people, including myself, and merges into a spiritual practice. When someone asks me if I work out often, I don’t think about the answer and respond with a quick no. I need to stop doing this because I do technically work out, but I don’t consider my practice a workout at all. I sit on my mat, and I offer my practice to God before I start. My practice has made me a better person. I am calmer and more mindful of my words and actions. I am kinder to myself and others.
Have you had any yoga related dreams?
I actually rarely remember my dreams, so if I have, I cannot recall!
If there was one person that you would want to try yoga who would it be?
I would definitely want my little sister to start doing yoga. I think she’s absolutely beautiful, but I wish she would see herself the way I see her. I hate to see her sad, which is just too often. I’d like her to get the same benefits of self-awareness, self-love, and acceptance as I do.
Do you feel there is enough diversity in the mainstream yoga community?
I feel like there is always more room for more diversity in anything. On social media and in magazines, more often than not, you’ll see a cute little white woman who has been practicing yoga for most of her life doing something awesome with a smile on her face. I think this is what most people see when they think of yoga. However, the yoga community itself is such a beautiful, inspiring, diverse group of colors, sexes, ages, ethnicities and cultures and it continues to grow. And the best part about this is you do not have to do a bunch of searching past the mainstream big names to find it! I am happy to see that even though mainstream yoga is not as diverse as I would like it, it isn’t a deterrent for anyone to try.
Where do you think you would be in life without yoga?
I know I would be very depressed and stressed out. I started my yoga practice after I graduated from graduate school. I had no job prospects yet and I had to start paying my student loans soon. I was back at my childhood home and felt miserable and disappointed in myself. In almost two years of practice, I have started a new career, moved to a new city, ended a relationship, lost a dear, dear friend suddenly to heart disease, and lost myself through all of this. Through yoga, I was able to pull myself up through some pretty rough times. I can’t exactly say where I would be without yoga, but I know that place would have been very dark.
What is the strangest place you found yourself doing yoga?
I used to take the #stopdropandyoga tag so seriously! The strangest place I’ve done yoga is in a Kroger organic and health aisle, in a skirt and button up, with my phone propped up against a stack of bread. Folks were looking at me sideways!
Buahahaha so @simply_lydie tagged me for #stopdropandyoga. I was in the parking lot of Michaels when I looked at my phone. Allow me to be silly for a minute and parson that singing #donttakemeseriously #youcanttakemeanywhere I now tag @nickbrookewhistler @erinromar and @fitnewkemmi if you would like to play! #fancy
Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers of infocus247.com?
Yoga is for everybody! Give it try! You don’t need to be able to drop into a split or fancy leggings or high tech mats or a certain body type to start a practice. It can do nothing but benefit you. Also, treat yourself like you love yourself!
Thank you for giving me an opportunity to think about my life a bit and to open up to you. I greatly appreciate it! Namaste.