This is Nandib’s second go around for Yogi Selects …. It had been so long we both forgot about the first Q&A. Everything works in cycles so she is back answering questions that will give you more insight into her practice.
When was the moment you realized you were going to do yoga forever?
It was during finals week of my last semester of college. A week and a half of non-stop studying went by and yoga was the last thing on my mind. I began to feel overwhelmed, physically drained and mentally exhausted. There were a few days before my last final and I decided to force myself onto the mat to practice for a few minutes. A few minutes turned into an hour of practice and meditation by the lake. It was in that moment of peace that I knew I had to implement yoga in my daily practice. That feeling of inner bliss was incomparable. I promised to treat myself to that piece of peace everyday.
Why Is the connection between diet and yoga important to acknowledge?
The two go hand-in-hand. In order to perform optimally, we must fuel our body properly. That means that we must become conscious of the things we put into our body and how they make us feel just like we do in yoga. When I eat well, I feel well. When I practice yoga, I feel well. Yoga is a form of self-care and our diet should reflect the same.
How can fasting help your yoga practice? Good question!Just a few years ago I could not understand why anyone would stop eating, other than for religious reasons. I’ve grown and done my research since then and found that fasting is the perfect way to reboot the body, give the digestive system a break, boost the immune system, and help improve focus. The ability to focus longer comes in handy when I am on the mat working on deep stretches or a meditation. I find that I am able to clear my mind a lot quicker and tune into my breathing. Yoga and fasting aid us in spiritual, physical, and mental wellness which is the essential goal of a yoga practice, right?
What benefits can working out have on your yoga practice and vice versa.
Cardio is the perfect way to build stamina for those hour long yoga classes. Lifting and using resistance during exercise helps build strength which makes getting into those inversion and forearm stands significantly easier. AND Abdominal strength is a major key! I used to wonder how the yogis on the cover of magazines would get into those mesmerizing handstands with their legs going every which way. After several failed attempts to emulate the greats, I learned that it’s all in the abs. Now I do ab work everyday and I see a major improvement in my ability to lift my body and maintain inversions.
Vice versa, yoga benefits my gym routine by keeping me limber and my muscle ready for action. I tend to start every workout with 5-10 minutes of stretching and I feel a lot more prepared to hit the ground running then when I do not. Stretching is also a great way to keep the muscles lean.
Which parts of yourself has yoga help you build as well as discard?
This might be my favorite question so far. Yoga has taught me numerous life lessons.
My practice has sharpened my awareness. I am proud to say I am a beast at identifying my weakness, working on them, and turning them into strengths.
Over the years, I have learned to let go of the parts of me that wanted to be a people pleaser, quiet when I want to express myself, anxious, and pessimistic.
On the contrary, I have learned to embrace my natural leadership skills, passion to motivate others, speak the honest truth, let go of things that do not serve a purpose in my life. Most recently I have learned the importance of being able to say no when I feel like I am spreading myself too thin.
I noticed the ankh in your background.. Are you familiar with “ankhing” your energy during meditation if so feel free to share your experience
I am not familiar with the term, but I did my research and it’s something I may add to my practice!
Have you ever had any yoga related dreams or mystical experiences during meditation?
I have yoga dreams all the time:) My practice is goal based meaning that I set the intention to master a particular pose and I practice until I get it. There have been several times where I have dreamt that I got into a pose that I was currently working towards. The dreams tend to be very vivid. I can feel the sensation of the mat under my body, the stretch of muscles and what it’s like to get into that pose. I recently had a dream that made me realize I was attempting to get into a pose the wrong way. I woke up from my sleep headed to mat, tried the way I did it in my dream and it worked!
I haven’t had any mystical experiences during meditation yet. I hope to experience one soon though.
How can yoga helped soon to be mothers going through pregnancy?
Yoga is a great way for moms to prepare for birth. Class can help relief some of the pregnancy discomforts like back pain, hip pain, swelling of the feet, and fatigue. Moms can also use yoga to begin to build strength in the pelvic area and abdominal muscles, which will make labor a little easier.
Most importantly, yoga helps soon-to-be moms channel their inner peace. Like a lamaze class, yoga will give mom a step-by-step guide to stay calm during the challenges of labor and focus on giving birth to a healthy baby.
Have you found your knowledge as a yoga instructor carries over into your doula practice ?
Most definitely. I find myself using the same tone and similar phrases in teaching yoga and coaching labor. They both are sacred times and should be treated as such. I use my knowledge of how moving the body can affect the way one feels and use that when creating comfort measure for mom.