The first thing that comes to mind when I think of SourpatchT is spunkiness, being thoughtful and funny with a splash of spontaneity. With that being said we had to send a few fun questions her way and learn more about the curious case of SourPatch Tereny!
Outside of yoga what do you practice just as consistently?
It’s hard to pinpoint it to just one thing. I like to try different things all the time. I mostly focus on craft projects with a heavy focus on jewelry making. I find it to be relatively meditative depending on the project. I once dreamed of making handmade jewelry my “career” but the last project I did for commission was for a wedding party and the experience was so horrific that it changed my perspective and made me realize that I only want to make jewelry as a healing practice for myself and either keep the results for myself or gift them to others for their own healing, fashion, or whatever they choose to use it for. Lately, I’ve been trying to learn how to knit and sew…those aren’t going so well.
How can yoga be used as a method to recover from physical or emotional pain? If you can give us one “personal ” experience of each
Oh man, I’ve got more than one personal example of how yoga has helped heal my mind and body. I’m a walking risk. I trip over air. Physical recovery is just as complex as mental and emotional recovery, in my opinion. When I started yoga, it was an attempt to regain some emotional balance after unknowingly dealing with depression and anxiety for years (and still working through it). That was my desire, to work on getting my mind right. It wasn’t until about a year into regularly practicing I started to notice that my body felt better. I’ve had several back injuries from cheerleading and a couple of car accidents, knee injuries from being a putz, weak ankles, shoulder problems, the list goes on.
I believe that if you stay committed to your practice, put forth an effort while on (and off of) your mat the benefits of yoga will flow through non-stop. I still find myself sliding into old frames of thought, or twisting my ankle on a crack in the sidewalk. The only difference is now I know what to do to get back to a place that is less painful and destructive and move toward healing.
Can having false/misguided expectations be beneficial? Why or why not
I think it can be. Every experience is one you can learn from. So going into something with specific expectations or thoughts is fine as long as you’re open-minded enough to soak in new information and maybe even change your own perspective. I came into yoga not knowing much about it besides it made you feel relaxed. Looking back at that moment, I was so naïve! I was limited in my knowledge of just how much yoga affects your whole existence. Had I gone into those first few classes thinking I knew everything about yoga and because I was a cheerleader I could bend a little easier and maybe get a handstand and that was that, you can’t change my mind…I would have been doing myself a huge disservice and probably would have gotten injured. Being open to allow the experience to mold you is where having false/misguided/ego-centric expectations will be beneficial. If a person carries those expectations with no intention of ever opening themselves up to the experience, they’re definitely going to close themselves off to so much knowledge and wealth of life.
I noticed you typically do yoga solo dolo, what are some of benefits of being comfortable with practicing alone vs feeling the need to be in a classroom setting consistently?
As much as I love my new yoga home in Texas, I have always enjoyed practicing alone because I’m an easily distracted person. Blocking distractions is on a very long list of things I am working on for self-improvement. I also shy away from larger crowds or groups of strangers because it makes me nervous, then I stutter, then that makes me even more anxious and I’m ready to go back home again. When I’m at home alone I’m able to do what I want or don’t want on my mat, play the music that I want, move however I feel without others distracting me or me being a distraction to others. We’re all guilty of surveying the room mid-asana, checking out that super advanced yogi and wishing that you could get your leg behind your head like that. However, when people ask what they need to do to start a yoga practice, I’ll always suggest taking a class. To me, having the guidance of a teacher is much more reassuring than just picking up some books or finding some random YouTube video and throwing your body into asanas without any hands-on help. Being an accident prone person, I like going to a class when I’m working on something new or learning a new style of yoga because I don’t know what I’m doing and I have no problem asking for help. But once I feel comfortable enough with it I’ll experiment more at home.
I say all that to basically make the point that practicing alone can be hella dope, but so can a studio class. Which means I need to really start making this home/studio mashup dream a reality. I mean…who doesn’t want to live in their own personal yoga studio?
Mala “jewelry” can be worn as such but it is also a tool. How do you utilize your tigers eye mala and haven you experienced anything hard to explain with it during meditation?
I have a confession to make; I am the worst at meditation. I can’t seem to find that sweet spot no matter how many times I practice. I’m either too distracted or so deep that I fall asleep. Finding that place in between has been a struggle for me over the last 3 years I’ve been practicing. It wasn’t until I was told that my asana practice can be a form of meditation, too. Hence the wearing of my malas throughout asana practice. I started out using malas for japa meditation, but even with the addition of counting the beads and chanting I would still fall asleep.
Since I’m such a big fan of jewelry, I’ve been studying stones/gems and trying to understand their properties. I’ve always been drawn to tiger’s eye based on visual appeal alone. Each stone is uniquely different and so complex. Once finding out that the stone can be used to manifest strength, I knew it was my favorite because I don’t always feel like a very strong person. For me, wearing my malas while practicing (or all of the time) helps me recognize my inner strength. I have a hard time noticing that it is there alone but I feel the tiger’s eye helps bring it forward more to get me through each sequence. That’s probably also the hardest thing to explain about it. I don’t question why I suddenly feel more capable with my beads than without, but I just do. It’s hard for me to practice without them on.
If you were a yoga teacher at Hogwarts what abilities would your yoga sequence/spells be good for?
BEST QUESTION EVER! I feel like my class would coincide with Defense Against the Dark Arts classes. I use yoga as a way to battle my own personal dementors and hope to share that same principle with my students. Creating our own internal Patronus to protect ourselves from ourselves AND outside forces at the same time. But I guess you would need a bit of Occlumency for that, too.
Yep, it would definitely be more Occlumency. So, maybe it could be framed as a Defense Against the Dark Arts elective course. Occlumency Yoga. Oh yeah. Now I REALLY wish I were at Hogwarts! 😀
Have you had any yoga related dreams or experiences that are not so easy to put in words?
I sometimes get this very light, out-of-body sensation when I’m moving through a sequence. Almost like I’m hovering over myself but still tethered to my physical form. It isn’t like I’m hovering over myself watching my body, but like I’m still IN my body but all the “heaviness” is suddenly gone and my body feels like it could take flight at any moment but I’m still right there with my body. If that made any sense!
Of course there’s the gallons of tears I’ve shed while practicing. I never know exactly what those tears are for, but for whatever reason they needed to be released at that moment and I just let them flow.
Oh yeah there’s always the handstand dreams. I’m on a mission to get it, dammit!
Is it more beneficial to be vegan or vegetarian while practicing yoga or does it even make a difference at all?
Although what you put into your body is extremely important for health and vitality, I don’t believe that you have to be vegan or vegetarian in order to have an effective yoga practice. However, WHEN you eat bears more importance to me when it comes to practicing yoga. It’s all about awareness. If you know you plan to practice in the evening, it probably isn’t the best idea to have a big lunch. Practicing on a full stomach generally doesn’t feel good. I’ve never known any moderate to rigorous physical activity to feel good on a full stomach.
I became mostly vegetarian because I was diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (big words for chronic acid reflux, basically). This was before I even knew that many yoga practitioners had largely plant-based diets. However, when I changed my diet, it changed my practice. I felt stronger, more balanced, and more energized. Again, it was all about being aware of what I feed my body and when I fuel up.
What was your first memory in existence?
I’m uncertain of the timeline, but I think my first few memories all run together in my mind like a movie montage with no real indication of which occurred first. The one that stands out the most is of a toddler version of me playing with some dirt/sand near some concrete stairs at my grandma’s house and my mother scolding me to stop playing in it. I don’t show this side often, but I still like playing with sand and dirt. I’m a texture weirdo. I like to feel things. HAHA!
Is there anything else you would like to say to the readers of infocus247.com
When things start to seem overwhelming or too much, remember that your existence alone is a marvel. This universe is infinite yet somehow we are here, alive, sentient, and just plain amazing. Don’t sweat the tribulations so much and just remember how dope it is that we are even here at all
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