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Urban Ashtangi : Lourdes Avenir

Lourdes completed Yoga teacher's training

An incidental yogi, Lourdes’ passion for the practice grew overtime with practice, self-exploration and a few sabbaticals in between. Her practical and honest approach to the practice is commendable because it is truly about consistency and sustainability.

1. How did you first discover yoga and what motivated you to start practicing?

I discovered yoga in a gym. However, practice became regular only years later. The initial motivation was exercise. Awareness and appreciation of the meditative aspect of yoga came with consistency in practice and yoga teacher training (YTT).

2. Can you share some of the key benefits you’ve experienced from your yoga practice, both physically and mentally?

Yoga, specifically Ashtanga Mysore, created a routine at a time when my days lacked one. It created focus and instilled discipline and commitment. Yoga has further taught me to be mindful of others’ concerns and experiences. Hence, I’m a little less dismissive these days. Physically, yoga has made me stronger, yet the practice also emphasizes mindfulness – to manage one’s energy and prioritize consistency.

3. In what ways has yoga influenced your overall lifestyle, including diet, sleep, and other wellness practices?

Through yoga, I was introduced to various wellness practices, such as ayurvedic massages and crystal bowl sound therapy, which I attend as often as possible. Diet-wise, I am no longer as strict or restrictive and manage my meals and snacks better throughout the week.

4. What challenges have you faced in your yoga journey and how have you overcome them?

Ashtanga practice felt stale and stagnant at one point, a burden, and an errand to get through. I took a break for a few months and eventually started again for no real reason. With friends, I explored different mediums of practice (e.g. Online Mysore, shalas) and different shalas and found teachers who were kind, funny and helpful.

5. How do you maintain consistency in your yoga practice amidst a busy schedule and life’s demands?

Integrating my yoga practice with other aspects of my day and life has helped with consistency. There are days where practice doesn’t happen, or only half of the sequence is done, and days on end where the practice is uninterrupted. Accepting interruptions and little inconsistencies makes yoga practice, especially Ashtanga Mysore, more sustainable.

6. What advice do you have for individuals who are new to yoga or considering starting their yoga journey?

Explore different types and varieties of yoga. Each yoga type, each class attended, and each instructor provides a different experience and perspective, one would do well to be open-minded.

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