We are so pleased to share a student reflection from Carol. She has been practicing consistently and a monthly renew member for over 2 years at In Fine Feather Yoga. Our whole community is so grateful for Carol’s energy and kind words. She is a shining light and brings us so much joy, not to mention the incredible growth in all facets that she has experienced on her mat. If any of Carol’s story relates to you, take these golden nuggets of wisdom from her and know that consistency to your mat really is key.
When I retired I was determined to remain active and to look after my health but I did not enjoy the gym environment and the occasional exercise class was not enough. It took a little courage to enter In Fine Feather Yoga the first time because I had never been in a yoga studio before and I fully expected to feel like the elderly aunt at a bachelorette. I could not have been more wrong! Becoming an auto-renew member of In Fine Feather Yoga was one of the best decisions I have ever made and I have benefited from that decision in many ways.
Past Challenges & Injuries
Because of past injuries and scoliosis of my shoulder which is worsening with age, I began with chair yoga. It wasn't long before the pain in my shoulder subsided and I now have better range of motion, not only in my shoulder but also in my hips. When I added gentle and intro classes to my practice I continued to feel physically stronger. My balance and my posture is improving too. In fact, the nurse at my doctor's office asked me how I was managing not to shrink in height, and my massage therapist has commented on the muscle definition in my arms and shoulders. A past hip injury had me believing that I would never be able to sit cross legged, and sometimes I am still not able, but more and more often with the use of a bolster I can sit comfortably for short periods of time. That is one of the challenges I am continuing to work on. I love the way yoga challenges me, and I am learning to be patient and gentle with the challenges.
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is providing me with tools to quiet self doubt, and to deal with social anxiety and chronic depression. I seldom feel the heavy weight on my chest and the tightening restriction that often used to make it impossible for me to breathe deeply when I was feeling stressed and panicked. I now use my breath to manage anxiety, rather than letting anxiety restrict my breathing. Controlling the panic allows me to remain calm and handle difficult situations without over-reacting.
A yoga practice is not only physical - it is also an inner journey, a spiritual journey that nourishes the soul. I am becoming more meditative and better able to live in the moment appreciating people and my surroundings. I am now more able to resist negative energy, and calm my own frustration and anger. I have learned how to use a mala, have made my own mala and it has become an essential practice in my journey to a better spiritual awareness. I feel supported by yoga and that enables me to offer my support to others.
When I retired I left behind a fantastic community of people that I saw on a day-to-day basis and that was very difficult for me. The IFF community has filled that void. I have met so many amazing people - each of us different but coming together to share our practice in a space that supports us exactly as we are. Helena, the instructors and the energy exchangers have created a space that is welcoming, that radiates positivity, and that encourages us to be our own imperfectly perfect selves, and for that I am so grateful!