Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Just Flow

Oh yoga - how I had missed you... Today I am very grateful for Janel - a yogi, an inspiration, a new friend, and a teacher. I thank her for all the great classes so far. And the music. You know I always need music. It makes everything flow. Even if you skip the yoga - be sure to enjoy the music. I'm loving her yoga playlist at the end of this post. Meet Janel Alexander and check out her schedule here. Her classes are so worth it. 

Q&A with Janel Alexander

Why did you turn to being a yoga instructor as your "second career"?

I got certified to teach almost 8 years ago. But back then I felt not at all ready to actually be in front of others teaching - yikes! I went away - had two kids, fulfilled my career aspirations in fashion, and moved out of the city I loved. I left New York City passionately kicking and screaming. Then in the suburbs teaching became the way it all started to make sense for me as my second life phase. Sometimes you really do have to let something be until you and your life are ready to embrace it. I try to incorporate a similar message into my life off the mat!

What has doing yoga brought to your life? 

Perspective, a desire to relax, and a fascination with the human body and how strong it can be if you take care of it.

What do you try and deliver to each person that takes a class with you? 

I try to deliver as much of a personal connection as I have received through my own teachers. I am a bit of an introvert so music, verbal alignment cues, and the power of touch are all ways that I try to connect with students. Nothing feels more fulfilling than watching students walk out with a smile. More recently, I have been bringing a degree of humbleness to my own practice. My teachers have taught me to see the difference between "the full pose/hand to floor, neck to shoulder, etc." and getting the true benefits of poses and the flow. So what if you can't reach your hand to the ground or your knee to your nose - that's not the point!! I have been trying to instill this same sense of "backing off" in my own life and in my classes. We live in a society where perfection is the benchmark so we tend to overshoot to achieve that. I don't want to miss the good stuff in the middle. Enjoy the journey and experience the middle for a while.

Music to Her Ears - Janel's Top 5 Yoga Picks

Bon Iver - Blood Bank 
(Pretty much anything from Bon Iver is perfectly paired with a Vinyasa.)

East Forest - Grandmother Sphere
(They're playing in VT when I go to Wanderlust in a few weeks and can't wait!!)

Fleetwood Mac - Landslide
(Classic Bohemian Love)

Buena Vista Social Club - Chan Chan
(I have dreams of being on a beach in Brazil or Mexico when I hear this song.)

Carla Bruni - Le Ciel dans une Chambre 
(If it's good enough for France...)

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