Today Lena shares her love of yoga...
Lena | Yoga Instructor, Student (Physical Therapy)
"After I quit dancing [ballet], I kind of had nothing. I didn’t know what direction I wanted to go. I didn’t go to college. I just got into yoga because I was so familiar with body movement. But I realized quickly that there is so much more to yoga than that, so much more depth. It gives you the ability to find peacefulness within your own skin. You learn to be able to take things one day at a time. You get an inner strength with an outer softness.
The main reason I quit dancing is because they told me I didn’t have the right body/shape to be a dancer. I was a bit taller, more athletic, a bit bigger. I wasn’t long, gangly, super skinny type of a typical dancer. It made dance unenjoyable because of that. I would look in the mirror and be disgusted because all these people were telling me that I didn’t look the right way. It was awful! Once I found yoga it relieved all that pressure off of me. It allowed me to become healthier not just physically but mentally. I feel now that I don’t have the same self-criticism that I use to. It’s diminished so much. I feel comfortable now. I can look however I want. I now have the choice to feel the way I want to feel.
Teaching [yoga] is a total joy. Being able to help people take care of themselves. They’re taking the time to step away from their every day life, be it kids, job, etc. to return to themselves, on their mats and get back to a grounded state because it’s so easy to get swept away[in every day life].
Yoga is so much more than just a form of body movement it’s a lifestyle…I never thought I would be teaching it for the last 2 ½ years. It’s the only job I’ve ever had where I feel happier after my shift than before. It was a total life changer.
I feel beautiful when I am moving. That’s my life connection; body movement. When I’m doing yoga I think about how my breath is fluid. I try to move like water and that’s when I feel the most beautiful."
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photos Mary Claire Roman
makeup, hair, styling Janelle Walker