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MEMBER SPOTLIGHT – MATTHEW MAZUR

Name: Matthew Mazur

Nickname: Matt or Matteo

Day Job: I am an art teacher at a Montessori magnet school for Dallas ISD

How long have you have been practicing at YS? Since November 2017

What is your favorite YS workshop or class? Power Flow with Katie- her style of teaching has pushed me to grow a lot in my practice. I always leave her class feeling relaxed and energized!

Name one thing you consider yourself to be very good at: I’m really good at drawing and making waffles.

What’s the number one yoga pose you just love to practice? Crow pose- it’s a great grounding pose and I hope it’s building the strength needed in my core to be able to handstand one day.

Why did you start practicing yoga? I hate the gym! I wanted to focus on a workout that could bring me more than just superficial results. After I started yoga, I was addicted to the focused mental side of the practice and the art of being able to remain still and calm under challenging circumstances.

Who inspires you the most and why? Rupaul- I love his pep talks and how he always says to choose love, stay engaged with the moment, and to never listen to your inner saboteur. Rupaul’s best quote- “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”

What do you just love about YogaSport? The strong sense of community and that the teachers aren’t afraid to let loose and make the classes fun.

What’s your guilty pleasure? Ice Cream!

Furthest city traveled: Athens, Greece

What is one thing we don’t know about you that would surprise us? I am very lucky! I win things all the time like trips and gift cards. I even won a brand new car last year!

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT – SARA WEAVER

Name:  Sara Weaver

Nickname: Sweavee or Weaver

Day Job:  Project manager at AT&T

How long have  you  have  been  practicing at YS? Almost a year

What is your favorite YS workshop or class? All of them! I am a morning person so the early classes really help kick start my day.

Name one thing  you  consider yourself to be very good at: Providing the positive outlook

 

What’s the number one yoga pose you  just love to practice? Pigeon out of necessity and any challenging balance pose to keep me on my toes or rather off my toes

 

Why did  you start practicing yoga? Curiosity. I’m a very curious person.

Who  inspires  you  the most and why? Not one individual, but everyone I meet. Each with their own struggle, strengths and goals helps put life in perspective.

 

What do you  just love about YogaSport? The community and atmosphere are unlike any other studio I’ve been to. It is a welcoming family.

What’s your guilty pleasure? Ice cream

Furthest city traveled: Tokyo

What is one thing we don’t know about you that would surprise us?  I won a hot dog eating contest!

 

JANUARY POSE OF THE MONTH – SUPER SECRET

JANUARY POSE OF THE MONTH – ?

 

 

WHAT IS THE POSE OF THE MONTH? 

We can’t tell you… it’s a secret!

HOW AM I SUPPOSE TO KNOW WHAT IS IS?

  1. Come to as many classes as possible this month.
  2. Compare notes with other YSC yogis.
  3. Guess with wild reckless abandon!

WHAT DO I DO WHEN I FIGURE IT OUT?

Submit your guess on our Facebook page at facebook.com/yogasport

You will experience the Super Secret Pose of the Month in every Power Flow class this month. This program will help you learn and master the chosen asana. 

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT – LAUREN LUONG

Name: Lauren Luong

Nickname: At the studio it’s Little Lauren 🙂

Day Job: Rug Design

 

How long have you been practicing at YS? Almost 2 years.

What is your favorite YS workshop or class? I don’t think I could have one. They all combine to make a great experience!

Name one thing you consider yourself to be very good at: Artsy Stuff

What’s the number one yoga pose you just love to practice? Half Moon, because it feels so freeing. And it’s challenging enough that I have room to grow in it.

Why did you start practicing yoga? For self-awareness and the calming benefits.

Who inspires you the most and why? My husband, because he’s the most balanced person I’ve ever known. Also the funniest!

What do you just love about YogaSport? I love the community here, how I’m always learning something new, and how the practice is more physically challenging than other yoga.

What’s your guilty pleasure? McDonald’s French Fries!

Furthest city traveled: Longsheng, China

What is one thing we don’t know about you that would surprise us? My husband and I are avid squirrel-watchers. They’re the funniest animals.

DECEMBER POSE OF THE MONTH: SEATED MEDITATION

The pose of the month for December is: Seated Meditation. Even for many practiced yogis, sitting silently in meditation can be overwhelming, intimidating, and… well, just plain hard! We are so used to doing in order to achieve the goals we want for ourselves that “just sitting” can seem counter productive and, quite frankly, a waste of time. On the contrary, the benefits of a regular meditation practice are sung far and wide by not only yogis, but doctors, psychologists, and scientists as well. Studies show that as little as five minutes of meditation a day can lead to physical and chemical changes in the brain associated with relaxation and positive mood.

During the month of December, your YogaSport instructors will guide you into some helpful exercises to get you started and then allow a few minutes of space for you to get your meditation on. With a little practice, you’ll be totally zen just in time for the holidays!

BENEFITS:
• Calms and focuses the mind
• Slows emotional reactivity
• Creates clarity and awakens intuition
• Develops a mind-body connection

KEY ALIGNMENT POINTS:
• Seated and alert
• Spine straight and tall
• Heart open and receptive
• Internal focus and gaze

STEP BY STEP (one of many variations):
1. Set a timer for your desired length of uninterrupted meditation.
2. Take a comfortable seated posture that is both alert and receptive.
3. Bring your hands to your heart or another mudra of your choice.
4. Close down your eyes and turn your gaze to your third eye center.
5. Become aware of each inhale and exhale. Release all other thoughts.
6. Notice thoughts as they arise, but let them go without judgment.
7. Stay. Trust your timer.

You will experience Seated Meditation in every Power Flow class this month.

Pose of the Month – Leapfrog Handstands

Are you ready to leap into the summer months with us? This month, you’ll practice hopping into handstand via playful and energizing leapfrogs. Leapfrogs build and strengthen the core muscles needed to enter and hold a powerful, controlled inversion. By the end of the month, you’ll be floating with considerably more ease… and dare we say having fun while you do it? Check out Angela and Kelly’s demo above to prep yourself for flight.

BENEFITS:
• Develops core strength required for handstand
• Strengthens thighs and calves

KEY ALIGNMENT POINTS:
• Seal the inner edges of your feet together
• Bend your knees wide
• Press your palms flat into your mat
• Stack your shoulders over your wrists

STEP BY STEP:
1. From Downward Dog, step your feet together and walk halfway up your mat.
2. Stack your shoulders over your wrists.
3. Press the inner edges of your feet together.
4. Bend your knees out toward your arms.
5. Engage your core and exhale as you hop up.
6. Continue to press the inner edges of your feet together while you are in the air.
7. Repeat!

You will experience Leap Frog Handstands in every Power Flow class this month.  This program will help you learn and master the chosen asana.

 

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Be Free 30

Welcome to 2017! We are so excited about our new 30 day whole health program created by your very own YS teachers. Check out the info below for all of the details, what you will gain, what you will learn and how you will FEEL!

 

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Be Fit

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What Are People Saying?

“A few years ago, Renee worked with me on mindfulness and meditation. Before her coaching, I couldn’t go more than a minute without assuming my meditation timer had broken. She helped me figure out ways to just sit and BE. I can’t recommend Renee enough.” – Christopher

“Angela has the gift of drawing out of you what you need to be better. A better person, a better, more understood version of yourself! From that place, all of a sudden everything is possible.” – Sarah

Meet The Be Free Creators

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Renee – Chief Zen Master

Renee first discovered Yoga in 2004 at Verizon where she worked in Marketing. She found YogaSport where she started the 40 Days to a Personal revolution in January of 2007. Renee was attracted to the YogaSport due to the athletic nature of the Baptiste practice. She has studied and taught the mental practices of concentration and meditation to YogaSport and within the Dallas community since 2012. She did the 200 Yoga Teacher training in spring of 2015. She is passionate about helping and inspiring others. She currently works as Director of Loyalty Marketing at La Quinta Inns and Suites.

Random Fun Fact: Renee hiked the Inca Trail in Peru.

 

 

 

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Angela – Life Coach Extraordinaire

Angela started her career in marketing and advertising. After getting laid off at her job, she became a full time personal trainer and group fitness instructor. She eventually made her way to yoga, opened up YS in 2004, and is still here today on 4140 Lemmon Ave! In the past year, she has grown her life coaching interests by making her signature life coaching program, Spark, a 5 week online program.  She just launched her Spark podcast too! Check it all out.

Random Fun Fact: My childhood nickname is Nikki.

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Leading You Gently Back to Yourself by Kate Geresy

 

Written by Former YS Assistant, Kate Geresy

Major life changes are usually marked as “before-said change” and “after-said change.” What it was like before I graduated, what it was like after I graduated. Life before I got married, life after I got married.

For me, there is life before YogaSport (YS) and life after YS.

You know those teenage years when you thought you knew it all? I had “those adult years.” I kept my head down, worked hard, was oft commented on how “mature” I am or told “that girl has her head on straight.” These aren’t bad characteristics, but as Goethe said, “by nature we have no defect that could not become a strength, no strength that could not become a defect.” My strengths, while wonderful for overall life functionality, were limitations for growth within. I had myself figured out. I was of the opinion that this girl (me) had gotten herself pretty far so you can take that life coaching to someone else who was in shambles because that girl ain’t me (said with all the Southern sass you can imagine).

What I wasn’t prepared for was to have my rump handed back to me through bending myself into funky poses and purchasing colorful leggings. I kid—but in all seriousness, I was not prepared for the depths of exploration that yoga, assisting and teacher training call upon. There is certainly much learnt from the basics of alignment and healthy movement, but what is being gifted from those around you and that rectangular piece of foam extends far beyond the basics. I was a resident workshop junkie at YS. This was not because I discovered I actually was a mess in need of dire coaching or because I was not good enough at yoga (can that even be possible?).

I kept attending workshop after workshop because the tools provided for self-inquiry were so plentiful and even more so because finding a community that genuinely encourages this pursuit of growth and betterment is so rare. You could say “the final step” is teacher training. I plunged in because I knew with such veracity that there was no other place I trusted with this education and I wanted to share how deeply I loved what I was learning from others and myself. I wanted to share what was possible with others and have the honor to experience even a portion of their journeys with them.

While it felt like the final step, in reality, it was only the beginning of the realm of possibilities available to me. There are pieces of my personality that long laid dormant until teacher training; there is so much integrity from that rawness. Life has changed all around me and through TT I learned we are always growing, we always begin again. The hope I have is that I greet each new beginning with more grace, humility and mindfulness than ever before.

I didn’t think it could happen twice from such an unsuspecting source but, alas, there is “life before teacher training,” and “life after teacher training.”

“Perhaps love is the process of my leading you gently back to yourself.” –Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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Seeing Past The Stereotype

Written by YS Instructor, Jenny Mizutowicz
Take Jenny’s class on Friday at 5:30 pm.

I haven’t always wanted to be a yoga teacher. To be honest, before I started practicing yoga, I assumed yoga was for skinny vegetarians who were way more flexible than I’d ever be. I thought of yoga teachers as full-time instructors who could contort their bodies into pretzels and loved Kombucha. If this is what it took to be a yogi, I’d never fit in.

Despite my preconceptions, I came to YogaSport via a friend’s suggestion in 2009. I had been casually taking yoga classes for about a year in Austin, and I fell in love with the physical nature of the Baptiste practice. My body craved the workout and I returned several times a week for a powerful, sweaty flow. The more I practiced and got involved within the studio, the larger role yoga started playing in my life. I began to apply the anecdotes and metaphors the teachers talked about in class to my own life. I started to understand the connection between breathing through difficult postures in class and reacting to stressful situations in life. I wanted to stop complaining so much. I wanted to stop being judgmental. I wanted to accept myself and be confident. I loved this practice, and I wanted more of it.

About a year or so into my practice, I began considering teacher training with Angela at YogaSport. I knew I would enjoy teaching yoga, but insecurity was holding me back and making me believe I wasn’t cut out for it. My asana was far from perfect; I could barely get up in crow, much less headstand. I didn’t have the type of body the yogis on the cover of Yoga Journal rocked. I didn’t have a daily mediation practice (Daily? Let’s be honest, I had never meditated). I ate burgers and drank beer; surely yoga teachers wouldn’t be down with that. I wasn’t the stereotypical yoga teacher, and that made me believe I couldn’t be a yoga teacher at all.

Stereotypes are superficial beliefs formed upon an oversimplified idea, and they are oftentimes way wrong. Despite my acknowledgement of this, I had fallen into the trap of using generalizations to make sense of the world. I was allowing a silly stereotype to influence my decision and make me feel insecure.

I struggled with this belief for nearly two years until one day I hastily decided I was going to do it anyway. I apprehensively submitted my application for the Summer 2012 YogaSport Yoga School class, and before I knew it, I was sitting in a room with 11 other yogis, absolutely none of whom I would have considered a stereotypical yoga teacher.

My class consisted of people of different ages, genders and body types. Some had advanced yoga practices, and others were merely beginners. Some could tear up a Meat Lovers pizza, others preferred a veggie option. There was nothing stereotypical about this group of yogis; they were a diverse group of people with one thing in common: they loved yoga. As the summer progressed and I got to know Angela and my classmates, I discovered that the yoga teacher stereotype was a myth. You don’t have to be skinny, flexible or adhere to any particular lifestyle in order to share this practice with others. You just have to be yourself.

Three years after completing teacher training and teaching classes at YogaSport, I can now do headstand, but I’ll probably die before I master forearm stand. I’m not a Size 0 and never will be. I still enjoy burgers and imbibe a sensible amount of beer. I work a full-time government job during the day. I’m still me, but guess what? I’m now a yoga teacher, too.

Since completing teacher training in 2012, I am physically and mentally healthier than before. I am stronger and have a comprehensive understanding of how exercise affects my anatomy. I am more confident and comfortable in my own skin, and I’ve developed a heightened sense of awareness of my reactions and how to control them. Yoga has transformed me into a more present and mature adult, one that can now see past the shallowness of a stereotype.

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How I Became an Imagination Pusher

Written by YS Instructor, Shoshannah Frank

It is interesting how the road begins to twist and turn when you think you are headed on a straight path. My journey into teacher training began solely as a personal journey, I was on a quest for knowledge in my own personal practice and had no intention of ever teaching. I said the same thing when I took assistant training and by the time I signed up for teacher training in 2012, I had been on the floor as an assistant for three years.

You could say that I am a constant work in progress, well aren’t we all, and I have been in therapy the majority of my life. When I started teacher training I knew that I would be able to delve deeper into different aspects of yoga, but I had no idea that the most meaningful and extraordinary take away would be a greater sense of self. Years of negative self talk and feeling of inadequacy had left me broken in many ways. Teacher training provided me with tools to come face to face with those feelings when they begin to creep in, because they will, and discern what is truth and what is a lie I tell myself. For me the training was deep, it was scary, painful at times yet it was the best thing I ever did for myself. My therapist agrees. It is interesting how learning about yourself and being open to new discovery is actually an important part of being a good yoga teacher.

Learning to actually teach was challenging, frustrating at times, but exciting as well. Just like being open to self discovery, it was important for me to be open to feedback from our teachers and other trainees in order for me to grow and move past the self-criticism in my head. I was not great, I was actually pretty boring at first I found that learning to teach yoga does not come naturally to most. Learning to not take it personally and use it as something to work on was a great lesson outside of the studio as well.

One of my favorite take aways from the training is that even though we all seem so different on the outside, we actually have so much in common. We are all full of insecurities, we all have fears and goals, we all have lessons to learn and lesson to teach. You may not like everyone, but you can learn from everyone and every experience. I made some dear friends in my class; people I now celebrate the ups with and lean on in the downs.

I decided to teach because I just thought that it was the next thing to do. It scared the crap out of me and I genuinely do not like being on a stage. Eventually you learn teaching really is not about you. I continue to teach because I think I can provide an interesting point of view. I do not think linearly all the time, I often teach asana using color, shape, rap songs, or food. I am now a firm believer on how things feel as opposed to how things look. My imagination is the key to the deepest part of my practice and I want to enhance the use of imagination in my classes for those who get it and expose it to those who don’t. I was once told that using your imagination to connect your mind and your heart will allow your soul to shine. Who does not want that?! Not everyone is going to like me as a teacher or maybe even as a person but teacher training made me ok with that. Well, it finally sunk in over time. I leave you with something I wrote to the teachers of YS in October of 2013 about a year after I started teaching at YS…

Before I went to Level 1 Teacher Training with Baron Baptiste, people would ask me if I loved teaching yoga. I was hesitant to answer because the answer was “No” but I knew that was not the answer they wanted to hear. I would just reply, “I am still getting used to it.” When I went to level one people asked me why was I there. I had to think about that answer, other than give the quick answer of “I had paid for it moons ago.” Soon my response became “to see if teaching is something I really want to do or is something others want me to do.” Honestly when I got on the plane to go that was not even a developed thought. I did not leave Arizona with an answer.

If you had asked me that question this morning, about a year after I started teaching, I would probably still have to give a dodgy response. There was nothing special about my class tonight, it was not full and the energy was not overflowing. My practice, in my body, although beautifully taught by my dear Christopher Roberson, was not mind-blowing. But as I drove home tonight, I heard myself say “I love teaching yoga.” It was in my head but it was so loud I am sure you heard it.

I am sure that this feeling will ebb and flow just like all things in life and that’s ok, but there will never again be the FIRST time I said “I love teaching yoga!” As Baron would say I am **astonished** ( insert spirit fingers.) Thank you for being my support team on and off the mat.

Shannah Frank, Imagination Pusher
YSYS graduate 2012