Aleigh Stowe Aros (@aleighgirl77)
How long have you been practicing yoga?
I started yoga on my birthday 4 years ago. Whoa! Has it really been that long? Time flies, right?
How did you get started?
My best friend got me a day pass and a yoga mat as a gift. She took me to my first class and after it was over, I ate so much food, drank so much water and raved about the fantastic time I had just had in class! I couldn’t believe how hungry and tired I was after. I had always thought yoga was a slow moving process but the class we participated in had been a Hatha class, and we moved from one asana to another in a fluid flow. I was dripping with sweat and had the best time. I was instantly hooked!
What do you enjoy about yoga?
WOW! There is so much I could say about all the things I love about yoga. I guess the most enjoyable thing for me is when I hit a pose or a transition that I have been working on. The moment that everything ‘clicks” and my body lets go of my mind and I just move. I feel so strong and like nothing can break me in those moments.
What does the term ‘yoga” mean to you?
In one word, breath. I know that sounds crazy and I know you may just have furrowed your brow but hear me out. When I’m on my mat the world fades away. It doesn’t happen instantaneously, but it does happen. My breath takes over and I am focused on one thing at a time. The movement, the bend or the fold, the balance or the twist. As a mother, dinner plans, homework, after school activities, all of it, disappears and my mind is clear and focused. No other place in my world do I have that calmness. That clarity of self. Its amazing and I love that!
What advice would you give to yoga beginners?
Stop worrying about not being flexible enough, not having the right clothes or if anyone is looking at you in class. We aren’t. We honestly don’t care what you’re wearing or if you can touch your toes. We are just happy to see another smiling face. Trust in your body and know that it is so much stronger than your mind gives it credit for. You are fantastic and in the right spot of YOUR yoga journey. Don’t compare your story to someone else’s. We all have our own chapters to write. Just know that the yoga community is a loving and helpful one and should you find yourself in a jam, just ask.
What else would you like to tell our readers?
Honestly, I have all kinds of stories I could tell. In my short years of practice, I’ve had it all. But lets go with something funny. Something that happens to EVERY SINGLE PERSON in a yoga class at one point in their practice. Passing gas. Oh yes, the fear of all yogis. Don’t deny that this hasn’t crossed your mind or even happened to you yet. It will. I promise. My story is about an embarrassing one on one class I had taken in the first few months of my yoga journey. The Instructor not only was talented but just so darn sweet. It was he and I. Mono e mono, and he was instructing me on correct alignment in headstand and all the fun variations you can take. I was inverted and he was right beside me, also inverted. We were twin towers and all of a sudden, it happened. He broke wind. LOUD! And in a yoga studio, things echo. Now, please understand, I was already a bit shy because he was my teacher but when he did that, it was all I could do not to laugh. Not to fall out of the pose and giggle with him in an “I can’t believe that just happened because I’m all of 12 years old” moment. But he stayed strong and firm and all he said was “Pardon me”. My face was red from doing my best not to laugh or loose my control. I never did, though I did hold my breath. Not because of what happened but, because for whatever reason, I thought that would keep me from expelling such laughter that he would be appalled and I would be crushed I had done such a thing. When the class was over, I had learned tons and I just remember thinking “I am immature and have a lot of growing to do”. Now, years later, I too, have passed my fair share of gas and yes, you freak out a bit (you’re only human) but it’s not that bad and it’s the body. Anytime, anyone is straining that hard, it’s going to happen. And it will. Just exhale and smile and keep flowing.