The Power of Connection, Community and Commitment

Yoga

 “Community can bring us closer to our authentic selves.” – Pete Guinosso (E-RYT 500)

The New Year can often ignite a desire to renew commitments to ourselves, our relationships and our community. Yoga can be a catalyst for positive change in each of these areas, starting with the practice of using breath and movement to unite mind and body. When we seek this unity on the mat—whether through a high-energy vinyasa flow, a calming restorative practice, or a soft yet powerful yin practice—we begin to reflect this connection in our actions and interactions.

We’re kicking off 2018 on the Your Inner Yogi blog by bringing you a little inspiration from YIY student and WREG News Channel 3 reporter, Stacy Jacobson. Stacy has been practicing with us since the studio’s grand opening in March 2017. Since then, she’s explored a great deal of the class offerings and teachers, fostering a deeper connection with those she’s met in the studio and within herself. Her passions in journalism and volunteering keep her actively engaged in the Memphis community. However, through yoga she’s learned that she’s “at her best when she values both her physical and mental health.” Read more about her journey in our interview below.

Your Inner Yogi Student Spotlight: Stacy Jacobson

What is your age group? 

Stacy: 25-44 years.

How many times a week do you practice? 

Stacy: 1-2 times a week, but I’m looking to increase in the New Year!

What inspired you to start yoga? 

Stacy:I started doing yoga while I was going through a break-up; I wanted an exercise that fulfilled both my physical and mental needs. I found Caroline Nash, a teacher in Charleston, who challenged me so much physically that it kept my mind occupied and also gave me a sense of calm by the end. I was hooked!

What motivates you to continue practicing? 

Stacy: I continue practicing yoga because of the peace of mind and physical challenge it presents. I love getting both at once! Sometimes I crave the feeling of being on my mat and that’s definitely for the mental calm and stretching benefits. But I also love teachers whom I know will get my heart rate up and have me sweating through a powerful flow class all at the same time.

What is your favorite type (class style) of yoga and why? 

Stacy: I love doing vinyasa flow because it’s faster-paced, so it keeps me moving and engaged. But every now and then, a good stretch class feels amazing too!

What benefits, if any, have you experienced from your practice? 

Stacy: I have become more in tune with my body and have a better understanding of the way it moves. I also feel I’ve made a lifelong commitment to staying healthy through yoga. And self-care has been HUGE! Yoga is a vital part of my journey of self-discovery into what I need to take care of myself. I’ve learned I am at my best when I value both my physical and mental health.

We are honored you’ve entrusted in us to lead your practice.  We want you to keep coming back. Please be honest. Memphis has its great deal of studios. Why us? 

Stacy: I think Libby and the YIY crew really approach the studio like a family. I always feel like I am part of that. I also really appreciate the diversity in the staff and people with whom I practice; it truly feels like a yoga community that’s representative of our greater Memphis community. I like the location being close to where I work and spend a lot of time. And last but certainly not least, the neck massages at the end of each practice keep me coming back!

Considering what you may have learned on your mat in your yoga classes, how would you say you are living yoga off your mat? 

Stacy: I have learned valuable breathing skills that I apply to other parts of my life, specifically when I am getting overwhelmed or stressed. I also try to emphasize self-care off my mat in all other aspects of life.

If you could describe your yoga journey in three words, what three words would you use and why? 

Stacy: Health, self-care and commitment.

What we Learned from Stacy

Yoga sparked Stacy’s commitment to self-care, enabling her to better connect with and serve those in the community. She embodies the adage that “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” Balance is key (and not just in the form of challenging poses). We love that Stacy surrenders to her body’s needs when it’s signaling for a practice that works the deeper connective tissues while simultaneously encouraging the emotional work of letting go.  She’s continuously seeking her edge–that sweet spot right outside of the “comfort zone”– applying lessons that yoga has taught her both on and off the mat. We’re inspired by her commitment to the 901 outside of the news and yoga rooms, practicing the art of selfless service (seva) through work with the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association. And we’re honored that Stacy has embraced her practice at Your Inner Yogi and become a part of our growing and diverse family!

The light in us reflects and honors the light and divine in you, Stacy.

Let us be a Part of your Journey

Your yoga journey can inspire others and help us build a more inclusive, accessible and embracing Memphis yoga community in 2018. Share how yoga has made a positive impact on you in the comments and join us in the studio for class!

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