We recently sat down with Emily to chat about her yoga journey, and the role yoga plays in her life. Here is what she had to say:

How would you describe yourself as a yogi?

I would say that I am evolving into a yogi. I started yoga as a way to ease back into exercise, but have learned this year especially that yoga goes far beyond movement and being present for class. I feel like I am finally learning to breath through poses, use my core, and enjoy transitions. I am not just in class for a "workout" but there to challenge my practice and relax my mind.

How did you find yoga?

I was very active growing up with various sports, like ballet, water polo, swim, and a bit of rugby, but after graduating and returning to Lompoc, I wanted to get back into a fitness routine. Two years ago a friend of mine, Ashton Thompson, was teaching her first class at Yoga Vie and I decided to tag along. A few months later I decided to be a member and I am thankful for all of the friends and experiences I have made along the way!

Describe an interesting fact about yourself.

Many people know that I have little feet, but I have actually had the same shoe size since elementary school!

Emily Casarez

If you were a yoga pose, which one would you be?

I would be the Svarga Dvijasana, or Bird of Paradise pose. I like that the pose has a transition, is a balance posture, and has a bind all combined. The first time I tried this posture I was almost tricked into it during class, but I was left with strong feelings of joy and empowerment! I love the name of the pose, and as a former ballerina, I also like that I get a chance to point my toe!

What is your FAVORITE yoga pose? Why?

Ustrasana, Camel pose is my favorite pose because it is challenging, has many levels of expression, and reminds me that everyday is different, and that is ok.

How does your practice fit into your everyday life?

I have not quite developed a home practice yet, but I aim to attend as many classes at Yoga Vie as I can! However, I do find that having more yogi friends means that yoga spontaneously happens in public!

What's your favorite aspect of Yoga Vie?

I love walking into the inviting environment Yoga Vie has created. I know that as long as I arrive on time I can clear my mind and relax. I appreciate and look forward to spending at least an hour without my phone or other distractions. We are always greeted by friends with a smile, and it is nice to spend time knowing, asLinda says, "There is nothing you need to do, No where you need to go, and No one you need to be."

What advice would you offer to a yoga novice?

Try one class, and then try another! Be open to new experiences, and know that yoga is different everyday, with every teachers, and with every style. Joy continues to remind me that just because you had one outcome yesterday, positive or challenging, does not meant that you will have the same outcome today. I think that it is important to take that lesson and apply it to many aspects of life. I believe it can be simply put as try, try again!