As teachers, we often find inspiration in our students. Their light, drive, and curiosity inspire us to learn more about yoga and about ourselves. Sharmin is one of those students. Always ready with a great question after class, signing up for private lessons, or continuing to deepen her practice, she has inspired us all! It is truly a joy to have her at Yoga Vie.
We recently sat down with Sharmin 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'm a new Yogi. I've been going to Yoga Vie for a little over a year now but I guess I started becoming a yogi when being on the mat was more than just doing the poses. Now when I'm practicing, I'm so focused on my ujjayi breath that the rest of the world is on hold for that moment. It's just me and my mat. I love that mind-body experience.
How did you find yoga? What was the inspiration?:
I started running when I turned 40. The perfect compliment to running is yoga so I started taking classes at Yoga Vie and immediately got hooked after taking one of Joy's classes. She is an outstanding teacher. Anyone who has ever taken any of Joy's classes knows that she will make you walk out of there with a serious sweat and feeling amazing.
Describe an interesting fact about yourself:
My favorite animal is and always has been the Great White Shark. I guess people expect it to be something cute and cuddly.
If you were a yoga pose, which one would you be?:
Garudasana (Eagle pose)! You can find the strength and balance necessary to hold the pose by simply focusing on your breathing and staying calm. If I'm wobbling or falling out of the pose I can eventually get myself together and hold the pose as long as I stay calm and keep focused. Some days it just takes longer. I seek strength and balance in my life in the same way.
Plus I love how you come out of the pose, you fly out of it! One of the best times in my life is when my husband and I went soaring through the sky in Hawaii when we went ziplining.
What is your FAVORITE yoga pose? Why?:
It seems like a boring answer but I have to be honest, my favorite pose is Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog). I remember the first time my husband and I took a yoga class years ago. We were sweating and shaking in the pose. Then the teacher told us it was supposed to be a resting pose! The lady next to us was doing it with ease and she was like 30 years older than us. I've come a long way since then. Now l love being in the pose. You're strengthening some muscles while stretching other muscles. It's also one of the best stretches for my plantar fasciitis.
How does your practice fit into your everyday life?:
After taking private lessons with Joy and taking the yoga and running workshop with Mary, I finally have the motivation and confidence to practice at home (in addition to my weekly classes at the studio). Some days I stick to routines and other days I just do whatever feels best.
I'm ready to take my practice further and take the next 200 hour yoga teacher training series that comes up. I love teaching at Santa Maria high school, I love supporting our athletes, and I love practicing yoga. So I'm hoping to eventually teach yoga at my high school, especially the football players and cross country team.
What's your favorite aspect of Yoga Vie?:
I love the sense of community at Yoga Vie, the students, and all of the teachers. Joy is like a yoga guru in my eyes. She is my inspiration. I have come a long way thanks to her. And Mary is like my running/yoga coach. I had so much fun taking her yoga and running workshop. I will never forget how she stayed by my side (she is a lot faster than I am) coaching me until the finish line! I'm looking forward to our future runs out on the trails together once I recover from my plantar fasciitis.
What advice would you offer to a yoga novice?:
Start with the beginner series workshop. Take lots of classes and keep an open mind. There's so many different styles of teaching and classes. Let go of any expectations you have when you enter a class. Be in the present moment.