Whether you have joined our week night sunset sweats or our end of the month resets, you may have noticed that as Soul Sundays grows and evolves, we always come back to yoga. Although our events introduce you to new gyms and new movements, we never go too long without offering the Soul Sundays community with the opportunity to move their body through a vinyasa flow. And when reflecting on our mission and values, we wanted to share our why. As we write this, one thing we want to acknowledge is that the answer to this question is different for every body. And you know, now that we put that down on paper, maybe that right there is your answer! If you'd prefer, you can just stop reading right here!
If you're still with us :) thanks for sticking around! What we mean is that the reason that each person practices yoga is different ;and even between us, Julie and Tess, yoga means something unique to each of us. That is a beautiful thing right there!
For Julie when she went through her 200-hour training, the very first day she was given the prompt - what is yoga and why do you practice? Well, well, how does one that has been practicing yoga for over 10 years put their "why" into words? Of course, the instructors knew exactly what they were doing because this exercise was one that benefited the writer more than the reader. You know as I think about this, maybe this exercise is where part of Soul Sundays was born. When you have to take a moment to ask yourself why am I doing this and put your thoughts into words, it opens your mind to reflection and growth.
Reflecting on the definition I wrote that day... yoga is a unique practice that brings together your body and your mind, creating a stronger connection through repetition. There is not a specific script or “right way” to do it, but rather listening to your body and what feels good through the movement. Unlike other forms of physical fitness, a key principle of yoga is the strong connection that it creates with your mind. There is purpose behind each movement.
I could pick out so many key words from my definition that day that continue to resonate with me: no specific script, listen to your body, purpose behind movement. This definition leads into my personal why, which has evolved as I totter between both a student and now, an instructor. For me, I have always been a busy bee; the type of person that often opts to organize the pantry rather than sit on the couch to watch TV (yes, I am THAT person). Yoga gave me a space - a space in my mind and in my body that allowed me to feel lighter and slow down. Over time, I realized that whether I brought a friend with me or I took a class on my own, the outcome was the same. The outcome was feeling gratitude for my body's movement and for giving my mind a break from running through my to-do list. That's when I realized I practiced yoga for one simple reason, just for me. Often, as many do, I find myself doing things for others and I pride myself on being people's "go-to". However, in yoga, I can just be me. Through the years, yoga has evolved into my safe space, a space where I can let go of any burdens or stresses and tune into what my body is telling me it needs that day. I always leave yoga feeling lighter, both mentally and physically. This led to my journey of becoming an instructor. I wanted to create the space I felt when I practiced for fellow yogis and people new to the practice. Each class I strive to provide the opportunity to leave your to-do list at the door and step into the connection between your mind and breath through movement. My goal at the end of each class is to have each yogi walk out with a simple smile on their face, feeling rejuvenated and reconnected with themselves.
The power of yoga has become one of our why's at Soul Sundays. Through my experience, I have first-handedly felt the impact yoga can have on your mind and your body. Yoga uniquely pairs fitness with mental growth, which is what we commit to at Soul Sundays. Soul Sundays is more than just a fitness class and more than just a space for reflection, it's a space that combines the two in order for the community to understand the value of each. We continue to come back to yoga to provide our community with the opportunity to explore their safe space, using their breath as a guide. Soul Sundays why for practicing yoga is to create strength as a group and to leave each event as a community better than we came.
We hope you are able to connect with your why at our next event. See you soon :)
– Julie & Tess