Elaine Clark: Yogi Of The Month

January 2016

  • How long have you been practicing? I had taken yoga classes in the past, but my first class at Mantra was March 30, 2014. It was a beginner class with Lisa Faia. I knew I had found a judgement free place where I belonged and felt comfortable.
  • How did you find your way onto your mat? I wanted to find a yoga studio where I felt comfortable, where the teachers were not too intense, and where I could learn in a non-competitive environment. I found that at Mantra and so much more.
  • How often do you practice? When I first started, I went two times per week. I went to any class with beginner in the name. I was afraid to push myself into classes that were not labeled as such. I started to venture a bit out of my comfort zone when I got more confidence. After about a year, I started going 4 to 5 times a week. Now it doesn’t have to say beginner any longer so I am proud of myself.
  • What is your favorite posture? My favorite posture ever was my one and only headstand. Emily Wiswell demonstrated a way to do it with a block against the wall. She came over and assisted me and there I was in my one and only headstand. It felt so great to have done it. I feel like I can check it off my bucket list. I have no desire at this time to do another. My favorite posture, however, is savasana because it means I showed up, gave it my all, and can now relax and restore.
  • What have you learned on your yogic journey? I thought I was coming to Mantra to restore some flexibility and to tone and strengthen my physical body. I have gained so much more than the physical benefits. I have learned that there is much more to yoga than the asanas or physical poses. I am more flexible, but I am also more peaceful, more forgiving, less anxious and more open to others. All of the teachers have taught me so much and in their unique ways. Deana’s classes have opened my heart and taught me loving kindness for myself and others. She is a miracle worker with her hands and words. Marlena’s classes challenge me physically. She is a master at getting me to my edge. She also throws in a lot of wisdom and makes me think. Danielle is the epitome of strength and grace and shows me what is possible (if I were 30 years younger and carried 40 or so fewer pounds). Emily’s classes are powerful and flowing. She also reads beautiful poetry and her assists are heavenly. Willa is a force of nature and has so much knowledge to teach. JaiShree's classes are spiritual and her poses are liquid and flowing. She also has the most amazing voice. Lisa is a fun and inspiring teacher who will adapt any pose to suit your level of ability.
  • What advice would you share with someone who is new to yoga? Don’t quit! Don’t give up! Don’t look at other people’s poses and think that they are the only ones doing yoga. You are doing yoga at your own level. You are doing what your body can do at that moment, and it is beautiful. You will get more flexible. You will get stronger. You just have to keep going to class, keep practicing, keep humble, and keep your eyes on your own mat. Look at the others and think I will do that one day when I am able, and if I don’t, it is okay.
  • What benefits have you received from practicing yoga? Physically and mentally, I am stronger, more flexible, and I don’t hurt as much as I used to. It is a journey, and the only limits are the ones I put upon myself.
  • What's your favorite thing about practicing at Mantra Yoga? I love the sense of community at Mantra. All the teachers are amazing and want you to succeed. If you have any questions or concerns, they are always open and available for help. Each teacher has their own unique style that they bring to class. I have received so much from each and every one of them. I can’t thank them enough for what they have given me. Oh, and I love the music selections!