Yogi Of The Month: Tracy

How long have you been practicing?

I have dabbled in yoga here and there for about 10 years. I started doing weekends in Kripalu 3 years ago. However, it wasn't until I moved to Danvers last October before I took up a regular more consistent practice of yoga. Mantra offers such a variety and so many options! Since I started coming to Mantra I have felt that I have the support I need to develop an ongoing versatile yoga practice.

How did you find your way onto your mat?

I have always been drawn to the ancient wisdom of Rumi, Taoism and Buddhism with practices of mindfulness and a deep knowing that we are all connected. Having had a difficult childhood I found my way to the mat because it grounded me and stopped all the negative trauma stories I had about myself for at least the time I was on the mat. Being a therapist, I find that peoples stories can really get the best of us all sometimes and yoga allows for us to drop that and be present to everything in connection to the breath.

How often do you practice?

I practice at least 5 times a week in class, but I mix it up a lot. I love all of the teachers and many styles of yoga. Deana nourishes my soul. Danielle pushes me to new physical realms. Marlena challenges what I think I know and has the best yoga nidra. Carianne helps me with my physical pain and helps me stretch my neck and shoulders. Cindy has a great yin yoga class. I really get so much from each different class and style of the instructor!

What is your favorite posture?

Wild thing of course! It stretches me and opens me while also allowing me to be strong and beautiful. So much to love about it. I also anything that allows me to stretch.

What have you learned on your yogic journey?

So much! Yoga has taught me about strength, resilience, mindfulness, play, love. It has taught me that nothing is that serious, nothing is permanent, everything is always changing and the suffering comes when I cling to it having to be a certain way. It has taught me that everything is a practice. To be easy on myself and others. It has taught me about my patterns and thoughts and how they effect my body and soul. It encompasses all and I still have so much more to learn!

What advice would you share with someone who is new to yoga?

Yoga is a practice just like life. Strength, perseverance, compassion and self love is all it takes to succeed. Be easy on yourself and remember (as Deana always says) 95% is just showing up. Laugh at yourself, it's not that serious.

What benefits have you received from practicing yoga?

Yoga is my self-care and it grounds me. I come in and hit the mat and my mind is racing. By the end of the class I am cleared and ready to take on so much more. I am becoming stronger and teaching my mind, body, soul ancient lessons that shift my way of being in this world and my practice of self-love. I am learning how to love myself, free my inner child, connect to my roots, and connect to my larger purpose. I see the ebb and flow of life. I've learned to be more gentle, have more fun, and just trust whatever comes my way without so much thought or significance. I have learned how to be present and breathe and let it all be.

What's your favorite thing about practicing at Mantra Yoga?

The variety, the teachers, the many different times, the community, the knowledge and kindness of everyone that works there, the workshops, the reasonable prices, the love. I love it all <3