Author : Beth Brens
I did my first yoga class ever at PYC on Family Day in 2013. My girlfriend had done a few classes and was raving about how PYC was great. At the time, I was a mom of two young children and was trying to establish my career as an accounting professional. With both my husband and myself working full time and many kids activities, life was (and still is) chaotic and making time for myself was not a priority. I was in a place where I felt like I was doing nothing well, life was flying by and I wasn’t keeping up. Taking my girlfriend up on her invite was a first step in making my personal well-being a priority.
Yoga has been much more than the physical aspect for me, with the mindfulness being the most impactful. Through the instructors at PYC, I have learned to breathe more deeply, pay attention to how I am feeling, be more reflective, practice self love and think differently. As I progress in my career, the stress level is also increasing. I feel that using what I have learned in my yoga practice has been a key contributor to managing that the increased demands of my career. Yoga has helped me think more clearly, keep an open mind, and be more aware of other people’s perspective.
I think differently now, and I am more in tune with who I am and how I am feeling. I am able to keep an open mind when dealing with conflict, and I am more aware of and honest with my feelings. This has allowed me to see things I wouldn’t have seen before and has allowed me to recognize when I need to slow down and breathe. I truly feel that these skills have been key to the success I have experienced in my career. Yoga has also taught me to be ok in the uncomfortable space, whether it is on the mat or working through a difficult situation at work. Challenging myself to stay in the uncomfortable space at work and in some of my personal relationships, and not have to fix it right away or run away from it, has allowed me to grow and deal with obstacles in a different way. I share this concept regularly at work, it has become a bit of a mantra for me.
Every time I come to class everyone is so friendly, whether it is a familiar face or someone new. I have never felt judgment or insecurity walking into the studio. I feel like in every class, I learn something new about myself and the time spent on my mat allows me to re-centre and to go back out into life with a renewed energy and positive outlook.
I love that the instructors will share how they are feeling and are open and vulnerable to the class. By doing this, they have showed me that it is ok and more often than not we are all going through our own battles in life. In a recent class, Jax shared the concept that you always have choice as to how you perceive something. As an example, she could tell herself that everyone is not enjoying the class because no one is smiling, but instead she can choose to think of all the positive feedback she gets after class so knows that it is nothing personal. This was such a simple concept but her words were so meaningful and impactful to me.
I have gained so much personally and professionally as a result of my time at PYC. If someone is reading this and thinks that the class was pretty cool and that they might get something out of attending more classes I want to be able to influence and say come back again!