International Yoga Day
By Nicole Gallacher
Over the past three years and over the course of 17 intensive weeks (is that really how long it’s been?) at home, we’ve been fortunate to bring together and form a community of people who are interested in connecting more deeply with movement, the people in their lives and the world around them. Today, the SILOU family feels more important than ever. So to celebrate International Yoga Day, we’re asking ourselves and our community how yoga has shaped their lives. From looking inwards, finding 30 minutes for ourselves each week, or to keep us feeling younger, we hope you’ll join us (virtually) at the mat as we learn more about the power of yoga and find solace within our SILOU community
How has Yoga shaped your life - personally and professionally?
The way yoga has increased my sensitivity, expanded my perception of self, ability to be present, affects my life tremendously. Yoga really made it obvious that my life is a series of awakenings every time I step on the mat, and these experiences translate in daily life, one way or another
Personally, yoga makes me feel like I am living more fully, more mindfully. It allows me to cultivate whole body awareness and to bring life and energy into parts of my body I didn’t even know I could connect to. Yoga challenges me and brings me discipline every day which I love, but at the same time it teaches me to be soft, kind and patient towards my body. My self-practice is also a time to play, a time to have fun and express my creativity through movement. Finally, yoga brings me a deep sense of gratitude for my breath, my body, my strength and flexibility. Yoga also allows me to spend more time with my Mom who is also a yoga teacher and hence this reinforces our bond – we love learning together and sharing the same passion, and we actually recently finished building a Balinese yoga Shala to be able to do retreats in the South of France near Cannes, where I am originally from
Yoga has been an essential practice for my personal wellbeing but has vastly improved how I navigate and respond to my internal self and external environment. I used to struggle a lot with my body image and mental health, especially while working as a model in the fashion industry. I was quite fortunate to have found yoga just as my career was picking up, in fact, I would say it has been integral to my successes overall. Before I found yoga, I was constantly battling with thoughts and feelings of discontentment and inadequacy. I was an overachiever, but hardly the confident type, and continually questioned my place and value. As my practice developed, I found the tools to manage and understand my anxieties and what triggered my stress. I learned to be kinder to my emotional and physical self. Yoga was a safe place for me to learn to love myself, to explore my body’s capabilities and to be content with all the strengths I already possessed
Personally, it’s really helped me control my fight or flight response, and just my reaction to things in general. I used to be extremely reactive. I wasn’t able to process my emotions the right way and it was somewhat crippling at times. Yoga has really helped me to slow down and take a moment. It keeps me level-headed (for the most part). Professionally, well I always thought I would end up helping people in some way form or shape and here we are. The best part about teaching is hearing from people and listening to the ways in which yoga has also helped them. To be a small part of that is extremely fulfilling
Ever since I began practising yoga, I perceived it as an open door to self-discovery and constant self-improvement. I kick started this year by receiving my RYT 200hr certificate and more recently began to teach. I am fully aware that being able to practise yoga both in my personal time and professionally is a huge asset to my well-being and for this I am forever grateful
Yoga has really shaped my life more than I could ever have imagined it to. I first joined a yoga class at university as a bit of a joke with friends but was instantly drawn in to the mental benefits over anything else. For me now, I couldn’t imagine my life without yoga in it. It allows me to keep connecting with myself and my students in a way I couldn’t before. Very honestly, I feel like I was born to teach yoga (in a non-cringey way)
Yoga has given me the ability to travel down the pathway of understanding myself better. The practise has helped me connect into my body and breath more than any other practice I have in my life. It’s like coming home each time I step onto the mat
Yoga came into my life a little short of 10 years ago. For a while, it was seen by me merely as a physical discipline and I refused to explore Yoga in its entire depth as spiritual teaching, the teaching of life. I then was fortunate to meet teachers who continue to lead my way through this incredible path of knowledge and wisdom. It’s given me a different, deeper perception of reality, myself, my relationships with the world and life. Once on this journey, you begin to experience living and being on many subtle levels. It’s an endless universe of self-exploration. Yoga has become my life. Last year I completed a teacher training course and am humbled by an opportunity to spread my love for it
Zoe-Maia is a holistic health coach, and founder of MAIA well co. - a team of wellbeing practitioners that offer bespoke classes to their clients on - you guessed it - everything.
Try our Workout Ritual Guide for when you can’t figure out what type of workout to do, or where to start. Next time you feel ‘bleugh’ hiit this chart.
Anyone who has experienced a year like 2020, understands the sweet feeling of finding headrest. You’ve put away your laptop and 2020 diary (thank God for that) and reunite with your cosy clothes and sofa.