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From The Heart
When I step onto my Manduka, I am stepping onto my sacred space. The place where my body and mind are free to become one. With each breathe, asana, and drop of sweat I learn to let my heart soar & my spirit blossom...all while on my Manduka.
-Jo Beth Richards
Why Manduka?: Happiness lies in the inhales and exhales.
What does your Manduka help you #practice?: My Manduka helps me practice patience, on AND off the mat.
Yoga Style: Power Yoga, Vinyasa Flow
My yoga journey began in 2004, and I fell in love with the ‘workout’ right away. At the time I wasn’t exactly sure what drew me to yoga, I just knew not only was it great physically, but it was the only time my mind didn’t seem to wonder off to a to-do list or replay events in my past. I found solitude and peace on my mat. I couldn’t form it into words, but I knew there was something special about being ‘truly present in the moment’.
In 2007 I found out I was pregnant with my first son. I was ecstatic and enjoyed everything prenatal yoga had to offer. However, tragedy struck as I lost my son during birth that year. As one could expect, I downward spiraled into depression and felt lost. I learned a lot about myself during that challenging time, but also came out of the loss with intense panic attacks. Eventually I returned ‘home’ to the studio and got back to my yoga. I started to notice, as my body returned to pre-baby shape, the aching in my heart slowly started to heal. Then, I actually tried to pay attention during meditation; searching for any advice and help I could get in overcoming the loss of my son. I found a whole new need for yoga in my desperation. I began to get stronger and felt more whole as I left class, determined to live in the present, and not let my past define me. I truly felt I was being healed by the practice. I no longer needed to take the antidepressants or anxiety medication I was prescribed. It took over a year, but who knew I could actually control those mind games with just my breath? I knew then, that yoga wasn’t just a workout you practiced in a studio or on the mat; it was a lifestyle off the mat as well.