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Come Back to Your Mat with Claire Fountain

By: Claire Fountain @cbquality

5---Claire-FB-linkOne of the first memories of yoga I have is in my childhood room, rolling out a red yoga mat on the carpet. Sure, it rippled and slipped and slid all around but it was a where I could practice, or try to. I got into yoga as a teen for depression and anxiety, and just having a mat made it feel more real to me.

Creating a space on my mat that was mine helped me gain the courage to go to local classes. Once I got into a classroom, I felt how much better a mat functioned on hard wood floors rather than carpet – I quickly learned how a supportive mat helped me get into poses without stress. If my hands were stable, so was my down dog, and so was my mind. I could focus more on the breathing and teacher’s cues instead of struggling to be comfortable. I was already uncomfortable in my daily life, and yoga felt like the one spot I was safe, and could be free.

Yoga can often feel unfamiliar and awkward to anyone the first time they try it, as well as any time new poses are introduced. When first doing yoga, I was overly concerned with how the waistband of my pants needed to be adjusted, or how my shirt was clinging to parts of my body. I felt like everything needed to be adjusted and poses needed to be executed perfectly. Your practice should be a place of less stress, not more.

You show up, over and over, and through time and consistency, you learn that you are not your body, but something greater all together. By letting go of our need to control situations, we become lighter in spirit, and maybe, happier and more compassionate people.

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I often tell my classes “stay on your own mat,” which just means to not compare yourself to anyone else in the class, and focus on what is going on on your mat.
Yoga is a journey and each time we come to our mat is a chance to continue getting deeper into who we really are, and a little closer to truth. Maybe we learn to see things differently, move better, or breathe, the mat serving as a steady companion and safe space.

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Yoga gives us the peace of mind that you can take with you and always come back to. The same goes for your mat – come back to that place any time you need to.

Claire’s Manduka Favorites:

Resolution Jogger: My favorite pants…seriously the best. And, they have pockets. Amazing.

The Elemental Halter Bra: the high neck is flattering.

Black Mat PRO: a classic mat, that’s extra long (I’m tall and most my clients are extra tall, so extra space is necessary for a safe, comfortable practice).

Unfold Yoga Strap: I’m always concerned with back safety and the bodies of my clients. Struggling to reach a foot that is just out of reach can compromise the integrity and benefit of a pose, making it less safe. There is no shame in props! A handy strap gives you a little more length.

Claire Fountain, teacher and founder of Trill Yoga, fell in love with yoga in her Mississippi hometown as a teenager. Living her life by the mantra “I want to feel good” from an early age, she found that the perfect prescription for doing so was through yoga and strength training. Teaching others how to feel best in their bodies from the inside out, has allowed her to inspire many to let their boundaries go and get in touch with how yoga could work for them. She currently works with everyone from professional athletes to the yoga novice. Claire possesses the unique ability to offer yoga to many who would have never thought to try yoga at all.

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