December Yoga Story: Edward Rivera
Our yoga community is full of inspiring and passionate students, like our member Edward Rivera, who so kindly shared his story with us this month!
What first brought you to yoga?
I was intrigued by all the gravity-defying poses you see on social media and decided to try a membership deal at a nearby studio. I really enjoyed the challenge and the sense of endless progression. Once the trial membership ended, I had a better appreciation of yoga, but I didn’t immediately continue my practice. It wasn’t until I was mourning the sudden death of a friend that I sought a means to give me peace of mind. I found Pilgrimage and have since made yoga a habit.
What do you love most about yoga?
What surprised me most about yoga wasn’t the physical challenge of navigating through the different poses, but staying present on the mat and the clarity that comes forth. No matter what kind of day I have yoga helps me to find pause and an even mind. There’s also such a great community of very nurturing people, and I always feel very welcome. I love sharing this practice with my fellow yogis and witnessing everyone’s dedication and growth. Words of guidance from instructors have resonated with me far beyond the mat and sometimes echo in the advice I give to loved ones.
What is your favorite pose and why?
It’s hard to choose one, but I’ll say Warrior II has been a longtime favorite. Early on in my practice this pose really helped illustrate that there’s a lot of subtlety behind a seemingly simple pose. In Warrior II, I feel really solid, strong and connected, but at the same time, there’s an element of fluidity because you can readily transition into a number of different poses (of which I also consider my favorites!).
What do you do to stay inspired or motivated in your practice?
Yoga became a habitual practice once I started at Pilgrimage. It helped me get through a difficult loss and has become one of my favorite forms of self-care. I use my practice to help with mentally defogging, finding physical relief, and whatever else I may be seeking. There’s always a sense of newness in each class I go to no matter how many times I’ve attended. I never regret my time on the mat and feel that it’s helped me evolve for the better. Something to consider is trying to detach from expecting some kind of profound experience every time you practice; even a subtle change in the right direction is a win you didn’t know you needed.
Anything thing else you’d like to share?
I’m so thankful for all of the staff at Pilgrimage and the wonderful community with whom I share my practice. Namaste.