Yoga Story – Maggie C.
What first brought you to yoga?
I started when I was very little (about 7 or so) doing yoga with my mom and sisters and a show on PBS called Hatha Yoga with Kathleen Hitchcock. I remember she spoke very calmly and seemed happy, and I found it very easy to twist my body into the shapes she did. The breathing and sitting still part? Not so much.
I dabbled in yoga here and there, did some as part of my body work in grad school, for my Masters in Performance at UW-Seattle. I also occasionally would take a drop in class, or join a friend in class but it never felt as simple as it did when I was a kid. I was concerned with my weight, how I looked in yoga pants, not wanting to appear clumsy.
Fast forward to a year and a half ago, when I was down in Florida visiting my sister, Kate. As a birthday present, she gave me a weeks worth of classes at her yoga studio, Yoga Pointe, in Lakeland, FL. And we took some Yin classes together. And we took some Restorative classes together. And it was great. And it reminded me of being little again.
So I came to Pilgrimage of the Heart, looking for that sense of play and love, looking for ways to calm myself when I get stressed out, intrigued by the variety of classes and teachers. And students! So many different kinds of students. We all look so different and I love it.
What do you love most about yoga?
I love how powerful breath work is! How I can use it to calm myself, to fire myself up, to cool down, to direct it to certain parts of my body for healing…I deal with anxiety and learning how to breathe deeply and fully just feels so delicious.
What is your favorite pose and why?
Well, it’s really an action—moving from up dog to down dog and rolling over my toes—at first I was afraid my toes would get hurt, but I did have an aha! moment in class a couple weeks ago when I realized how my breath and my arms and my shoulders and my hands and my long neck and my abs and my hips all worked together to float me over my toes—I kind of freaked out quietly when it happened, like, “Did you just see what I did?!” And quietly, I heard Meghan Hassett say, ‘Nice, Maggie”, in her calm voice. It’s great to have a witness to a personal triumph.
What do you do to stay inspired or motivated in your own practice?
I really appreciate the community—I’ve made good friends and I”ll see them at class—I say hi to people in class, just to reach out and connect for that moment, if I touch your toe or hand in a class, I will introduce myself to you!–I feel very strongly connected to the spiritual practice of yoga—I know when I come to class, there will be a moment of connecting and breathing before we start—that’s the little carrot I dangle in front of myself to get to class. And I talk about yoga a lot! I ask questions, read Yoga Journal, and always go back to the breath.