Meet the Members
Yogi of the Month
1. What drew you to the mat?
I started practicing yoga in Madison nearly 10 years ago after tiring of doing mostly cardio based workouts at the gym. I was seeking a deeper mind/body connection in my day to day activity and decided to explore yoga. What's kept me coming back is the feeling I have after completing a class; I feel completely restored while simultaneously energized and I haven't been able to find this duality anywhere else. I have also found that while I'm practicing, I'm usually not thinking of anything else other than what I'm doing in the present moment, and that mini mental break is invaluable to my overall health and well-being.
2. How does it feel to be a part of the Monona Yoga community?
I was a member at several local studios prior to joining Monona Yoga Center in January 13th, 2016. Of all the studios, Monona Yoga Center has felt the most comfortable for me. I appreciate the intimate space we practice in; classes never feel too crowded or overwhelming. It's the first studio where I've felt genuinely cared about and a part of a larger community that is aligned by similar values.
3. Outside of the yoga studio, what do you like to do?
I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, going for hikes with my dog, cooking, thrifting, doing arts/crafts and exploring new places with my husband.
4. What are your favorite yoga poses, your least favorite?
I have a love/hate relationship with deep hip openers like Frog and Pigeon pose; there's a release that comes with the discomfort. I also love the way my back feels when doing Sphinx pose and how grounded I feel in Child's pose. Half moon and Dancer make me feel strong and beautiful.
5. What do you do to help stay motivated to come back to the mat?
Having a membership helps hold me accountable! I also try to schedule classes right after work; if I go straight home, it's unlikely that I'll make it back out. My body also starts to "yell" at me if I've gone too long without practice, and I've learned over time that it's best to listen.
Teacher of the Month
Photo: Joan with her mother's accordion.
1. How long have you been practicing? What brought you to the mat?
I've been practicing yoga for over ten years. I was invited to the mat by a dear friend of mine who must've caught on to my "in need of centering" vibe.
2. What is yoga/what does yoga mean to you?
Yoga is so much more than physical asanas and (lovely) Instagram photos. It's a connection: of your body to your breath, your intention to your action and of your whole self to the present moment.
3. What impact has yoga has on your life? How have you been changed, evolved, &/or transformed?
Yoga has been my rock through multiple life transitions. One of its biggest gifts to me has been a lengthened grace period between stimulus and response. An ability to sit with the joys and pains and curiosities that make up our human experience.
4. What is your favorite style of yoga to teach? What is your favorite style of yoga to practice?
That's a hard one. I love different classes for different reasons. Vinyasa is really fun for me. I love watching a student get into a new pose for them and I love observing a room of people struggle a little bit and laugh together. It's all a practice and it's good to keep your ego in check. Yin, is a bit more powerful for me. That feeling of release after a period of being uncomfortable is a lovely metaphor for life. And restorative is so, well, restorative, such a nice contrast to our busy lives.
5. What has been your biggest challenge on the mat? What has been your biggest milestone?
My biggest challenge on the mat is continuing to engage and expand in "basic" poses. My biggest milestone was realizing that's a thing I should be doing.