Take a deep breath in through the nose. All your anxieties, doubts, and frustrations that may be clutching your mind, exhale them away.
Welcome to a yoga class at Sanctuary Yoga, where becoming aware of your breath is the center of the experience. Of course, you may also find tighter glutes and enhanced back muscles to be a byproduct of these classes. But the root of the experience is the breath and the peace of one’s mind. When you drift too far from your base, and unwanted thoughts pervade your mental space, you may hear a gentle voice reminding you to stay connected and aware of your breath.
Before becoming aware of your breath, you have the opportunity to engage in a small communal exercise of sharing your name and how your body is feeling. Community and tranquility flow within the studio, throughout the peaceful garden, around the 600-year-old oak tree, and right into the little house that serves as the base for Amala Foundation. There is a sense of grounding, connecting, and love.
It is evident in the slow and careful way the yoga teacher guides the session. You won’t feel overwhelmed with technical terms to where you find yourself peeking to your neighbors and trying to understand what you should be doing. Sessions are fluid and not rushed. You won’t feel yourself falling too far behind when you simply want to follow your breath and cater to the needs of your own body.
There is the feeling of being apart of something special. You are allowed to become aware of your breath flowing throughout the room while moving at your own pace. With each practice you learn something new about yourself and experience self-love.
The Amala Foundation serves youth all over the world, engaging them with activities and resources that help cultivate self-love, artistic craft, leadership skills, and a strong sense of community. It is so pleasing to find that same loving energy in the classes at Sanctuary Yoga.
Breath is the foundation of yoga. Breath strings together mind and body which activates the soul. Mindfulness and becoming aware of the breath is a beautiful tool to go deeper in a pose, to let go, and to calm the nervous system. I’m relieved to finally find more than a studio, but a community at Sanctuary Yoga.