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Townie Profiles – Maddy

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By Tracy Billows | owner, teacher

We asked the Yogatown team, who should we feature for our Townie Tuesday? Maddy’s name came up more than once!

Back in 2017, Maddy joined our team at Preston Street and has since become a fixture at the front desk. Maddy’s also the person who manages all of 39 volunteers at our Preston Street location – no easy task!

With her vivacious smile and infectious positive energy, we consider ourselves lucky to have found Maddy for our team.

Now she’s doing her Teacher Training right here at Yogatown! Who knows, maybe you’ll be seeing Maddy leading a class in the near future. 😉

We asked Maddy to open up about her yoga journey and she delivered:

Why did you start doing yoga?

I started doing yoga a few years ago because I couldn’t cope with the situations life had handed me. I had been struggling very deeply with depression and self harm for awhile and hadn’t sought out the help that I needed. Circumstances in my life exacerbated these feelings and everything spiralled out of control. I had to move back in with my parents and felt broken and in such a dark place that I did not want to be alive. My sister suggested yoga and for weeks all I could do was go to yoga and go to therapy. Slowly I felt the changes that are inevitable when you start doing yoga regularly. I had felt disconnected with the world around me for so long it was like finally coming up for air after being trapped underwater. By no means was I “fixed” or did my depression go away, but I found the path towards healing and boy has it been a long one with every bump you can imagine, but it’s also been beautiful and powerful.

What’s a yoga accomplishment you’re most proud of?

The accomplishment I’m most proud of hasn’t been fully accomplished yet, but I’m almost there! I’m currently doing my 200hr yoga teacher training here at Yogatown! It had been on my mind for so long but never felt like the “right time”. One day I realized the time will never be right and I’ll never feel ready, so I shouldn’t hold myself back any longer! I’m so proud of myself for taking this step and challenging myself in ways I hadn’t even imagined. If you were ever thinking of doing a training but didn’t think it was the “right time”, this is the universe telling you it is the right time and you should just dive in!

Why Yogatown?

I first came to Yogatown because I had just moved to the neighbourhood and it was the closest studio to me. As soon as I came in I immediately felt so welcomed and at ease. Although I had been doing yoga regularly for awhile I was always super anxious at studios. I’d come in as last minute as possible and spend as little time in the room before and after class. I always felt so uncomfortable and thought everyone was judging me or talking about me. It was so different here! The silent room was so comforting and I could actually relax before the class. I remember the first day one of the admins greeted me by name and I was so taken aback! I quickly felt at home here.

What does the word Townie mean to you?

Townie for me represents the amazing community that Yogatown has cultivated. Anyone can be a Townie regardless of what they or their practice looks like! It’s a term to embody the feeling of inclusivity and belonging you feel when you come to the studio.

We believe that yoga is about so much more than being bendy. What does yoga mean to you? Has it changed since you started practicing?

Yoga means everything to me! I do my best to take the lessons I learn on my mat into my everyday life and how I interact with the world. It’s helped me understand myself and others and brought me to a place where I can love and value myself. It’s changed so much and keeps changing! Initially it was just breath and movement that made me feel less shitty. It’s still breath and movement that makes me feel less shitty, but it’s also evolved into a life philosophy to me and shapes how I try to view and live in this world. There’s so much that I don’t know and will never know, but I love that it’s a lifelong journey of growth and discovery.

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