There are few Townies like Maria. With a keen sense of style and vibrant smile that always bring a smile to our faces, Maria lights up the studio when she walks through the doors in Stittsville.
In the past 5+ years (and 950+ hours of yoga) that Maria has been practicing at Yogatown, we’ve gotten to know her well – and so have other clients. Maria is easy to connect with and always up for a great conversation. Her feature here will be no surprise to the Yogatown Stittsville community!
Maria opened up to us about her yoga journey:
Why did you start doing yoga?
Prior to 2014, I had participated in a number of sessions with another facility but it was more focused on the physical aspect of the practice. So it was more of a workout than anything else. To be honest, I think that I started off wanting to become stronger (and I have), but it’s turned into more of a journey of personal growth.
What’s a yoga accomplishment you’re most proud of?
I’ve thought about this for a long time before writing anything down. I was going to say that, after months of practice, I was able to do headstand and I’m still proud of that. But I’m most proud of the fact that I can, most of the time, be present in the moment when I’m on my mat. It’s still a work in process because, you know, life… but it’s something that allows me to be there and be happy with myself and that has made its way into all aspects of my life outside the studio.
Yogatown has the most amazing community and for that reason, I don’t think that I would want to practice anywhere else. From my first practice to current day, I have felt nothing but acceptance and a sense of belonging. Everyone, the instructors, front desk staff and fellow yogis, have been so caring and sincere and I truly feel that I’m heard. That’s huge these days…acknowledgment and acceptance of yourself by other like-minded individuals is like coming home. I have met more people in this yoga community of ours than any other gym or exercise class – yogis rock!!!
What does the word Townie mean to you?
To me, I think it means that I belong to something bigger, something that is about acceptance and it feels like coming home.
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?
To me, yoga has become a lifestyle…one in which the practice has helped transform me into someone that is more aware and present in my everyday life and has allowed me find balance when there wasn’t any! At the beginning, it was all about the poses and trying to do it “right” with the perfect form and holding the pose as long as I was supposed to. But I’ve learned to listen to myself and my body as I’ve become more in tune to what is “right” for me. The practice challenges me every time I’m on my mat but I’ve come to accept that and observe the resistance because ultimately, it allows me to grow.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I love practicing at Yogatown. I love the teachers, the staff, my fellow yogis. I love everything about it and everything that it has brought to my life. It’s given me calmness amidst the storms, it’s taught me to breathe and flow and be present to experience life as it is…it’s allowed me to look at adversity from a place of gratitude…and I am so appreciative!