An interview with Hayley

What is your personal mantra?

“I trust completely in myself and the Universe”.  That’s what it’s been for the last few months anyway. I find this strikes a wonderful balance between affirming faith in myself and faith in what’s beyond me. It reminds me that I’m capable of amazing things, while at the same time urges me to let go of my desire to control where I’m at in my life.

What inspired you to start yoga?

I dance14499076_332568763767617_5580887685607718912_nd competitively throughout high school and first started yoga to supplement that training. It was mostly a physical practice for me in the beginning and I absolutely loved it. I practiced on and off throughout university, but I’d say my real inspiration came when I began seeking treatment for some mental health issues. In my third year of university I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and EDNOS. I started seeing a therapist who would practice mindfulness meditation with me and I swear that was the most healing thing I’d ever experienced. After that, my yoga practice deepened and I felt so inspired to roll out my mat. Although I still enjoyed the physical aspects of yoga, I wasn’t just stretching and relaxing anymore – I was healing myself through mindfulness and movement: fostering a healthy relationship with my mind and body, and coming home to my soul.

When do you do yoga? (Morning, Afternoon, Evening) Why?

It depends largely on my schedule and what type of yoga I want to practice. I like practicing Vinyasa or Hatha in the morning because it energizes me and puts me in a good headspace to take on my day. I like practicing restorative in the evening because it helps me let go of my day and slows me down so I can rest. Like so many of us though, my schedule is often hectic. Sometimes I just go with the flow and feel grateful for my practice, whenever it may happen.

How do you deal with your negative thoughts and emotions?

There’s a powerful meditation that I learned in Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book “Wherever You Go, There You Are” called the Lake Meditation. It draws a comparison between the reader and a lake; while a lake’s surface is easily disrupted by ripples and waves, there is always stillness in its deepest waters. I find this image particularly helpful when I’m experiencing negative thoughts or emotions. It helps me hold the thoughts and feelings in awareness without 13381425_425770317547396_1669701224_n.jpggetting swept away by them. Of course, if I’m feeling really stuck, it always helps to talk things out with someone I trust.

If you could visit anyplace in the world right now, where would it be? Why?

Chile. I’m fascinated with how the landscape and climate changes from one tip of the country to the other, and I love spending time outdoors. Stargazing in the desert, hiking in Patagonia, and getting up close and personal with some glaciers is a dream to me.

Many people are afraid of arm balances in yoga, what did you do to practice (mentally & physically)?

Mentally, I let go of the fear and ego built up around falling. Yoga is about the journey so, wherever you are in your practice, it’s perfectly fine that there are postures you can’t hold yet. And what’s a bruise or two really? Physically, I started to incorporate poses into my practice that strengthened my core and shoulders, and then just went for it!

What type of things do you do to give back to yourself?

I’m a major introvert, so for me, the biggest way I can give back to myself is carving out alone time to recharge. Baths are always nice too, especially with essential oils.12976296_1608618929462286_1149908024_n.jpg

What advice would you have for your younger self?

Don’t be afraid to live your truth, and don’t lose it in others. The more you get honest about who you are, how you feel, and what you want, the more your life will shift to support that.

What are some of your daily rituals?

I try to meditate every day, even if it’s only for a couple minutes. Also, right before I fall asleep I make a mental list of 3 – 5 things from my day that I’m grateful for.

Looking back on your year so far, what are you most proud of?

I’m a very imaginative person, but sometimes manifestation can be a challenge for me. I’ve been working hard on changing that so, this year, I’m most proud of all the ideas, thoughts, and plans I’ve put into action.

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