An interview with Whitney Walsh
August 26th, 2013 in Uncategorized
Whitney teaches power yoga classes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 1:30 pm.
What was your biggest struggle with the practice when you first began?
I was not physically strong or flexible enough to do many of the poses, and I couldn’t imagine ever being able to do them. I did, however, enjoy the way I felt in class and continued to return to the mat. Over time, my body changed – I became stronger and more limber. From there – my mind changed. I realized that what I thought was the impossible became possible. I no longer struggle with this mindset because evidence proves that if I continue to come back to the mat, inevitably, the poses will come.
What do you like most about practicing?
I like to take time out of my day to dedicate to listening to my thoughts and the stories my mind tells me. Yoga is a moving meditation. It is not a time to check out but rather a time to check in. When I first started I didn’t even notice my roaming, rambling mind. As I continue to practice I am able to tune into the chatter, and when I clearly hear my thoughts then I notice which thoughts are useful and which are harmful. With this awareness, I can intentionally let go of the harmful thoughts and cultivate the useful thoughts.
What made you first want to be a teacher?
My initial reason for wanting to be a teacher is the same reason I teach today. Yoga is a transformative experience from the outside in, and I am compelled to pass this opportunity for transformation on to others.
What has yoga taught you?
Yoga has taught me to be gentle with myself. I tend to have a critical mind with tendencies of perfectionism. Whenever I lost my balance in class I became embarrassed and frustrated with myself. Then I began to notice that when I held a pose without wavering I was not progressing. Ultimately, I decided that I would rather progress than be held back by fear of embarrassment and frustration.
What’s the most challenging pose for you and why?
The handstand is the most challenging pose for me. I have a flexible back. And while this serves me in some yoga poses, inversions are not included. I have created muscle memory in my body in many poses, and I can move into with breath-control. In contrast, in handstand, I am required to hone in on my muscles and keep track of my breath. I frequently hold my breath in handstand and tip over into wheel. I have noticed, however, that over the past few months of routinely practicing my inversions, my body remembers and my lungs find air.