Yoga is for EVERYBODY+ EVERY BODY

YOGA COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT

We want to celebrate all the amazing humans and their unique stories that make us this wonderful yoga community. So, we've created the 'Yoga Community Spotlight'. A monthly feature highlighting your fellow students and their journey with yoga, so you can get to know them better.

 

January Spotlight

We're very excited to announce this month's feature student: Ashley Newlon

 


What does HARVEST mean to you?  

I discovered Harvest after a couple of my friends had started going to classes and told me what a great experience they had.  I had been waiting for a local studio to open and offer early morning classes that I could actually attend before work, and Harvest fit the ticket.  Once I started there I was totally hooked, each instructor offers a different experience, but every experience has been a positive one.  Harvest got me back into yoga and helped me to challenge myself, my body and my mind.  It had been too long since I gave myself the opportunity to do these things for myself, and Harvest is a place where everyone - Nici, the instructors, and the students - make it comfortable and inviting.  Harvest is a place that makes me feel welcome and pushes me to do more for myself, my family and my community.  

 

How did you start your yoga journey?

I probably started my yoga journey before I even realized it.  When I was little I was very involved in ballet for years and learned how to move my body, balance and breathe.  After I was long done with ballet, I knew what my body used to be able to do which made me always question what my body could still do.  I think because of that, I've always been drawn to yoga, but didn't actually start practicing until my early 20's when I started exploring different practices and realized how much I enjoyed it.  It took another 20 years before I really rediscovered how much I do need yoga in my life.

 

What does yoga mean to you?

Rediscovering yoga in my 40's, has offered me such a fulfilling mind and body experience.  I tried to get back into yoga after having my kids, and then I discovered I had an autoimmune disease that severely weakened my body preventing me from doing physical things I had always done so easily.  After all of that, yoga was what helped me start to feel better about my body and myself and most importantly reminds me to be grateful  for what my body can do today. Yoga gives me the opportunity to recenter myself and really just focus on me for an hour.  It's so easy to get lost in everything happening when you have little kids, a full time job and just the everyday rigamarole.  So often I just felt like I didn't have time with everything else to focus on me.  Giving myself this opportunity to let go and really focus my energy makes me a better person all around, a little lighter and easy going...just ask my kids and husband, they always notice when I haven't practiced in awhile!   

 

How do you fit yoga into your everyday life?

So this is a tough one for me, I would love to just go to a class everyday, but I find that even if I can't do a class in the studio or at home, just taking five minutes to do a couple sun salutations can get me back on track.  Even just doing a forward fold and hanging out makes me feel better.  And for sure, what I utilize from yoga everyday is recognizing my breath, when I'm stressed out or feel anxious, I just breathe.  

 

What advice would you share with yogis just starting out?

Just keep coming back!  No matter how you feel at that first class when you look around and it seems like everyone knows how to do everything better than you...just keep coming back. It's amazing how quickly your body picks up the moves, and it's such a great feeling when you "get" a pose that always seemed impossible, or when you can take a pose to the next level.  It's worth the challenge and without challenge there can't be change.  Just keep coming back!

 

If you were a yoga pose, which one would you be?

I would say pigeon pose...challenging at first, but the more you get comfortable with it the better you understand it.  And of course Savasana, because it's just so laid back, and aren't we all striving for that.

 

What's one interesting fact you want to share with our community?

I love to travel and growing up here I always thought I would end up anywhere but back here in the Falls, I even moved away to Colorado for awhile.  After being away and then coming back home, it's been wonderful rediscovering all the beautiful hiking trails, the transformed downtown, and most importantly the supportive community that me and my family call home.

__________________________________________________________

 

December Spotlight

We're very excited to announce this month's feature student: Lis Stevens


Lis has been with us since Fall of 2019. From the beginning of her journey at HARVEST, Lis has been a friendly neighbor to her fellow students in class. She practices with a powerful yet soft energy. It's a joy to watch her use that energy to grow and thrive on and off her mat.

Learn about Lis and her journey with yoga below.

 

What does HARVEST mean to you?
I work in the wine industry, and when we think of HARVEST, we think of the time of the year when the grapes are ready to be picked. They have finished growing out of either lush, beautiful soil or rough, dry earth, in various weather conditions, environments and weather conditions. They are mashed and
blended, made into beautiful juice that is then fermented, bottled and sent all around the world. We are kind of like that, we grow through different walks of life, some circumstances rougher than others. We get thrown into a blend of people and situations that we may not always “mesh” with but, through it all
we come out exactly how we are supposed to be because we do not encounter anything in life that we weren’t meant to be ready for. So, when I think of HARVEST, I think of being exactly where I am supposed to be in this crazy life. I have grown from experience and no matter how fabulous, or tumultuous life may be, I embrace every moment and connection I am blended with to make the best of the short time I am given.

How did you start your yoga journey?
Roughly 6 years ago, my mother-in-law, one of my best friends, took me to a workshop at another yoga studio. It was the first time I felt truly disconnected from my crazy, hectic outside world. I felt something deeper, a disconnect from distraction and a connection to myself. I was searching for an outlet for my
anxiety as well as a way to find more physical activity and ended up finding my path.

What does yoga mean to you?
Since I was a teenager, I have dealt with severe anxiety and depression. I have tried various forms of therapies, medications, lifestyle changes and diets; none have given me both the release and serenity that yoga has. For me, yoga means life. Living this life, the best way that I can and knowing that it’s enough, because it is my truth.
 
How do you fit yoga into your everyday life?
Two years ago, I made the word “pause” my personal mantra. I incorporate “pause” in every aspect of my life. Pause before making a decision, pause before reacting, pause before panicking. Gaining a grasp on my anxiety and recognizing when I am headed into a spin. I remind myself to pause, breath and keep moving. In yoga, our breath guides us through our practice. If I find myself leaving my mat mentally, I pause, take a breath and get back on track.

If you were a yoga pose, which one would you be?
Wheel. Wheel was the first “difficult” pose I was afraid of and struggled with. The moment I reached through with my heart was the first time I was able to rise up. It represents tremendous heart opening and vulnerability but also incredible strength and I work to live my life that way every day.
 
What advice would you share with yogis first starting out?
Devote your practice to yourself first. Use the time on your mat as your time for YOU. This is your journey, no one else’s.

What’s one interesting fact you want to share with our community?
Our community is full of AMAZING people. I have never really had a lot of girlfriends. This community has given me some beautiful connections and sisterhoods that I could never replace. Do not be afraid to
show up. Show up for yourself, you might be surprised what you will find.