My Inspired Yogi blog is starting out strong for Summer 2015!  I love to hear the reasons behind my student’s practice.  The depth and the sincerity of those reasons always surprise me!  Letting me know that yoga is so much more than a physical practice.  Here’s our first Inspired Yogi of  Summer 2015:

Beth O’Donnell 


How long have you practiced Yoga? How often per week?  I have been practicing yoga for about 10 years. Practicing yoga is a daily discipline for me. It may just be going through a few sun salutations or performing random asanas at home. I enjoy participating in yoga classes the most. The camaraderie, music, guidance and energy enrich my practice.  


What made you decide to practice Yoga?  I began taking yoga classes at my local gym as a way to incorporate flexibility training into my strength and cardio workouts. After suffering a few minor back stresses, practicing yoga was a useful tool that aided my recovery and improved my strength and flexibility. As it turns out, restoring my flexibility is only one way that yoga has positively impacted my overall wellness. 



Why do you like about practicing Yoga at Fort Washington Park?  Practicing yoga at the Fort, overlooking the Potomac River, is an incredible and peaceful experience that leaves me feeling both rejuvenated and relaxed. The deer and groundhogs are grazing on the edges of the woods. There is always a breeze, sometimes cool and other times warm and sultry. The sunsets over the river are breathtaking and the overall take away is a reminder of how easy it is to find joy in the simple act of just being...being able to move and breath, being part of that beautiful environment (even the pebbles and ticks), being with others who share that joy and being in that present moment. Everyone who comes appreciates Cathy for affording us this wonderful opportunity! Thank you!  


What is your favorite Yoga pose and why is it your favorite?  My favorite yoga pose is a hand stand, but I haven't mastered the pose without using a wall for mental confidence and physical support. Practice makes perfect! I also enjoy warrior poses. Virabhadra is the name of a fierce mythical warrior. Warrior III is a pose that challenges my core strength, mental focus and balance all at the same time, all these aspects of the pose are important in strengthening the "fierce warrior" within me. 


Describe how Yoga has enhanced or changed your life.  Yoga began as a strictly physical practice to add to my aerobic and strength training program, it has evolved into a discipline that has enriched my spiritual well being as well as increased my strength and endurance. By nature, finding calm and sitting still were challenging acts to endure. Initially, I would sneak out of class as we would transition into shavasana. Learning to embrace the rewards of the calmness of mind and body that comes from personal and group yoga practice has been a great gift. Learning to use breathing to relax and reduce stress is a useful tool in many circumstances. Plus it is just plain FUN! Namaste!



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