Student Feature – Dion

#bysstudentfeature 7 questions with…Dion.
Dion was introduced to hot yoga 2 years ago by a friend and was immediately drawn to it. Yoga was something completely new and different. Dion is a passionate, fly fishing, mountain biking, golfer that loves NFL football, #GoCowboys, so yoga was a great contrast from his previous interests. Now, much to his and our delight, yoga is no longer a deviation from his normal routine and has become a part of his daily existence.

How did Bliss become a part of your yoga journey?
By chance one day I ran into @yogawithkristy while with a common friend at the Edmonton Triathlon. The topic of yoga soon came up and she mentioned she was subbing Freestyle Friday at Bliss and that I should check it out. I did check it out and the rest is history. I am now approaching my 500th class.

Do you feel anyone can enjoy and gain from yoga?
Yes, yoga has something to offer everyone. Physically, psychologically, spiritually or emotionally, yoga can provide us whatever we need. Whether you are recovering from injury, a traumatic loss or broken heart, or perhaps you want to lose some weight, build some strength or gain some personal insight, or maybe you just want to look hot in your yoga pants, crush some calories and have a good sweat, whatever it may be, yoga has countless benefits available to all. That’s the beauty of it, yoga is different for each of us and there is no right or wrong, good or bad, there is just yoga.

How has yoga changed your life off of the mat?
Yoga hasn’t really changed my life; rather, yoga has become a part of my life. What it has changed, is the way I think about many things. I have become more accepting of myself, others and things previously unknown. I have become more grateful for what I have rather than wanting for what I do not. I have come to better understand that we are all somehow connected. I realize self-love has nothing to do with ego, arrogance or vanity, rather, self-love is one’s ability to accept themselves as is, to grant one’s self permission to not be perfect, to not be critical, to be happy, to be willing to take the time to heal if necessary, or to rest or to enjoy life’s diversity. Self-love is the ability to see and honor the beauty and splendor that is in each and every one of us. We are miracles and yoga would have us live life as such, cherishing one breath at a time. I no longer consume needless sugar and I seek only to eat nutrient rich foods and drink plenty of water. Yoga makes me feel healthy, happy and open to life’s possibilities.

What has surprised you most since starting your yoga practice?
The thing that has surprised me most since starting yoga is that our awesomeness is limitless, bound only by our fears and preconceptions.

What is your favorite pose or maybe the one you are struggling with most right now?
My favorite poses are the various hand balances like Bakasana, Eka Pada Koundinasana, Galavasana for they are challenging and fun. I struggle with handstands immensely. I have a mental block I need to work through, perhaps in the coming months I will progress past this fear.

What is your favorite class or classes to attend at Bliss?
My favorite class at Bliss is Warm Rocket Flow with Lindsey Park Saturday morning. I also like the various Blissful Glow Flows offered in the evenings.

What would you say to someone who wanted to start practicing yoga but felt they weren’t flexible/strong enough?
I would say that yoga doesn’t really have anything to do with strength or flexibility. Yoga is about connecting with your breath and being in the present. The poses are just a means by which we bring focus and attention to what we are doing—putting purpose to our action and movement in order to slow the mind to allow for new perspectives to emerge, making room for that which is fundamental to growth, wisdom and discovery. We create space in our bodies to allow for space in our hearts and minds. Strength and flexibility are the bi-products of yoga, not the prerequisites. Willingness is all that is required.
We love to celebrate our #blissfamily on their yoga journeys both on and off the mat. Thank you to Dion for sharing this with all of us!

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