“If you have a good mental practice but you’re not connected to your body, you’re fractured. If you have a good physical practice but you’re not connected to your spirit, you’re fractured. Yoga is about being whole.”
In the latest episode of 30 DAYS OF INTENT on The Chopra Well, Natalie and Iman meet with power yoga instructor Rudy Mettia. With a background in the U.S. Marine Corps, Rudy now specializes in teaching yoga to veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He is known for his sharp wit and high energy yoga classes that emphasize athleticism in harmony with philosophy and spiritual reflection.
Walking into Rudy’s class, Natalie and Iman are on opposite sides of the spectrum. Natalie, a former pro soccer player with 3+ years of yoga experience, moves through the sequence with strength and poise. As a novice, Iman struggles and sweats to make it through the class. The disparity between their experiences highlights an important aspect of Power Yoga, as described by the practice’s West coast founder, Bryan Kest: Everyone’s body is different, and everyone is bound to get something different out of the class. Power yoga only promises to be rigorous and grounded in that mind-body connection Rudy describes, quoted above. Each individual practitioner pushes his or her body to its unique limit, while simultaneously exercising tranquility of mind.
If you wander into a class at the Santa Monica power yoga studio, you’ll find a room packed with sweating, grunting yogis whose calm faces belie their exerted muscles. It’s in the contradictions – mind and body, pain and serenity – that true growth occurs. This is what makes yoga such a powerful tool for transformation, if you know how to wield it.
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