Yogi of the Month – Claire McIntyre
In September 2017 I helped my sister at a yoga (and wine) retreat she was hosting. It had been several years since I had practiced yoga, and at that time it had been helpful in settling my mind a bit during a period of grief. Being at the retreat got me interested in having another go at it.
The day after I got home I walked into the Halifax Yoga studio and haven’t stopped coming back. As soon as I began classes special things started happening. I rekindled an old friendship with the wonderful HY teacher, Erica Blackburn, and reconnected with many other people from my past. I felt an immediate sense of welcoming, support and community among new faces. My primary reason for starting to practice this time was to prepare my mind and body for motherhood, a journey I know is not a guarantee but I was hopeful. Right from the beginning I practiced with intentions of strength, health and really asking for what I wanted from the universe, but also realizing some things are out of my control. I focused on being at peace with whatever was happening and also how I could share good energy with my loved ones. It really helps that the teachers at HY seem to say exactly what you need to hear, wherever you are in life. Some of these things stick in my head like little mantras; Laura saying “Compassion! So much compassion!”, Sherry encouraging us through a long hold, “The worst that will happen is you get stronger” or Barbie explaining “equanimity” – meeting life where it meets you, without judgement or drama. You can carry this stuff around with you off your mat when you face a challenge outside.
I was thrilled when I found out I was expecting a baby and during my entire pregnancy I have been supported emotionally and physically through practice at HY. I can only hope the mental and physical strength I have been building, all this prana, will assist me in the next phases of my journey. I intend on continuing to practice as a mother, but I will cherish the time I spent on my mat with my little one and the HY community.