July, 2013
Take it Easy
By Shana Stein

In the book "Meditations from the Mat", Rolf Gates discusses the importance of making rest an active part of our yoga practice.  We need to schedule and plan for rest, not think of rest as something we resort to in moments of weakness. He goes on to say that we need to take rest long before feeling exhausted or frustrated. 

I find it powerful to quote others when teaching, and shared Gates' wisdom for weeks, explaining what rest looks like in a yoga practice. Before we learn to be truly guided by breath, rest frequently means taking child's pose and composing ourselves. After a while, we learn that we don't have to go full-throttle in every pose, and we learn to rest in the pose itself, riding the wave of our breath all along the way.  

As the old saying goes, "Take my advice, 'cuz I'm not using it!" During the weeks I was teaching about rest in class, I found myself not taking any in my own life. Next thing I knew, I hadn't had a day off in two and a half weeks. And my eyelid began to twitch. Again. Damn, I thought. Pushed to the brink of short-circuiting. Again. 

Somewhere along the way, I forgot to pencil me into my own life. Again. It used to be that I'd have to fall seriously ill before I'd pull my head out of the sand and realize it was time for rest. But the signs are always there, well before that, indicating we're headed for a nose dive. If only we listen. 

But listen to what? Things like a twitch or acne or changes in bowels. Other signs and symptoms of stress could be anything from hives to ringworm, from canker sores to sleeplessness, from to sleepiness to irritability. 

Even before all that, our own habits and tendencies are a sign that we're letting go of ourselves. Missing our yoga practice. Failing to eat right. Not making time for fun. Losing patience. Letting the dishes pile up. Falling back into old bad habits. Whatever takes you away from that feeling of steadiness.

As "they" say, it's nobody's fault but mine. I'm a doer. And an achiever. I like goals. And projects. And making people happy. So when I started getting really busy, I thought - GREAT! I'm going with the flow, and manifesting wonderful opportunities. 
And those things are great. But the only way they carry on is if we do. And there's a difference between thriving and surviving. The better I am, the better I do. And the better I am and do, the better the opportunities that come my way. 

As in the tradition of Mahayana Buddhism, I seek betterment for myself, for the betterment of all selves. It's not selfish to make yourself a priority in your life. To the contrary, everyone you touch will reap the benefits of your self care.

Take it easy,
Join Shana at The Mat on Thursdays at 8pm for Mat Gentle Flow.

Watch for details in July! 
Holiday Schedule Changes

Please note there will be no 6:30pm OR 8pm class on July 4th. Enjoy the holiday!
Karma Yoga Happy Hour
With Jennifer Chitwood   
The Mat is thrilled to welcome the amazing Jennifer Chitwood for this month's Karma Yoga Happy Hour!  Please join us at 6:30pm Friday evening, July 19th for this free community class held on The Mat's patio.  The 60-minute class is open to the community and completely free. After class, we'll have drinks, snacks and music on the patio as we get to know each other a little better. Bring your friends and join us for a great time and free yoga!

Check out our Karma Yoga Happy Hour video HERE

Pre-registration is appreciated, either online or in the studio. 
Advanced Yoga Studies - Summer Intensive
With Trina Hall
This is your last chance this year to become a Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher with Advanced Yoga Studies. 
Now is the time to make a commitment to yourself with Levels 1 & 2, and share your love of the practice in Level 3

We want YOU to be one of the inspiring and authentic yoga teachers who graduated from AYS
Level 1: July 8-19, 2013 
Level 2: July 22-August 2, 2013 
Level 3: August 17-November 18, 2013


Pre-registration is required, either online or in the studio. 
Safety Reminder!

Just a reminder to ALWAYS lock your your car, leave valuables in cubbies, and stay aware of your surroundings. 

In yoga we practice Ahimsa or "non-harming", so let's keep ourselves safe!


My Yoga Story  

With Krista Miller


Krista has been practicing with us at The Mat since September, 2012. We are so grateful that she is sharing her Yoga story with us this month!

Why do you practice Yoga? I practice Yoga because it centers me and allows me to focus on building health, strength, and spiritual awareness. It gives space to either clear my head, pray, or just meditate on whatever it is that is on my heart at the time.

How were you first introduced to Yoga? And, when did you begin your practice? I was first introduced to Yoga by a friend of mine who had been practicing for some time. She knew that I hated going to the gym and really didn't like "stressful" workout situations. She told me Yoga would be right up my alley. I began Yoga late last year and haven't been able to get enough.

How often do you practice? I make it a goal to practice at least 6 days out of the week. Some weeks are easier to hit that mark than others.
What are a few of the benefits that you have experienced? How does your practice help you in your daily life? The biggest benefit that I have received from Yoga is no more lower back pain. Yea! For about a year I struggled with sharp pains in my back when I would lie down to bed at the end of the day. Since starting they have completely gone away. I've also started to see some muscle definition in my arms and legs which is always a plus.Yoga has also helped me put myself in a much calmer state of mind than I think I ever have been before. I find myself stopping and taking a breath when I'm "out-of-sorts" or upset about something. There are also times where I catch myself doing a quick forward fold or some random twist just to wake myself up or to get the blood flowing.
What is one tip you would give to a new practitioner of Yoga? Stop looking at the crazy limber chick next to you! She doesn't matter in your practice, YOU matter in your practice. Be who you are and do what YOU can do. One day you will be crazy limber chic, but right now YOU are YOU and that is okay. 

Why do you practice with us, at The Mat? I practice at The Mat because the vibe there fits perfectly in my little bohemian world. The first day I walked in I met a woman with crazy hair and some sweet tattoos... I knew then I had found a home. All the instructors that I have taken from so far have been a delight. I love the chemistry that seems to flow in that room every time I go to practice. The atmosphere is so calm, laid back, and casual... Oh, and it always smells amazing!  

What Others are Saying about Shana's Classes...


Notices when someone may need assistance and so is helpful. Works very hard to make sure all have a pleasing practice. -Susie S.  


Shana is a peaceful and gentle teacher who is very in tune with her students. She always gives modifications and makes you feel ok about practicing yoga from where you are in the present. - Kamaile F.


Shana taught one of the first classes I took at The Mat.  She was warm and compassionate and the class was fantastic.  I knew I was in the right place! - Marie T.

Do you have feedback about Shana or any other instructor atThe Mat? Email Becky at [email protected].

Visit us at www.thematyogastudio.com for studio information. We look forward to seeing you on The Mat!
The Mat Yoga Studio
670 N. Coit Road, Suite 2381 972.497.YOGA (9642)
Richardson, Texas 7508| www.TheMatYogaStudio.com  
Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter