A yogi since 2013, Cyd Marindo attends our weekly yoga classes at North Valley Aikikai Dojo in Northridge. In her own words, read about her yoga journey--how she found the practice, her honest uplifting insights and her inspirations:
My journey into yoga started about eighteen months ago. I was looking for an effective way to manage stress from work, and face the emotional stress from my dad’s passing in 2013. Combined with the complications and the responsibility of having to deal with the estate, and certain family members wanting to gain from it, it was his tragic and unsolved death that caused me to feel depressed and be overwhelmed with grief. I was drowning in sorrow and didn't know what to do. If it wasn't for my husband and my daughter who gave me purpose, I didn’t have any other reason to get out of bed each morning. Yet I knew I had to deal with my emotions and bring some normalcy back in my life. That realization paved the way to my practice. It took two years to get there and for the healing process to begin.
Yoga reminds me that even though I don’t have control of what happens around me, I can have control of my body, my thoughts and emotions. That it’s okay to let go of what does not serve any purpose. That I have the ability to take deep breaths and gain a sense of calmness from within. That I can be free of self judgment and anxiety, and just be able to focus on the present moment. Then there’s also the increase in physical strength, balance and flexibility that I haven't had in a long time. Perhaps the most important benefit is improving my relationship with others and encouraging self care.
My practice has further helped me appreciate the beauty and abundant blessings in our surroundings. The painful experience of the past made it easy to overlook them. It has awakened a part of me that I once thought was hard to gain back. I am grateful for being able to enjoy life and be active again. Yoga has become one of the best tools to gain self awareness and achieve a sort of balance between the body, mind and spirit. I’ll always be a work in progress and the wisdom gained from the teachings of yoga will be there to help me find my way home.
My favorite pose is the single pigeon. It wasn't just among the more challenging hip openers that I’ve encountered but it has also made me deal with the emotional stress that used to overwhelm me and affect my daily functions. While in the pose, I am able to acknowledge the presence of anger, guilt, fear, anxiety and any worries of the future. After several moments of deep breathing and relaxing into the pose, it gives me a sense of emotional release and makes it easier to let go of those emotions. Because of this, the pigeon pose will always have a special place in my heart (or my hips).
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” These words by Melody Beattie, an American author most known for her books on self help, inspire me to be more grateful with what life has to offer, and to put things into perspective.
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REviews of Root 2 Rise Yoga with Michelle chua:
Michelle truly lives out what she teaches. She is so much more than a yoga teacher - I learned this when I went on her exquisitely curated trip that she organized to Costa Rica this past June 2018...Hopefully like me, you'll be delighted by her effervescent love of movement, nature, and all people!
Michelle clearly stands out with her beautiful and bright energy. I love how her practice and teaching encompass body, mind and spirit. She not only teaches yoga but lives and exudes it.
Michelle not only teaches 'yoga', she embodies it fully with her heart and soul...
Michelle is by far one of the best instructors I've ever had, period. Patient, clear in her explanations and demos, and so encouraging...
My first yoga class was with Michelle years ago. You can have the best (yoga pose) sequence and not teach from your heart. With Michelle, I also feel her passion when I'm in her class. I can see she loves what she does, and she inspired me to want to teach yoga, too.
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I'm so grateful to have met Michelle! Her kind energy opened up my interest in pursuing yoga and meditation. She is such an incredibly light and soul. She starts with grounding ourselves through mindfulness and breathing exercise. She brings the most authentic energy to the class by sharing the history and understanding behind poses, names, and techniques. I truly appreciate her work and impact on my well-being!
I’ve had dozens of instructors over the years, but Michelle is far and away the best yoga mentor I’ve ever practiced with. She epitomizes grace during these difficult times. Michelle has saved my sanity and my back while working from home, keeping me grounded with her sharing of yogic teachings and meditation techniques. Her repertoire of physical asanas is encyclopedic, and I’ve loved learning new poses and stretching my boundaries. Jump in, all. You’ve got this!
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