My Yoga Journey
with Chelsea Bolles
Chelsea Bolles is a yoga teacher in New York, USA. In this interview, she shares her yoga journey and motivation for practicing yoga.
I became so strong and flexible through yoga. I started eating healthier. I became more mindful of my body and others around me. I started to care about the planet. I started to care about the words I said to myself and others. My work ethic changed... I found myself actually able to stick to my commitments... the best way I can describe it is by saying "yoga completely changed my life".
Interview with Chelsea Bolles
Published 15 April 2020
Published 15 April 2020
What does yoga mean to you?
To me, yoga signifies the joining of the body, mind, and spirit. It is coming back into the present moment over and over again. It's learning to breathe when things get difficult. It's turning inward to discover the answers within you.
When did you first start practicing yoga and why?
I first started practicing yoga the summer of 2016. I had just finished my freshman year of college. One night, a friend of mine called me and asked me if I wanted to go to a class called Yoga Jam. It was a 75 minute hot vinyasa class (Baptiste, to be specific), set to a rockin' playlist. I said 'yes', even though I had never done yoga before. I was instantly hooked. Her and I went to yoga basically every single day that summer.
Were you ever resistant to learn yoga?
I think when I was younger I had the wrong impression of yoga. I thought it was "dumb" to enjoy being calm. I was one of those people who was like "how can people who do yoga be so calm all the time?! They must be all hippy-dippy!" And here I am now, the exact person I never expected myself to be, and I'm so happy.
How has yoga impacted your life?
Yoga has impacted my life in many ways. First of all, I have learned SO much about being healthy. I don't think I really knew or cared prior to yoga, which is interesting because growing up, I danced, played softball, played volleyball, and ran cross country and track. I became so strong and flexible through yoga. I started eating healthier. I became more mindful of my body and others around me. I started to care about the planet. I started to care about the words I said to myself and others. My work ethic changed. All of a sudden, I found myself actually able to stick to my commitments. My time management went from nonexistent to very well organized. It may sound corny, but the best way I can describe it is by saying "yoga completely changed my life".
Why should someone practice yoga?
Someone should practice yoga because they want to. The "want" will stem from different reasons, based on the individual's needs. When I started practicing yoga, I wanted a stronger and more flexible body. That was my motivation. Along the way, I discovered the mindset tools, which turned me into a more well-rounded individual. Others practice yoga to calm the mind, and the physical attributes come with time. Whatever the reason, the individual needs to WANT to practice yoga. I can stand up here and tell you all the scientifically proven benefits to practicing yoga, but ultimately I can't make you do something you don't want to do. So that's why I say that someone should practice yoga because they want to. That desire, that curiosity, is enough, and the benefits will come. The individual will discover them along the way. Does that make sense?
What are your favourite asanas and why?
I love hip openers and inversions. Hip openers feel amazing and come naturally to me, and inversions are challenges to me, which I find fun! Some specifics are lizard, galaxy, half pigeon, half moon, headstand, and handstand.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
In September 2019, I injured myself, which really set me back in my physical practice. While this injury has been trying, I've learned a lot about slowing down and listening to my body. I've discovered safer ways to strengthen and stretch. I've learned how to accept my reality and understand that everything in life is a journey. We go through ups and downs. This experience has shaped me and I love that I can potentially share this with my students, so that they don't make the same mistakes that I do.
Chelsea's yoga journey teaches us that yoga can completely change a person's life. From being indifferent to caring. From being messy to highly organized. From lacking work ethic to honouring all commitments. From being restless to being still. From constantly hustling to slowing down and listening to the body. Yoga offers each practitioner the opportunity to transform his or her life.
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