“Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.” ~Sylvia Boorstein
In its current popular form, Yoga has become a fitness based activity, focusing on alignment and anatomy, postural and physical progression. So it may be a surprise to many that meditation used to be an integral and inseparable part of yoga practice and not at all a separate entity that belongs in a whole other interest group. More traditionally, concentration and visualization practices were practiced integral to the general posture work, and the overall intent of the practice was more about altering your level of consciousness than it is about gaining strength or flexibility.
However, the simplest way of accessing this little known dimension of the practice is via the postures themselves, if you approach your practice mindfully absorbed in your posture and movement. The very word “Asana”, the Sanskrit term used to describe a yoga pose translates to “seat” with the implicit understanding that these postures are seats or gateways for meditation.
So when Estee Ng, new teacher at Meraki Yoga, heard Rodney Yee talking about it in one of his Yoga CDs, something shifted within her, a click of revelation which led to a deepening of her practice. She had discovered yoga two and a half years ago while searching for diets, trainings and workouts, driven by her then self esteem issues around her weight.
Naturally her early practice revolved around the more physically intense and fitness based class types. It also reflected the unsettled state of her mind. “I used to be so distracted, jumping from one thing to another within a short period of time.” Estee recalled.
Specifically, Rodney’s words as she remembered them were: “Doing anything with attention to how you feel is doing Yoga”.
What followed was a change in the way she practiced and her choice of classes. “I used to love love love Vinyasa because it keeps the cardio pumping and that adrenaline rush in the body. But i’ve recently been more inclined to be aware of my own Body and Breath, and to be present in each Unfolding Moment.” Her practice evolved to something altogether more consistent and steady, Hatha based in its long holding of static postures, each posture becoming more like the aforementioned “Asana”, realizing their potential as a gateway to profound meditation. “Yoga allowed me to settle down into my own body, helped me find peace and calmness within myself. “
And this peace and calmness was felt even off the mat, impacting a deep positive change to her life. The biggest decision that came from this shift in mindset? Becoming a yoga teacher. “Yoga has taught me so much: Taking a step back in difficult situations, learning the wonders of going slow and steady – basically these principles are what got me into taking the Teacher Training, to further impart my knowledge and of course sharing my practice with everyone.”
As a teacher Estee radiates warmth and enthusiasm, always with the biggest smile in the room. Her classes typically begin with a pranayama session, a way to calm her students down from the mental distractions of the day, and also a way of centering herself for the practice.
Estee has chosen Meraki Yoga as the platform for her teaching because of the how the environment, staff and students resonate with what she holds dear. “LOVE THE VIBES in meraki: everything feels positive, the studio itself, the students, the teachers. everyone here is so open to learning. the students eagerness to learn something new makes the entire teaching so much more interesting.”
Estee currently conducts Hatha, YinYang and Core classes. Let’s welcome our newest member to the team!