May 2014 - Caroline Shifflett

What first brought you to yoga and how long have you been practicing?

I have been practicing yoga for twenty years.  I first practiced with a co worker.  We followed a video and it was Iyengar style.  I loved it immediately and have practiced since then to video, podcast and any class I can get to.  I love exploring differents styles and teachers.

What is/are your intention(s) for your yoga practice?

When I do yoga my intention really is to make me a better me.  I want to be a more open channel for the things I value in life like love and peace and joy and understanding.  I always feel like I am better friends with myself and my body after I practice.

What is your favorite pose and why?

My favorite pose is a tough question to answer...that changes frequently.  Past favorites include tree pose and half moon. Right now I'd say it's Pigeon.  I relax so deeply in Pigeon that I feel myself melting into the floor.

What is your favorite class at InsideOut Yoga?

My favorite class:  I have two.  Steady Flow and Breathe & Stretch.  Steady Flow is a great working class to push my boundaries, deepen my poses and work on my alignment.  Breathe & Stretch is a gift to myself.  I love the focus on easing tension and the increase in body awareness this class provides.

How has the practice of yoga influenced your life?

Yoga has influenced my life in so many ways.  Physically, I am very aware of my body and its alignment.  Emotionally, I am more open and freer to express my emotions in a safe way.  Yoga has made me more calm, more present.  After every session I feel relaxed and as if I am better friends with myself and my body.  I have recently discovered that a daily practice, mo matter the length or intensity, helps me face my day with joy and clarity.

What advice would you have for a beginning yoga student?

Just keep showing up on the mat.  It will be different every day.  It will be different with every teacher, every style.  Just keep showing up, give it a chance to work it's magic on you. 

What is your occupation?

I am the mother of wonderful, beautiful mess of a toddler!!  Parenting is by far the best job I've ever had or probably ever will!  I love the challenges and the snuggles and the play.  There are so many skill sets that come into play being a parent and it is new every day.  I also am Chief Financial Officer at Pure n' Simple Family Chiropractic and a Laughter Yoga leader.

What activities do you enjoy?

I enjoy playing outdoors, adventures, reading, yoga, cooking, laughing, acting, and speaking at UUFR.

What is your favorite thing about living in the Northern Neck?

My favorite things about the Northern Neck are the beautiful landscapes, slower pace and the many opportunities to play outdoors.

Is there anything you want to add?

My favorite thing about Susan's teaching is her reminders about the balance between opposing forces in each pose and the encouragement to find the balance between effort and ease, the stretch and the strengthening.  I also appreciate the prompt to take something from our practice and apply it to our lives.  These things help me deepen my practice and fulfill my intention of being a better me.