For September, our Student of the Month is Brandon! He is both a dedicated student and trainee in the current teacher training program here at the studio!
You can find Brandon at the evening warm classes almost every day of the week. The moment he walks in the door, he has a smile on his face, looking so content to just be at the studio.
Not only does Brandon always take the time to check in and ask how each staff member is doing, he always stays after and volunteers to help clean up the studio at the end of the night.
While Brandon hasn’t lived in Asheville all that long, he’s become a true member of our community and it feels like we’ve known him a long time!
What was the experience with yoga that got you hooked?
Like a lot of people, I started going to yoga as a physical practice, a way to improve strength and flexibility. Shortly after starting, I was reintroduced to my breath, that was the hook. Being able to consciously breathe for 60 or 90 minutes straight has tremendous healing benefits for me. It allows me to get out of my own way and just be . Once I felt this relief I was hooked
What inspires you to continue yoga?
I continue to practice because I want to become the best possible version of myself. I know that yoga has increased my ability to be present and this is where I prefer to be. I can see, and feel, the endless benefits of my practice and that to me is super inspirational.
What is your favorite pose?
Savasana!! Hands down… and arms down, and head down, and legs down.
What is your most challenging pose?
Sitting comfortably in Lotus and relaxing my mind
What is your favorite time/place to practice?
Clearly, Asheville Community Yoga is my favorite place and the best time for me to practice is when I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed.
How has yoga changed your life?
In so many ways, we should sit down and talk if you’re interested . I feel most importantly I have more love and compassion for myself and others. Instead of drowning my fears and guilts with drugs or alcohol I am able to notice that happening and let it pass. I give myself forgiveness for terrible things that have happen in the past and focus my energy on the present. I love myself more and am much less afraid to be myself instead of continuing to wear a mask.
Do you have a favorite yoga book or video?
P90X Yoga, dare you to try it.
What are 3 words you would use to describe yourself?
Loving, sensitive and expanding.
Is there a recurring theme that runs through your yoga practice?
Focus on the breath and feel and presence. I still battle an overactive mind a lot .
If you could just share one practice that has helped you the most, what would it be?
Gratitude, think of 3 things you are grateful for every morning and know that you are blessed to have these things or people or experiences.
What is your current or all-time favorite song or artist for a yoga playlist?
Xavier Rudd – Follow the Sun. This song brings me to a happy place filled with great memories of a beautiful soul that will always be cherished in my heart.
What is your mantra?
Well, I didn’t have one until right now. From now on it’s going to be : believe in yourself
Do you have a passion other than yoga you’d like to share about?
Certainly, I’m passionate about moving towards a completely sustainable existence. I want to live in harmony with the rest of creation. Let’s use our intelligence to help our ecosystem, our planet, the universe instead of just taking and leaving it looking ravished and polluted and barren. I’m passionate to spread more awareness and love.
How did you find Asheville Community Yoga?
I found it on google. It was the first place I came when I moved to Asheville in November. It happened to be a couple miles from where I was going to be staying and was offering an evening class. It was meant to be. Not so much that I found it as it found me.
Do you have a spirit animal? If so, what is it?
I’m not sure, I think maybe I can relate most with the caterpillar. For my whole life I have been living on the ground layer of my existence crawling around, vulnerable, glutinous, eating too many leaves. I have recently sheltered myself into my cocoon: hiding from the rest of the world, being scared and not helpful to the rest of existence … I hope that this awakening I’m feeling is my transformation to a butterfly🦋. I love butterflies!
What’s your most embarrassing moment in a yoga class?
Definitely a few times I’ve been twisting into a pose and something slipped out my backside. Luckily it wasn’t a disc in my back:)
Do you have a favorite class you like to attend?
Any class where the wonderful ms Wendy is teaching. I love being in her presence, hearing her beautiful, loving and healing words. Her gentle class may have been the best hour of my life, but for some reason I find myself hooked on her hot flow on Tuesday’s. Do it!
Thank you, Brandon for sharing your practice with us and always stepping up to help the center in whatever way you can! We appreciate you!