Families That Yoga Together, Grow Together!
Mark and Julie Nanavati are both regular practitioners, so most BYR students have gotten to know the lovely duo. What a lot of people may not know is that their two children, Kate and Charlie are also up and coming yogis! Kate has recently started taking the 90minute class and Charlie has taken the kids’ class.
Over the years, all 4 family members came to yoga for different reasons. Julie (a Corporate Team Business Manager at Hunton & Williams, MOM, Wife) came to BYR in 2008.
“I was looking for a change from my mundane fitness routine of jogging and the gym. Running had become harder on my knees and joints so I wanted to take a break from all of the pounding.”
Mark (Partner at Sinnott, Nuckols & Logan, DAD, Hubby) came to BYR in 2009.
“I was seeking relief from very significant low back pain and I had a solid recommendation from Jayne Randall.”
Kate (Soon to be 3rd grader at Collegiate) and Charlie (Soon to be 5th grader at Collegiate) both took their first classes in 2014. Kate and Charlie are incredibly active! Kate loves to draw, paint, and read. She also does gymnastics, swims, and spends a lot of time with friends. Charlie is the sports lover of the family – he participates in lacrosse, soccer, and wrestling. He also enjoys fishing, kayaking and swimming.
Neither Kate nor Charlie makes it to yoga as often as their parents, but who knows, maybe one day they will be regulars too! Their parents’ both have inspiring stories about how yoga has changed their lives.
When Mark first came to yoga, he says, “It was brutal. It reminded me a lot of how I felt after a wrestling practice but I could almost immediately tell it was exactly what my back and body needed.”
Julie had similar thoughts about Bikram Yoga when she first started.
“Not only was it more physically rigorous than I ever imagined, I had no idea about the benefits of calming your mind and the sense of peace you discover in the room.”
Mark and Julie believe that practicing yoga consistently for an extended period of time has most definitely changed their lives in a positive way.
Julie says, “ It’s hard for me to ‘focus on myself’ being a full-time working Mom with two young children. In the yoga room, I truly do ‘focus on myself.’ Each time I go, I feel like I have given myself a gift – a gift of calm, quiet and serenity for 90 minutes.
Mark says, “I am no longer in constant pain. I do not live on Advil and have not seen a neurologist or chiropractor in five years! Without the pain, I think I am actually in a better mood most of the time, too.
In addition to feeling healthier and having enjoying a better state of mind, the Nanavatis believe coming to yoga with friends and family is “a wonderful way to share a healthy hobby.”
“It gives us a shared interest and something to talk about and look forward to together.”
When the family is in the room together, they give each other some space, but also share some positive energy.
“We prefer to practice on opposite sides of the room to give each other space, but we usually wink or smile several times during class. When Kate comes, she practices next to us. Sometimes we hold hands during savasna…..we are always so proud of her coming with us and it is basically 90 minutes of quiet family bonding.”
If you’ve ever thought about bringing a loved one to yoga, let the Nanavatis be your inspiration! You can’t be too pushy, but if you have a willing family member, bring them in! You may discover a mutual love for yoga ☺
“The little victories are addictive,” says Autumn Cypres, 49, who first came to Bikram Yoga Richmond in July 2014. “The first time you can grab your foot for Standing Head to Knee pose, the first time your right toe goes all the way around your left calf for Eagle pose.”And then: “The first time you can do a backbend against the wall and touch the floor.”(Editor’s note: None of the above victories should be considered “little.”)“I was very intimidated my first two months,” says Autumn. “I am not an athlete. I am not thin, I am not coordinated, and I have horrible balance. I could not bear to look at myself in the mirror.”And then there were the yogis in the back row practicing their advanced poses and preparing for competition.“I felt like I did not deserve to be there,” Autumn says.Then she made a discovery: “Even the most gifted students struggle. That was a huge surprise! And they are so humble and encouraging to me.”The lesson: “It does not really matter what I look like in class. What matters is that I am trying. And for 90 minutes I don’t think about all the other very stressful things in my day.”Autumn is a professor of educational leadership at VCU and also chairs that department. “It’s like having a job and going to school—I always have homework.”She will be leaving Richmond for a new position in New York City, as Research Professor at St. John’s University, where her job and homework will be about expanding research and preparing school leaders.Meantime, she says, “I am always thinking, worrying, or writing in my mind. Yoga has helped me to learn to relax, and turn my mind to something else, like locking my knee.”A regular in the 5:30 a.m. classes, since January, Autumn’s also been working on Peacock pose. She became inspired after seeing it demonstrated by a 70-year-old yogi in North Carolina.“He had on a denim work shirt and blue jeans. He was lecturing about stress reduction. When someone in the audience said they did not understand what he meant by Peacock, he just bent down, put his arms down and then levitated.”That’s when she decided she wanted to master the pose.“When I started,” she says, “I couldn’t do a pushup. I was not even able to lift my head. Now I can balance for about half a minute with my legs bent. I am shocked my arms are so strong.”“It’s challenging to tell a colleague or friend how profound a moment can really be when you overcome your own doubts and hold a pose for the entire duration of the dialog. It’s difficult to explain the joy of being able to lift your legs up one-quarter of an inch higher in locust. But it is a joy.”
Last day! This one feels short! I don’t know about you guys, but I haven’t been feeling as great as usual. I will say that each cleanse is a little different, depending on how your body is cycling while on the cleanse. If you don’t feel fantastic and wonderful on the cleanse, don’t worry. You are still getting benefits just by making the attempt. Some of you may want to add a day or two to your cleanse and that is fine. We have plenty of juice stocked at the studios this week that you can pick up for Thursday and Friday.
The specialty juice today is carrot/apple/ginger. This is an excellent anti-inflammatory as well as good for your respiratory system. Carrots regenerate the cells of the lungs, while apple remove histamine. Ginger kills unwanted bacteria and breaks down congestion and acid build up. Also carrots are good for the eyesight. They might even give you a natural tan (drinking lots of carrot juice might turn your skin an orange color….cool!). So drink up!
Even after this cleanse, I hope you all see the health benefits to drinking juice daily. Juice and smoothies make up at least half of my regular diet. You may find that after the cleanse you will continue to cravee more plant and liquid foods and not require so much food to feel sustained.
I hope you have a great day three!!!!