@rootedinflowing on Yoga, Body Image & Finding Your Flow
Vanessa of @gypsyyogalove is an inspiration to yogis everywhere. In addition to sharing her art, her passion & her practice, her Instagram feed is set apart by her stories about and thoughts on such universal topics as forgiveness, courage, body positivity & intuition. We interviewed Vanessa to get the scoop on everything from her self-practice style to her sources of motivation and inspiration:
How did you get into yoga? What was your motivation?
I originally got into yoga to help get back into my pre-pregnancy shape. I had seen some photos of Kino MacGregor doing Pincha Mayurasana and I wanted to be able to do that pose. She was, and still is, my motivation to remain strong and stick with the practice daily. It wasn’t long after I began doing yoga that I started to see that it really was a practice that transforms you inside and out.
What style of yoga do you practice & why?
My style is kind of my own but I think it resembles a Hatha/ Yin practice. It’s very slow and very calming, but builds heat and strength because of how long I take to transition. Really using all the muscles to move and do each asana as safely as possible. I do a lot of flows by other teachers though who teach similar to what I practice - Talia Sutra is my absolute favourite teacher.
How do you motivate yourself to get on your mat on those days when you just don't want to?
I drag myself there. I know it's worth it. I might even sit there for a few minutes debating if I really want to and then I start moving and time is history. When I started yoga I actually kept a few mats through the house so no matter what room I was in, I had a mat and I would pull it out and just move.
Has your diet changed since you began practicing?
Yes and no. I have always eaten pretty well but the past couple years I’ve really focused on a lot more raw veggies and consuming meat as little as possible.
How do you de-stress after a particularly rough day?
Handstands for sure. For me they require focus and to let go of everything or else I don’t get into them. I also like to sit in my yoga space and read. Right now I’m working on Women Who Run With Wolves and it's been a life changing book.
What has yoga helped you to most overcome & accept?
My body image issues for sure. Before yoga I was dealing with a lot of self loathing over my body. I am curvy by nature and I had a hard time accepting that because I felt the pressure to be thinner. It took a couple years but yoga helped me love my body as it is and made me realize how strong I am on the inside and outside.
What are your favorite Instagram accounts to follow?
What advice would you give to someone just starting their yoga journey?
Take your time. Find classes that focus on going slowly so you can really get into each pose and understand what is going on. When I started I always found classes went way too fast and I could never figure out what I was supposed to be doing in each pose. It’s important to find a teacher (online or in person) that takes their time in the flow and isn’t trying to rush it for a “cardio” workout.
Follow Vanessa on Instagram.