Layla Redding

My journey with yoga started as an attempt to really stretch out my muscles before and after intense workouts and turned into so much more. I bought my first book on yoga back in 1996 a basic book of sorts that gave a brief description of the history and practices of ancient yogis. When I started attending yoga classes I noticed a calmness wash over me like I had never quite experienced before. I was able to let go of all the buzzing in my head.

What is the strange beauty? I asked myself, a girl that always fidgeted in class and day dreamed during lectures, a girl that grew up to be a woman that always had a hard time sitting still and often busied herself with silly things in order to not have too. I attempted meditation many times over only to find the monkeys in my brain taking over. Yet somehow on my yoga mat I was able to be present and focus on my breath. I guess you could say I found a moving meditation that eventually lead to me being able to sit in meditation. In one hour I could feel a transformation take place and the beauty of it all followed me off of my mat and into the world.

I found myself more compassionate and empathetic towards others. I found myself more aware of my surroundings. I found I had more patience and I found myself being strongly aware of when I held my breath in times of stress and struggle. I have also discovered the longer I am off my yoga mat, the harder it is to hold onto these beautiful side effects of yoga. My stress and old habits return once again leaving me with a head and body full of tension, spinning in the ethers with my feet so far from the ground. Now I am aware of these knee jerk habits and behaviors and it has became undesirable, I long for that peace again and so I hit my yoga mat and go within making my only focus my breath. Yoga very much is my medicine and an amazing tool to keep me tuned in to myself and my own self defeating patterns.

I became certified in 2013 and have found that Restorative and Yin Yoga are my favorite styles to lead. Mostly because I know what it’s like to have a body full of tension as a result of having a mind full of clutter. I am committed to forever being a student so leading classes is a good way to hold myself accountable to making sure my practice is not being neglected and the monkeys aren’t taking over.

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