my favourite words of wisdom

Matt is a revelation. He's an International Operations Specialist, coach and mentor, talented blogger, dance party enthusiast and overall cool cat. He's achieving a lifelong dream of attending yoga teacher training soon and has shared with us some of the wisdom of his favourite teachers. Enjoy this post and be excited, because Matt is going to start contributing regularly on the blog. Take it away, Matt!

As I get ready for my teacher training in Bali, I am reminded of the things my teachers have said to me that have deepened my practice over the years. These are the sayings I keep coming back to every time I get on my mat.

"if you can't breathe deeply, you've gone too far." - carolyn anne budgell

She walked over to me in revolved triangle and reminded me that yoga is not about the pose, it's about the breath. When I go so deep into a pose that I can't breathe deeply - like I do seated at the beginning of class - then I need to back off. The breathe is what creates the magic.

"balance comes from patience." - chris chavez

As I frantically attempted to kick up into a handstand, he placed his hand on my upper back and reminded me to chill the france out. When one attempt to kick up to handstand didn't get me up, I would quickly come down and shoot right back up again. His reminder to reset between each attempt, to add patience into my practice, helps me whenever I am in a balancing pose (be that right side up or inverted). When I slow down my mind, I slow down my movements. And all of a sudden the power and awareness I need to achieve balance comes rushing in.

"don't let quitting be your habit." - gloria latham

She says this to the room as we are on minute 72 (or what feels like that) of some arm rotations during her infamous Friday night Kundalini class. All I wanted to do in that moment was quit - to give my throbbing shoulders and tired biceps a little break. Because some days I need to back off because that's where my body is at, and other days I feel like I need to back off because my mind is telling me that I'm more weak than I actually am. Listening to that stingy voice creates a habit - one that I don't intend on keeping. So I kept rotating my arms.

"yoga is easier when you smile." - christie baumgartner

As we sit in a tall seat at the beginning of class, she shared with us that deepening our practice comes when we can smile throughout it. She continued to tell us that when we smile our face muscles actually expand our nostrils - making it easier to breathe. (Yes - you just smiled to see if it was true.) So if I want to create a deeper inhale or a fuller exhale, I don't always need to create more power with my lungs. Sometimes it just means I need to smile. And smiling releases endorphins - meaning I not only have more power because of my deeper breath, I also enjoy the pose a bit more.

What has your teacher told you that you always take to your mat?

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Matt, you’re such an inspiration ;) xo Thanks for sharing this

Comment by Christie Baumgartner — March 14, 2013 @ 3:59 pm

Matt, I learn something from you every day. xo – k

Comment by Kristin Lautrup — March 14, 2013 @ 9:21 pm

I love everything about this!

Comment by Michelle — March 14, 2013 @ 10:40 pm

These are beautiful to bring some mid-day awareness into my Friday, thank you!

Comment by melanie — March 15, 2013 @ 9:29 am

Fantastic post! All of these are simple (but so important!) things that make yoga exactly what it is…awesome!!!

Comment by Holli — March 15, 2013 @ 1:44 pm

Love this! I had a teacher tell us to smile once, but for a different reason (which you kind of alluded to): YOU control the way a pose makes you feel. If you feel like quitting, try smiling!

Comment by Naadia — March 15, 2013 @ 4:10 pm

Hi Matt,

I am getting more interested and passionate about yoga. I loved all of your tips and will take them with me into my future practices. I am headed to South East Asia this summer and really want to attend a yoga training in either Thailand or Bali. I saw that you are going to attend one in Bali. Do you have any advice on how to find one that is reasonably priced and legitimate? How did you find the one you are going to? Very exciting by the way!

Any tips would be very helpful!

Comment by Stephanie — March 19, 2013 @ 11:02 am

So rewarded to find your blog Matt~ Sometimes it has nothing to do with what my instructor says but her offering hands-on adjustments in child’s Pose and that touch, hands-on to deepen the stretch is a reminder of the importance of the human connection that we need with each other.

Comment by Debra — March 19, 2013 @ 5:50 pm

Hi Stephanie,

I actually reached out to my favourite teachers to find my yoga teacher training in Bali. Chris Chavez was the one to recommend it to me.
Consider asking for a recommendation from your local teachers. They may be hosting one themselves or know someone who is that would be a great teacher for you. The personal referral helps calm my nerves when trying to differentiate between all the options out there.

Hope this helps!
- Matt

Comment by Matt Corker — March 21, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

i love all of these quote. i absolutely LOVE “balance comes from patience”. its amazing and true. i practice patience in everything i do and it creates balance in life as well as yoga

Comment by Tiare Vincent — March 23, 2013 @ 2:39 pm

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