specialized-lululemon gets bendy in portugal

cycling - yoga - specialized-lululemon

A small team from our Store Support Centre in Vancouver went and met the Specialized-lululemon women’s cycling team in Portugal for their pre-season training camp. Santa Monica-based yoga ambassador Mary Beth LaRue came along with the purpose of sharing a daily practice with these high performance athletes. Mary Beth shares her experience here.

My first morning teaching the specialized-lululemon cycling team, I was a bit nervous.

Who was I, Mary Beth LaRue, to be teaching these superhero-like athletes? What if they hated yoga? What if the practice was too early?

I couldn't have been more wrong.

These past ten days have taught me many things, both about myself and others, but the most profound has been the power of "showing up" and by showing up, I don't necessarily mean just rolling into class and sitting on your mat but showing up in a way that inspires those around you and continually reveals your commitment to bettering yourself.

Class was at 7 a.m. and the athletes were tired. The room was a little small. And yet there was not one single audible complaint from any of them.

Healthy. Strong. Committed. Vibrant. Open.

These weren't exactly the words that came to my mind when I thought of pro athletes. Sure, I anticipated that they would be strong, healthy and very committed…but totally down to practice crow pose in light rain? I didn't see that coming.

The Specialized-lululemon team are a unique bunch. There was no sizing each other up, as we females sometimes do; instead there was a sense of playfulness and joy, both on the mat and on the bike.

yoga - practice - cross training

my yoga vs. your yoga

If you wish to define "yoga" as a series of poses then yes, there's a difference between my practice and the person on the mat next to me. Instead, what if you (just try it on for a moment and see if it fits) saw yoga as a framework for staying fully present. I am certainly no cyclist, but I know how it feels to be "in it" - fully connected to your breath and fully present. It's a beautiful thing.

Later in the week, we all completed a quiz - a series of questions that highlights your strengths with the idea that you work on what you're brilliant at 80 percent of the time, and what's hard for you/what you aren't naturally gifted at the other 20. My strengths? Connector first, followed by teacher.

Of course.

What I love about yoga - teaching it, practicing it, writing about it - is how often I get to connect to others. Pretty quickly here in Portugal, I recognized that we were all made of the same stuff.

Health. Strength. Commitment. Vibrancy. Openness.

And whether that came out singing "Gangster's Paradise" during karaoke (yes, that happened!) or laughing our way through crow pose in the rain, we approached every step of the way with an open heart.

crow pose - yoga - laughter

I'm not going to end this with a "I really hope their season goes well" because that's already in the bag. These women blow "successful" right out of the water.

Healthy. Strong. Committed. Vibrant. Open.

They have already made it. They know what being a part of a team means in the most intimate sense of the word and they operate wins and losses with grace and grounded-ness.

I am leaving inspired. I am heading back to Venice Beach with more confidence in my inner superhero than I came with.

If you're ever in Santa Monica and want to check out one of Mary Beth's classes, take a peek here...and while you're on her site, be sure to read her personal blog. We love it!

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MBL,you never cease to inspire and energize me. You are such a powerhouse…I am so happy you KNOW it.

With love,

Comment by Elim — December 20, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

Inspired! Thank you

Comment by Laci — December 23, 2012 @ 5:58 am

I too, am so honored to have known you and met you. Fellow classmates in DC. I see you show up once in a while -like this! So glad to see and hear you have come so far with your practice. As with any good teacher…. your humility always brings you right back to the beginning: the realization, there is so much more to learn !
Love you ! You are inspiring!

Comment by Hether Massoth — December 26, 2012 @ 10:13 am

Thank you so much guys! Elim, your comment was beyond sweet.

Comment by Mary Beth — December 26, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

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