When I stepped onto my mat in Houston, Texas, I never dreamed that it would one day lead me back to exactly where I started. Maitri Yoga is actually located in the same building where my mom's baby doctor used to be, so I was in this building before I was ever even born. I never thought I would move back to Arkansas, live in Fayetteville or be a facilitator of this practice. But, I think the universe has plans that sometimes we can't imagine...
This yoga practice is a gateway to yourself. Yes, it’s sweaty. Yes, you will strengthen your body and yes, you will most likely see a lot of changes on the outside. But, there will most likely be an internal shift as well. As humans, I believe we can be really hard on ourselves. We get into cycles of beating ourselves up and then we find ways to cope. We all have ways of dealing with our stress, but what I think we forget sometimes is to have compassion for ourselves. Each time I get on my mat, I never know what is going to show up. Some days I’m stable and strong, some days I am falling over. Yoga is a practice. Everyday is different because we’re different every single day. What it teaches us is to have compassion for ourselves no matter what and when things get tough we learn to breathe through it. Yoga meets us exactly where we are. It doesn’t matter if you can touch your toes. What does matter is simply the willingness to show up.
The reason I chose the name Maitri Yoga is because the word itself, “maitri” means loving-kindness or compassion. Let your yoga mat be a place where you can go no matter what is going on in your life. This practice isn’t about having the perfect pose it’s about the journey. This is your practice, and it’s up to you what you wish to receive.
A quote from Pema Chodron’s book, “Loving-kindness, maitri, toward ourselves doesn’t mean getting rid of anything. Maitri means that we can still be crazy, angry, jealous or timid, or have feelings of unworthiness. The point is not to try to change ourselves. This practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we already are. The ground of practice is whoever we are right now, just as we are. That’s the ground, that’s what we study, that’s what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest,” …she says, “Being with what we already have is a magical golden key to being alive. One of the major obstacles to what is traditionally called enlightenment is resentment, feeling cheated and holding a grudge about who you are, where you are and what you are. This is why we talk so much about making friends with ourselves. This is a process of lightening up, of trusting the basic goodness of what we have and who we are, and of realizing that any wisdom that exists, exists in what we already have. Our wisdom is all mixed up with what we call our neurosis. Our brilliance, our juiciness, our spiciness, is all mixed up with our craziness and our confusion, and therefore it doesn’t do any good to try to get rid of our basic wonderfulness. We can lead our life so as to become more awake to who we are and what we’re doing rather than trying to change or get rid of who we are or what we’re doing. The key is to wake up, to become more alert, more inquisitive and curious about ourselves. The ground of loving-kindness is this sense of satisfaction with who we are and what we have. This path is a sense of wonder… We know we’re never really going to find all the answers, because these kind of questions come from having a hunger and passion for life—they have nothing to do with solving anything or tying it all up into one neat little package. This kind of questioning is the journey itself… “
So that’s just it…
It isn’t about tying everything up into one neat and tidy bow. It’s about embracing all the parts of you—the light and the dark, the happiness and the heartbreak, the fear and the courage. It’s just about showing up and bringing all the parts of you to your mat… breathing through it and letting go.
"I based Maitri off of what I know, which is Yoga Ananda, a Baron Baptiste Affiliate Studio. When I first walked into YA, I knew that I had found something special. I didn't know a thing about yoga, but I knew that I was right where I was supposed to be. It was quietly inviting and it gave me more than anything I could have ever imagined. I carry with me each and every one of the teachers I had in Houston, including all of the girls in my teacher training. Yoga Ananda became my second home in Houston, and I am hoping Maitri Yoga will give students the same kind of second home that I was given. I am forever grateful to Yoga Ananda, to Maria Merrill and to all of the teachers and yoga studios I have been to along the way."
Owner/Instructor Maitri Yoga