Words of Wisdom & Wellness – Q & A with the Wonderful Laurin Wolf, Yoga Teacher

Laurin has this amazingly unique and calming presence that she brings to the whole fitness studio. Laurin’s yoga journey began in 2008 as a way to cope with anxiety and physical health issues. Since then, it has opened her life and her eyes to the endless possibilities and healing that the practice can bring. From her training in India, she has a traditional approach to yoga, and in her classes you can expect a balance between relaxation and energizing asanas, bringing harmony to the body and mind. Here are some of her top tips for keeping healthy and tips for starting out if you’re new to yoga.

NAME: Laurin Wolf
CURRENT TEACHING LOCATIONS: Parivartan Hot Yoga Studio Orangeville, Physiomed Fitness Orangeville, Anytime Fitness Orangeville, and Hilltop Studio in Mono Mills
YOGA TEACHING STYLES: Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, & Yin Yoga

TIPS FOR NEWBIE YOGIS
First, enjoy being a beginner! You only get to be new at something once, so enjoy the journey and don’t take it for granted. Second, always go at your own pace and listen to your body; every single person is unique and only you can know what feels good in your body. Third, take as many classes from as many different instructors as you can; find out what you like, which styles of yoga work for you, and which teachers resonate with you. Take your time and have fun with it!

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THOSE JUST STARTING OUT
Yoga is a practice. A practice of showing up for yourself, and getting to know yourself inside and out. Sometimes it is hard, other times it’s a breeze. But it is always a practice. So don’t expect to get everything right away, or maybe ever. Some poses just don’t apply to everyone, and that’s ok. Don’t obsess over how something looks, instead focus on how it feels. If it feels good in some way, then do it! If it doesn’t, then don’t. It’s pretty simple.

FAVOURITE STYLE OF YOGA
It changes day to day, week to week, depending on what my body or mind needs! The more active my life is and the busier I get, the more I crave the slow, contemplative practice of Yin Yoga. In the winter months when we are naturally more sedentary, I often crave hot yoga and Ashtanga, which is much more active though still very mindful.

FAVOURITE YOGA POSE
At the moment, my favourite pose is Janu Sirsasana, or Head to Knee Pose. No matter what time of day it is or what I’ve been doing, it always feels amazing. It teaches me patience; as I breathe and allow my body to relax more, I can move deeper into the pose. Being a forward fold, it also encourages me to focus my attention inward and it becomes more meditative. I love the quality of surrender that it brings into my life and my practice.

DAILY WELLNESS RITUALS OR ROUTINES
My daily routine, the things I do consistently just about every day, are pretty simple because my schedule fluctuates so much. In a nutshell, I try to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and upon getting out of bed in the morning I make a big glass of warm lemon water and drink it before I do anything else. It gets things moving, rehydrates me, and wakes me up. I try to practice yoga for myself 20-45 minutes per day, and maybe one other activity that moves me and makes me feel good (sometimes it’s just walking my dog, other days it’s hooping or belly dancing). I try to eat a rainbow of foods every day, drink lots of water and tea, and make sure I get some me-time in there to recharge my battery.

TOP 5 FOODS WITH HEALTH & WELLNESS BENEFITS

1. WATER – It is so vital for proper functioning of the body and brain! Try to always have a (reusable) bottle of water with you, and sip it regularly throughout the day to stay hydrated and sharp.

2. LEMONS & APPLE CIDER VINEGAR – I put these two together because they perform very similar functions, and if I run out of fresh lemons I just substitute with ACV. They both alkalize your body, help hydrate you, stimulate digestion, boost metabolism, and purify your skin and other organs. You can use them internally and externally for virtually everything!

3. DARK, LEAFY GREENS – Vegetables like Kale, dandelion, collards, chard, mustard greens, bok choy, etc. are some of the most nutrient-dense foods and contain tons of calcium – something we absorb far better from plants than animal products. They also alkalize the body and cleanse it of toxins, while providing a wide range of nutrients and fibre. You can eat them raw, cooked, or even blended in a smoothie! And you won’t even taste them if they’re not your favourite

4. AVOCADO – It’s a super versatile fruit, full of healthy fats that boost brain activity and lubricate the system. They can replace other, less healthy fats in many recipes, like butter! Avocado has a mild flavour, so my favourite way to eat it is with chocolate, in avocado mousse. It’s just awesome.

5. COCONUT OIL – Like lemons and ACV, coconut oil has so many uses internally and externally. It lubricates the system, is a source of healthy fat which our body needs, is one of the best oils to cook with due to its high heat tolerance, it’s delicious as a substitute for butter or for baking/frying, you can use it topically to heal burns, it is an excellent moisturizer and make-up remover, can be used as shaving cream or deep-conditioner, is excellent for oil-pulling. Did I mention it’s delicious? There are too many uses to count.

TOP TIP FOR STAYING WITH A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Always do your best. Your best is going to change from day to day. It will be different when you’re healthy as opposed to sick. Always do your best and you will have no reason to regret, and you will avoid self-abuse and self-judgement. It’s one of the Four Agreements, from Don Miguel Ruiz. If you fall off, get back on. It’s never too late to start over!

Thank you for your words of wisdom Laurin! Check out one of her classes or her upcoming yoga retreat!

Happy & healthy Tuesday from Mind Matters Fitness