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Kenzie on practice, bliss, and the joys of tabouli

March 26, 2009

Name: MacKenzie (Kenzie) Pausemackenzie pause
Birthday/Star sign: May 4/Taurus
Birthplace/hometown: Berkshires/the sunshine state
Favorite post-practice treat: Tabouli

How did you get into yoga?
Yoga was pretty much unheard of in my area 12 years ago. Somehow amidst my small town, I learned of it and was overcome with curiosity. As fate would have it, a studio opened and my journey began. While I fell in love at first Om, I never thought then it would have become what it is to me today. I’m forever grateful to my first yoga teacher, Shata Ben-Avari.

What was that first class like?
This small studio opened called Yoga Central, and I attended a class with only one other person. Shata, the teacher, had the most soothing voice I’d ever encountered and everything she showed me made me feel like a child discovering their feet for the first time. I felt awkward, but simultaneously something felt like home. While I can’t remember exactly what poses we did, I remember feeling present in my body for the first time in my entire life. I was noticing things within my physical being that I’d somehow managed to ignore. While in Sivasana, Shata played a crystal singing bowl and I felt light throughout my entire body. I left the class in a state of physical and emotional bliss, and I knew yoga was no longer going to be foreign to me.

What happened next?
The first few years were full of ups and downs. I went through periods of devout practice followed by dry spells. I always say the hardest part of yoga is getting to the mat. Once I decided yoga was always going to be with me, my practice went to new levels and my life changed forever. I now have a great respect for any yoga instructor, no matter what the style. While I tend to practice traditional hatha and vinyasa, I love many other styles and am open to trying anything. That openness has allotted nothing but growth.

How would you describe you current practice?
My practice is constantly evolving. I learn something new every day. Even though I’m an instructor, I will always be a student. I love attending classes of styles I’m not as familiar with. Some days I like an intense physical practice, while others I choose quiet, still restorative poses or simply meditation.

 

What does practice mean to you?
Growth. With each passing moment wisdom comes, and with that expanding wisdom comes the ability to be present in each moment, to fully experience all life brings to us, good and bad. As my yoga practice continues, it has left the mat and permeated my daily life. Practicing yoga goes beyond the asanas to a much deeper place that can sometimes be harder to master than the most challenging poses.

 

What are your practice goals for the future?
I’m in a much different place that I was when I first started practicing 12 years ago. While there are still many physical aspects that need fine tuning, my goals are more personal to my spiritual and emotional growth.

Come to Sangha Yoga Shala for the rockin’ vinyasa, stay for the music . . . In addition to regularly scheduled classes, Kenzie will be leading our music-infused yoga parties over the summer . . . Hint:  All you need is love.

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