Hi all! It has been a while since our last conversation. This one is very special as it features a long time Chainsaws and Jelly fan and friend but most importantly an inspiring woman who is about that yoga lyfe. I bring to you, Leigh or LB, a Jersey City resident and we talk about yoga.
We travel down Newark Ave to shoot some fun poses against Dylan Egon wheatpaste! All photos are shot on 35mm film.
Now onto the conversation!!!
Please tell me what your journey is like doing yoga?
My journey started after a bad breakup- like all bad breakups you want to tell the person "fuck you" without fucking them. Haha so instead of saying fuck you- I went inward and found no fuck you- so fuck me right???? It then sparked this thirst for knowledge and the thirst is REAL.
How long have you been practicing?
About 3 years now so I'm pretty new to the practice. I got a certificate to teach kids in jails, shelters, and community spaces in 2013 and then got certified for my 200 hour RYT with Yoga Shanti (led by Colleen Saidman-Yee and Rodney Yee).
What intrigued you about it and has it built a certain character within you?
What has intrigued me is that there is so much more to yoga than the Asana (pose) there is breath, there is life, there is non judgment there is non harming there is so so much more than a stupid handstand.
What parts of the body has yoga helped improve?
Yoga has helped me with my MIND the most but physically my balance and my hips - I will ALWAYS have tight hips and if I can open them a little bit in 10/20/30 years that is an accomplishment.
Are there certain advanced poses that scared you at first? Would you say a common fear would be falling and breaking a bone? That is my fear.
I was one of those people who wanted to do all these poses I saw in the magazines or Instagram, I since have unfollowed so many "yoga superstars" because that's NOT yoga, posting advanced poses is more for the ego than the soul. I was initially scared of headstand and any arm balances- but I since have conquered that fear, now my biggest fear is handstand and falling on my ass. The best place to practice is the beach cause even if you fall you're "padded" by sand.
You are teaching on Sundays at Grassroots JC. Can you give us all the information for the readers?
I teach regularly at 6pm at Grassroots on 54 Coles Street in Downtown Jersey City. I often sub at Bally's and Chalk gyms- my schedule is on my website www.yogawithLB.com (yeah, it's not up yet).
It's $10 a class- and it's for ALL LEVELS. I give modifications so things can be light or difficult but it's all about just being present with yourself- even if you can go hard the actual difficulty is letting yourself NOT go hard it's kind of fun to see what you can do or not do in this case I introduce Sanskrit names and make it very user friendly it's not some boughie studio it's for the community of all people.
What is your least favorite as well as your favorite pose/position?
My least favorite poses in order: adho mukha vrksasana (handstand) and parivrtta janu sirsasana (revolved head to knee pose) BOTH are my least favorite because I don't feel as though I practice them enough and that's the only way to make them not the worst things in the world- and my favorite pose has to be janu sirsana (head to knee pose) ****which you have a picture of or trikonasana (triangle pose) it's just all about alignment - but let's be real my ALL TIME FAVORITE POSE IS SAVASANA (corpse pose) for obvious reasons.
What does yoga mean to you?
Yoga means everything and nothing to me; it's about acceptance and letting go. I know it sounds contradictory and like enigmatic but it is. It is something so special that keeps me always searching for more answers, more questions, more understanding. It really has been an amazing tool of life for me. I am glad I can share it in this way with people. I am truly grateful for my friends and family who have supported me through this journey (including you She She ) .
I am a yogi or yogini although I've never referred to myself as one! But I am bout that life haha.