What’s the best part of practicing at Bala Yoga? Getting to know the yogis on the mat next to you. This month’s B Yogi, Patty Roberts, is a yogi inspiration. After practicing yoga on and off for years, Patty has rediscovered yoga on a deeper level at Bala. Not only does Patty attend multiple classes a week at our Kirkland location, but she has committed herself to learning more about what yoga has to offer. From meditation to acupuncture and Ayurveda, she has made the most of these learning opportunities over the last year and a half. Read on to learn more about this B Yogi and explore what this practice means to her.
Name: Patty Roberts
Neighborhood: Finn Hill
Profession: Office Secretary at Moorlands Elementary
Years Practicing Yoga: Off and on for 10 years; Continuously for the last 1.5 years
Zodiac Sign: Cancer
Can you tell us how you came to practice yoga + why it stuck for you?
I started doing yoga when I lived in New Mexico. I loved how it worked your body, soul and mind. My first yoga teacher shared that each yoga pose was your own personal journey, meaning that each of us may not be able to do a pose perfectly due to where our body is ‘at’ at this moment in time. We just need to strive to improve each time we do the pose….it’s a journey not a race….plus he always said in class “just take a breath….or two” in a stoic yogi fashion. It was appropriate and hilarious all at the same time. I think I’ve always ended up coming back to yoga because of how the practice ties the body, soul and mind all together. In the beginning I don’t think I understood that.
What is your favorite style of yoga class to attend? Why?
At this point in time, my favorite styles of yoga are Yin and Level 1 Vinyasa. Yin helps calm my mind and heals my soul. I carry a lot of my tension in my shoulders and hips and Yin helps me unwind my body. I’m drawn to Level 1 Vinyasa because most instructors will take the time to break down poses and offer modifications to accommodate where your body is ‘at’ at this point in time. I think it’s more stability focused. I’ve also found that I can get a solid yoga workout moving more slowly that just jumping around like a rabbit. Sometimes, I crave just to move my body and get my heart rate up. Level 1 Vinyasa does that for me.
You’ve attend so many different workshops here at Bala Yoga Kirkland. What sparked this desire to dive deeper into this practice?
There so much to learn and experience in yoga! And it’s fun! At this time in my life, the world of yoga just fits for me…I love learning and workshops give me exposure to the different aspects of yoga. I feel like I’m building my yoga tool-kit. I recently participated in a mediation workshop. I’m not sure I’m ready to mediate everyday, but I’ve added the knowledge/skill that I learned in the workshop to the tool-kit. So, when I’m ready to add mediation to my daily life, I’ll be good-to-go.
How has yoga impacted your daily life off of your mat?
I feel so much better! I have more energy, my muscles are less tight and stiff and I’m physically and emotionally stronger.
What is one habit, ritual or activity that you can’t skip in your day?
Morning coffee. Not so much for the caffeine, it’s the ritual that I crave.
What does your morning routine look like?
I’m up at 6:00 am and I have to be at work by 8:00 am. After my morning cup of coffee, I try to do 15 minutes of sun salutations to start my day. I took an Ayurveda workshop and I learned that the most beneficial time to exercise is in the morning. I’m soooo not a morning person. Everyone that knows me well, knows not to engage in a conversation with me first thing in the morning. So, I have great intentions of doing yoga first thing in the morning but I’m still a work in progress for actually doing it every day. I will say I do feel more awake and alert when I exercise in the morning but the snooze button is winning as of late. Then I shower, eat some breakfast and head to work.
What are 3 things you are most grateful for in your life right now?
My family, my health and the ability to live in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve lived all over the U.S. and nothing quite compares to this part of the world.
From your experience, what are the greatest benefits yoga can offer?
As I mentioned before, for me, it’s the integration of the body, soul and mind. Yoga works all three areas and if you just want to focus on one, you can do that too. My overall well-being has dramatically improved over the last year.
What has the Bala Family meant to you?
Bala is such a welcoming place! From the front desk to the instructors…everyone has a positive vibe. I always look forward to walking in the front door. The people make it easy to want to come to practice and stick with it!