November Teacher Of The Month – Michelle Baylon

We are excited to welcome Michelle Baylon to our teaching staff at Breathe!

How did you start practicing yoga? What was your early yoga experience like?

I started practicing yoga by taking my mat everywhere with me and laying it down to move upon it any chance I got.  My experience was and has always been humbling as I learn to reside with self-acceptance.

When did you get a sense that yoga was different, not just a way to be physical?

I knew immediately that yoga was special.  The focus on the connection between mind, body, and breath were far from something I had yet to experience.

What is your favorite yoga pose and what is your least favorite yoga pose? And why?

I love all backbend/heart openers, they make me feel strong and courageous.  I am not a huge fan of bound angle pose as I am tighter around/in the hips than I am in the rest of my body, but I enjoy practicing it because I get to feel the opening.

In what way does your yoga practice most impact your daily life?

My practice reminds me to breathe, fully and deeply.  I am the creator of my reality.

This month at Breathe we are focusing on ahimsa, the first yama (restraint or inner observance), of the eight limb path of yoga. How do you experience/practice ahimsa on your yoga mat, in your teaching, and in daily life?

I used to think that in order to deepen my practice, I had to create these big shapes, and I would get very frustrated when I couldn’t “get it”. I have since realized the harm this was inflicting on my mind and my body.  I now see that sometimes the “smallest” poses can have the biggest effects. In class I encouraged the students to practice ahimsa by arriving in a pose and accepting all the body has to offer, without any force or judgment. In the day to day, ahimsa reminds me that circumstances are not permanent, no need to be harsh on myself for not quite being where I want to be.

What is a fun fact about you that not many people know?

I like to make funny wacky faces and noises when I am by myself to remind myself that life is not that serious.

Tell us something about teaching at Breathe.

Every student and every teacher at Breathe contains a certain warmth and sincerity to them that is palpable.  The breathe community is a fuzzy blanket on cold winters day and I am thankful to be a part of the stitching.