Fellow Dreamers || Bethany Smith Yoga

I met Bethany a few years ago at church. Over the years we have kept in contact through facebook, but have reconnected in the past few years from a shared love of yoga. I have been doing yoga for many years, but it has only ever been a hobby, an exercise I enjoyed. My gymnastics background made it a pretty natural fit for me. I love the way yoga stretches you to your limits, while at the same time requiring your muscles to work overtime to hold a position/pose. It really does resemble life, just when you think you can’t hold it together any longer, you find a breath to breath in & out & hold on for just a little bit longer. 

One of my favorite things about Bethany’s yoga story is that yoga has taught her & stretched her & helped her get in better physical shape, but it has been a vehicle to teach her to rely on God to over come some major issues she struggled with throughout her life. I have been fortunate enough to be a yoga student of her’s & I was so proud of my friend when I found out she was launching her very own yoga school. But before we get to the school specifics let get a little more background on Bethany.

Bethany Smith Yoga on HFL

Bethany Smith Yoga on HFL 

HLF: How long have you been practicing yoga?

BSY: I’ve been practicing yoga for 7 years and teaching for 5. I took a few classes here & there while I was pregnant with my second child. After she was born, I bought The Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga dvd & lost 30 pounds in 3 months. I was so impressed with the way my body was responding that I started to take it a little more seriously. I knew rather quickly I wanted to share this gift with others.

Bethany Smith Yoga on HFL

HFL: What changes have you noticed physically/mentally since starting yoga?

BSY: You might want to ask my husband that! {{{lol}}} Jesus has taken me on such an incredible journey & He is using yoga as the vehicle to do it. He gave me this beautiful practice at just the right time. Prior to yoga, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression, & anxiety. I went from taking 4 medications at the beginning to zero medications now! Yoga gave me an oppurtunity. An opportunity to move my body in ways that would strengthen me & open me up, not just on a physical level but on a mental & emotional level, so healing could begin. It started with an awareness of the way I was. I believed it was everyone else’s fault or they at least exacerbated it. It was my child, my husband or whoever else made me “lose it”.

Through yoga, I began to see clearly that I had a problem & that’s the first step. Once you are aware of something you can change it & it’s your responsibility to do so. I started taking all the tools that I had been learning in class off the mat and into daily life. That is where the benefits of practice really show up. I started to tune into my thoughts off the mat & when you start tuning into your thought process, you can really start to make some changes. I noticed I was calmer because I would start my Ujjayi breath when I felt like spitting fire. My days went smoother because I was taking time in the morning to meditate & have my quiet time. I could go on & on about the benefits of yoga. Physically, yes I am stronger. Yes, I can do some pretty cool poses; but at the end of the day, if I am awful to those around me then does it really matter? 

[Whoa! How amazing is that? The things that God can use in our lives when we just open up, look up & let Him lead…amazing]

Bethany Smith Yoga on HFL

 

HFL: You recently opened up a yoga school to train others in the practice of teaching yoga. Why did you decided to open a school instead of open up a studio to teach classes?

BSY: Two reason. One, I saw a need. Two, my ultimate goal is to travel the world teaching so I didn’t want anything permanent in place.

HFL: Tell me about becoming a yoga teacher.

BSY: The transition from student to teacher is challenging because it is only through an accomplished physical practice & deep reflection can you begin to live the gift of yoga. When you live yoga there’s a clarity of thought & action that you can share with others. Students will learn yoga asana, intelligent sequecing, hands on adjustments, clear verbal cues, anaotmy & kinesthetics, history & philosphy, ayurveda, ethics of teachings, & the business side of yoga. 

 Bethany Smith Yoga on HFLBethany Smith Yoga on HFL

Bethany Smith Yoga will be starting it’s first teacher training session beginning the spring of 2015. If you have ever considered becoming a yoga teacher, this would be a wonderful oppurtunity to find a local, small school to start your training. If you would rather start off with classes, Bethany teaches around multiple places in the CSRA. You can contact Bethany on her website or bethany54grace@gmail.com and don’t forget to check out Bethany on Instagram.

Bethany Smith Yoga on HFL

As always, don’t forget to leave a comment below or on Instagram & while you are there don’t foget to leave Bethany a little love too. 

Love & thx,

Signature 

 

Also…a HUGE thank you to Betsy Pittard Designs for the amazing jewlery in this shoot. Please take a few minutes to check out her shop on etsy & stop by & check her out on Instagram too. 

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