three women in oc yoga class stretching
By: velocitybrands On: August 8, 2017 In: Fitness, Wellness Comments: 0

Whether you are a fitness fanatic or have been searching for the right workout regimen, yoga may be the solution. From increased strength to flexibility and improved heart health, yoga can provide numerous benefits to both the body and mind. We recently sat down with Alecia Hedge, a local Ladera Ranch native and instructor at both Sumits Yoga and Lotus7 here in Orange County, to find out what inspired her to begin practicing and ultimately teaching yoga.

    1. How did you find yoga and how long have you been teaching?
      • I stumbled into my first yoga class about 7 years ago. My story is not uncommon. I was overtraining and prone to injury with little flexibility so I was looking to stretch. What I found was so much more. Yoga starts as a way to stretch and stay physically fit for many people but somewhere along the way transpires into an experience not just for your body but your mind and soul as well. That is why I completed my teacher training in 2016 and have been teaching as often as I can since!
    2. What’s your favorite way to start a class or practice?
      • The beautiful thing about yoga is classes always start with a few quiet moments of breathing and reflection. Students can take the time they need to shift their focus from the crazy day or week they may be having to allow themselves the gift of starting class with a fresh mind. Child’s pose is a traditional way to start class and one of my favorites, allowing your body to relax in a natural state of comfort.
    3. When you see someone struggling during their practice, how do you help them complete a challenging pose?
      • Yoga really is for every person and every body type. What you may struggle with one day could be easy for you the next. Understanding your own body and which days to push through your struggles or back off is important. I always like to offer layers to a pose to allow students to challenge themselves. If someone is struggling with a particular pose it may be time to come back down to a more simplified layer of the posture or if I know the student and their abilities it can be a great time to encourage him/her to remember their breathing, focus and keep trying.
    4. What do you find most challenging? Most rewarding?
      • There are so many challenges and rewards, that’s the part I love most! The amount of information and learning is limitless. Yoga history goes back over 5,000 years so there is a lot to learn, that is a challenge and the reward. I know as a student and a teacher I will never stop learning.
    5. What is your favorite pose and what benefits does it provide?
      • This is a hard question since it typically depends on my day and which pose I need the most. I have many favorites. Vrikshasana/ Tree pose is incredibly symbolic as you are rooting down to the earth, staying calm and steady while reaching up to the sky. Poses like Malasana/Frog are always a favorite because I have tight hips so it feels great. However, Savasana/Corpse pose will never let you down, so if I could only pick one that would be it! No matter what your practice entails for the day you can always benefit from lying in stillness for a few minutes.
    6. How do you recommend clients get the most out of their practice?
      • Practice daily, even if only for a few minutes a day. Yoga should be a daily practice. Your body and mind will thank you for it!
    7. Any advice for those looking to become a yogi?
      • If you have wanted to try and have been reluctant for any reason, don’t. There are so many options you can find the right place for you. It’s always more fun to try something new with someone else so find a friend who frequents a studio near you and join them for a class.