BLOG: Zen in the City: Yoga Instructors Help Houstonians Find Peace in Downtown

BLOG: Zen in the City: Yoga Instructors Help Houstonians Find Peace in Downtown
Discovery Green takes a short “breather” each summer to prepare for the Fall Season. Maintenance and planning amp up and special events take a pause. Anyone who has been to the downtown oasis knows there are always new activities, events and installations to discover at DG. So what happens during our “slowest” season of the year? Besides great food and beautiful scenery, Houstonians enjoy the great outdoors and stay fit among steel structures. From whimsical Circus Arts to core engaging Stand Up Paddleboarding, Discovery Green has a fitness class to fit your needs and dedicated instructors to lead the way.

Meet Lindsey Law and Nick Auger, two seasoned yogis who lead our summer yoga classes every Tuesday from 6:30 to 7:30 PM and Saturday from 9 to 10 AM. For years, they have embraced the urban landscape and helped Houstonians find their Zen within downtown’s chaos. Today, we’ve asked them to shed some light on their experience with the practice and hope it inspires you to join us for a moment of peace at Discovery Green.

Tell us about your first experience with yoga.

L:
I was 15 years old and was studying at the Leysin Americal School in Switzerland for the summer. The class was overlooking the Swiss Alps and was the most gorgeous and serene experience. Something definitely shifted in me at that time and I was hooked. 

N: I was talked into watching a yoga DVD in college and it seemed to be only stretching. I was put off because of that first experience for a few years until I saw a class outside at Discovery Green. My friend and I had been at the park teaching people how to fix their own bicycles and would always see the yoga class finishing as we were setting up. It had such a high attendance that my buddy and I decided to try it. After my first class I never skipped and furthered my practice from there.

What did you do before you became a yoga instructor or do you have another profession?

L:  I am a Physician Assistant in Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology. I have recommended yoga, especially pranayama (breathing exercises), to several patients. Using our breath and focused attention to connect more deeply with ourselves can be good medicine for healing our body, mind, and spirit. I would love to see more therapeutic yoga asana and meditation as part of a whole-person, integrative approach to medicine.

N: I was a bicycle mechanic during college and then worked for a metal artist after I graduated. By then I had found yoga and with encouragement from my teachers, I started the transition to freelance teaching around Houston.

Why do you practice and teach yoga?

L: I practice yoga to obtain a state of connection with myself, between my breath, my body and my Spirit. I get to know myself better and develop awareness of my patterns on the mat, which so often reflect my patterns in life. I practice developing this awareness with a sense of compassion for myself so that I can facilitate growth in a loving way. I practice to lose my mind and come back to my senses, to cultivate more feeling in my own body, and to open my heart.

N: My appreciation for yoga went well beyond the benefits of stretching and becoming physically fit.  After having noticed the recurring sighs of relief from mental and physical tension from my students, I knew it was the right practice to share with the community. My continuation was truly a combination of every person who ever thanked me for their positive results of the postures and philosophy I shared with them.

What advice would you give to a yoga newbie?

L:
When faced with a challenging situation or yoga asana (posture), be gentle with yourself. Ask yourself, "What part of this CAN I do today?"  As one of my mentors says, "You won't reach enlightenment by getting your foot behind your head." This a life-long practice that goes so much deeper than just the asana! Be continuously curious about your own body, aware of yourself and of the world around you.

N: Yoga is a state in which the mind has become quiet and one is completely aware of their own consciousness. Everyone can participate in this type of mental practice and the postures are certainly helpful to balance the energy in your body. Yoga is for all of humanity.

Remember to stop by one of Discovery Green’s Yoga, Zumba, Bumba, or new Argentine Tango classes this summer! 

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For a full list of classes and events, please visit our Calendar page.
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For a full list of our blog posts, please visit our Connect With Us page here.