by Catherine Madsen
Bliss Crafter, Austin Yoga Tree
Happy Monday! This week we are interviewing one of Austin Yoga Tree's yoga instructors, Mary Scott. Make sure to catch Mary on the mat for the Monday/Wednesday Alignment for Life class from 8:00 am - 9:15 am.
Tell us about your yoga journey!
Like many people, I began practicing after an injury. My first class was through UT informal classes. I was fortunate enough to begin with someone who was studying Iyengar yoga; although I had no idea at the time. While I enjoyed classes right away, it took many years for me to practice at home. I didn't attend a single workshop for 9 years. I now have a decent home practice, still take weekly classes with my first teacher, and I'm a bit of a workshop enthusiast.
My teaching journey started one day when my teacher asked me to sub her class. I was reluctant, but I taught for a couple years before going through any type of training. I went through my first training down in San Antonio, because while I wanted to study with Iyengar teachers, I wasn't sure I wanted to solely teach that method. After my first training, I swore I wouldn't do another one. A year later, I signed up for Iyengar training here in Austin with Peggy and Devon. After the first year of the two year program, I decided to go up for assessment to become a certified Iyengar teacher (like Jonathan). I'll take my second assessment test in the fall. No doubt, shortly after that test, I will swear to never go up for assessment again.
Why do you practice yoga?
Because it feels so good when it's over.
What is your pose of the moment and why?
Anything on the Intro 2 syllabus. Part of our assessment test is a demonstrated practice. We are required to hold some fairly difficult poses for a certain amount of time. I'm working on extending the length of time I can feel comfortable in those poses. After I practice that for awhile, I reward myself with some samakonasana (middle splits) work.
You just got out of a soulful, sweaty yoga class, what do you do next?
Wonder who talked me into going to a sweaty class.
What is one thing on your bucket list?
I have everything I need. The things on my list are places to visit, usually National Parks: Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion, etc.
What is one goal that you are currently working towards?
Passing assessment with a little bit of my ego intact.
What is your spirit animal?
What does the word “mindful” mean to you?
When someone is mindful, they are fully in the moment. I believe a mindful practice can be anything: washing the dishes, listening to someone else, driving to work. I believe the events we truly enjoy, we enjoy because we are paying attention. If you think about the times we experience joy: being in a field of flowers, watching two dogs wrestle, pushing a child on a swing, etc; we have one pointed awareness. Meditation and asana teach us to have this awareness in more often. We make progress in mediation or asana when we are able to pay attention for longer periods of time.