Going to practise

Yoga is being nimble

My name is Petra and my passion is Ashtanga yoga. I teach the philosophy and practice developed by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India. I teach Ashtanga yoga though parampara (uninterrupted lineage), carried by Manju P. Jois and Nancy Gilgoff. I am dedicated to carrying the torch of traditional Ashtanga yoga and sharing the amazing tradition with anyone who is inspired to practice.

I am also a mother of a nearly 2 years old little boy. Having a family is the biggest and the most important yoga in my life. I carried my son next to me in a scarf since he was born and I still carry him wherever we go. We walk a lot of kilometres every day. I rely on my feet and need good balance, as sometimes the terrain changes a lot and it requires strong feet and comfortable functional shoes while having a dog lead in my hand at the same time. Also living in the city, carrying a child this way is much easier, than having pushchair as public transport is not always easy with that. Having a child in a scarf traveling in a full metro or tram also requires good balance and smiling to people to give us some space.

Nimble yogi, nimble mother
Nimble yogi, nimble mother
Teaching with Manju Jois
Teaching with Manju Jois

How many times in daily life do we do several things in the same time? Holding a child in one arm, cooking, keeping eye on him that nobody gets hurt but at the same time he gets a good learning experience, the doorbell rings, dogs go crazy, … Lego is on the floor, well positioned to get me … and … in the end of the day the coffee I made in the morning is still sitting there… It’s not always like that, but you know what I mean. Life requires us to be nimble, not just from a yoga point of view – being nimble in our minds. Not letting things get in top of you, to laugh and enjoy every moment in the life as it runs away from us so fast. Especially with kids.

Having a good balance of body and mind in our life is essential. Good balance starts with our feet and having functional feet. It doesn’t matter which yoga series we practice (Ashtanga yoga has 7 series), all of them have standing poses at the beginning and they get more and more demanding. One-legged poses give us a chance to find our center of gravity and dance around it’s edges. Being balanced in our body means being balanced in our mind and (let’s say this) in our spirit. Standing poses demand our full, wakeful attention, they reflect our mind, require flexibility and strength and all it comes from our roots – our feet. It goes beyond the instinctive fear of falling and strikes directly at the ego. Anybody can enhance their equilibrium in these poses by spreading the toes and the ball of the standing foot. The broader our base, the more stable we are, and even the slightest widening of the sole of the foot is surprisingly helpful. The muscles in foot must be quite strong to move the center of gravity far enough and fast enough to maintain balance. When we stand on one foot, one leg must do the work of two.

It is great that we master asanas on our yoga mat, but we need to also carry this outside of the yoga class. We need to wear functional footwear to keep our feet strong and in a good natural shape. We practice yoga with bare feet, which helps us spread our toes. But do we wear wide shoes in daily life to do that too? You will probably agree with me, that during day you need to also have a good balance, that there are the moments in between, the transition from one to the next. The movements and the steps we take from beginning to end. As in life.

How we perform in each moment is a reflection of our unique selves, the work we are putting in, and the intentions that are going out. It’s all a balancing act – life, relationships, goals, achievements, and yoga.

It’s how I came to find Joe Nimble, searching for good functional footwear, which doesn’t make a compromise. Me and my husband found this amazing brand, who offers good looking lifestyle shoes, along with performance shoes. My feet used to be broken, I couldn’t walk without pain, and due to wearing pointy shoes I developed hallus valgus. With my yoga education and learning from Lee Saxby I managed to improve my feet. From narrow painful feet I have wide, strong feet. It didn’t change over night, it required my attention, coming with education about feet, which came with wearing only functional footwear. We fell in love with this brand so much, that we opened a Joe Nimble store in Prague. We were so impressed of the knowledge of this company, with their own family story, along with good quality products which don’t make compromises.

I see myself in the future as an old white hair yogi, doing still crazy yogi poses, climbing the mountains with ease and keeping up with my grandchildren. This is why I want to be nimble. I want to enjoy my life. Nimble in the body, nimble in the mind.

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