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ALEX RUSSELL'S JOURNEY

Everybody started somewhere. In the My Journey posts we ask an accomplished athlete / star / thought leader how they got where they are now. We hope their stories will inspire and motivate you.

In this forty fourth My Journey post, we had a chat with Alex Russell who is a Yogi. We hope you enjoy Alex's journey.
Alex Russell
Alex Russell
Tell us a little bit about yourself :)

I currently live in San Juan Capistrano, California. I am from California originally, however I have moved about 10 times or so around the state. I am a very adventurous girl who LOVES the outdoors and being active.

I am a firm believer of mind over matter, and I believe whatever you can set your mind to, you can make happen. All your answers you are looking for are within.My accomplishments with my yoga practice include deepening my practice not only physically, but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually. My practice is truly my escape to tranquility.

How did you get introduced to yoga?

I was introduced to yoga when I started going to Yoga in the Park, a donation based yoga located in Dana Point, California. The view overlooks the Dana Point Harbor, and it is an amazing place to enjoy your practice. At first it was just a way to work out and something to do, something that helped me focus on my own time.

When did yoga get “serious”?

One day, I was at yoga in the park, and the park was full with about 50 students or more. The teacher during class told us to take a few moments to do whatever our body was craving; to just play. Out of the 50 or so, about 3 of the people went upside. One man in particular began to do crazy inversions such as forearm stands, insane backbends, etc.

His strength was mind blowing, and I had no idea the human body was capable of doing those things. And I wanted to do those things. Because of that one man, I was truly inspired and my practice changed from that moment on. Inversion yoga pulled me closer to the art and practice of yoga.

Can you share your biggest challenges ?

The biggest challenge I faced with yoga was growing out of the ego. My practice in the beginning was based a lot on the shapes I could make and what I physically looked like, but I learned that stuff did not matter so much and I was missing the big picture of "yoga". It is about the internal before the external. It took me a few weeks to accept that I had that mindset; that my ego was speaking through.

I finally accepted it and grew from it. It was the best feeling in the world to evolve from the ego. My practice now has evolved from trying to impress myself and others, to now just MY yoga practice. My space, my energy and my time. My breath, my life force; it is all mine. And the ego can not step through, because there is no room for judgement, no room for comparison.

Alex Russell
How do you handle pressure?

I personally used to experience a lot of pressure in the beginning of my journey, however not so much anymore.

Setting intentions rather than goals helps me handle pressure. When setting goals, it is almost as if one strives to progress and get to the final result. They continue to look forward at the overall picture, making it feel like there is a time limit. Setting intentions, on the other hand, encourages one to intend to do something, however not putting a time limit on the progress. It allows you to enjoy every moment of the way, while not forcing or pushing it. Simply work towards your intentions at your own rate, and enjoy the ride!

Can you share your thoughts on self consciousness?

I am not nervous to perform and practice on my own mat. Even if it's a class full of people around me, I honestly zone in to the four corners of my mat and everything in between: me, myself, and I. Nobody else matters and the judgement is not there. Not within myself, not for anyone. I do not know what other people are thinking, but I developed the mindset that it does not matter what others think, because my practice is my time. My energy and light is mine, and it should not be wasted.

However, I do get nervous to teach yoga. Because I just began my teaching journey, I am still getting comfortable with my teaching voice. But that will simply take time.

What was your most embarrassing moment (in regards to your yoga of course ;)

I honestly cannot think of one particular moment that was embarrassing in regards to yoga. I have fallen about a million times if not more while practicing inversions like headstands/forearm stands/handstands, (some of which I have gotten really hurt from), but nothing so embarrassing that I can remember instantly.

How did yoga influence your life in other ways?

My passion influenced my perception and the way I look at life. It completely has altered my mindset and has made me view the world in a more practical, positive way. It has also guided me to find a better understanding of life and the reason behind it. Before, I was lost and had no clue what I believed in. I had no faith and no guidance. Now, I have grown very deep with my spirituality and feel very comfortable and relieved that I have a sense of what to make out of life here on Earth. It feels great to have a belief rather than just wonder.

Alex Russell
Alex Russell
What does your daily routine look like ?

My daily routine is different every day. I kind of just go with the flow with whatever I have going on that day. Either I am working, going to school, or working and going to school. Some days I will go to the beach because besides yoga, it is my other happy place. Some days, I will simply make sure to just be outside to enjoy the fresh air. Almost every day though, I will practice yoga, whether it be for an hour or two, or 10 minutes. I will always have at LEAST one cup of tea, and always have a cuddle sesh with my pup.

And what about your flexibility training ? Where does that fit in ?

My training revolves around flexibility training. Yoga all day, every day!!!

What keeps you motivated?

Things that keep me motivated is my body and how it feels. My body is VERY sensitive and lets me know whenever it is in need of attention. Trust me, it actually gets a bit irritating. But my body will crave yoga some days more than others, and I will give it what it wants. Some days my body is exhausted from too much yoga, so I let it take a break.Instagram accounts like Alo Yoga and other big yoga brands/ people inspire me as well.

One book in particular that influenced me was "Choose to be Happy" by Swami Chetanananda. It really molded my perspective on life in a different way.

What are your future plans/goals/dreams?

Future intentions I have with yoga is to one day work for Alo Yoga and become a team member to model their clothing. I would love to model active wear doing yoga. I want to grow as a teacher and teach around the world, as well as own my own studio one day. I want to continue my education in yoga and eventually one day get my RYT 1000. I believe that with a determined mindset, one can do anything.

Alex Russell
Any tips for passionate people starting out yoga ?

Stay positive and motivated. Anything that distracts you from being 100% happy, determined and your full-potential, let go of it. It does not serve you any longer.Do your sport for yourself and nobody else. You are your key to happiness.

I do not wish I would have done anything differently while starting out my yoga journey. I sometimes am ashamed of how my mindset was in the beginning, but having that ego based mindset that, it helped me grow out of my ego and take me to where I am today. I grew, and shall continue to grow. Embrace the journey, every single step of the way.

Anything else?

I encourage everyone to follow their dreams, and do what makes them truly happy.Know that we as humans have little to no control over what happens in this world. The only thing we have control over is our attitudes and reactions. With this power, we have control over everything around us, we can determine what is going on around us. Be mindful, breathe, present and live from the Self.

Anything you’d like to share?

Find me on instagram @alexyogaa to follow my yoga journey!

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1 Comment

  • Author Image
    Gina Posted September 20 2017

    'The only thing we have control over is our attitudes and reactions. With this power, we have control over everything around us, we can determine what is going on around us. Be mindful, breathe, present and live from the Self.' SO TRUE!

    Reply

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