“Michelle Maue, runs Clayton Yoga, a yoga studio in Clayton, since 2003 and she has been practicing yoga for 14 years. When Michelle began practicing, she says she did not like being in her own body. “I wasn’t truly at home here in this body”, she says. “So I thought, well, let me just try a yoga class because I know if I can calm myself down, I could probably be a much better support for my family”. What she found was what she calls “an overwhelming sense of spiritual connection to something bigger than me”. Maue says that this connection has helped her through some potentially dark moments in her life. Times when things could have turned really destructive, but instead, she was able to say “OK, if not for me-if I’m not willing to take this next step for me-then I’ll take it for this bigger picture that I know I’m connected to. I need to let myself be drawn toward that level of inspiration”.
Maue believes that the physical benefits of yoga she’s experiences are connected to the spiritual benefits. She has once been plagued with back problems, something she explains as a fallout from experiences that she had repressed and from holding in negativity. But her yoga practice changed all that. “I started to unlock the secrets. I could feel the tangible energy. You’re coming alive and you’re feelings the energy bodies and the currents running through you and they’re starting to line up.
She explains that energy bodies are surrounding your physical body and you start to unlock some of the blocks with deep, continuous breathing. It took nearly four years, but there hasn’t been a trace of the back problems since. “Being open and humble is one of the gifts of yoga; I get to listen to my vulnerable places. When I slow down and I listen to my breath, I get quieter and I’m able to then see those places that I need to work on”. While the postures of yoga are important, Maue sees more value in the spiritual and emotional challenges that the practice pushes her to conquest.
“I don’t focus on physical anatomy as the central theme and I never will. It really is about the language of soul to me. This isn’t about trying to perfect the posture as much as it is about unlocking hidden weaknesses in our life”, she says.
In fact, Maue believes that people might not expect just how valuable finding one’s own weaknesses can be. “I think a lot of people in this culture would be surprised to find out that their vulnerability and their soft spots are actually treasures waiting to be revealed”