By Lauren Taus
Believe it or not, I’m not a girl that practices a lot on my own. I’m more likely drinking a glass of wine at home than foam rolling. I don’t sit in long lunges to open up my hips or roll around a lot on wheels to awaken my spine for deep back bending. I sometimes wish I did these things because they would surely unlock new shapes for me faster, but it’s just not my nature, and to be honest, I’m totally ok with it. I prefer one-on-one training with teachers who have an expertise outside of my own, and I love group classes for the dynamic energy that I find in them.
This isn’t to say that I don’t move around A LOT. I do. I’ve been fiercely committed to movement since I was a young child. My mom used to say that I was kickboxing in the womb! My motivation to be active has changed over time. In the past, I was punitive. I’d exercise because I felt guilty or ashamed of something I ate. I would use exercise as a means to manage my anxiety. These old impulses haven’t disappeared altogether, but for the most part, I move now as a means to reset, to get inspired and to feel good.
"I move because it makes me feel alive, and I always suggest that people do whatever feels best for them."
I love to ride my bike; there are days in the city that I clock over twenty miles going from place to place. The wind in my hair, the breeze on my skin – it’s just so revitalizing. Every ride gives me a new perspective. I also enjoy high intensity interval training (Hello Fhitting Room!), dance classes, and just about anything that gets me sweaty, with the exception of running. Don’t take me to Barry’s.
I move because it makes me feel alive, and I always suggest that people do whatever feels best for them. Not surprisingly, yoga asana is my primary form of exercise — because I love it. Yoga makes me feel whatever it is I’m feeling. On my mat, I’ve sobbed. I’ve seethed in anger. I’ve experienced my body and being as sexy, beautiful, and wild. I’ve done it all on that sweet, 24x72” space.
Yoga, to me, is a different form of fitness with a value that’s altogether separate from other forms of exercise, so with undeniable bias, I think it’s good for everybody. Yoga is different because the asanas (postures) are embedded in a larger system of living. I’m by no means classical in my approach. I understand yoga in the United States as an appropriated practice, but it’s still one grounded in connection and loving kindness.
"Not surprisingly, yoga asana is my primary form of exercise — because I love it. Yoga makes me feel whatever it is I’m feeling."
I’ve often heard runners talk about their ability to leave themselves, to be on total automatic pilot. I’ve never had that experience, and I don’t want it. I’m looking to deepen my attention, and to explore the life that’s living through me.
Mathew Samford once said, “I have never seen anyone truly become more aware of his or her body without also becoming more compassionate. On the flipside, when we become more disconnected from our bodies, we become more self-destructive. Each day, as I practice connecting my mind and my body, I am able to feel a more compassionate path. I wish the same for you.”
Not all movement works to create this result, but yoga does. As a trained psychotherapist, I also know that the body provides a wealth of information that we can’t access as clearly from the narratives in the mind. Learning to tap into our embodied wisdom is part of the beauty in a yoga practice, and it’s part of what literally gets me to move. Of course, there are a plethora of health benefits, but at the end of the day, they’re not what gets any of us into spandex in 90 degree weather.
"Learning to tap into our embodied wisdom is part of the beauty in a yoga practice, and it’s part of what literally gets me to move."
I move because it makes me feel alive. I move because it makes me smarter. I move because I have a body that can, and it’s a gift. I choose yoga because it brings me closer to myself and others, because it brings me joy, and you should choose what brings a song to your heart too. Just be sure to do some yoga too!
"I move because it makes me feel alive. I move because it makes me smarter. I move because I have a body that can, and it’s a gift."
Lauren Taus is an NYC-based life coach and yoga instructor who works to align her students not only in their bodies, but in their minds and hearts. After several years in corporate finance, Lauren transitioned into a career in wellness over 7 years ago. She believes a good teacher is always a better student, and is constantly seeking more knowledge to share with her community. Lauren is primarily a vinyasa teacher, but has experience and education in Ashtanga, restorative, meditation, and trauma-sensitive yoga. She graduated from Columbia University and earned a Masters degree in Social Work from NYU. Lauren has spent thousands of hours working as a therapist. She aims to deliver a grounding, inspiring, and fun mind-body experience in all of her classes with the intention to help her students uncover their deepest desires so that they can actualize them. Lauren teaches at Soho House, Equinox, Pure Yoga, and in many corporate offices. Lauren also presents at Wanderlust, and leads international workshops and retreats.