love, joy, peace and yoga

Cow Pose

Instead of love, joy and peace, many of us, particularly during the bustling holiday season, experience symptoms of stress, including anxiety, depression, exhaustion, insomnia, high blood pressure and more. Recent clinical research and science based evidence from reputable institutions show that yoga reduces these symptoms and can give us a sense of deep peace.

Yet, what do you do when you are so busy that you literally can not fit in one more thing? The beauty of yoga is that while it is a vast science and there are many lineages and styles to choose from, the foundation of yoga is simplicity. Start simple. Start now. Remember, yoga is a journey, not a destination. Pick two poses and commit to practicing them every morning and each evening for five minutes. You don’t even need a mat to do that!

A good pose to begin with is cat/cow (see above). Do these poses while inhaling deeply through your nose in cow and exhaling fully through your nose in cat. Over a few weeks’ time, observe how you feel. Ask yourself what has changed? With yoga, establishing continuity is much more important than practicing for hours each day, or even taking a full class three times per week. If you continue your routine, your practice will naturally build over time, and when your schedule is less hectic, you will find time to practice more.

Cow Pose

Cow Pose

Cat Pose

Cat Pose

(This is Sara doing Cat and Cow pose in her children’s play room. You can do yoga anywhere, anytime!)

Doing yoga is like having a room of your own. It is also like brushing your teeth! Peace comes from knowing there is a time and place each day for you to set aside all the details of your life, and simply tune into your body and breath, even if for just a few minutes per day. From that place of inner peace, love and joy flow organically. Is there a better gift than that?

  • The latest from Sara
co-owner, CMT, e-RYT 200, RYT 500 | Mind the Mat
Sara VanderGoot, CMT, e-RYT 200, RYT 500, is Co-founder of Mind the Mat Pilates and Yoga and Director of Mind the Mat Yoga Alliance certified teacher training program. Sara is an experienced Registered Yoga instructor with Yoga Alliance. She studied Interdisciplinary Yoga with Don and Amba Stapleton in Nosara, Costa Rica and at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Sara is Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, licensed by the Virginia Board of Nursing. Sara has been practicing massage therapy, including specialties Prenatal Massage, Postpartum Massage, Deep Tissue Massage and Thai Yoga Massage, in Del Ray, Alexandria for over 15 years and a yoga instructor for 7 years. At Mind the Mat she specializes in Prenatal Yoga, Postpartum Core Yoga, Mommy and Me Core Yoga, Partners Yoga, and Hot Flow Yoga. Sara frequently acts as a birth companion for many of her clients, doing massage and yoga during labor and delivery to facilitate comfort during both medicated and unmedicated births. Before becoming a massage therapist and yoga instructor, she was a lawyer in the Washington D.C. area and found that the healing practices of massage and yoga brought a balance to her life that she had been searching for.

Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga was founded in 2008 by Megan Brown, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Polestar Certified Practitioner of Pilates for Rehabilitation and Sara VanderGoot, Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and Registered Yoga Teacher (e-RYT 200, RYT 500). In their private practices as physical therapist and massage therapist respectively Megan and Sara observed that many of their clients were coming in with similar needs: relief for neck and shoulder tension and low back pain as well as a desire for more flexibility in hips and legs, stability in joints, and core strength.

Together Megan and Sara carefully crafted a curriculum of Pilates and yoga classes to address needs for clients who are pregnant, postpartum, have injuries or limitations, who are new to Pilates and yoga, and for those who are advanced students and are looking for an extra challenge.     

2214 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301


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