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Student Highlight: Chelsea Beliveau

 

chelseaHow did you find your way to yoga?

I was first introduced to yoga during a P.E. class my junior year of high school. The teacher led us through some simple postures then put on a CD of guided meditation. At the time I was recovering from a yearlong battle with anorexia that led me to fracture my pelvis, and then follow the Dr.’s advice to go onto anti-depressants. I went from a size 00 to a size 10 in one month and was in a really rough state. I can still sense the connection and refuge I found in my body that day while lying on the blue mat in the gymnastics gym. From that point on the spark was lit in me to feel at home in my body by taking control of my actions in a positive way. I took myself off the antidepressants, began doing Rodney Yee DVDs in the basement, and started down the long road to recovery. Yoga was and still is what brings health, wholeness, and holiness to me in mind, body, and spirit.

What do you do for a living?

My primary job is running the Aftercare program at the Friends School of Portland, a Quaker school in Cumberland serving children PS-8th grades. In addition, I host daylong and multi-week long series at my home in Portland, which include Guided Women’s Saunas and Herbal Classes. They all fall under the umbrella of “Women’s Backyard Studies” and are intended to bring young girls and/or women together to explore Earth Based practices for the sake of community, empowerment, and fun! Lastly, after a two-year break from teaching yoga, it feels great to have stepped back into subbing at Lila and teaching one class a week at the Body Architect.

Are you able to incorporate your yoga practice into your career or into your daily life off the mat?

Yoga on the mat cultivates my ability to be united, centered, and calm. In return, off the mat, yoga is my religion and my way of life. The thread of mindfulness, presence, and body awareness is crucial for me to be my best when working with children and overseeing the 5 faculty members at FSP. As for Women’s Backyard Studies, yoga has given me the confidence and inspiration to share my lifestyle and ways with women who I find are particularly hungry for such engagement.

What is the best thing about the Lila yoga community?

Lila is consistent in offering high quality yoga classes. The teachers are skilled and well refined in the art. I believe it is for this reason that the community of practitioners is so rich and focused and interested in living a life of wellbeing and joy.

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