Yoga Brought Balance to Her Life
When Andrea Chancey broke her foot in late 2007, and then her ankle the following spring, she realized something had
"I knew that I needed to get better balance and coordination." That's when she discovered yoga.
Andrea was living in St. Louis when she stumbled across a 5 am yoga class in Maryland Heights. It didn't take her long to appreciate the physical benefits of this ancient practice. And if she had any doubts that yoga improved her balance, they were dismissed after a recent incident at her job in the marketing department at ISC Surfaces in St. Louis.
"I was standing on a pallet when a board cracked. I almost lost my balance but was able to catch myself. Yoga has increased my body awareness, balance and strength."
Her first yoga class was small, just her and another student. When the series ended and the teacher moved on to teach at a community center, Andrea followed her. Eventually, she and her husband moved to Alton. Not long after, she found Be Well Now, where she takes several classes a week, large or small. Every class has positive features, she says.
"I like the energy of a big class but smaller classes are more intimate. I feel like I'm getting more individual attention with adjustments and instructions.
"When hot yoga first started and was the rage, I remember thinking that was something I would never do. But I like Judy's hot yoga class. It feels like you're getting a detox. Tracey's classes are so relaxing, they make me just want to sink into the mat. The other day she had us sitting on two blocks against the wall in Malasana [Garland Pose]. It's something I didn't think I could do before but I've gotten better at it."
Balance and strength isn't just physical and Andrea acknowledges that for her, yoga has taught her to get out of her own head.
"I'm able to catch myself and stop the 'monkey chatter' from taking over. Practicing yogic breathing has helped me to be calmer and more focused."
Andrea has her favorite poses, the ones she turns to when she practices at home.
"I like downward dog. I feel it really stretches my entire body. I also like cat/cow for the flexibility it brings to my back."
But there are those yoga poses that challenge us, the ones we need to practice and look closer as to why we resist doing them.
"For me it's Hero. That's the one I'm trying to like."