Tell Me Your (Yoga) Story: Alex

Alex McDowell

Meet Alex. She's a 26 year old with a passion for health, wellness, life, and people. She lives in Stillwater, MN and loves spending time with her fiance, Jordan, friends, and family. Alex spends her time attending church, going to yoga, working out at Alchemy, running, camping, reading, traveling meeting new people, and laying in hammocks (just to name a few!).

What makes you come alive?

Laughter. When I am laughing and enjoying the people I am with, I am completely in the moment. I feel so alive and fulfilled in that moment. Laughter is so good for our souls.
"A day without laughter is a day wasted." - Charles Chaplin

In one sentence, what is yoga to you?

Yoga is a practice where you get real, grounded, refreshed, energized, grow, and have connection within and with those around you.

How did you start practicing yoga?

I began practicing yoga in high school with my mom. She would take me to evening classes with her. She told me it was good for me to take a break from my sports and to come to my mat. During that time, I didn’t fully realize all the benefits I was reaping from the yoga I was taking. I knew I felt amazing after, but didn’t fully immerse myself into a weekly practice until a few years later. It was not until I left for college that I truly began my own yoga practice and realized all the benefits yoga had to offer me. During college, I attended classes and loved the energy and time away from everything else going on and allowing myself 60 minutes for me to recharge. I would say I really started my yoga practice 3 years ago when I started to take classes weekly, and then took the plunge into teaching.

What does your practice look like on the mat and off the mat?

On the mat my practice is me taking time to be as present as a I can, to let go of things that do not serve me, and to be in the moment, meeting myself where I am and using my practice as a time for me and whatever I need that day. Sometimes, I do not know what I need, and just by letting go of any negative energy or thoughts, I feel refreshed and energized. I take my yoga off of my mat by utilizing the power of presence. This is a challenge for me. When we come onto our mats it is us, a mat, sometimes a teacher guiding us, and our thoughts. When we leave that space, we have thousands of distractions coming our way, so I try to use my practice of being present on and off of my mat.

Favorite pose & why?

Currently, I would say my favorite pose is hurdlers pose. It challenges me in a variety of ways- physically and mentally. Right now I am stronger with the pose on one side than the other, but that is okay. That’s why I love the practice of yoga. We are reminded it is not about perfection. When we come into a pose each time it may look and feel different. Each side may be different in how they look and feel. Letting go of the idea that they need to be the same is a challenge sometimes, but it is okay and that is part of the yoga practice. Hurdlers pose is motivating me in my practice daily to continue on this yoga path and the ever-changing practice.

How has yoga made your life better?

Yoga has helped me to discover who I am and who I want to be. It has allowed me to see the joy in this world just by looking around and seeing who surrounds you. It is not what we have, but whom we have in life. Yoga has taught me self-love, although I am still challenged by this daily. It has shown me a way to love myself and who I am. It has helped me to relieve stress, to become stronger, to be challenged mentally and physically, to be present and calm, to slow down. Yoga has had such a positive and strong influence on not only my life, but also those around me. It has brought so much joy to me and that is why I chose to become a yoga teacher, to share the goodness of yoga that I have found with my students.

Instagram: alexandraluciam  
Website: roadtodiscoverymn