Warrior of the Week: Courtney Connor
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi everyone! My name is Courtney Conner. I am originally from Seattle, WA. My husband and I moved to Bellingham 5 years ago, with our 2 kiddos (Chloe, 6 and Jack, 5). After working in the world of recruiting in Seattle, I decided to become a stay-at-home Mom when we moved to Bellingham. I thrive on being outdoors and that’s where I feel most alive – from 2-week kayaking trips around Vancouver Island, fishing off Haidi Gwaii (just south of Alaska), hiking around Whatcom County, and boating/camping in the San Juan Islands/Canadian Gulf Islands. Between soaking up free time in the great outdoors, I find a lot of joy simply experimenting with cooking and drinking coffee:).
How long have you been practicing at Flux Power Yoga? How did you know this was your place?
I have been practicing at Flux for little over 2 years. I knew it was my place from day ONE. For those that have been to Flux, many of us rave about the inspiring Teachers, camaraderie among members, beautiful studio, and holistic practice. One thing that stands out to me among those listed above, is the simple sense of presence within the space. EVERY time I step foot in the studio, I am able to take a deep breath, turn off technology, turn down my racing thoughts, show up as I am, sweat, and meet myself on my mat in whatever physical or mental state I am in that day and just be. I knew it was my place because it is one of the rare places where I can do that. My life is filled with busy little tasks, being reactive to phone calls/emails/etc, managing kids emotions, running from point A to point B (usually feeling rushed), always looking ahead to what is next, what’s happening tomorrow, next week, to do lists, etc. What a beautiful thing to step into a space and just be. Let it go, stop trying hard/try easy, be willing to fall apart. The opportunity to be vulnerable, fall apart on my mat, and be able to smile and laugh about it has been such a gift.
How has your practice evolved and /or what benefits have you gotten in your practice and in your life?
Where do I begin?!?! When I first started practicing Baptiste Yoga 2 years ago, I have to admit…I was intimidated. I was a relatively good athlete growing up (basketball, volleyball, track & field – but always lacked in the flexibility department) and often found myself in the yoga studio looking around the room, watching others move from one advanced pose to another thinking to competitive myself, “I just need 6 months and I’ll be able to do a wheel pose and lift one leg up at the same time”, “In 3 months, I’ll be able to shoot back to low plank from crow pose”. As time passed, those “goals” where not manifesting and I felt unworthy, disappointment, and sense of failure. What?! Is that really what this is about? Why am I spending all this time comparing myself to others? My journey to that point felt very narrow-minded and my ego needed to be checked at the door. This past year, I have had breakthroughs on and off my mat in many thanks to a new found love for meditation, yoga books, LOTS of time on my mat, and building relationships with fellow yogis that had similar feelings. I have evolved, and guess what….I ALWAYS be evolving. What a relief! After having that realization that I am perfectly imperfect, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I started enjoying the journey, realizing that the prize is within the process. Every day is a new day, and your mat meets you where you are. I have found that listening to myself is just as important as listening to others. I don’t need to look outward for satisfaction or to be enlightened. Everything I need is already within me, I just need to spend the time finding it:).
Favorite pose and why?
Oms; at the beginning and end of class. Is that even a pose? Not sure; either way…it’s my favorite part of class – how about that:). Often (before class), I feel myself still distracted, more anxious, and unfocused. During the 1st set of Oms, it helps me set the tone for class. Grounds me. Reminds me to let it go and just be. At the end of class, it’s one of my favorite feelings in the world: I feel empowered, an overwhelming sense of gratitude for myself and others; I feel alive with a clearer mind.
Any advice for new yogis?
Don’t be hard on yourself. This whole thing called life is a journey with hills and valleys. Why beat yourself up over things that you don’t have control of, injuries that are limiting you, judgement, or fear. Do your best, forget the rest. For me, Yoga has really highlighted that and allowed me to be easier on myself, allowed me to focus on things that bring me joy and to let go of the crap that is holding me back from being my most authentic self. As said earlier, I’m still working on it and I am enjoying that process now more than ever.
#warrioroftheweek #baptisteyoga #fluxpoweryoga