Meet Carylan! Our community member in Abu Dhabi, UAE. She’s a good friend of our team member and Alex’s first sober friend Emma. Carolyn is doing her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Triaging with Alex and soon will be a yoga teacher. We wanted the chance to get to know her a little more. Here’s our star for the week…
Hi Carolyn! Tell us a little bit about yourself! Who is Carolyn?
Carolyn: I'm Carolyn, I'm South African but have lived in the Middle East for the past 14 years, and currenlty living in Abu Dhabi with my husband and our dog Chewby. We have two amazing kids of 20 and 26, who I miss every day as they are studying in US and UK. I'm a chartered accountant by profession and currently work in a pretty stressful role as CFO of a large healthcare facility.
How did you meet Alex or know about her?
Carolyn: I met Alex through a mutal friend/fellow yogi, Emma Shanahan who had done her YTT with Alex, and who also has a pretty stressful job, so i though if Emma can fit in the YTT then so can I! The online forum suited me perfectly as I can't take a month out from work to travel to do a YTT.
What inspired you to start practicing yoga?
Carolyn: I've been practicing yoga for about 10 years. I love movement, having been really into different styles of dance all my life and my sister in law finally got me hooked, she had done a YTT in India and I started some classes with her and just loved the discipline and movement and flow of yoga
Have you ever had any experience with yoga before joining the MLPC?
Carolyn: Initially I started yoga as a form of exercise when my Pilates teacher left and I was looking for another teacher and found yoga instead. I really enjoy pilates, but the added dimensions of yoga including mindfulness and breathwork were what made me change my main form of exercise to yoga. Added to that I felt my body get strong in a way it had not been strong before and I felt so good after every class that it was easy to commit to a practice
How did you end up being so committed to yoga?
Carolyn: My commitment to yoga was a result of how it helped me to cope with the huge pressure of my job and being a working mum to teenage kids and the sole breadwinner. Yoga changed my life and how I deal with stress, trauma and challenging situations on everyday life
Did you face any challenges during the month of April?
Carolyn: In the past month it has been challenging to practice regularly each week as I was travelling but what I realized is that I was able to practice yoga off the mat by being fully present with my family, during other forms of exercise (we did lots of hiking) and having so much gratitude for out holiday and time with my daughter.
What are the biggest benefits you’ve reaped from your yoga practice?
Carolyn: The benefits I've reaped from yoga are so many. As I mentioned earlier yoga has taught me to cope more effectively with the stress in my life. Through a lot of introspections and mindfulness yoga has taught me to be grounded and balanced and it has brought me together with so many amazing people and experiences
What’s your favorite posture? What’s your most difficult posture?
Carolyn: My favorite position - tree pose - it is so still, strong, grounded and peaceful.
My most difficult pose - ugghh, that would be Camel. It’s not part of my regular practice, I find it so uncomfortable and when a teacher says now we're going to do Camel pose it fills me with dread :)
What is your favorite type(s) of yoga? And why?
Carolyn: I love movement and so I think Vinyasa with all its beautiful flow sequences is my favorite
Any words of wisdom to those just starting out?
Carolyn: Wisdom for those starting out... don't limit yourself with your preconceived notions that to do yoga you have to be an olympic gymnast! Yoga is beneficial for everyone, no matter your ability, shape or size. Even just sitting on your mat meditating is yoga, and so everyone CAN do yoga, its not only about the Asanas, and the Asanas are not about being perfect. Just do what you can, when you can, from your level of ability; breathe and enjoy the moment.
Thank you so much Carolyn for answering our blog questions and for sharing these lovely photos! We appreciate you so much. All the best in your YTT and we can’t wait to take your class soon.
Have a question or comment for us or our star? Leave them in the comments section below.
Hope to see you soon and may you all be safe, happy, healthy, and free.