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2012 Readers’ Choice/ Facebook Faves Neda Draupadi Honarvar, E-RYT I am the owner of Tough Love Yoga, the creator of Metal Yoga and a current yoga ambassador for Lululemon Athletica. My love for teaching is second only to my passion for learning, and believing that being a student of yoga has and continues to transform the capacity and potential of my mind, body and heart. I have studied yoga for over 12 years and have completed 200 hour certifications in Classical Hatha yoga and Kali Natha yoga, and have completed Anusara Immersion and Level 1 Anusara Teacher Training.

Patio yoga class from exhale mind body spa

How to Choose: Assess Your Condition Depending on your level of physical fitness and any medical issues you may have, it’s best to shop around before deciding on a specific practice. Merideth explains that while many people want to achieve peak physical fitness, others are recovering from major illness and need a gentle practice. “Choosing a style is more about exploration than anything else. Find a class and teacher that Photos courtesy of Ron Hart Photos (top left), photo courtesy of lululemon (bottom middle) and Emily Furtsch (top right)

keep you coming back for more,” says Meryl Arnett, a lululemon ambassador who teaches at Atlanta Hot Yoga and Ember Hot Yoga. “Not all yoga classes are created equal. I often see

What other types of life improvement do you practice? Yoga and meditation are my true loves, but I also love hiking as an alternative means to ground through my body and clear my mind. What piece of advice would you give a first-timer? Yoga is a practice. It’s a lifelong relationship that will nourish and transform you, but just like every other relationship, there are challenges. Don’t give up. Be open, have fun and try not to take yourself too seriously or give yourself a hard time, especially when you’re doing something that’s difficult. Try to approach your challenges with excitement rather than frustration. Stay devoted and work through them. I promise it’s worth it. Favorite inspirational quote, mantra or saying: A Native American wise man once said there were always two dogs inside of him fighting–a good dog and a bad dog. When asked, ‘Which one wins?’ he replied, ‘The one I feed.’ 

new students exploring yoga after injury. Look for something therapeutic or alignment-based.” As with any new fitness class, you are trying for the first time, make sure to speak with your primary care physician if you have any concerns about your health limitations. “Check with your doctor and talk about intentions so we can enter the journey safely together,” says Lisa Agostoni of Charmed Yoga. “It’s critical that new students tell instructors of any injuries, illnesses or medical conditions - past or present - so we can make modifications.” Yoga is not only being practiced inside studios, but also in parks and other outdoor venues

Helen Noviello I received a B.S. in health and physical education as well as numerous fitness and yoga teaching certifications, and have been working and teaching in the health, wellness and fitness industry for 35 years, teaching yoga for 25. I teach yoga at my private studio, Yoga By Helen. My very eclectic flow style of teaching is noncompetitive, spiritual and nurturing. In addition to how incredibly centered teaching yoga makes me feel, the biggest joy of sharing my love of yoga is seeing the bliss it creates in my students.

making it even more accessible. “To see people come together in an outdoor community yoga environment is an amazing experience – it connects them and grounds them,” says manager at exhale Atlanta, Anne-Marie Berte, a yogi who has taught and organized several outdoor yoga events. “I think more and more people are gravitating towards yoga because of the strong need to let go of stress, reconnect with themselves and also with others.”

Yoga Over 40 Concerned that you’ve started yoga too late in life? Instructors say not to worry. According to Arnett, yoga is for all ages, body types and fitness levels. “The most common thing I hear is ‘but I’m not flexible,’” she says. “I promise this does not matter. The purpose of class is to build flexibility and strength slowly and safely. There are as many variations of each pose as there are body types. Your teacher will find modifications that are right for you.”

Meryl Arnett www.bestselfconnect.com

What other types of life improvement do you practice? In addition to practicing yoga and meditation, I live a very holistic lifestyle including organic, whole food nutrition, organic natural cosmetics, supplements, herbal teas, aromatherapy and alternative health. I feel it is a must to get into nature for a walk everyday. What piece of advice would you give a first-timer? Yoga is about what feels good for you. Do not compare, do not compete. It is important to find your own expression of yoga and not worry about what others are doing. Yoga is a blissful practice that should always feel good. Favorite inspirational quote, mantra or saying: Words I strive to live by: “Have a smile in your heart, love and compassion in your intent finding gratitude in the gifts of each and every moment.”

BEST SELF ATLANTA

NOVEMBER 2012

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Profile for Best Self Atlanta

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November is Best Self Atlanta magazine’s “Giving Issue.” Learn about: “Businesses that give back” and “How to give the greatest gift by beco...

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November is Best Self Atlanta magazine’s “Giving Issue.” Learn about: “Businesses that give back” and “How to give the greatest gift by beco...