Musings of a Yogini: On Yoga, Mental Health and Healing by Mikayla Mary


Mikayla Mary Goddess Pose

Just like any other young person who has a big heart and a sensitive soul. I have had my fair share of challenges growing up in a sometimes-challenging world. Navigating where you belong in the world and who you truly are is a hard and long journey. Yoga has helped me to find my place in this world and remember who I am. I believe it is a lifelong journey and I am only at the beginning but I no longer feel like I am walking it alone.

I started practicing yoga casually with my mum going to a few different classes here and there. Once I left school and started practicing yoga more regularly at a local studio where I live. I began to notice the benefits on my mental and physical health. Yoga helped me to create space in my mind and feel connected with my body when I was feeling overwhelmed. It was at that studio where the owner introduced me to Valka Yoga mats and I made my first investment in a yoga mat, which has been with me through this journey. I really love my Valka cork yoga mat it has become my safe space that I come back to again and again.

Last year, while completing my psychology studies online I decided I wanted to do a yoga course as a treat to myself. I knew fulltime online study at home was going to be isolating so I thought yoga would be perfect. Little did I know it was going to drastically change my life and I was going to become a yoga teacher. I have deep gratitude and love to my teacher Adele Kinghan for that.

My personal experience has created a deep passion to help other young people in navigating their personal journey so they feel support and empowered along the way. I do not have all the answers but I have my experience in how I navigated my journey and I can honestly say yoga has played a huge part in that.  Some yogic practices through this journey that I have found extremally beneficial to my overall wellbeing include: Pranayama especially nadi shodhanana (alternative nostril breathing) as it anchors me to the present and I can physically feel my nervous system moving to a state of calmness. I also love practicing vinyasa flow yoga where each movement is linked with breath as this style of yoga helps me to feel embodied and connected. Also meditation is also another yogic practice that I find really improves my wellbeing as it creates space in my mind so I can respond to situations better.

My hope is that more young people are able to access the practice of yoga so they can feel embodied, connected and loved through this journey we call life.

Mikayla first embarked on her yoga journey and teacher training as a teenager.

Alongside learning and teaching the practice of yoga, Mikayla has studied a Diploma in Health Psychology and is currently studying a Bachelor of Counselling and Addictions practice.

Mikayla's desire is to share the practices of yoga, somatics, psychology and counselling that she herself has found useful in enhancing her wellbeing, so we can all live our lives to the fullest potential.

Favourite asana - Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel)

Favourite superfood - Berries

Favourite book of 2019 - The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk

For more from Mikayla, find her on Instagram or on her website.


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