Please allow me to introduce you to Joanne Peterson, our Featured Human for the month of September! After moving from Ballard to Greenlake in 2017, Joanne needed a new home for her practice and gave Modo Yoga Seattle a try. We could not be more thankful that she did! Joanne’s quiet comings and goings from the studio might have gone unnoticed except for her near daily practice. She encourages us all not to take life or ourselves too seriously while keeping self-judgment low and self-respect high. We could all learn a thing or two from this inspiring yogi!
Hey Joanne, what do you remember about the first time you tried yoga?
I actually remember really wanting to quit. I had signed up for an 8 class intro series with my mom in 2015 thinking that it would be easy, but I wasn’t prepared for the physical and emotional challenge it presented. At that time I often had the mindset of, “If I’m not perfect at it the first time, then I don’t want to try.” Thankfully my mom kept pushing me to go and the rest is history!
Wow, thanks Mom! So how would you say your practice has influenced your life beyond simply poses?
Yoga has changed my life & my mindset in so many ways, the list could go on! I still sometimes find myself with the thought of needing to be perfect, but yoga is always there to humble me, ground me, and remind me that ‘perfection’ isn’t real, but you are perfect as you are. In yoga I feel I can be myself without any judgment, and I try to take that mindset off the mat and not judge myself or others in my day to day life. On a more physical note, yoga has become my primary workout. I struggled to find a form of exercise that I enjoyed and that wasn’t painful for my body & joints, and I found that in yoga.
Could you share some words of wisdom that you have gained from your personal practice?
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Try to be present every day, and if you find yourself not being present, you have a wonderful opportunity to try again in that moment. Do what feels good for you, which might not be what feels good for others. And lastly always treat yourself & others with love, kindness, & respect 🙂
Kylie often reminds us how yoga makes the impossible possible. Would you share an experience or achievement from your life that you feel your practice helped support?
I started practicing yoga around the same time I started nursing school, and I think many of the lessons I took away from yoga/practicing yoga itself helped me get through and become the nurse I am today. It taught me to be confident in myself, how to relate to others, and to always be kind. Plus yoga was and still is an outlet to relieve my stress when it becomes too overwhelming.
Upheld in the Modo Live to Learn Pillar, Svadyaya is the yoga practice of self-study. We flex our curiosity to learn about ourselves and learn about our world. Do you have a favorite book that you think everyone should read?
I love to read, and while I would love to share a self-help or enlightening book, the truth is that I love fiction & novels. So, while it might not help you learn about our world, The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss is composed of 2 of my favorite books, and they made me very happy, which I think is enough! 🙂
Darn right, Joanne. You are always enough, and I dare say the things that bring us happiness are more than enough. Thank you for sharing and thank you for your practice!