This week’s Yogi in the Community is a beautifully powerful woman who literally jump-started my week with this interview! Michelle is an ATL-based yogi who brilliantly outlines some simple yet key steps to ignite a healthy lifestyle! Michelle has some exciting things coming up in Atlanta, so be sure to check out the end of the interview for more information! If you are need of some inspiration, do yourself a favor and take a moment to meet Michelle!
Name: Michelle Barnard
Location: Atlanta, GA Hometown: Charlotte, NC
What led you to the practice of yoga?
Word of mouth. A co-worker at my first job out of college dragged me to a hatha yoga class that she loved. I hated it and swore I would never go back. The instructor confused me and made me feel uncomfortable so I didn’t think yoga was for me. After which that same co-worker felt bad and gave me a VHS tape of a Rodney Yee, yoga for beginners workout. After my first time I felt spiritually and psychically closer to God. It’s hard to explain but the more I practiced the better I got and felt more alive and comfortable in my own skin. It was hard and challenging yet clamming and rewarding at the same time and before I knew it I was hooked.
What inspires your commitment to health and wellness?
Namaste (the Divine in me bows to the Divine in you). Seeing The Creator in all of the lives I come across inspires me to keep going. Seeing the evidence of what a good workout can do helps to keep me in this field. Wither it’s helping someone to be in a better mood or keeping their blood pressure and waist line in check it’s all worth it and always rewarding. It’s not easy to stay inspired while inspiring others, but helping others seams to helps me deal with my own stress and keeps me healthy.
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of your yoga practice?
Staying consistent with my practice is the most rewarding yet the most challenging part of being a yogi. Being a business owner, wife, daughter, sister, and friend life can get a bit hectic, and near imposable to find time for myself. As much as I love practicing yoga, before I get to my mat it can feel like just another thing on my list of “to dos”.
If you could offer any tips for people transitioning into healthier lifestyles whether it is yoga, other forms of exercise, mindful eating habits, etc. what would you suggest?
Get water! I put a 20oz. glass of water on my night stand before I go to bed and before I get out of bed in the morning I make sure I drink it all. That helps helps to set a precedence for my water intake for the rest of the day. Getting enough water EVERY day helps to curb your appetite and helps your entire system work as it should.
Go to bed! Getting to bed around 10pm makes a big difference for my next day. Never under estimate the power of a good night’s rest.
Take five! Every day take at least 5 minutes to sit in a quite place with you eyes closed and just be. Using your breath is a powerful tool to clear you mind and keep you sane.
Cardio, Tone, and Stretch! Being fit means being well rounded. Get your cardiovascular on (running, biking, swimming, jumping, dancing). Build your strength and bone mass with weight training. Always stretch, flexibility take practice and consistency. Yoga and/or Pilates at least twice a week is a great way to get and stay flexible. STAY TUFF
If you are interested in practicing or training with Michelle she has some exciting things coming up! Michelle will be conducting a 5 week course that meets every Tuesday and Thursday 6am, 5pm or 6:30pm. Every class is a little different: kickboxing, weight training, Pilates, and plyometrics are some of the fitness styles I have to offer. Location: Grant Park Roosevelt Lofts (745 Hansell St Atl 30312)
Feel free to contact Michelle for further information: