Mony Shohayeb

mony yoga on treeWhat first brought you to yoga?

My relationship with Yoga started when my sister in law bought us a group of surprise classes at an indoor climbing gym nearby that has a yoga studio as on its second floor. I wasn’t keen on going but did so to give her company. To my luck it was the cold Canadian winter and so as soon as I stepped into the hot yoga room, the warmth of the room as well as that of the practice mesmerized me. I’ve been hooked ever since.

As a writer, I always have lines of words popping up in my head, stories , characters and quotes flying around all the time. It is sometimes challenging for me to clear my mind, to give it a break in order to refuel. I often need to push my physical limits, sweat it out in order to give my mind a break or get it to jumpstart in case I am experiencing writers’ block.

I discovered hot yoga, which gives me the physical challenge I need yet also the spiritual clarity and breathing techniques. Yoga makes my body feel stronger, flowing and hence empowered, helping me focus better as a writer and providing me with a great tool to break my writing sessions with an inspirational practice.

What did you think yoga was before you tried?

Before I started yoga I had the misconception that it was a completely meditative practice; that there would be prayers and spiritual rituals with no physical challenges other than unnatural stretching of the body. I had the preconception that as someone who always practiced sports, it would be a slow boring activity that could not keep my mind and body engaged.

After practicing yoga I realized that the beauty of yoga is that it is what you make of it.

There are so many types of yoga and variations, where you choose a practice that fits your personally and your own mental and physical needs. I still experience the challenge of having to explain this to many of the people around me.

How do you define a “yoga body.”

A “yoga body” is one that finds peace, energy or any positive feeling both while and after practicing yoga.  It is not defined in the way it looks or performs, that is not what yoga is about. Yoga is about that healthy peaceful high you get after a practice and the ability to recall that feeling back when you are faced with a stressful moment.

Yoga classes are very personal. You must connect with the style of class that is right for you and with the instructors who are able to help you get the best out of your workout. If there is no chemistry, perhaps give it one more chance, if not then perhaps try another yoga class.

How do you identify as being Audacious?

I’ve always loved writing. At one point a friend from USC advised me to start a blog. At fist I had doubts and answered “but who will read?” She said, “write and people will read”. I gathered the courage to start a blog, which later lead to publishing a book under the same name.

The Life Jackets is a compilation of motivational inspirational stories. Each story is designed to lift readers up. The term is a symbol for a thought, activity, person or legend that help us through tough times.

Personally, Yoga is one of the important lifejackets in my life, pushing me to get away from it all when I need, write better when I am immersed and be courageous enough to let the world read my lines, not giving up and hoping to inspire and motivate through my words.

This has transcended into my marketing consulting work at HYVE Marketing and Communication Agency, with yoga helping me battle the daily stress and uncertainty, continuing to act as one of my most important life jackets.

Advice for beginners?

Yoga is NOT about standing on one foot or the ability to touch your ears with your toes. When you enter a yoga class the instructor will give you several variations, what ever you do look on the inside and don’t look at the person next to you. Yoga is about you and an adjusted practice that us right for you, and even more for how you feel on the particular day of your practice.

Start now and even if your first couple of classes seem challenging, you will get into the flow the more you practice.

Where’s the Greatest Place you Practiced Yoga?

The most fascinating time I ever practiced yoga was on the beach in Egypt. It was as though I was one with the sound of the sea and the breeze, my mat caressing the soft grains of sand. I realized that yoga was now something inside me, that I carried it as part of me, whether that was alone on the beach or in a studio sharing the experience with a large group.

Mony Shohayeb

Mony Shohayeb is a marketing professional, writer, blogger and author of “The Life Jackets,” an inspirational book of short stories. She has an MBA in Marketing and a Masters in Communication Management from the University of Southern California.

She is the Founder and Coordinator for the Canadian Author Association’s Hamilton branch and constantly conducts writing, self-expression, empowerment and creativity workshops at educational and cultural institutes.

She is the founder of “HYVE Marketing and Communication,” a Canadian based marketing, branding and content development agency.

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