Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.
Looking for a little yoga inspiration this week? Check out Sara Clark’s yoga practice — 8 Poses to Cultivate Courage and Reduce Self-Consciousness — to feel comfortable in your own skin.
I had dreadlocks for eight years, and there just came a point where they were too much maintenance. I was practicing hot yoga at the time, and my hair was long and heavy. Re-styling it after a sweaty practice became time consuming. My inner voice told me to cut it all off. It felt amazing, liberating, and freeing—like I was a rebel against society—but also naked. I had nothing to hide behind anymore. I had to get used to my face. I still sometimes want something to hide behind, so my daily practice has become being OK with being seen.
Empowerment for me means giving yourself permission to step into your power, to celebrate your unique gifts, and to show up authentically in an unapologetic way. I finally feel empowered enough to listen to my inner wisdom and do what makes me happy, even if it scares me. For example, shaving my head forced me to step into who I am. I stuck out even more, but it was a practice of, “Although this goes against social norms, here I am. I don’t need to explain myself.”
To stay balanced, I meditate every morning; that’s mandatory, whether I have two minutes or an hour. I focus my meditation on how I want to feel that day and what I want to call forth. For example, navigating the hectic streets of New York City with a busy schedule can be intense for me, so I often meditate on staying grounded in my body. I also practice mindfulness; I try to remain aware of my thoughts, emotions, and my inner dialogue throughout my day. I remind myself that I have a choice as to how I want to show up in the world—that I get to decide how I live my life. Then, when there is time, I love kettlebells and high-intensity interval training. Throwing around weights makes me feel like a superhero. I pair that with my first love, Vinyasa Yoga.
What I love most about teaching is cultivating a sacred and safe space for people where they can connect with their higher selves, better understand their purpose on this earth, and mindfully step into their power with clarity and grace. If I can help someone find peace, even for a minute, my job is complete.
See also The Mindfulness Meditation Guide