YogaTravelTree was able to catch up with Canadian yogi, Lauren Rudick, after taking her Yoga for Better Sex workshop at Wanderlust, VT. We asked her a few questions we wanted to know and she was kind enough to respond even while she was gone exploring Nicaragua YTT: For starters, tell us who are you, where you are, and what you’re up to?
LR: Who am I? I am still figuring that out. I am creative. I teach yoga. I practice yoga. I love to love. I am silly sometimes. I could stare at the stars on a beach indefinitely with good company and talk about life and dreams. I am a dreamer. I am a lover. My life wouldn't be complete without a dog. I need to travel like most need to breathe.
Currently I am in Nicaragua on a sort of research vacation but I am mostly based out of Canada.
YTT: You recently did a workshop on Yoga for Better Sex, how did that emerge?
LR: The yoga for better sex workshop emerged from several themes- feeling hyper sexualized and objectified by men when I first announced that I am a yoga teacher, it came from a heartbreak and then a soul mending. Mostly this workshop emerged as a way to help women use their yoga practice to empower themselves to feel beautiful, confident, graceful, strong, sensual and take these qualities off the mat and into the bedroom.
YTT: What's your favorite part about yoga and your practice?
LR: Wow. That's a hard one. Yoga is both my passion and my livelihood. It is my challenge and also where I find solace. It is the place where I heal and the place where I sometimes get frustrated...I guess my favourite part of yoga is taking time out each day to think about gratitude. Yoga gives us permission to stop and feel blessed, to feel joyful each day. Every time I stand in Samasthitihi with my hands together in front of my heart centre I think about one thing that I am grateful for. I think that's my favourite part.
YTT: What (if any) was your reaction to the recent post in the New York Times questioning the posting of “selfies” (photos of yourself) when doing yoga?
LR: I am very active on Facebook and Instagram and I post yoga selfies daily. The online yoga community is amazing. It is inspiring and I've had the opportunity to connect with really great people who I never would've otherwise. I like to post practice tutorials as well as inspirational photos. Often I post poses that are most challenging to me and everyday I post a handstand as I started a 365-day handstand challenge. I think it is fine to use social media to spread yoga love as long as the intention behind it is sattvic. If photos are posted just to boost the ego or achieve recognition for our physical practice of yoga then I don't think that is right. Personally, photo posting time is separate from practice time for me. I wouldn't feel right photographing my personal practice, breaking the flow of breath just to take instapics. For me, the practice of yoga is a sacred time where I can find union with my body and my soul, my breath and my mind- interrupting that with social media just wouldn't be enriching for me.
YTT: You seem to have a lot of travel experience, what is it like doing yoga internationally?
LR: I love practicing yoga all over!! Every new space and new instructor has something to teach me. Giving classes internationally is also pretty special. I learn so much from students and just to be able to share the joy and energy of a practice where perhaps language cannot penetrate is really special. One of my most memorable yoga experiences was teaching to local women in China over a year. My Chinese as it pertained to yoga did not extend much past "inhale, exhale, right hand and left hand" yet we were all able to experience the practice together. Although I never had much more than a 3-4 sentence conversation with those women, I really loved them and am so grateful to have had the opportunity to teach and learn from them.
YTT: We’re curious, if you were only allowed one asana for the rest of your life, what would it be?
LR: I feel like people would expect me to say a handstand—but if I had to pick just one? Savasana. Because I know that no matter now my body was feeling physically of how strong I was I could always practice it with integrity and heal.
Lauren Rudick is an avid yogi and world traveler who has been exploring her body, breath, and movement through yoga since 2003. She's currently based in Montreal, Canada, spreading her passion for yoga. She teaches at local gyms and studios, gives corporate classes and conducts specialty workshops and retreats both at home and abroad. Follow her #handstand365 challenge on Facebook.