Updated: Nov 27, 2021
Lilac Lotus Yoga & Wellness was founded in 2018 by wellness coach & yoga instructor Emily Carter. We are a Private Yoga Studio offering in-home & virtual services in Spokane, Washington. Emily opened LLY with the mission to bring affordable Yoga and Pilates classes to those who need it most, and to those who may not feel comfortable in the traditional studio environment. Four years later our mission has expanded to bring health & wellness practices and advice to our clients so that they may live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives through holistic practices. We currently offer affordable wellness coaching, yoga, pilates, meditation and stretch therapy both in-home and virtually.
My Yoga journey began shortly after high school. I have never considered myself “athletic” and certainly not coordinated. I was never able to find joy in the art of competition either, so sports did not suit me. But when you’re young, it’s easy to stay active. And all through my school years I always had something going on. Whether it was riding horses, gardening or marching band.
Once I left school however, I found out how quickly my body began to ask for more activity.
I had heard about Yoga, and the many benefits, but I (like a lot of new students) was very hesitant about joining a Yoga studio and trying something new in front of a bunch of people I didn’t know. I still wanted to give it a try. Even back then I had a strong feeling Yoga was going to be a good thing for me.
Back then, I didn’t know just how profound an impact it would have. I took my very first Yoga classes at the local YMCA. I chose the Y because I felt that the atmosphere there would be more accepting of me. This is a personal struggle that I still battle with even today. Truth be told, my first few classes were very nerve wracking. With the support of my teachers there, I was able to build a solid Yoga foundation and became more comfortable in my skin (in class & out!).
After a few months I noticed I had much better control over my emotions. I was able to use the breathing techniques taught in my classes to calm my nerves and better respond to stressful situations. I also have less social anxiety. While I’m sure there are a number of reasons my anxiety decreased, I am sure it’s because of the community connection I became used to in my Yoga classes.
Practicing Yoga has this amazing ability of drawing people together in community. In Yoga, we call this the “collective”. Together, we experience our Yoga class through the lense of the teacher, and individually we experience the class through our own bodies. This helps foster a space of acceptance where all levels and Yogis feel welcome.
After several years of practicing Yoga both at home and at the Y, I decided I wanted to share what I had learned with those in my life I care about the most. I started with my grandparents.
My grandparents are in their early 70s and for the most part, have been pretty active. My grandma is the strongest and toughest woman I have ever met. She continued to work through a broken hip and botched surgery, and then a few years after that, double broken knee caps.
I thought that if Yoga could help me feel better physically and emotionally, then it certainly could help them. What happened after just a few sessions was more than I ever thought possible. Yoga has helped my grandparents with nerve pain, joint pain, and heart issues. The physical practice of Yoga has opened up their joints for better circulation, and in doing so has lowered their pain levels. The deep breathing and meditative qualities of Yoga have been able to bring some peace into their lives, and lower their blood pressures. Even now, three years later, my grandparents are still using the skills they learned through Yoga to manage their pain and better their health.
Seeing their huge improvement really did it for me. I decided that I wanted to take a Yoga teacher training and help other seniors like my grandma and grandpa. During my training, I developed a deeper connection with Yoga philosophy than I ever thought I would. It’s one of those things that resonated with every sense of my being. I was so thankful that I had finally found a space where I belonged. And even better, I now had the ability to share that feeling with others.
After my training I decided to open a Mobile Yoga studio. After much research and planning I decided to take my classes to the students because I wanted them to feel as comfortable as possible. It also bothered me that there was not a lot of variety in the class times offered by Yoga studios in my area. I felt a great desire to help those who could not make regular class times.
For us, this means mammas with their babies at home or kids at school, working professionals who go to work early and get off late, and seniors who live by a different schedule than most of us.Teaching one on one classes and small groups also gave me the opportunity to create deep connections with our students and be fully present to support them through their classes. This is the most important part about being a Yoga teacher.
A true Yoga teacher does not place oneself over that of their student. They do not claim to know all or be better in any way. The sole job of a Yoga teacher is to offer up the Yoga experience and allow their students to take away any of which resonates with them. Our job is not to judge, critique or change our students. Nor is it to bring them along a path of our own creation. Our journey as Yoga teachers is one of support and encouragement. Support of our students, through meeting them where they are one their mats, and encouragement for them to try new things and push themselves.
At Lilac Lotus, we pride ourselves in our dedication to creating comfortable and accepting classes wherever we go. We love that we are able to bring wellness to those who may not always feel welcome or be able to take classes in the traditional studio experience.
Yoga is a journey of self acceptance. Learning that where we are today does not have to be further along than yesterday. Through the teachings of Yogi Patanjali we learn that it is OK to accept ourselves as we are in this moment.
For those new to Yoga, jumping right into a studio can be intimidating. While we learn through Yoga philosophy the importance of non-comparison, it isn’t an easy thing to do. Many times new Yogis find themselves in a world of self-judgment in a Yoga st