Learning how to be a warrior and not a worrier with yoga instructor Carly Mahon
After just one yoga class, in which I was both physically and mentally challenged (sweated and literally cried), I knew my instructor, Carly Mahon, was special. Special in the sense of genuineness and in her own style of healing. She radiates the type of energy that transcends the standard. Her mantra is straightforward and powerful, much like herself. Be a warrior not a worrier.
Courtesy Photo / Instagram / Carly Mahon
First, Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm Carly! I live in Ocean Beach and I am a certified yoga instructor, reiki master, health and fitness coach and self-care aficionado. I love the beach, being outdoors, having adventures, sarcasm and am a hopeless coffee lover! Why Yoga, for you and for someone who hasn't tried it yet?
Yoga is for everybody! What started off as a recommendation from a physical therapist to support recovery from a knee injury has turned into one of the best gifts in my life. It's a space to quiet your mind, tune up your body and get in touch with ourselves. We are so "on the go" all the time, connected, tuned in - yoga is a great place to unplug and recharge our batteries. It can seem intimidating to step into a class for the first time, but I encourage everyone to try it.
We all know about the benefits of taking a yoga class, tell us something we don't know?
You can balance your hormones, stimulate creativity, and impact your mental health on a neurological level with a regular yoga practice. Learning to link your breath with your body is a powerful tool in self-reflection, anxiety reduction and emotional regulation. Plus - standing on your head for a few minutes a day recirculates your blood, helps you see a different perspective to your problems and leads to happier lives!
What are some fun ways to incorporate yoga in everyday life, especially at work, car and beyond our busy schedules? Any activities you recommend for someone that needs the extra push to get active?
Desk yoga is a great way to take a breather from work if you're feeling stressed, bored, or uninspired. Our bodies aren't meant to sit behind a desk all day at a computer so it's important to get moving. You can do a few seated stretches in your chair by rooting your sits bones into the chair, extending your arms towards the ceiling and alternating stretching up and over to the right and left. Practicing a few rounds of mindful breathing at your desk too can help refocus your thoughts, calm your brain and stimulate creativity. If you're feeling uninspired at work or overwhelmed - stop and breathe. Take a pause and slowly inhale through your nose while thinking "This is my inhale" and exhale through your nose, "This is my exhale." It's a great way to focus and start a small meditation practice. People who get up and move during the day tend to weigh less, are happier and are less prone to injury.
Get a workout partner! Sticking to goals and starting a new health and wellness plan can feel really overwhelming and intimidating, especially if you have either fallen off track or have never started. Having a friend or family member who is also working on their goals will help you stay on track. Working out with a friend or a group improves accountability and gives you the chance to celebrate each other's successes. Start with things that interest you and you can start small, start going for a walk every day. Find your hype music and play that in the morning! Get yourself excited to be healthy, treat yourself to a new headband, workout outfit or water bottle. Celebrate your small wins. I've been practicing the "5 Second rule" (by Mel Robbins) - where when I have the idea to work out or conquer something challenging, I count down from 5 - it retrains your brain to brain to act based on instinct and not let fear or self-doubt prevent you.
Wildest yoga pose?
For me is chin stand. It was one of those that I had always seen people do and I was determined to nail it in my practice. It looks crazy, feels amazing.
Everyone thinks it, some do it, have you heard anyone fart in class?
For sure!! I have had someone fart in class! Lots of twists and binds are great for digestion and stimulate a lot of organs for people that may be stagnant. I see it as a good sign! Fart away - it means you're getting the benefits of the pose and releasing um, toxic energy.
Music you have mostly listen to when you work out?
It depends on the workout! I love crafting yoga flows to unexpected music - like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Pearl Jam. I love the balance of traditional yogic philosophy and asanas with a modern twist. If I'm working out to weights or cardio - hip hop is my go to. Lately I've been having 90’s hip hop dance parties in my kitchen in the morning to get myself hyped for 5:30 am workouts. A little bit of Bell Biv DeVoe, Criss Cross, Tupac, Biggie – goes a long way into the day!
Along with staying active, a healthy food lifestyle is ideal, what are your go's?
Nutrition is 80% of your results, if you're moving your body but not fueling it right, you're not going to see results. Some of my must haves in my kitchen are: berries (low sugar and a sweet treat), eggs, avocado, sweet potatoes, fish, spinach, mango jicama slaw from trader joes, salsa, cucumbers, hummus, arugula, zucchini. I tend not to plan my meals ahead of time, instead I buy a bunch of things I like to eat and mix and match. I follow a portion control meal plan that gives a great balance of fruits, vegetables, proteins, healthy fats, and carbs. It's user friendly and puts into perspective how much food you should be eating.
I always ask, what your favorite motivational quote that slaps you from Zzzz to Yassss?!
You can have excuses or progress, but you can’t have both.
Your favorite reason for working out?
It makes me feel GOOD. When you've spent a lot of time feeling sick and tired and you discover what it feels like to truly feel good in your skin, you want to feel that way every day.
Carly, what's next for you to conquer?
The world! I hope to bring my mission of health, fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness to women who are feeling stuck and uninspired in their lives, so they can improve their relationship with food, self-love and live their best life. I also hope to bring health, nutrition, fitness and mindfulness to youth and schools to create healthier patterns of coping skills to our kids and communities.
Follow Carly Mahon
HerAzz +/- is an empowered beauty who dominates their assets solving their equations subtracting the self nagging and intimidation's adding their known natural intellect and sexy sweat to solve life's algorithm with class, vigor and laughter. Simply asking oneself with intention and purpose, "what's my motivation"?!
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Katie Lynnet is a charismatic polymath, born and raised in San Diego with affinities for libations and delicious eats, live music and authenticity. Always clocked in, whether she's selling Real Estate, slinging drinks, catering and event planning or relishing in the beautiful outdoors you can guarantee she's living by her trademarked slogan " Making the ordinary, EXTRAORDINARY"!