Introducing Our Ambassador Elizabeth Rowan

This month, we want to introduce you to our newest Ambassador, Elizabeth Rowan. Elizabeth is a Vinyasa, Prenatal and Children’s Yoga Instructor who was certified in Hong Kong and is now based in Savannah, Georgia. Elizabeth is passionate about all things Yoga, Ayurveda and of course, her Plank Yoga Mat. She is a regular contributor for MindBodyGreenAsana Journal and Intent.

Elizabeth Rowan Train

Introducing our Plank Ambassador: Elizabeth Rowan

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into yoga and where/what do you teach?

I was working around the clock, across all number of time zones with my husband as corporate expats in fast-paced, small-spaced Hong Kong. Enter: yoga – and fast! I began practicing yoga to find balance, and was soon cheating on my BlackBerrys with my mat. I then trained as a teacher in order to share it with others. I’ve since returned to the U.S., and teach private and group vinyasa, prenatal and children’s yoga in Savannah, Georgia.

We know you enjoy sharing about how Yoga is useful for real life activities. How do you help your students take their yoga off the mat and into their jobs and daily activities?

I’m always talking about taking lessons from yoga into real life, and I love hearing how my students put yoga to work outside of class. Practicing pranayama and relaxing the shoulders help a marathon runner rally late in the race; new moms tell me that chanting Om helped them during labor and now soothes their newborn; children have said that yoga has taught them to listen better, not get angry and – a favorite – “calm my brain”; stress relieving postures and poses that counter desk work, high heels, crazy travel schedules resonate with executives. I can go on! A yoga practice is made to take off the mat, and I love exploring these with fellow practitioners.

Elizabeth Rowan Headstand

We see that you are a fan of Ayurveda (alternative healing derived from India). How do Ayurvedic principles keep you healthy and how do they tie into your yoga practice?

My teachers in Hong Kong are all Indian and so traditional Ayurvedic practices played a significant role in their classes and yoga teacher training program. In fact, they taught the two as intrinsically linked, not separate entities like we often encounter in the West. Ayurveda is incredibly complimentary to yoga as both provide deep wisdom for health, healing and a natural approach to living to counter our nonstop 21st century lifestyles. I think that so much of Ayurveda is intuitive if we pause and listen to our bodies and natural rhythms. It helped me break the cycle of depending on caffeine, eating on the run and taking my health for granted just to get through the workday.

What was your first experience like with aPlank Yoga Mat and how has it helped evolve your personal yoga practice? Why do you think it is the best yoga mat on the market?

I was first drawn to Plank for their fresh designs unlike any mat out there, and then was amazed to feel the physical benefits of a heat activated grip. My Plank mat (the wooden plank design) rocks as both a training tool and for its clever and fresh design. I want all of the students in my classes to practice on one. It makes a tremendous difference in terms of bringing awareness to one’s foundation, showing how proper placement, grip, weight distribution of hands and feet can completely change your practice. It also demands that you slow down and commit fully to every posture. I feel super grounded on my Plank, and hear the same from fellow teachers and students who notice it first for it’s good looks, try mine, and then fall hard for its ability to connect on a deeper level than any other mat. Poses are stronger, bandhas engaged, muscles more active, awareness heightened (not to mention attitude lightened with a glance at its cheeky-with-a-message design).

For more about Elizabeth and to get to one of her Yoga Classes, make sure to visit her Website and Facebook Page.

 

Meet our Ambassador Tim Kelleher

This month we bring you a special interview with our Ambassador, Tim Kelleher. You may know Tim from his smart and challenging Vinyasa Yoga classes at South Boston YogaNorth End Yoga andJP Centre Yoga. Tim also has an amazing sense of humor, and while he makes us sweat and shake on our mats (preferably a Plank Yoga Mat), he always makes us laugh, too. Thank you Tim for all you give to the Boston Yoga Community and for making our practices fun. We are excited to have you share in what Plank stands for.

Introducing our Plank Ambassador: Tim Kelleher


As a well known Yoga Teacher in Boston, what inspires you to share your practice with others?

I believe strongly in increasing happiness, both my personal happiness and that of those around me. Physical fitness, mental clarity and a spiritual connection are key elements to happiness in my opinion, and yoga as a practice fully addresses all three of these things. I feel free and joyful on the mat, and my greatest wish is to be able to convey that to my students and in some small way help them increase their happiness and peace of mind….and do a handstand. 😉

If someone was to recommend you to a new student, what would be 3 things you would want that new student to know about your classes?

The three most important things to know about my classes is that all are welcome, a sense of humor is required and an open mind is key.

On your Facebook page, we see that you have a strong home practice. Why is your home practice important for you? Are there any tools or services that you use that make a difference in your home practice?

A home practice is the most crucial thing for any teacher to develop. The reason I am able to inform my classes clearly and effectively is that I have fully felt the practice in my body prior to sharing it with my students. It is a place to experiment and learn to listen to my own voice. Many people use videos and audio classes to assist them when they begin practicing at home, and I think those are great – but for myself, it is a time to focus inward and listen to my internal teacher. Check out this video of one of Tim’s Home Practices on his Plank Yoga Mat.

Since you own a Plank Yoga Mat, describe your first experience practicing on a PYM. What poses in particular have evolved from your practice on a PYM and why do you think this is?

My first experience on a PYM was actually quite enlightening. Because the mat requires a well placed and mindful grip, I was forced to start paying attention to my hand placement in a very detailed way. I was able to begin to trace the source of a tennis elbow that had been plaguing my practice for months. I love to use the mat for a slow mindful flow, as it encourages attention to foundation and rooting into the earth.

For more about Tim and to get to one of his Yoga Classes, make sure to check out his Facebook Fan Page!

 

Meet our Ambassador Rebekah “Bex” Borucki

 

May we present (drumroll please…) Rebekah “Bex” Borucki, a mother-of-four, a fitness and yoga instructor, an urban farming hobbyist, and the woman behind the popular blog, Bex Life.

We love Bex, not only because she loves Plank Yoga Mats, but because she is passionate and enthusiastic about making health and fitness fun and do-able for everyone! Her energy is infectious and she truly cares about her readership/fan base and is often reaching out to and responding to them even though she’s super busy. Bex also blogs about her real life, which includes time spent with her chickens, on her farm and with her four kids. Bex even posts pictures of her kids ‘practicing’ being a kid on her Plank Yoga Mat. Above all, we love Bex for her honesty…this is why we feel she is not only an incredible Ambassador for Plank, but an up and coming fitness personality that will be around for a long time to come!

We asked Bex a few questions about her hobbies, teachings and love affair with Plank Yoga Mats and here’s what she had to say…

Tell us a little bit about yourself… what do you do and what are your passions in life?

My first job and greatest passion is being a mom of four children, ranging in age from 15 months to 14 years. I’m also lucky enough to make money doing something I love, teaching people about health and fitness through my website, BexLife.com. I’ve been blogging and making videos about my own journey to health for years, and the fact that I can connect with so many people in meaningful ways on a daily basis has me pinching myself constantly.

How were you first introduced to Plank Yoga Mats? What were your initial thoughts about the mats and how has that changed over time?

I discovered Plank through Molly Sim’s wellness blogI immediately fell in love with the designs without knowing anything about the technology behind them. The mats were nothing like I had seen before. After reading just a little bit about what the mats had to offer the practitioner, I had to know more. I think I started flooding their twitter account with questions the same day I discovered them.

How have Plank Yoga Mats enhanced your own personal yoga practice and those of your clients? What benefits have you experienced from them?

To be completely candid, I had no idea the mat had changed my practice until I was watching myself on a video I had made for my YouTube channel using my Cobra Mat. Since having my fourth child, I have struggled with my balance, especially in my Warrior series. I’m always just a little wobbly on my feet. I’m sure it has a lot to do with diminished core strength and a lack of confidence in my grounding. On that particular day, I had just finished shooting a video and felt fantastic and energized (rare for me at that time). When I sat in front of my computer screen to start the edit, I noticed something very different about my practice. I was solid in Warrior II, which seems like nothing to most but was a huge milestone for me. The excitement took me back to the mat to explore further. What I felt from that point on was very different from my experience on other mats. Instead of just feeling like I was gripping the mat, it felt like the mat was gripping me back – holding me. It wasn’t sticky or rubbery like other mats, I just felt “in place”. Now I’m using the mat for my regular fitness routines as well. It gives protection without feeling “cushiony” and provides grip without feeling “sticky”. I’m not a scientist or an engineer, so all I can say is that it simply “works” for me.

Anything else you’d like to add?

While I was initially drawn in by the beauty and humor of the Plank Yoga Mat designs, it’s the quality and functionality of the mat that compels me to return to it again and again. It’s now a permanent fixture in my sun room, along with my blogging calendar and laptop.

Signing Off…
Bex truly cares about fitness as well as yoga, so we at Plank invite you to check out her website for more tips on getting healthy and to learn more about her experiences with Plank Yoga Mats.

Just imagine if, like Bex, YOU were able to access a new “milestone” or pose in your yoga practice… If you’d like to try a Plank Yoga Mat out and see for yourself how it can change your yoga practice, please visit our online store!

Don’t forget to check out Bex’s YouTube Videos in which she uses her Plank Mat! 

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