Sarah Gallagher

Artemano: Why has yoga become so popular in recent years?

SG: The world is moving faster. The kind of things we are suffering from right now insomnia, anxiety, depression, nervousness, irritable bowels, all these things are related to the hectic lives we are living. It’s too busy, too fast and too much. We are overwhelmed. So one of the reasons yoga is so popular is that for 60, 75 or 90 minutes, people are giving a space to empty their stress through the language, the breathing and the movements. And I feel that when they come out of that busyness and come into their breath it’s like a vacation.

Artemano: Can anyone practice yoga?

SG: Yes. Any body type, character, constitution can practice. But not everyone can practice hot yoga in a hot room. Those of us who love it, really love it. I think there are a lot of ways to practice and people can like any style of yoga, you just have to find what’s best for your body. You have to try yoga like you try clothes on and see what fits.

Yoga class in our Québec city boutique

Artemano: What is the best time of day to practice?

SG: In a traditional way you’d meditate and practice early morning before sunrise. Unfortunately we live in a time that isn’t conducive to that. I do believe we each have a peak time of day when it’s best for us to practice. It’s individual.

Artemano: How do you recommend people practice at home? 

SG: If people can get to the place where they can practice at home it’s awesome. They have to be able to design their own sequences. They also have to consider their stress level, their level of knowledge and physical ability. Unfortunately, designing an at-home yoga practice is one of the hardest things to do. For a couple of reasons. The knowledge of the postures and even more than that, a lot of people enjoy the aspect of coming to a yoga class; its communal aspect.  There’s something very restorative about being led. You don’t have to think and make the decisions for a certain amount of time.

Artemano: How is environment important to the practice of yoga? 

SG: Practicing in a yoga studio is optimal. The quality of the practice is better. It has a deeper resonance because the focus is yoga versus a gym where there are many sports and physical activities executed. To be able to practice at home, if your space is super cluttered, it’s difficult. It needs to be uncluttered. You also have to be sure that there’s quiet, calm and no external noise. Because you need an environment that is going to facilitate the practice. Through yoga, we are trying to slow our senses down. Keep our eyes really still because they are your busiest sense organ. So if you’ve got stuff going on at home that is distracting you, you’re going to be pulled out of that space. 

Artemano: What are your five tips to maintain that zen-like state following a yoga class?

SG:

  1. Take some extra time before you turn your cell phone back on. Wait at least until you get to your car or the sidewalk. 
  2. Remember your breath that you used during your practice. Use it during a stressful situation or even make a habit of using it when walking down the street: breath, really look at your surroundings and the people around you.
  3. Take a hot bath. It’s nourishing.
  4. Choose better foods.
  5. In hot yoga you learn that every pose you’re being challenged to do, is temporary. You’re sweating, you’re shaking, but the situation passes. So are we just waiting for it to end or can we live with it through our breath?  Somehow that ends up translating more than just on the mat. We obtain a certain level of ability to live life with less reactivity and live more from our breath.

Artemano: Why do you think Artemano and yoga go hand-in-hand?

SG: I believe that the quality of our home space has a connection to the quality of our lives. The way energy flows through a space, which is called Vastu, the Indian version of Feng Shui, plays a key role in yoga. At Moksha we believe and talk about the quality of our mind experience, and the ability to retreat into our homes. Artemano’s products are based on natural elements: wood, stone and water. It’s all about returning to the basics. Plexiglass, plastics and processed furniture don’t have an energy to them. Artemano products do because they’re organic.