This post is part of ourViewer Journeysseries, in which we introduce you to a yogi or yogini from our community whose story has inspired us. We feel that sharing their stories will enrich your own journey. In this post, Namaste Yogini,Heather Gregory, interviews Neil and Leo Mironabout their Namaste experiences.
Many in our Namaste Yoga Facebook community may remember seeing some unique and inspiring images shared on our page by our community member Neil A. Miron. The incredible style was unlike anything we'd ever seen, and we were interested in finding out more about his inspiration. We think Neil's energy and enthusiasm for sharing his work makes him an exciting viewer to feature as one of our first Namaste Yogis in ourViewer Journeyseries!
Indeed, we did say "One of our first yogis." Don't worry, you have not missed anything! Neil is a self-described artist, health enthusiast and yogi, whose story would not be complete without sharing the journey of one of his greatest inspirations: his uncle, Leo.
Leo Miron has been a devoted yogi for more than five years. He grew up in "an extremely hostile environment." Suffering abuse and neglect as a child, Leo grew up with little more than anger and confusion to nurture his existence. Though he managed to survive, he knew there had to be a better way to live. Yoga has become a tool that helps Leo cope with the stressors in his life.
"I have learned that I need this time to myself," Leo shares. "To love everything around you with no expectations, but especially to love myself."
As a Suspension Group Trainer, private gym owner and single father, Neil has come to understand the importance of having a yoga practice to "loosen up the body and awaken the mind." Though Leo lives 4,500 km away, Neil was inspired by his uncle's strength and courage, and wanted to find a way to reciprocate this energy. The last three years have been difficult for both Leo and his wife, as their business was struggling to survive. They have stayed true to their practice and feel it has been key to helping them cope with the stress. When Uncle Leo started sharing images of his daily poses, Neil had an idea he thought would help fuel Leo's journey.
"Since stopping by for coffee was out of the question, I started to create some art pieces," Neil explains. "The yoga pose [Leo's daily shared pose] and tones had already set the mood. It was like the message was predetermined."
Once the art was completed, Neil said choosing the perfect quote to accompany it was an equally clear process. The colors in the image, pose and scenery had already set the mood. Neil enjoyed sending this positive energy to his uncle, and as the photos were shared, others began to comment, share and like them also.
"Goes to show that a small, positive gesture can go a long way," Neil says.
Leo agrees. He found Neil's images to be deeply touching, as well as a fitting tribute to the practice. "It fits so well with the description of the poses as you would express or open your heart to the sky in Ustrasana," he explains. "When stress arises, the tools you grew up with come out to 'help,' But Ahimsa became my direction and I was able to cope with crisis. Had it not been for yoga, I don't know where we would be today."
Images courtesy of Neil A. Miron.