You & Your Mala: Kristen Hydes
How did you choose your mala? Were you drawn to a particular gemstone or was there a certain intention you were looking to bring into your life?
The Intuition Mala spoke to me immediately. As someone who experiences anxiety, I understand the power the chaotic mind can have and how it can silence our intuition at times. I was drawn to a gemstone that would remind me of the strength of my own intuition.
I was particularly drawn to the Prehnite stone due to it's protective power and enhancement to meditation. When we seek to listen to our intention, we must be silenced by the outside, and allow space for truth in what we are hearing within.
What lead you to start your yoga and meditation practice?
I have been attending yoga for over 15 years, however, I have only practiced yoga during the last four years. When I learned that yoga and meditation could be a tool to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, I began to "show up" in my yoga classes. It became less about physical strength and flexibility, and more about "tuning in"and slowing down. Now, I don't know what I would do without it! Meditation is a daily part of my life, and I encourage all of my clients to engage in some form of meditation as a healing tool in their lives.
What are some of the benefits you have received from your practice?
Reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression, headaches & insomnia. Increasing feelings of happiness, self-confidence, pride, connection to my community and my connection to the earth.
When did you first experience meditation/mindfulness?
Three years ago. It was during savasana and I was "trying" to meditate. It was as if my yoga teacher could see my struggle, and began to share a technique. She told us to start with our feet, and to focus on how they feel and how do our toes feel? From there, she guided us while we worked our way up the body, ending at the crown. That was my first experience with mindfulness, and I continue to use this body scan whenever I am feeling challenged to meditate.
How did you deepen your practice?
In order to deepen your practice, you must understand that yoga is a way of life and not only a class. Once I understood this, naturally the things around me began to deepen my practice. I spoke with my teachers, I attended workshops, I wrote down mantras around my home and office, I read recommended books, and I meditate every day. I practice a life of daily compassion; for myself, for others and for the earth.
Kristen is a Registered Social Worker and hold my MA in Counselling Psychology. I have focused my careers on working with children, families and youth who face barriers and challenges. My passion is working with youth, I appreciate the gifts that they provide that may be underappreciated by our society at times. I enjoy the creative nature of the youth mind, and finding ways to incorporate mindfulness techniques to support them through life challenges.