Bethany Lyons is the co-founder of Lyons Den Power Yoga where the vision is simple- to empower others to lead their lives with integrity and courage through the practice of yoga. Beginning her journey as a classically trained ballet dancer, Bethany is now a 500-hour Certified Baptiste Teacher and in recent years she has traveled around the globe as a Master Trainer. Bethany has appeared as a yoga and fitness expert on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, TLC and CNN, and has been featured in Forbes, New York Magazine, US Weekly, SELF, Shape, Fitness Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, W Magazine, Well+Good, among many other publications. In founding Lyons Den Power Yoga, Bethany seeks to showcase the endless possibilities all around us and to show up in a big way for her students and in her life. Beyond Moms, dive into the in’s and out’s of yoga with expert Bethany Lyons!
What does yoga mean to you?
Yoga means connection to the present moment.
We all know yoga translated, means “union” or “yoke” – and I see this as connection (to myself, to my body, to my intuition, to the universe, to every living being) and community in action. If the “union” of yoga does not connect us to other beings, our interactions with them in the present moment – I think we are really missing out on life.
How do you take what you learn on your yoga mat outside into your daily life?
At Lyons Den Power Yoga we are interested in taking EVERYTHING we learn and experience on the mat and applying it to our daily lives and interactions. One example: If I am reactive when things get difficult on the mat, I can take a deep breath, notice and alter my action or experience through drishti, breathing and being in the emotion – basically getting present. When I am off the mat – the goal is to continue to flex the muscle of being present and apply those same shifts when I am in a difficult situation or conversation. I cannot count the number of times I have been in a situation that could get very escalated or I felt defenses rise and instead I have very deliberately interrupted that tendency and chosen a different pathway. It is not always easy but it is always a better outcome.
For busy Beyond Moms moms, what is the best way to incorporate movement into your week?
Schedule your own workouts and “taking care of you” appointments ahead of time – so it gets built into your schedule. If someone asks you to do something else or take on another commitment – you must say NO. Saying no to things that will get in the way of your workouts is saying YES to health and balance in your life.
Pick workouts and physical activities that you actually enjoy (i.e. if you hate to run, don’t plan to run on the treadmill! Find some other cardio work that you like). Also, seek out other moms that want to schedule a group sitter or sitters and make it a fitness community thing – where you not only support one another, but hold each other accountable!
Tell us why the breath plays such an important part of yoga? How does that translate in life?
Without breath – we are disconnected to our own body and the present moment. Breath flow is what gets us tapped in and connected. It creates space, it brings in new energy and removes what is not needed and it is essential to life force.
Think of times where you feel defensive, angry or stressed — chances are, your breath flow has become shallow. In those times – if you take a pause to take 3-5 deep breaths – your clarity and even immediate emotions can change drastically. Breath is the super power of yoga and life!
What are simple postures a Beyond Mom can practice to decrease stress and enhance balance?
Tree pose – because it can be scaled down or up as needed and it is a balancing and centering posture.
To do: stand in tadasana and bring one foot to the inside of the other ankle (easiest – using the foot like a kick-stand for balance), or calf (a little more difficult) or upper thigh (the full pose). Press the foot into the leg and the leg back into the foot to create a seam of energy up the center of the body and press the palms together a heart center. Lift the front of the pelvis as the tailbone descends to keep the pelvis neutral (tailbone not tucked nor sticking out behind you) and engage the bandhas (core root locks) to lift the pelvic floor and engage core and abdominal muscles. Take 10 deep breaths with your eyes focused on a single point (drishti). Come back to tadasana or mountain pose. Repeat on the other side.
What is one surprising benefit about yoga we might not know?
How strong you can become by using your own body weight only! Baptiste Yoga, the style we practice at Lyons Den Power Yoga is incredibly functional training. The muscle strength and flexibility gained will help you do everything better – from lugging groceries to playing full out with your kids.
Your studio focuses on hot power vinyasa yoga. What are the benefits of practicing this kind of yoga? Who would you recommend this practice to?
We practice Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga and it has so many benefits including:
- Physical transformation and healing
- Enhanced feelings of peacefulness, calm and clarity
- Greater focus in all areas of life
- Ability to release old habits that do not serve a positive purpose
- Better circulation
- Lowered blood pressure
- Greater flexibility
- Increased Strength
- Stress Relief
- SWEAT: it does a body good
Has yoga helped you become a stronger entrepreneur? If so, please share an example.
I can’t imagine doing what I do without yoga practice. Every single day is different and challenging. There is very little routine or “an average day” in the life of me – because there are so many balls in the air. Yoga is my one constant and the one thing I know works to immediately shift my energy level, stress level, focus level and make me feel connected to the heart of the business I am so dedicated to.
I have actually gotten off of a red-eye flight and gone directly to The Den for practice, because I know it is the one thing that will get me back on track and allow me to carry out the entire day in front of me with grace, ease and some energy! It is essential to my life working.