Blair Wade's Journey to the Mat


So, what brought you to yoga?
How honest can I be?!

Hahahaha as honest as you want to be!
Okay. So, I used to be a heroin addict for some years… I went to rehab, but still left feeling a little lost… Then a friend of mine recommended yoga! And just a few weeks before that I had bought a mat, so I was like ‘yes, I’m ready let’s go!’ And I’ve been coming ever since for almost two years now.

Amazing! That’s honestly not too unfamiliar of a story in the yoga community… When you can discover the high you can give yourself naturally through this practice, it’s pretty cool!
Yea. I used to paint a lot which would quiet my brain down, but I haven’t picked up a brush in years. So when I come to yoga I come seeking that stillness of mind and I feel like I’m [reminded to] think less and enjoy more, ya know?

Yea! Do you feel like you get to express some of your creativity on the mat since you no longer paint anymore? Or do you prefer the structure and guidance of surrendering into what the teacher of the class is telling you to do and how to do it?
That’s actually a great question, because in the beginning I definitely needed that guidance of somebody telling me what to do and how to do poses ‘right’, but now that I feel like I have a little bit more of a foundation. I feel like I can branch out a little bit. That’s what I love about going to so many different classes! I get something different from one [teacher] than I do from another.

How often do you practice?
Five times a week! I need to build up a better home practice, but I like to come here for the adjustments!

Hahaha I understand… So do you feel a sense of being supported by the community here?
Yes, absolutely. I think if it wasn’t for the community here I might not be so good at holding myself accountable to come practice so often! Cause while I enjoy it… some days I’m more tired and don’t want to come, but I’m so used to seeing and connecting with the people here that I still show up [even in those moments where] I may feel more tired. And I also went on a yoga retreat with Karina last summer that had a pretty big impact on my life! I made a bunch of positive changes to my life after that. . .

That’s great. I didn’t know I was supposed to be getting to know myself until I started practicing yoga more. You really do have to figure out who you are basically [in order] to live in a healthy or mindful way.
Yea, I feel like we only get so much time… and if I’m not learning something new, or trying to be better, or trying to accept where I’m at in the moment (wherever that may be), what’s the point of being here, ya know?! There’s so much negative shit going on in the world. You gotta do what you can for other people, but you also gotta do what you can for yourself.

That’s true. We’re taught that self-care is this silly thing, but there is just no way to continue providing for other people if you yourself are running dry. You have to refill the well! And [I believe] making time for yourself on the mat is a great way to do that I think.

Do you feel like these lessons have permeated throughout your life off the mat?
Yea, I’ve been able to find a little more patience. You know when things aggravate me it’s nice to take a minute to breath instead of just reacting all the time and flying off the handle! And I think I’ve learned to keep finding that balance between effort and ease as well.

Yes, it’s always a balance between strengthening and the surrendering!
It’s kind of a cliche, but yoga really did change my life. I learned how to start thinking for myself a little bit more and how to start listening to my body a little bit more. So this has all been a very strengthening [process] for me. I’ve just learned a lot, and I feel like there’s always something new to learn.

That’s wonderful. Thanks for letting us feature and share your story and journey with the Reyn Community!
Yea, this wasn’t nearly as bad as what I thought! Hahahaha.

Hahahaha. Well, any last thing you want to say to anyone reading?
Enjoy having your own experience!

Interview by Melanie Schatz