When approached with the question, “How Has Yoga Changed Your Life?” Matthew LaBreche can answer easily. After being diagnosed and cured from cancer in 2010, Matthew’s body was physically exhausted and spiritually weak. Finding yoga meant finding a home and a sanctuary at Maya Yoga where Matthew is challenged, nurtured, and healed.
“Yoga has changed my life for the best through a healing transformation. My interest is derived from a desire to discover a method for post cancer recovery. When attending my first yoga class, I wasn’t able to perform most of the postures or understand the Sanskrit language. However, I was immediately obsessed and captivated.”
This obsession led Matthew to make a New Year’s resolution to attend Ashtanga classes regularly at Maya Yoga. “At the start of the following new year, I made a resolution to give it a try; letting the sequence, sense of Samadhi and breath guide me. I attended Sunday intro classes, even though I often found it a struggle to wake up on time in the morning!”
Over time, Matthew developed a sense of intimate community with the Maya Yoga teachers and students. He memorized the Primary Series and learned the Ashtanga Yoga Opening Chant. Doing so gave Matthew courage and hope. “My confidence, attitude, and physique began to change; I noticed the emergence of a new person.”
The practice space became a safe haven for Matthew. “Being in the studio allowed me to disconnect from modern digital distractions of social media, music and the general internet dimension,” he explains. “Meditation becomes a focus on serenity that calms the mind of vrritis and generates an acknowledgement of the present moment.”
Matthew finds serenity and wisdom from the repetition of the Ashtanga Yoga Series. He practices the Primary Series in led classes and the Second Series in Mysore- Style Classes. He credits the stability of the Ashtanga Practices for his healing. “Ashtanga granted me access to an ancient wisdom and awareness, one which conditions the body through a comprehensive series and purifies the soul by connecting with God,” he says. “I decided to take my study further by reading the Bhagavad Gita. Although it took two years to read, I believe my understanding of Ashtanga’s traditional roots in India are genuine. It seems as though I’ve now found a balance between the spiritual realm that Ashtanga yoga reveals and the physical world we inhabit everyday. I consider Maya Yoga to be a home and sanctuary, and am grateful to have discovered Ashtanga.”