emily-coxEmily Cox describes herself as an “empowered Ashtangi.”

As Emily was entering adulthood after completing her undergraduate degree, she  yearned for a physical practice that inspired her to feel passion.  In her words, she was “looking something that would humble me while empowering me.”   She started her search to find the yoga studio in Kansas City which best fit her needs.  After trying several (about a million, according to Emily!), she found Maya Yoga.

As is the case with many beginner yogis, Emily first fell in love with the physical demand of the primary series.  “It wasn’t until a year or so in of practicing three to four times a week that I really began to understand the mental demand that follows the physical.  I started coming to Mysore practice and it was here that the real breakthroughs came rushing in, not just physically, but mentally as well. Meditation was coming easier, the mind-chatter was fading and my breath was strong, but at ease. Eventually, Primary series became my husband and Vinyasa, my boyfriend on the side.”

After three years of practice at Maya Emily felt it was time to deepen her knowledge of the Ashtanga practice, its origins, history, and philosophy. “The only way to do so in my mind was to go to its homeland, INDIA! Within two months, I was off to a teacher training in Goa, India,” she says.

In Goa, India Emily spent a month practicing yoga for nearly 8 hours a day. Initially, her goal was simply to deepen her practice; she had little intention of teaching.  As the end of the training approached, Emily planned a side trip to Bali before returning into America. It was here that she got bit by the ‘yoga teacher’ bug. “It smacked me in the face like the monkey that wanted the bananas I was hiding behind my back in monkey forest!  Upon my return home began the life-long journey that is being a yoga instructor.  I am firm believer that yoga walks into your life when you need  it most and it is up to you what you do with it.”

Emily describes herself as a student of the practice and is still incredibly excited to see where this journey will take her.  “Yoga has changed my life in so many ways. I feel as though I can tackle any situation better simply because yoga has shown me the light, the love and the power.”

Emily is a part of the 2016 Maya Yoga Internship Program and continues to trust in the power and light of the practice.  We hope that you will get a chance to practice with Emily and feel her light!