Riding the Yoga Wave
Lexi Hawks on the benefits of yoga
For LEXI HAWKS, founder and director of Longwave Yoga, practicing yoga provides her with stability and peace.
“The concept of Longwave Yoga was born from my personal yoga experiences,” Hawks says. “I found that the practices of yoga returned me to an understanding of myself that I had frankly lost.”
Hawks is a Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher and has more than ten years teaching the discipline.
The name Longwave Yoga came to Hawks while on a walk on Wrightsville Beach with her husband.
“We were near the south end walking close to the water, and he was describing the perfect set of conditions that would create an epic long wave – the ideal for surfers,” she says. “When he was talking, it was as if he was describing my very experience of yoga. It was a magical moment, and the term ‘longwave’ was born.”
Longwave Yoga offers a variety of yoga classes, workshops, series, and private instruction.
Yoga, through its practices and philosophy, gives Hawks the means to traverse through life’s hurdles.
“It was as if yoga became a navigational tool that taught me how to ride the inevitable waves of life with more grace and ease,” she says.
WILMA: What got you into yoga?
Hawks: “I was exposed to yoga through my dance training as a child. Once dance was no longer a focus in my life, the asana practice (the postures of yoga) became something I turned to. I was drawn to the discipline, method, and of course, the joy of the practice.”
WILMA: What kind of yoga does Longwave Yoga provide?
Hawks: “We offer everything from vinyasa, alignment, power, yin, and restorative yoga. We think of our daily class schedule as a ‘yoga menu.’ A majority of our community members practice various styles of yoga to help maintain a healthy balance within their lives. Some days we need the energy of a vinyasa class, and other days we need the nurturing of a restorative class. We like to understand people’s goals for starting yoga to help them pick the right style of class.
We also offer fun and unique experiences like stand up paddle-board yoga and yoga retreats to adventurous places such as Tulum, Mexico, and the South of France. Longwave Yoga is also a registered yoga school that has a 200-hour, 300-hour, and apprenticeship program for aspiring yoga teachers and practitioners who want to deepen their education for the benefit of their own practice.”
WILMA: What does your personal yoga practice look like?
Hawks: “This is a great question! My yoga practice has seen many seasons through the years. I stay consistent with a physical yoga practice, although currently modified for pregnancy. I dedicate time for mediation and self-study on a regular basis. My practice has also expanded over the years to include simple (and not so simple) daily choices to keep my energy high and mind clear. Yoga can be a form of exercise, however; it can also grow into a way of living.”
WILMA: Do you have any advice for people wanting to start practicing yoga?
Hawks: “It can be helpful to go into the studio prior to your first class. Talk with the front desk and learn about the studio, classes, and teachers. Share your goals with the staff and let them help you find the right class for your needs. Starting yoga can feel intimidating … but, the benefits far outweigh any feelings of intimidation, so my advice is: JUST START. It is important to learn the fundamentals — so please check out the basic or beginner classes. Some people prefer to start with a few private yoga sessions to get an idea of what to expect and then join public classes. I’ve seen this work very well for those who were quite nervous to be in a group setting.”
WILMA: What are the benefits of doing SUP yoga?
Hawks: “SUP Yoga was something I tried for the first time when I moved to Wilmington. I was so blown away by the beauty of the Intracoastal Waterway, being in nature and practicing yoga, and the incredible challenge of staying present on the SUP board — I just knew it had to be a part of a yoga studio if I were to ever own one. The reason I love SUP Yoga is more about the meditative quality of being on the water and in nature. Total presence is required. Every time I do SUP Yoga, I feel like a beginner, and in yoga, that’s a good thing. SUP Yoga has the physical benefits of yoga, such as stretch, strength, tone, and stabilize the core, but being on the water has an added energetic benefit. It feels cleansing, uplifting, blissful, and fun!”
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