The Experts: Kelcy Coleman
Updated: May 15, 2020
Kelcy is one of the most free-spirited, confident, and relentless people I know. She has this contagious laugh that is nearly impossible not to smile at, even if it's during a ridiculously busy shift at work. We met at Restaurant 415, and I got to see her work all the way from being a hostess to a front-of-house manager. She was always great at getting the team pumped up and excited for the day. She's never afraid to say what's on her mind, and I always envied that courage. While we had our fair share of front vs. back-of-house battles, many can agree that the restaurant was not only quiet without her, but not nearly as fun. Somehow with all of that energy Kelcy manages to find her inner peace as she is a yoga devotee, now officially certified, and certainly good at it. If you're like me you know very little about yoga, so why don't you read what she has to say below:
Q: Tell me about your background in yoga and what you are currently doing
A: I’ve been practicing yoga for about 7 years now, my sister was the one that actually introduced me to it. Her therapists use this type of moving meditation as a form of therapy while she was being treated for a severe eating disorder. It helped reconnect her mind and body to work together instead of against each other. It was magical to witness the transformation she went through and I wanted to do it too! I have my 200-hour teaching certificate, but right now I’m not using it. I work in the service industry.
Q: Why is yoga good for you and how often do you recommend people do it?
A: Yoga has an insane amount of power. When I first began practicing yoga, I had a goal to get stronger and be more comfortable in my body. So for me, it started out as a fitness tool, which quickly became much more than that. There’s some kind of magic that I (among many others) discovered while practicing. It created a space for me to decompress in a healthy way, I can work through many difficult stages of life through doing yoga. It’s like a tiny little world I can be in mentally and my body feels less tense, stronger, and I enjoy the benefits of strength and balance that it has caused!
Yoga forces your body to move in different ways you’ve probably never done. This helps the nervous system, adrenal system, lymph system, your heart, and your mind. Literally every part of the body can benefit from practicing. For me, the breathwork of it was the most impactful and I believe that alone can help people (especially high energy children) learn to control their emotions and become more mindful. Mindful is a term that seems to always be linked to yoga, it means that you’re aware of the moment you’re in. Being able to connect to your breath is just one way to regain mindfulness throughout the day. I’ve realized that I remember much more about my day when I practice mindfulness. I recommend people should do it whenever they can. Wherever they can. Seriously. So you only have 20 min in your busy day? Get out your mat and move a little. Breathe a little. Connect to yourself a little. It is so beneficial!!
Q: What are the most difficult poses for you?
A: The most difficult poses for me are arm balance poses. This means anywhere from crow pose to handstand and everything in between. I have a fear of falling on my face and I think that’s because I don’t fully trust my upper body to support my weight.
Q: What are your best tips for those just getting into yoga?
A: I think my best tip is to treat yoga as a practice. Not an exercise. So when you first begin something new, unless you’re like Jenica in the kitchen or Bob Ross painting, you’re gonna suck at it. Or at least not be where you expect to be...and that’s the most beautiful part because you can feel and see and be part of your own transformation. You can’t touch your toes? Cool. Neither could I. It’s not a requirement and everyone else practicing yoga with you doesn’t give a s--t if you can. So keep at it and you’ll be able to if that’s one of your goals. Yoga is solely about you, and you’re the only one judging you. There are no yoga competitions for a reason! Everyone is in a different place and where you are is exactly where you’re supposed to be. Just try it. And not just once, because chances are your body will be sore (like with anything else new that you try), so give it a couple of gos.
Q: Any other advice on yoga and staying relaxed during everyday life?
A: I mentioned the breathing earlier and how that has helped me stay grounded. Since I do work in the service industry, it’s very fast-paced and chaotic. It takes a while to decompress or even recenter after Karen has yelled at me for not getting her ice for her red wine. So deep breathing honestly has been the line between me murdering Karen and serving her ice w a smile. Seriously!!
Also, be. patient. with. yourself. The body changes slowly. The mind changes even slower. And yoga is super cool because if you’re a runner, a competitive weight lifter, a swimmer, a sit on the coucher, it doesn’t matter. It’s a nice little add-in to your fitness routine no matter what you already do. It can help you excel in all of that. I think for beginners, find what you like, there are a million different types of yoga (I could go on) so try different types to see which one you like. Men, women, anything else you identify with, children, elderly, anyone can do it. My grandma asks me for stretches she can do to relieve some of her pain and it has helped! I’ve taught children as young as 3 yoga so that they can practice mindfulness and movement. They love it!!