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Yoga For Performance & Health

By Laetitia Bouffard Roupe

Each one of us creates our own personal legend; through the way of life, we decide to follow. I think my personal legend is the one which goes together with my heart, my beliefs and the perception of the world as I see it.

I try to be fully connected with nature, at peace within my mind, my spirit, my body, and the earth that surrounds me. I find yoga to be a perfect link to all I need to be.

I was introduced to yoga by one of my Ballet teachers when I was 15, when she taught us the “Sun Salutation”. I really liked it and found that it was a great way to prepare/warm-up and stretch my muscles before ballet classes and shows. Through the years, I have developed my own version of the “Sun Salutation” and since then I do it every day! I am now also using yoga poses (asana) as a post-show stretch, to release back tensions…and it’s unbelievable how much relief my body receives from it. Stretching is basically my life! I stretch every day and when I can’t find time for it I feel so bad in my mind and body. It has totally become a need for my own well -being. By stretching properly, everybody can improve the brain’s relationship with muscles and joints and the ability to monitor coordination and function.

Many people will often ask me: “Were you always so flexible?” I answer each time: “Every baby in the world born flexible, it s just a matter of keeping it!”

Yoga is also an excellent way to detoxify the body and improve digestion. By stretching you press on the organs and activate blood flow. In my experience, the body rewards you for what you do to it, the effects of your actions and your everyday choices. Yoga has truly assisted me in maintaining and conserving my body through the years of extreme usage of my joints and articulation by performing Ballet and Acrobatics. I benefit from it every single day.

Yoga also really helps me to reconnect to Mother Earth and grounds me in my crazy artist life.
We all love to visit relaxing, peaceful places, rich in natural beauty. Little do we understand that peace can be found right within us! Yoga practice is a way of cleaning our mind.

We clear away old patterns, habits, perceptions and let go of the physical and mental tension that is holding us back and keeping us from seeing the world clearly, becoming connected to the present moment.

The meditation at the end of a yoga session makes a true difference to my wellbeing. It reminds me to be grateful and happy for everything I have and have experienced, in life. It helps me bring back inner peace and reconnect with the present, the only place where life exists.

I can’t imagine with my lifetime of exercise and discipline living without yoga, proper breathing, stretching and meditating.

Yoga is just the perfect “tool” to balance my life as an artist/athlete and hope you too can find enlightenment, wisdom and well-being through your own practice. For those of you that have never tried or just begun your very own adventure with Yoga, I hope that this article will inspire you to take further steps to your own catharsis.