#WCW – YOGAudacious Brigitte KoubaJanuary 7, 2015
Our Woman Crush Wednesday is Brigitte Kouba, the Coalition Co-Founder and Creator of YOGAudacious – Celebrating Courageous Women who love yoga. This article is reposted with permission from YOGAudacious.com from the 2014 series.
Growing up I was an athlete who played three sports a year. My mom introduced me to yoga when I was really young but it wasn’t until 2003, when I was in college without a team sport, that I fell in love with the yoga practice. It was a great balance of physicality and spirituality that helped me feel great physically and decreased stress mentally.
What role does courage play in your practice?
I knew that I wanted to take a teacher training but when I moved back to Los Angeles, I often felt like the biggest girl in the yoga studio. I started to feel insecure about my body and I kept telling myself that I’d do a teacher training when I lost weight.
Eventually, four years went by and I hadn’t done a training. Luckily, I realized that my body gave me a unique perspective that I lot of teachers didn’t have. I knew what it felt like to battle a little belly bulge in a twist or feel suffocated by my breasts in Shoulder Stand.
I had to humble myself to use props and modifications to make certain things work for me. I finally did a teacher training and would feel terrified every time I’d practice teaching in front of a group. But with time, my confidence and courage improved tremendously. To this day, I still get a little nervous before teaching, especially at big festivals, but I don’t let the fear stop me.
Fritz Perls, MD, the psychiatrist and founder of Gestalt therapy said, “Fear is excitement without the breath.” So I just breathe and consciously shift my nervous energy into productive energy. It keeps me on my toes.
Now I’m committed to inspiring women of all shapes and sizes to love their bodies and celebrate their courage. Sometimes it takes chutzpah to show up on your mat, as you are, and move through a potentially challenging practice. It’s what inspires me, so I created YOGAudacious to showcase these women to continue inspiring others.
What are the main benefits of your practice?
For me, practicing yoga feels like a way to honor my body temple…as it is. My practice helps me appreciate everything that I’m capable of and helps me stay in a mentality of gratitude. When I’m focused on being grateful for my two arms and two legs, I’m not thinking about that “extra five pounds.” I’m just content and confident. Yoga allows me to appreciate the moment.