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How to Get the Most Out of Your Yoga Practice

How to Get the Most Out of Your Yoga Practice

When stepping onto my yoga mat, I remind myself that this is a sacred place. One's mat is where all else ceases to exist. I begin my yoga practice by taking a deep inhale, as I do so, I focus on the air rushing into my lunges, I breathe in positive energy. On my exhale, I blow the air out through my lips and exhale all negative energy out of my body. I like to think of myself as a blank slate when I start my practice. Each day is a new beginning and a new way to mold yourself into the person you aim to be, I begin each day with an open mind and a grateful heart.

These pictures from PumpUp's Emy B. will take your breath away - PumpUp Spotlight Series

All the world’s a stage, and Emy B. glimmers under the spotlight both as a theatre major and as an extraordinary PumpUp member. She is wise beyond her years, earnestly confessing thatI have realized that comparison is the thief of happiness. I tell myself that ‘Flowers do not think of competing with the flowers next to them, they simply bloom.’”  She blossoms today on Spotlight Sunday for her optimism and insight. Read about Emy’s incredibly balanced lifestyle and view more of her breathtaking photos in workout gear from Jillian Michaels’ new clothing line for Kmart down below.


Emy, who joined the community more than one year from the time that this article was written, is a beacon of inspiration for many longtime and newfound PumpUp members. “It is by far the most motivational health app on my phone. I love how supportive and positive everyone in the PumpUp community is,” asserts Emy.

She has been a dancer and a yogi for several years, but committed to set health and fitness goals for herself on a regular basis when she entered college. Her commitment to wellness derives from both personal and professional reasons. “I’m an actor and a theatre major. I love the performing arts and it’s really important to be in shape as an actor,” Emy explains. “I love theatre for the same reason I love PumpUp, it’s an incredible community that, once you decide to be a part of it, will welcome you with open arms and support you in your journey.”


Emy advises PumpUp members looking to lead a more active life to begin with a health journal. She advocates its personal and portable qualities. “Write down your goals, your successes, your workout and meal plans and inspirational quotes,” she counsels. I think it’s important to track progress in a way that is completely personal to you because you can write down exactly how you’re feeling without needing to censor yourself.”


Though Emy works out almost every day—either by taking a walk, practicing yoga, or dancing— she identifies Pilates as her favourite strength activity. She gushes, “I can do it anywhere and I feel like a beast when I push myself to do more reps and say, ‘If you’re not challenging yourself, you’re not changing yourself!’” Hiking is her favorite cardio activity because it gives her a chance to commune with nature. “It satisfies me on so many levels,” Emy conveys. “I feel that it is good for my mind, body, and soul. Being in nature clears my mind. Hiking and climbing up hills makes my body feel great and feeling the earth under my feet soothes my soul.”


Emy admits that she at times struggles with comparing her own progress to the progress of others, but reminds herself not to do so. “I’m really good at seeing the beauty in others but I need to remember that I will make more progress by being my own cheerleader instead of my own biggest critic,” says Emy. “Everyone is beautiful in their own special way.”

Personal growth is something that Emy constantly strives for, and in 6 months from now she hopes to be able to do something that she could not have imagined herself doing today. Just over this past year, Emy has made patient and steady progress with hoop dancing. “When I started, I dropped my hoop and messed up a lot but I worked at it every day and approached it with a purely positive mindset and now all my practice has paid off,” she says. “I hope to continue growing and improving and do so with nothing but happy vibes.”


Every person on PumpUp committed to living a healthy lifestyle inspires Emy. “I love seeing the pictures people post and how they choose to express themselves and their health journey,” says she. Cassey Ho, the creator of Blogilates, is also a person that she looks up to. “She sees the beauty in everyone and everything,” explains Emy. “I think that’s a really important message to remember: you are beautiful just the way you are. We work out because we love our bodies, not because we hate them.”

Motivational Mantras

“I have so many quotes all over the place that inspire me but one that I came across recently is ‘Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life.’ I really like this because it’s true that small steps lead to big changes. Switching out soda and juice for water and tea seems like a small step that can make a huge difference to how you feel. I believe in making choices today that will make me proud tomorrow, every little decision counts.”


Favourite snack, meal, and drink

“I love fruits and veggies. I often fill up a Tupperware container with spinach and mixed fruits. Right now I have mango, peaches, strawberries and snap peas in my fridge ready to go. One of my favorite meals is fruit salad. I make mine with spinach, kale, mango, strawberries, olomomo almonds and edamame! For dressing I like to add a little lemon juice or sometimes I add avocado.

My favorite drink is water, of course, because it has a ton of health benefits, and is great for your skin, nails, teeth and hair.


Follow Emy on Instagram and PumpUp @meowemy. The clothing in Emy’s photos is sponsored by Impact by Jillian Michaels for Kmart as part of the #dailyIMPACT campaign. 

Shop the Impact by Jillian Michaels items as worn by Emy

Impact by Jillian Michaels Athletic Tank Top

Impact by Jillian Michaels Short-Sleeve Athletic Top

Impact by Jillian Michaels Power Capri Athletic Pants 

Impact by Jillian Michaels Medium-Impact Sports Bra