Mighty Yogi of the Month: July 2015

Hi, I’m Maddy and This Is How I Kick Asana!

Name: Maddy Walsh

Occupation: Lead singer, songwriter, and manager for nationally touring Ithaca-based moxy rock band The Blind Spots

Favorite yoga pose: Half Moon / Ardha Chandrasana

Yoga is… my peace and my power combined.

What do you love most about yoga? I love the completeness of yoga.  After a round and wonderful class, I’m sweaty, elated, and refocused all at once — my muscles have been challenged, my soul has been fed, and I’m able to see and absorb simple beauty again and to respond to challenges with more compassion and more patience.

What fuels you? Performing (especially for big, wild, dancing crowds at night under lasers and lights!), listening to great music (especially loud on vinyl), travel, drinking good wine with cheese or dark chocolate or both…and well, great food in general (cooking it, eating it, even talking about it), yoga (of course!) especially outside and near water, summertime (every last thing about it except the bug bites!), laughing with three and four-year-olds, hikes along the Ithaca gorge trails, plunging into freshwater, and writing and releasing something I’m proud of, which, it turns out, is always an act of Love.

My NON-guilty pleasure is… singing – it is absolutely, without a doubt, the thing I was put on earth to do.

What makes you Mighty? My voice makes me mighty.

What’s your yoga story? How did you start practicing? I took a whole semester of yoga in college as an elective, and it never took! Maybe it was the instructor or the space or maybe it was just me at that time. Lara Green, one of Mighty Yoga’s fabulous teachers, is my cousin and is also one of my most favorite humans on the planet, and when she first started teaching, I came to her classes at TC3 every week. Her approach to yoga, even then as a new teacher, seemed so wise and made so much sense — I was physically challenged (and really sore after every class for a while, actually!) but I also felt spiritually fulfilled; she chose such poignant, thoughtful passages to read at the close of class during savasana, and I found myself tearing up while lying there on the floor — clearly I’d been missing something, and yoga, by way of Lara’s soothing voice, filled that space for me. I credit her completely for bringing me to yoga, and yoga to me.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “F***ing go for it!” – my dad. My secondary education was always a backup plan – albeit a very elaborate one – for music, and as I found myself nearing the end of my graduate program and talking about moving on to a PhD program, I had a freakout moment: I was supposed to be playing music! I had already been in school for over six years, and the PhD program would have meant four more. So I talked to my dad, who is my great friend and is an excellent source of advice when it comes to the big decisions. I told him I wanted to pursue music as a career, not just a hobby anymore, and he said, “F***ing go for it!” with such enthusiasm and conviction. A lot of parents would have called my choice irresponsible and would have urged their kids to continue with school or to start looking for a stable, well-paying job… but, lucky for me, my parents aren’t those parents. Life is too short for safe choices, and the only dreams worth dreaming are the big, bold ones, so I went for it, and I’ve never looked back.  It’s really the same as Lao Tzu’s words: “Be who you really are, and go the whole way.” That’s the stuff right there.