Grateful Yogi: December

Name/Hometown: Johnathan Matthew, Plainfield

Current favorite posture: Inversion transitions. I really enjoy being upside down. :)

When did you first start practicing yoga? 2011. The summer I turned 40 I took my first class looking for some stretching to complement a Cross Fit workout. In the beginning of 2012 I began practicing several times a week. Now I practice daily.

Why do you continue to practice yoga? Yoga makes me feel happy. And it's really good for body, mind, and spirit.  For me finding that edge that exists in every asana helps quiet my mind. Those moments of stillness are wonderful.

How has yoga helped you through a challenging time? I've had two significant medical events since I started practicing Yoga. I believe that regular Yoga practice facilitated quicker healing. And it definitely made things easier to handle mentally.

What things in life make you feel full? I am very much a family man. Spending time with my wife and kids is where it's at for me.

Any words of wisdom to your fellow yogis? None. If I become wise anytime soon I'll let you know.

Words from Chrissy: Jonathan challenges himself without ego. He brings calmness to an otherwise heated and highly energetic practice. Recently we had a conversation about transitioning from Bakasana (crow) to Adho Mukha Vrksasana (handstand). If you know these postures the difficulty and skill involved may seem unattainable, I mentioned feeling it in my shoulders, not having enough strength, etc. Jonathan replied, "I think it's mostly mental, something has to connect in the brain." The mental practice is not separate from the physical, it's all PRACTICE. Thank you for keeping us grounded, Jonathan, but also thanks for challenging the physics of flight!