Mylez Edwards, a Stylist, Florist, Decorator and Proprietor of Creations by Mylez Edward is a man of unknown age. As you can see, he’s a young man by all appearances but with his standard sense of flair and humor he comically guards his actual age because when I asked him his age he responded with, “None of your damned business and that’s how I want it answered!”
Mylez began his yoga practice almost a year ago. His starting point is a pretty common one and yet, as is so often the case with a yoga practice, it took him places even he with his big creative brain couldn’t have foreseen, “I started yoga because I had athletic injuries I was not recovering from. I was losing mobility and flexibility. I now continue to practice because it helps all of these issues and helps to clear my type A, overactive, success oriented mind for at least a few minutes.”
Some of the benefits that Mylez’ receives from his practice are more subtle and yet, equally important to him, “The benefits reaped are not always the most visible. In the classroom yoga the work is presented to you, but it is up to you to do it. To take the time to learn to know yourself well enough to know when you are struggling and when you are slacking was something I did not expect. It’s a real eye opener. Learning where your center is and how to pull towards it helped my balance tremendously, thus improving my performance in workouts and my daily work. Going regularly brought additional energy and strength into my daily life and although I had an injury recently, my doctors and I agree that my participation in yoga took 60-70% off of my recovery time, and that alone is worth the devotion.”
And there’s another beautiful side effect that Mylez experiences that I feel confident that most people would love to feel, “My body functions more like it did a couple decades ago, my testosterone levels are higher, my strength is longer lasting, and I often find myself being much more interested in life, love and athletics because of my participation.”
Mylez doesn’t relegate his practice to the studio only…but finds that the floors at Kodawari help him to have courage to try new variations in his practice, ”I practice at home daily, and focus on getting to a class at least 3 times a week, I enjoy the heat tremendously, and the floors at Kodawari offer an opportunity to try things that you may not be willing to on a hard floor.And he’s not shy about trying on different styles of yoga because he’s adopted a more yogic mindset, “If they offer it in Tampa, I’ve tried it. I don’t care for a cold room, so after feeling my way through in the beginning and getting enough foundation to understand what is being done, I moved into more advanced classes. Even if I struggle to keep up or do the work, it’s not about anyone but me, and this is how I grow, and I would MUCH rather do it in a warm or hot space. There is no “failure”, which is a very attractive lesson in yoga.”
And of course, Mylez finds that his yoga practice also helps him with the other types of movement that he also loves, “I work out regularly with a trainer and daily on my own…free weights, resistance training, cardio, and my career is a workout on it’s own. Lots of time on ladders and loading and unloading equipment. Not much for team sports, I find them to be too time consuming. But power yoga seems to be my thing. It puts strength, agility, focus and athleticism together to create an hour that is challenging enough to quiet the noise in my head, tighten those abs, and lengthen and strengthen my muscles so that they can perform better in my workouts.”
And when I asked him about how he finds practicing (especially as a man) at Kodawari he replied, “I think there is just the stigma of being a man in yoga. I do not have those walls, but I know many do.”And yet, Mylez found that his practice brought far beyond any such concerns, “I do however prefer classes with more traditional, geographical yoga music as they seem more ceremonial and less gender specific, however, learning to deal with the hand that you are dealt is a HUGE lesson I have found in the practice of yoga. You may be next to someone you don’t really care to be next to, there may be music you don’t care for, there may be a substitute teacher you weren’t emotionally prepared for, or a lesson plan change, the room may be brighter than you like, or things as such. TO learn to quiet your mind and overcome the little annoyances or distractions, and do what YOU want and what YOU need for yourself has been enlightening and something I have been able to apply to other aspects in my life.”
Join us on the mat! See you soon!