If you’re active on Instagram within the yoga realm, you are definitely familiar with this inspiring yogi, @mikiashyoga AKA Michiala Ashkenazy. Miki and her boyfriend, Sean Phelps (AKA @seanphelpslife) are constantly spreading love, encouragement and inspiration within the yoga space. She shares daily posts of creative photography, motivational words and partners with others in the space for frequent “yoga challenges”. Here, Miki dishes on how Instagram has made a great impact on her life and how she balances it at all out.
Q: How long have you been practicing yoga?
A: I’ve been practicing since 2010, I was pretty much forced into it. I was in college in New York, and partying with my roommate too often. Her mom was the one who said that we better start doing yoga before we destroyed our bodies. A year later I got my teacher training certification, and the rest is history!
Q: Do you find it hard to set the ego aside when you’re working on Instagram posts?
A: At first I used to get so hung up on how many likes the picture would receive, and feeling as though I wasn’t good enough if I didn’t hit a certain number of likes. But I’ve put that far behind me, and now feel no attachment to my ego as I work on Instagram posts. I use it mostly as a creative outlet and to reach out to as many people as I can, hopefully inspiring a few people along the day.
Q: What is your favorite part about sharing your yoga journey through social media?
A: The connection that I have made to so many amazing yogis all around the world. I get so much inspiration from other people and use that to apply it to my own practice, challenging me to get stronger and work harder.
Q: Do you have trouble separating yourself from technology?
A: Sometimes it feels like an addition, only because I’m so used to being on my phone. But I definitely enjoy the times when I unplug, which is a must at some point every single day.
Q: Do you feel like your personal practice has progressed quicker than it would have if you didn’t share your story everyday?
A: I feel like my personal practice has progressed mostly since I started practicing Ashtanga, and not anything to do with social media. Of course, I’m inspired by the incredible strength and flexibility of those who I follow, but I don’t hold myself accountable to be anywhere than exactly where I am today. I know that I’m working hard and the results will come when they’re meant to.
Q: How do you think yoga has helped your romantic relationship?
A: Being in a relationship with someone who understands the importance of yoga as much as I do has helped tremendously in our romantic relationship. This is the first time that I’ve been with anyone who practices yoga. It’s amazing! Being able to share my passion with the person that I love, on a daily basis, brings us so close together. We practice awareness, of the body, mind and spirit, as one.
Q: What are the first three things you do when you wake up?
A: We are huge morning cuddlers. We spend about 30 minutes in the morning just laying in bed together. And by then I’m ravenously hungry so I have to eat right away. Sean and I always take time in the morning to sit with our breakfasts and plan out our day!
Q: What is your go-to breakfast?
A: Green juice or smoothie. I could live off of smoothies. Occasionally, we’ll do bacon and eggs, or banana pancakes, or some oatmeal. Breakfast is my favorite so I’m always switching it up.
Q: Do you have a longtime quote or mantra that you always go back to?
A: “Right here, right now, I am free.” or, “I am recognized, and rewarded, for my abilities and efforts.”
Q: Can you share one of your favorite easy, healthy recipes?
A: Yes! These are my favorite 3-ingredient banana pancakes.
Visiting Los Angeles? Practice with Miki at various studios around LA, visit her website for details here.