February Yoga Challenge: Day 27, How do you create clear and loving intentions?

Photo of Leslie Fightmaster, passed away November 2020

Since I practiced for one of Leslie Fightmaster’s videos, I wanted to take the time to talk about her and her legacy. Besides Adrienne at Yoga with Adriene, Leslie Fightmaster is the yoga teacher I turn to the most when I practice from home. Adriene’s videos help me remember and apply the basics. Leslie pushes me to deepen my practice and use more energy. After each of Leslie’s videos I feel invigorated and pleasantly worn out.

Unfortunately, Leslie died three months ago in November 2020. I was so shocked when I found out. I’ve been following her videos since 2014, and it almost feels like we were close friends. This post is partly a tribute to what I learned from her after all these years.

  1. How important it is to set a intention for each practice.
    • No matter which video I choose from her repertoire, Leslie makes sure to remind watchers to set and follow up on their intention.
  2. There are multiple ways to deepen a pose.
    • As I’ve grown as a teacher and student I’ve really appreciated the multiple layers Leslie adds to each pose and sequence. It’s amazing how many students from different physical backgrounds can use her videos.
  3. Find ways to respect and use various yoga practices.
    • Leslie pulls from multiple yoga disciplines throughout her videos. This is really useful, especially for practitioners who can’t go to their studio or haven’t picked a favored practice.
  4. How to build strength in order to do harder poses.
    • She does not shy from doing harder poses during her videos but she shows step by step what students can do to build necessary strength. Even if I couldn’t do the poses right then, she helped me know it would be one day possible.
  5. How to be kind yet challenging as a yoga teacher.
    • She challenges me, but she has such a gentle loving spirit I never feel frustrated or ashamed doing her videos.
  6. How to end each yoga practice.
    • She always finds a quote to ponder in shavasana. I also really love her mantra, “Hands to the forehead for clear and loving thoughts. Hands to the heart for clear and loving intentions. Hands to the mouth for clear and loving communications.”

All in all, I’m so grateful for everything Leslie Fightmaster has done for me, as a student she’s never met before. Please check out her videos on YouTube!

Thank you for reading! See you tomorrow for my last yoga post for February!