Margery Nash joined her first yoga class while attending New York’s Siena College and for the next few years popped into various classes whenever her schedule allowed. At the beginning of this year, the H&R Block franchise owner looked ahead to her busiest season and decided to make a commitment to herself.

“Tax season is super stressful. On top of that, this is my first year as a part owner, and I really wanted to commit to taking care of myself in the midst of what would surely be a crazy time. As bad as it sounds,” she said, laughing, “I wanted to give myself one hour a week for ‘me time.’”

Margery booked 10 private sessions with Favored Life’s Arti Mathur, a self-proclaimed yogini since birth. The private sessions were important to Margery because she could schedule them at a time that was convenient and not have to worry about whether or not she would make a class. “What I most appreciated was Arti’s ability to tailor the practice to my specific needs, and I would not have been able to get that in a group setting.

“Arti is such an intuitive instructor - she so easily picked up on my energy, whether I was high or low; she knew where my head was so that she could give me more physical challenges in order to distract my thoughts or lead me through a more nurturing session whenever I needed to just be in the space.”

While Margery said she didn’t have any specific goals in mind when she started her private sessions, she advised that she did notice a change in both her work and personal life as she moved through her practice. She intentionally scheduled her classes on Mondays so that she could start each week off right. Her work load, as expected, increased throughout March and April; what she didn’t expect were some stressful moments in her personal life at the same time.

“Because of my time in those sessions with Arti, I exponentially kept myself sane in the midst of chaos.” She was able to take a minute, breathe and apply what she learned in her private sessions to areas outside the studio. Arti, whose mission is to inspire others to live more mindfully and to encourage them to know that they already embody exactly what they think they need from the outside world, also noticed changes.

“When Margery first started coming to classes,” Arti observed, “she was very reserved and attended classes here and there. Throughout our private sessions, however, I witnessed her ability to really build up her confidence and the strength within her. As we progressed, she became more daring to try new positions, which was great! ”

People usually associate yoga with stretching and becoming more flexible, but Margery said the more time she spends practicing yoga, the more she realizes that the mind is trained as much as the body. “From these private sessions, I was able to focus on the present and apply what I learned in every facet of my life, on and off the mat.”