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Becoming Blissful in Burlington

Keely McCarthy is a sophomore Education major at Elon University. Her San Francisco roots draw her to healthy habits and the exploration of the Elon area. This year she created a health account on Instagram called @blissfulburlies where she highlights her everyday yoga practice.


How does Elon compare to San Francisco?

Elon is on a different coast, but it feels like a different world! Growing up in a city, I was influenced by so many different cultures and people. Life in the south, especially in a small town like Burlington NC, it was a hard transition. I often find myself feeling very claustrophobic and stuck, but integrating my California lifestyle here has made it much easier. I have found ways to feel a piece of home here, through exercise and cooking.


Why did you start your yoga practice?

I started doing yoga because I couldn’t touch my toes and I really wanted to increase my flexibility since it was hurting my back. After going to a few classes, I realized it is much more than a workout. It has influenced my positivity in my everyday life. Yoga can completely transform a day. When I can’t find sunshine, yoga will always clear the rain and bring out the sun.


Why are you drawn to these healthy habits?

Whenever I am home I eat so much better than when I am at school because my mom is vegan so there is always fresh produce in the house. I feel like Burlington is an area filled with fast food so I really wanted to find places in Burlington that are healthier and could make me feel better about myself, so that's part of why blissfulburlies was started. These healthy habits, whether exercising or eating well, change not only my body but my attitude. I feel more energized and positive, so there is no reason I would change my healthy habits now.


How do you stay committed to your practice?

I have a semester yoga pass, so my friend and I encourage each other to go. When one of us is showing doubts, the other will show encouragement. It is something we always do together and we use it as a way to determine how our day will be.


What ways has your Elon experience changed with your practice?

 am much more aware and less stressed. I appreciate the little things due to the mindfulness I have gained from yoga. I try to live every day to the fullest, and yoga helps me recognize how I can do this every day. I love the morning classes because it starts each day on the right track to continue my appreciation and happiness.  


Favorite yoga pose? My favorite yoga pose is pigeon. It is towards the end of class so you know Shavasana is coming. It gives me time to reflect while I'm getting a deep stretch. I love the silence I find in this pose because I come back to reality for a second. I always feel the most appreciative here for showing up and giving the class my all.


For more on Keely, follow her Instagram: @blissfulburlies

My name is Molly Belyea. I am a sophomore at Elon majoring in Strategic Communications and minoring in Spanish! I love to travel, exercise, and cook!
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