February's Teacher of the Month is Irene Genovese. Irene has been teaching yoga for over 17 years. Certified in the Kripalu tradition, she has also studied with world-renowned teachers including Rodney Yee, Shiva Rea and Gary Kraftsow.
What in your practice inspires you to teach?
I am inspired to teach because of the sense of mental, physical and emotional well being that I find in my practice. Yoga gives me a sense of deep inner peace and mental clarity. I have a fairly serious back condition and yoga has really helped. I wanted to share the benefits that I've experienced with others.
Tell us a little about your yoga journey and how this influences what you bring across in your teaching?
My yoga journey actually began with dance. I studied classical ballet for 14 years, then jazz, modern and improvisational dance. So since I was about 14 years old, I learned to be present in my body and to enjoy expressing myself through movement. I discovered yoga in my 20's and practiced off and on for the next 20 years, during which time I had a successful career in corporate human resources. The part of my job that I liked best was training and development and employee counseling. When I left that job (the mental clarity I found through yoga helped me to make that decision), I was able to devote more time to my yoga practice and figure out what my next career path would be. Becoming a yoga teacher was a natural fit. I knew the difference yoga has made in my life and I welcomed the opportunity to share this life-affirming practice with others.
What is your favorite activity outside of yoga and how does yoga help this activity?
I love to spend time outdoors, being in touch with nature. I consider this to be an important part of my spiritual practice. I enjoy hiking, biking and most of all, downhill skiing. Yoga is a great way to condition for skiing. It not only helps strengthen the muscles used for the sport, but helps with balance, mental focus and concentration. When you're skiing, if you lose your focus, you'll find yourself in a face-plant!
What makes teaching at Kaia Yoga a unique experience?
I love teaching at Kaia Yoga - the people who practice here are so nice! It's a beautiful facility, with wonderful teachers and so many different classes to choose from. The food at the cafe is really good, the selection in the shop is terrific and you can get fabulous treatments at the spa. I love having the opportunity to take workshops with world-renowned teachers at Kaia Yoga as well. After owning my own studio for 10 years, I can really appreciate all the hard work that Stan and Gina put into making Kaia Yoga a great place to practice!