This month we are featuring Cheryl Simcox who teaches Hot Vinyasa classes in Westport.
What in your practice inspires you to teach?
My practice is inspired by self-discovery. I find solitude and solidarity on my mat as well as a constant evolution of complexity and simplicity. My inspirations to practice led me to teach yoga in the hopes of mediating that experience for other people. Our movement, combined with breath awareness, helps us to create a space of our true reality on our mat. We can then practice bringing this into our life off the mat.
Tell us a little about your yoga journey and how this influences what you bring across in your teaching?
I came to teach yoga later in my career. I enjoy and am enriched by many aspects of teaching yoga. The idea that I might introduce this way of life to people is very rewarding, like sharing the riches that were offered to me when I found yoga. Yoga has allowed me to embody a part of myself that I had never met before and it always keeps giving.
What is your favorite activity outside of yoga and how does yoga help this activity?
My favorite activity outside of yoga is spending time with my children and dogs. Yoga has taught me greater patience as well as the ability to be in the present moment and I really needed these things. Both of my children continue to comment on the impact of what I found through yoga. Being a mom was the first thing in life that taught me patience. People who knew me before and after could not believe the transformation and so it is through my children that my before and after becomes really noticeable. On a daily basis yoga is something we all talk about, in all aspects. It not only enriches me but my children as well...what could be better? Paige comes to my classes fairly regularly and being able to share that on any day is a 'day maker'. She is on her way to grad school for Physical Therapy and again I am brought to think of how we share admiration for body movement, health and well-being. The avenue it opened between my son Connor and I has forever changed our lives. From the beginning, Connor has made every playlist for my classes. Hearing what he knows about music and discussing it is a wonderful reward. Frequently, I am listening to a playlist and I think...'another beautiful gift from Connor.' Mentioning at class, that my daughter is here practicing is always a wonderful source of pride. The value of what we share and who we are has no dollar figure. Yoga positively impacts our whole family over and over again through the beauty of movement, body and breath awareness - the music, the conversation, and the development of who we all are as a family. We then, of course, all turn around and share this with Greer and Bedros, our lovely dogs. They are quite yogic themselves.
What makes teaching at Kaia yoga a unique experience?
When Kaia Yoga Westport was first being built I walked up to the building and peeked in the windows and said to myself 'oh, I really, really want to teach here'. When I received an e-mail asking me to teach a class there, I was ecstatic. Kaia Yoga is unique and special to me in many ways and that is on going and always evolving. Structurally, I admire it and still love walking in the front doors. I don't know of any other studio nearby that has the vast offerings that Kaia offers. There is yoga, of so many varieties taught by teachers of such variety. There is something here for everyone. It has health and wellness services, spa and retail all under one roof. An extra benefit is that I've become friends with so many of the staff, learning and respecting what each other brings to the table. In terms of my own personal teaching development, I came with the tools to teach but it was Gina and Stan's unique style of support that encouraged my teaching voice and style. They did it with trust and belief. They offered breathing room. I continue to grow and it feels like home.