What in your practice inspires you to teach? Yoga is a healing modality. I am witness to this. Finding openings in poses, building strength, finding clarity in my mind and being okay with whatever “shows up” on my mat on any day, inspires me to teach. Yoga brings such joy to my life. I want to share this joy with my students. Yoga also humbles me daily.
Tell us a little about your yoga journey and how this influences what you bring across in your teaching? In 2010, a confluence of events in which I believe Lyme Disease, which had sat dormant in my body, decided to roar its head. I was quite ill. Just sitting around, sleeping and having incredibly bad headaches. Scrolling one morning on my computer, a yoga class at the Y popped up. I literally picked myself up out of a chair and headed to my first class. That first class sealed the deal for me. Although I was still on tons of meds, I began to feel better. I gained energy. I wanted more of what yoga could do for me. I followed a teacher to Kaia Yoga. I was (and am) amazed at all the offerings Kaia had. Long story short, I had this deep desire to teach yoga. Gina and Stan accepted me into the 200 hour training in September 2012. I am currently finishing up the 300 hour training. Yoga is a healing modality. This is what I bring across in my teaching.
What is your favorite activity outside of yoga and how does yoga help this activity? I have many favorite activities outside of yoga – book club, kayaking, travel, being a mom. Yoga has shifted my perspective of the world. I would say I am in many ways a different person that I was six years ago, before my yoga journey began. I breathe differently. I meditate. I do not rush to judgement. I smile more. My heart is light. I pause before speaking. I am physically and mentally stronger because of yoga. Yoga has opened my eyes and heart to new experiences. As a mom, yoga continues to teach me the art of listening, guiding, befriending my 20 somethings as they navigate this world. My young adults “wait” for my daily words of yoga wisdom. Now if I could just get them to practice!
How would you describe your teaching? I begin class with a poem or something I’ve been thinking about regarding yoga. We then move onto breath technique. Depending on the class (Vinyasa, Gentle, Restorative and sometimes Prenatal) is how I describe my style. Vinyasa requires a strong warmup for muscle memory used later in class. I love sequencing Vinyasa classes, building heat and then slowing down. Exploring moving between poses – where is your mind; where is your body in relation to space. Gentle classes we look for a strong class but with lots of options or modifications. Letting students know that it is okay to show up just as you are and not being discouraged by their body’s limitations. In Restorative yoga, we work on breath to calm the nervous system; gentle words in supported poses to guide the body and mind to relax and open. I sub Prenatal. Prenatal classes require lots of gentle and restorative poses but also strength building. In Prenatal class, you can have experienced yogi’s, first time yogi’s and all three tri-semesters in class. Lots of stuff going on!
What makes teaching at Kaia yoga a unique experience? Community! Everyone! Teachers, staff and the most wonderful students who show up to class allowing themselves to be led. The beautiful studio’s Gina and Stan have created make Kaia Yoga a unique experience. The offerings of Adjunct teachers are incredible. Teaching at Kaia Yoga has made a profound impact on my life. My own experience of discovery on my mat is what I hope my students find as well. Kaia Yoga encourages this in their teachers which makes Kaia Yoga a remarkable and unique studio to teach in!