I got the chance to catch up with my first yoga instructor. I stepped into her class during my Junior year of college about 5 years ago and she has sincerely changed my view on life and how I approach my practice. Her classes and knowledge had always hit home and were not only challenging but eye-opening.
What got you into the practice?
My father. He invited me to my first Bikram class when I was sixteen after a dance injury. I loved the heat and physicality of Bikram, but didn’t leave the studio feeling inspired. Then four days later he took me to a vinyasa studio that I would later teach at, I left feeling connected, inspired and rinsed out! I’ve practiced nearly every day since that flow class.
What is your philosophy about your yoga practice?
I can summarize my yoga practice in five words: Breath. Movement. Intention. Delight. Exploration.
What is a tool in order to remember your intention in class?
Create a pre-class ritual. As student and teacher I have a prayer + affirmation + intention that I repeat everyday before I step into the studio. The structure of this practice stays similar from day to day but I make minor adjustments to my ritual as it feels like a natural and good fit for me. This art of proclamation helps me set the intentional pace for my practice and/or teachings.
What drew you to teaching?
My love for the transformational blessings & benefits of yoga and thus my exceptional hunger to share this ancient practice with the world.
What is your proudest moment as a teacher?
Co-facilitating a yoga teacher training in Africa for under-privileged youth. It was life changing.
What is your most impactful memory when it comes to your yoga practice?
My most cherished memory as a yoga student is meeting two of my best friends at my first training in upstate New York seven years ago. I still talk to Victoria and David nearly every week. On the last day the three of us held hands in svasana and for however silly it sounds, I knew in that moment that we would be soulfully and intrinsically connected forever.
Share something about you that your past students may not know?
Hmm. This is a really broad strokes question.
My biggest vices are: coffee, talk shows and reading the last sentence of a book before I start the first chapter.
What are your three favorite songs and one song you have to have in a playlist?
There are two songs I include on almost every yoga playlist.
- Bowspirit by Balmorhea
- Hari Om (Tiruvannalalai) by Janet Stone
My three favorite songs right now are:
- I’ll Let You Know by David Hazeltine
- Para Que Sufrir by Natalia Lafourcade
- Anything on the Lemonade album by Beyonce
If you had one day and zero responsibilities and could travel anywhere what would you do?
Spend a day in Paris with my man. Yoga and coffee would be a must. Other than that I would delight in simply exploring the city at our leisure.
Sidenote: After sharing this with my boyfriend he disagreed. He thought my perfect day would be spent playing with baby elephants in one of our most favorite places–South Africa. But I still think elephants would come in a close second to France and all of her artistic, culinary and romantic charm.
What do you find you are dreaming about the most?
Anything and everything. I’m a dreamer, but I’m also very much a doer; so I like to think they balance each other out quite well.
If you could give only 1 piece of advice to someone practicing yoga what would it be?
Let yourself be led.