This is why Mathieu Boldron inspires

Thank goodness that Mathieu Boldron is a part of the yoga community. He has a passion and thirst for yoga that is infectious and humbling. He definitely inspires people and yogis around him.  

 

Now, let him inspire you. 

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1. How long have you been teaching?

I've been teaching yoga for about 5 years

2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?

I got burned out from years of musical theatre when I started teaching yoga. It was my new way to express and share something deeper. My voice was broken because of too many shows and gigs on tv.
Teaching taught me that we have the power to help a lot of people change their perspective and transform if we practice and live what we teach on a daily bases.

3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher? Teachers and teachings are all around constantly. If you want to teach classes, take classes, you want to teach workshops, take workshops, you want to teach retreats, take retreats, if you want to teach trainings, take trainings. There is so much to learn. The more you learn the less you know.
4. How many times a week do you practice?

Every single day 24 hours a day.

5. Who inspires your practice?

The number of people around the world suffering inspire me to be the best version of myself by practicing so I can light up at least people around me.

6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?

The world needs more teachers so the more we practice the more confident we feel in passing the fruit of our experiences. Practice is a lifestyle versus a style-of-life. So, to share from a place of authenticity is necessary to incarnate what I'd like to give.

7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?

I want people to awake themselves to a higher level of sensitivity, consciousness so they can see better, and make better choices for themselves and for their life. The more we learn to get control on what drives us crazy in life, the more we understand the ego, the conditioning and the corruption happening in our society. We can then integrate our personality better and become an inspiration to unify people around the True Self.

8. Where are you currently teaching?

Right now in Bali, then turkey, Greece, Paris and Mexico.

9. What are the best ways that you have learnt of approaching studios that you would like to teach at? Years ago it would simply be take classes at their studio and today is more about word-of-mouth.
10. Has yoga helped you through something painful? If so, what and how? Yoga asana has cured so much problems in my physical body: back problems, voice problems, allergies and food imbalance. In my mind: trust issues, power of decision and limited beliefs
11. What is your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook name? mathieuboldronyoga on IG FB and Twitter.
12. Is Social Media easy or challenging for you?

I'm getting better at it. It used to be challenging in the past. But I understand now better how I can use it to share with more people the powerful yoga medicine.

Kristen Sweeney expands on her yogic inspiration.

I am so grateful to know this woman and yoga teacher, Kristen Sweeney. I have taken many of her classes and it is apparent that she is a great yoga teacher. She has a passion, yearning and love for yoga.  

And, let's find out why...

 

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1. How long have you been teaching?

Since 2011.

 

2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?

I knew I wanted to start teaching after I had been practicing hot yoga (Bikram) about a year. I considered doing the Bikram training but opted for vinyasa instead. At the time, I was an actor living in NYC. In between acting jobs, I was making money as a caterer, personal assistant, receptionist, restaurant host, etc. None of these things were particularly fulfilling, and the highs of booking those acting gigs weren't sustaining me through the in-between times. I wanted to teach yoga because I realized that it would be something I could that would be rewarding and fulfilling every single day. Becoming a teacher has taught me a lot. It's called me to step up to the responsibility of caring for the students in my room. It's pushed me to learn more about yoga in every aspect, from anatomy to philosophy. Probably the most important lesson I've learned as a teacher is the value of living yoga when I'm not in a class (I think of that as the practice of living).

 

3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?

So much! There have been teachers who illustrated creative class sequencing that inspires me to mix things up and innovate, and teachers who really lead by example when it comes to letting go of your ego, and so many teachers along the way who inspire me with their commitment and dedication to their practice, however that manifests for them.

 

4. How many times a week do you practice?

I try to get my butt to an actual class 4 times a week. I move my body, connect to my breath, and ground myself in the present every day, so I guess it depends on your definition.

 

5. Who inspires your practice?

Students, hands down.

 

6. Why is it necessary for you to practice? Oh, I get so cranky if I don't practice regularly! :) For me, practicing yoga has a funny way of bending time. So if I think I'm too busy to get to class, but I go anyway, it seems like everything I had to do rearranges itself to all get done with plenty of time. Yoga makes me calmer, happier, and healthier.

 

7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?

That the practice of yoga goes beyond the mat, and is really a practice of living.

 

8. Where are you currently teaching? I am in the Boston area, teaching at: Coolidge Corner/Sadhana Yoga, JP Centre Yoga, Om Births, and Healing Tree Yoga.

 

9. How has yoga helped your character develop?

It's forced me to be more honest with myself, more aware of my habits and patterns, and more willing to sit with being uncomfortable during periods of change.

 

10.What has kept you practicing all these years?

Yoga is really the bedrock of my life. It's the foundation that informs and supports who I am.

 

11. How do you take use yoga practice in your daily stressful life? When my mind is starting to spiral out into unhelpful thought patterns, I get into my body. When I feel overwhelmed, I pause and take some breaths. When I'm making decisions, I'm guided by the principles of truth, honesty, and integrity.

 

12. What is your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook name?  Instagram: @edgeofthemat, Facebook: /edgeofthemat and for teachers, I have a Facebook group called "Yoga Teachers Who Mean Business"

Brian Arsenault is full of inspiration

Being in Brian's presence, one feels like there is a deeper meaning to life. Who wouldn't want to be taught by someone who gets it? And by 'IT', I mean the devotional aspect of why we practice.  

Please, be inspired! 

 

 

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 1. How long have you been teaching?

I've been teaching for a little less than two years.

2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learned from teaching?
A few years ago, I was in a rough place mentally and physically. I started going to yoga classes everyday and not only did these classes leave my body feeling great all day, but the practice gave me a new outlook on my life and helped improve my mood. During the classes, the teachers would announce the upcoming teacher-training. A few of the teachers kept suggesting that I do the teacher-training. Having felt strong benefits from the practice of yoga, I wanted to help show others the benefits of the practice. From teaching others, one thing I’ve learned that currently comes to mind is anatomy and the teacher’s responsibility to protect their students. Students put a lot of trust in their teachers. Because of the power dynamic, students will often do whatever the teacher tells them to do, even if they don’t realize or know that the movements or instructions are harmful to their bodies (whether in the short term or in the long term). Having seen teachers guide students through sequences that I think can be anatomically harmful and say things to students that I feel can be dangerous, I’ve tried to learn more about anatomy, sequencing, and modifications.

3. What is something that you have learned from a fellow teacher?
From Brian Nygard. That you don’t have to be liked by everyone. Having people like you is not necessary. What is important is challenging the students. Benefitting them. Telling them the truth in a supportive and gentle way. Being a teacher isn’t always about being a student’s best friend, but helping them to learn about themselves. Strengths and also weaknesses, so that they can decide what they want to practice.

4. How many times a week do you practice?
Managing and teaching many classes make it challenging to find the time to fit in my personal practice. I get to take 5 or so classes every week, but I try to carve a little bit of time every day for myself to do something. It could be seated meditation for 15 minutes or an hour vipassana sitting. Some days it’s lying down in a supported fish for 15 minutes, some days it’s practicing nauli kriya when I first wake up.

5. Who inspires your practice?
Myself. Everyone.


6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?
There are many reasons. In terms of the long term, the health of my spine, hips, and knees are very important to me. Typically though my drive to practice comes from the desire for my body to feel good and opened up all day long. Improved compassion, patience, and mental clarity are all reasons for me to practice as well. And to top it all off, I can sleep better at night.

7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?
That you can be soft. That you can slow down. I feel like many of us go through life at high speeds and with a lot of tension. These things can cause stress and strain on our relationships, and prevent us from experiencing/appreciating all that life has to offer us. Slowing down and softening your body (as well as your mind and breath) can be transformative.

8. Where are you currently teaching?
NP Rock Yoga in New Paltz, New York, and at Jewel City Yoga in Brooklyn.

9. What are the best ways that you have learned of approaching studios that you would like to teach at?
There are a few things that go into approaching a studio that you would like to teach at. At first, evaluating whether you want to teach at that studio is key. Do I like the vibe of this studio? Does this studio’s philosophy on yoga match up with my own? Do I have something I feel like I can offer that would be beneficial to the students? Then, I have found that taking class at the studio is helpful. Especially if you take the manager’s or owner’s classes. Introducing yourself without sounding needy or aggressive is important. Once it feels right, asking if there are any sub opportunities is a good idea.

10. Has yoga helped through some painful? If so, what and how?
Absolutely. I think movement and meditation can be medicinal. Breathing with your feelings (whether it be pain, sorrow, depression, anger), forces you to acknowledge what is going on in your mind. In acknowledging, you’re not pushing these feelings into your subconscious where they can fester. Realizing that these feelings are not only impermanent, but that they don’t have to become you, is huge. Impermanence is a transformative concept that I really got to experience through vipassana meditation. Everything changes. Nothing is permanent.

11. What is your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook name?
Instagram: arsenault9991

12. Is Social Media easy or challenging for you?
I feel like I grew up in a generation where social media is ubiquitous and the skills to use it are almost innate. That notion combined with my comfort with technology makes social media not too challenging for me. I understand it’s importance and how to use it, but sometimes can definitely struggle with broadcasting/marketing myself or putting myself out there.

Meet, Rasheda Charles! If you don't know her, get to know her.Because once you do you will be inspired...

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Photo by vir2ualrealuty

Rasheda Charles oozes of love, light and peace. I am grateful to say that I am one of her biggest fans, everything about her is inspiring. I highly recommend taking her class because it is most definitely worth it. She has also just opened up her own studio in Qatar, Congratulations!

 

1. How long have you been teaching?

 

I've been teaching for 5 years.

 

2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?

 

This many sound corny and cliché, but I really wanted to change the world. I was unhappy and was laid off from my final attempt at working a corporate gig and had been attending a great little yoga studio in Brooklyn called Jaya Yoga Center, every day. I was just so unhappy. I was sure that I wasn't living my purpose. One day this really old lady interrupted my savasana-literally stood over me and said, "I see you all the time. You're here almost every day. You should consider teaching. You look like you'd be a good teacher." I think of her as one of my angels now because she was right. I had been going to that studio every day but i'd never seen her before and I no lie, I never saw her again.  I thought to myself, wow, I'm here all the time because, in addition to these asanas the things that the instructors talked about, I carried with me after class. I started to apply what I learned off the mat and no, life didn't turn into a giant cake walk, but I was able to live a more stress free, I worried less, was more grateful and it felt so good. The more I focused more on the positive, it seemed like the more positive my life became. And more grateful I became, the more blessings seemed to come. It was about connecting to a higher frequency, a higher vibe and I remember laying thinking, wow! if I can teach my friends this, we'd have such better relationships and less stressful lives. That's how it started, just me thinking about me and my friends and our highly stressful, career driven, conflicted families and personal lives.

That year, I completed my first yoga teacher training.

Teaching has taught me that we all are just trying to do our best. We're all in different parts of the journey and to be ok with that. It has also taught me about perspective. I try my best to take the good from every experience, and either learn or leave behind the rest.

 

3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?

 

One of my most valuable lessons was that it's all karma. Take the good and leave the rest.

 

4. How many times a week do you practice?

Asana 5x/week. I try to meditate every day, even if it's just 5 minutes. I remember reading somewhere, very early on, Eckhart Tolle said one conscious breath in and out, is a meditation. That's always stuck with me, so I feel like one can always find time for at least one conscious breath. No excuses.

 

5. Who inspires your practice?

I'm inspired by good people. The everyday people that I meet in passing that share a smile, or that I see doing good work. I'm inspired by Martin Luther King, Ghandi, Mother Theresa. I'm inspired by my maternal grandmother, who marched on Washington with Martin Luther King. I'm inspired by my paternal grandmother, who took in and raised her sister's child, even after she found out that the child was fathered by her husband-yeah let that sink in. (My grandfather had an affair with my grandmother's sister and she raised the child that was the product of that affair.) I'm inspired by many of the public school teachers I used to work with in Harlem that were ridiculously underpaid, but still went out of their way to buy clothes for kids that needed them, give hugs to that kindergartener who didn't have a good night at home because their mom and dad work the night shift and crazy hours and they're left to be cared for by older siblings, or they have to look out for themselves. I'm really inspired by everyday folk who are kind of Spirit and generous of heart. I always try to live up to that. It makes me want to work harder, so I can try harder to live up to that.

 

6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?

I practice for my sanity! Lol But seriously, I practice to keep connected to my Spirit and my purpose. 

 

7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?

My message is asana practice is not yoga. Yoga is how you live your life off the mat. I could care less how straight or how high your leg is in standing bow, if you're a dick when you step off your mat, because then the intention of standing bow, which is a heart opening and hip opening asana (heart and hips both are the gateway to releasing deep seeded emotional baggage) is lost. You might as well be doing gymnastics.

 

 

8. Where are you currently teaching?

Actually, I'm currently teaching in Qatar and exploring the idea of opening a studio in Doha, Qatar. However, I'm based in Brooklyn, NY and when I'm there, I teach at Yoga Tribe Brooklyn with an awesome squad of teachers in a great yoga community. I'm really blessed with that.

 

9. How has yoga helped your character develop?

Yoga has helped me develop my character because Its like a guide. Little things I can ask myself to check in with myself. Sometimes I'm on point many times, I see I have a long way to go. ☺️

 

10.What has kept you practicing all these years?

I keep practicing because my life just keeps getting better. I smile more, I give more and my heart just keeps growing. There's nothing better than that! I couldn't imagine going back to my life pre yoga. I was angry and would anger at the drop of a dime. My parents divorce was bitter and brutal and terribly long and drawn out. It left me jaded, hurt, cold and scarred. Yoga has taught me that that wasn't about me and it helped me cultivate enough compassion to not only forgive my parents, but to let that shit go. It was all my karma anyway and had totally nothing to do with them. That's a toughie. Learning that everything that happens to you is your karma-I'm still working on that. :)

 

11. How do you take use yoga practice in your daily stressful life?

Let's just begin with this: yoga is not asana alone. Yoga is a way of life and there are 8 pillars that help you along this journey. Asana is just one of the eight.

For me, the first two pillars are employed the most. Yama, the first pillars speaks to One's ethics and integrity & Niyama, the second limb of yoga, deals with the self discipline and spiritual observances and is what use most in my day to day life. Speaking the truth (satya), and being content (Samtosa) with what I have and being mindful of my spending habits (do you really need 60 pairs of shoes? And yes I was that girl. ☺️) are practiced everyday. Another one is cleanliness (Saucha), yes, how you take care of your body speaks volumes of ones yoga practice "off the mat." Lastly but definitely not least my breathing has helped me so much. Every take a subway in NY, in the morning, during rush hour? Yeah, consciously breathing, deeper, slower and with more gratitude, I easily overlook people literally pushing you out of the way for a seat than I could have ever imagined before I leaned the patience and happiness cultivated through my yoga practice. And you would be surprised how smiling at someone who just basically elbowed you out of the way, lol, also makes them more conscious. They even stop for a minute and look at you puzzled, or stop a smile back or for the ones that do, now your yoga has effected someone else is a positive way, and maybe just for that moment brighter their day, what could possible be better than that?!! 

 

12. What is your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook name?

Instagram: Bikramcurlsandcurves

Facebook: Rasheda Charles 

 

I'm working on Turing my Facebook page into a business page and being more active on FB. But I'm active on IG. I really like that platform and love connecting with people on there. I post my schedule and pics pretty regular, which wasn't easy for this super private Scorpio in the beginning, but the page has evolved into a great, safe, honest space where I try not to get too political, 😜while still speaking my truth and I'm really proud of that.

Daniel Mullaney inspires us with his continual yoga practice

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Image by Chris Davis

 

 

Daniel Mullaney is so inspiring. The classes that he teaches are balanced out with his own experience, the body and the breath. Although I took his class a while ago, I remember leaving inspired.  

 

Now let him inspire you... 

 

1. How long have you been teaching?
I have been teaching yoga for two years.

2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?

I didn't intend to teach when I did my first teacher-training. I wanted to deepen my practice and probably thought I could somehow "win" yoga! When I did teach my first class, something clicked. I really enjoyed it. I think ultimately what drove me to start teaching more and what continues to motivate me is the chance to share some of the process I've experienced that has been so beneficial in many areas of my life.


3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?

To be myself, to teach and speak from my experience.


4. How many times a week do you practice?

I practice daily. Sometime in the morning, sometime later on in the day and usually with a day to rest somewhere in the week.


5. Who inspires your practice?
There are so many sources of inspiration. I get inspired by seeing people do what they love to do, whatever it may be. Passion is infectious. As for yogis,I feel blessed to have had quite a few impactful teachers who continue to guide me. Nikki Carter, Jason Crandall, Yancy Schwartz, Jared McCann, and soo many others have been big sources of inspiration.


6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?
There's lots of reasons. My mind is loud and quick to shout. My practice, especially meditation, gives me a buffer before I react. When I put in my time , I feel better: physically, mentally and emotionally.


7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?
I think this is something that shifts and changes based on where I'm at with my practice or whats going on in the week. For the most part, I want students to be more aware; of their stories, their strengths, their potential, but ultimately, I want them to meet themselves where they are.


8. Where are you currently teaching?
YTTP SF/Berkeley


9. How has yoga helped your character develop?
Everyday I have a chance to get a little more in touch with myself. It's not always stuff I want to get in touch with, but I have the opportunity to be aware and from there I have a chance to accept or become a little more willing to make a change.


10.What has kept you practicing all these years?
There's no end. It's just a continual process with peaks and valleys and something to be learned every step of the journey.

 11. What is your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook name? @chillwaveyoga

Zoha Vaezi is inspiring, this is her yogic journey.

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I had the fortune of meeting Zoha during our training at Lighthouse yoga School, almost two years ago. She is a great teacher and is a genuinely caring person and Yogi. She just came in 30th at The National Yoga Championship, which is truly inspiration.

 

Here is more of her inspiration for you:

 

1. How long have you been teaching?

I have been teaching yoga for 3 years

 

2. What motivated you to start teaching?

I originally didn't want to teach. I fell into teaching because my sister bought a bikram studio, and I was managing the front desk staff and practicing everyday. It was sort of like my family telling me "you're going to teacher training now." I wasn't crazy about the idea but I went along, and I am glad that I did. I have learned so much from yoga, mostly about myself! So I would say the most significant thing Ive learned from teaching is self-awareness and self-love, and that is what I try to relay to my students the most.

 

3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?

I have learned so much from other teachers. I believe a good teacher is a good student, and ALWAYS a student. There are so many teachers Ive learned from but I'll mention only two. First is Mary Jarvis (located in San Francisco), she healed her spine and has taught me  acceptance. Of myself, and of others, without judgment or condemnation. The second is Jared McCann (NYC), he taught me grace in the poses and patience.

 

4. How many times a week do you practice?

I practice daily. Sometimes more than once. I love all forms of yoga. I prefer to do one vinyasa class, one bikram class, and one yoga conditioning each day. I love to practice while I teach too so I feel really lucky when I get to do that.

 

5. Who inspires your practice?

All my students inspire me, as well as the yoga champions (USA YOGA). I see how hard they work and the struggles they deal with and I see how yoga makes a significant positive impact in their lives and their healing. Sometimes those that look like they're doing the least, are actually working the hardest.

6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?

I cannot emphasize the importance of practicing yoga for an instructor. So much of my instructions come from my own experience opening my own body, and the physical sensations I have. Also, it is important to be able to demonstrate the skills you are attempting to teach others. I have learned so much from watching, so I think that's key for people to see it done correctly, and also to inspire them.

 

7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?

The message I focus on the most is self-acceptance WITHOUT judgment, practice on yourself so you can extend it to others. I emphasize the importance of flow (breath, life cycles, etc.), and I also encourage the practice of strength (suck your stomach in). I would say those three themes are consistently present in each and every yoga class I teach.

 

8. Where are you currently teaching?

I teach all over! Sirius Yoga, Mind Your Body Oasis, Bikram Alexandria, and I also do yoga for physical therapy through Arlington county workman's compensation through Ace Physical Therapy in conjunction with Elite Fitness Concepts. I am located in Northern Virginia.

 

9. How has yoga helped your character develop?

The most significant impact yoga had on my character is non-judgment. Loving others as they are, loving myself as I am, and seeing the best in people, even when it seems impossible.

 

10. What has kept you practicing all these years?

I love seeing the changes my body goes through. Also, I see the senior women who have been practicing yoga and the youthful glow they emit is enough to get anybody into the studio.

 

11. What is your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook name?

My facebook name is my full name: Zoha Vaezi and my Instagram name is @Zohayoga

Meet the inspiring Stephanie Acosta

Stephanie is full of life. I love the story of her yogic journey, it is filled with truth and beauty. She radiates and genuinely cares for her practice, those around her and the impact that she is having on the world. 

Her answers are truly inspirational, below!

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1. How long have you been teaching?

    It'll make a year in December.

 

2. What motivated you to start teaching

and what have you learnt from teaching?

    I literally fell in love with yoga instantaneously.I practiced almost everyday and I kept telling myself that I'm not ready, I don't know enough and that I'm too scared to speak to a room full of people. I remember taking a class at YTTP (Yoga to the People) I remember how friendly and real this particular teacher was and I thought to myself: hell yea this could totally be me.They started announcing a teacher training and I finally got the courage to sign up.

      The biggest thing that I've learned from teaching is self care. Its brought such a new found body awareness in me that I never had. As a student, I've always been a, "Push through it" kind of yogi. However, as a teacher I'm just like, "Girl take that childspose now!" It's liberating to be able to take care of yourself in way that simply feels good to you.

 

 

3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?

That you don't need to have a certain body to do yoga. If you can breathe then you can do yoga.

 

4. How many times a week do you practice?

    4-5 days in a studio and the rest is a self practice at home.

 

5. Who inspires your practice?

  My 2-year-old daughter. She is the greatest joy of my life. She gives me so much life that it honestly makes me want to bring that energy into a studio.

 

6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?

  It just keeps me level-headed. Its keep me cool, calm and collected. Plus it keeps me from not completely losing my mind when i take the subway 🤣

 

7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?

That the magic comes from within. The asanas don't mean a thing without the spirit and the breath. That just being who you are is always going to be enough.

 

8. Where are you currently teaching?

I teach at Yoga to the People in NY, Sunmoon Yoga in Jersey City, The Shannon Rose (Pints and Poses) 1x a mth(Nj),Yoga at Pelham Bay Park (Bronx), Yoga at Branchbrook Park (Nj) and I also teach privately.

 

9. How has yoga helped your character develop?

  I feel like i have come into my own the past few years. Diminishing all that isn't good for me has made me a calmer more clear-headed person. Which, ultimately leads me to make better decisions in my life.

 

 

10.What has kept you practicing all these years?

    I have such a passion for it . It seriously brings me so much happiness. A happiness that i can't even explain. Theres always something new to learn, always someone new to meet and the community itself is such a joy to be around. I have met some of the best people through yoga.

 

11. What is your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook name

 

@StephanieAcostaYoga

Ksenia Voropaeva lets us in on her yogic path... inspiring!

It is clear that Ksenia is passionate about yoga. However what is more endearing about  her, to me, is her demeanor, poise and posture. Being in her presence, her humility, determination and inner- peace is inspiring to me. 

Be inspired by her too...

 

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 1. How long have you been teaching?
2 years

2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?

I started teaching because when most things in my life no longer made sense, yoga made more and more sense. I was at a life/career crossroads, unsure of what to do, so I began to strip away the things that were no longer important and focus on what was. Yoga was one of those things and I wanted to share with others.

I've learned (and am still learning!) how to not take myself so seriously. Public speaking is intimidating. Leading others and sharing our truth is intimidating. Lightness and authenticity help. When we trust and share what we love we become a vessel for it to come through.

3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?

I'm lucky to have amazing teachers in NYC. They ALL inspire me to practice and teach because of the impact they've had on me.

One of the things I've learned in different ways from different teachers is that what we practice we become. Want to land a handstand? Practice that handstand over and over, and fall and fail, 10,000 times. Want to feel more connected? Connect to your breath to your body to your self, over and over everyday, even when you don't want to. Want to find purpose? Be of service.

We're always practicing something. Notice what that something is.

4. How many times a week do you practice?

I try to practice daily. Even if it's not a full asana practice, I make time for breathwork, meditation and mantra. It's the small changes over time (often through resistance) that make the difference over a lifetime.

5. Who inspires your practice?

My yoga community - teachers, students, masters past and present. My not-yoga life - friends, family, work, play. Everything is connected.Part of it is self-motivation. What can I do to re-connect to myself, to be more present, to be more compassionate?
And, another big part of it is surrounding myself with people who challenge me. If we're comfortable, we're not growing, and practice is all about growth.

6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?

Haha, for sanity. I used to practice as a physical exercise and mental break maybe once a week. That gradually increased to 2 times a week, then 3 times, then 4 times, 5 times and now daily. I noticed that I feel better when I practice, so I started practicing more often. Over time it became less of a decision to go do a thing, and more of a habit. It's what must be done so I can be my better self. Now I don't really think about it, I just do it. Yoga is sneaky that way.

7. What message do you like to spread by teaching yoga?

This is always changing as I change, but the underlying thread for me is that we are our best teachers. There is no right path, there is no right answer. It's our everyday life, our relationships, the stressful job, the lack of sleep, that crappy thing that happened to us, that teach us. Growth is a constant work in progress.

The power of yoga is not that it gets us into a cool Instagram pose, or to touch our toes, or to sleep better at night (which are all good things). It's much more subtle than that. Its power is in a gradual unveiling that behind all of life's ups and downs there's a stillness within us that cannot be changed by time or circumstance. The practice of yoga is finding our way back to that.

8. Where are you currently teaching?

Currently teaching @yttp and privates

9. How has yoga helped your character develop?

As I become more aware of my mind and body on the mat, I become more aware of my feelings and (re)actions off the mat. Realizing that I am not my sadness / my anger / my frustration (that no one is) helps me move through the world with a little more compassion. It helps me soften around judgements and stories and see that we're all connected, we're all in this together.
My practice has also given me the disciple and confidence to leave my 9-5, to start my own business, to change the way I consume, to reduce my footprint, to grow my own herbs and food. It's a ripple effect. 

10. What has kept you practicing all these years?

Life! And all its craziness. The practice grounds me, gives me a sense of balance, peace and purpose. It's been the one constant in my life over the last decade. As relationships, circumstances, age, health, perspectives change, my practice remains. I'm fascinated by the essence that doesn't change.

And as I aspire to be a good teacher, I must always be a good student.

11. What is your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook name?

@kseniavo

Arden Goll reveals her inner inspiration.

Arden has been an inspirational teacher to me over the many years. She teaches from an authentic and loving place. Being one of her students has been a pleasure. Here's a glimpse of her essence... 

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1. How long have you been teaching?

I started my teaching journey 15 years ago with Ballet when I was 21 and fell in love with teaching and sharing a passion with others so it came very naturally to me when I found yoga to want to teach it and share a new passion. I've been teaching yoga for 5 years.

2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?

When I found yoga it opened up my world and I wanted to help others experience, explore and find themselves as well which motivated me to want to teach yoga.  I've learned endless things from teaching but most of all that there's no limit to what I can accomplish and what others can accomplish and teach me about life in the process. Because it's all a process and journey we are in together.

3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?

Patience and compassion. It's so easy to get caught up in my own life. So I'm so grateful to have fellow teachers to remind me to stay grounded and to give me a fresh set of eyes to see things through.

4. How many times a week do you practice? I try to make it to 4 group classes a week. But I also do my home practice, meditation, pranayama all week long. I do give myself 1 day a week off not teaching or doing a physical practice, and on that day my yoga might be laundry or mopping or sitting on the beach. Just a nice disconnection.

5. Who inspires your practice?

I don't know if there's a "who" but more of an everything, everyone, myself, my general sanity. I practice so that I can put good back out into the world.

6. Why is it necessary for you to practice? My practice keeps me grounded. Coming from a dance back ground I love and live for movement. Tying my body, breath and mind together helps keep me sane.

7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?

There are so many but I feel the most important message to teach is awareness. First you find the mind, body and breath awareness in yourself then it translates into your life then into your world. Then you see your students applying and using their awareness and that's when the message shifts into reality.

8. Where are you currently teaching?

I teach at The Yoga Room, Chalk Gym, Breakin Boundaries, and Usha Veda

9. How has yoga helped your character develop?

Honestly I'm not a jaded narrow minded selfish bitch anymore. Because I was all of those things and never realized it. Thank you yoga:) The practice made me take a long hard look at myself.

9. What has kept you practicing all these years?

Happiness

10. What is your Instagram and Facebook name?

Facebook: Arden Goll

Instagram: arden_cicada

Brian Nygard speaks inspiration...

I have been truly blessed to know this yogi for the many years that I have. He has taught me the most knowledge  of all teachers that I have had. He has definitely inspired me over the many years and I hope that he can inspire you.

How long have you been teaching?

 

I began teaching yoga in 2010.

 

 

2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?

 

I am motivated by my students, friends & teachers and  their commitment to change their patterns and own their circumstances.

I've learned that we have a lot in common. We are made up of the same star stuff. The most powerful thing we have is the story we tell ourselves.

 

 

3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?

 

My teacher Nevine Michaan would say "Stability is not a feeling, it's a measure."

 

4. How many times a week do you practice?

 

Daily.

 

5. Who inspires your practice?

 

I'm most inspired by my elders. Those I know and those whom I don't. It's seeing wisdom in people who continue to maintain a practice to be well adjusted, light and loving.

 

6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?

 

Practice provokes me to face truth and grow. Practice allows me to take responsibility of my future and my present.Practice helps me navigate life with more grace and elegance.

 

7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?

 

The universe is practical, imaginative and well organized. Spot the patterns and you can participate in writing the story.

 

8. Where are you currently teaching?

 

Katonah Yoga Bowery

Pure Yoga

Yoga to the people

Yoga Vida

The Yoga Room

 

 

9. How has yoga helped your character develop?

 

Yoga helps me take a pause. Yoga helps me understand others. Yoga reminds me how to get back home.

 

10.What has kept you practicing all these years?

 

Patience, curiosity and love.

 

11. What is your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook name?

 

IG: @noticeyourself

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Be inspired by Samara Speller...

It is very clear that Samara Speller is beyond her years. She has a thirst to learn about yoga, anatomy and people. And her thirst is inspiring.  

Her yogic journey inspires me and I would like her to inspire you.

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Photo by Kristina Kashtanova. IG:@icreatelife_

 

 

1. How long have you been teaching?

1.5 years

 

2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?

I never had any desire to be at the front of a room full of people, as public speaking has always made me feel ill but the more I practiced and learned the more I wanted to share with others. Teaching has taught me many things. Among them:

a) How to not take things personally: students' facial expressions while they're practicing, their reactions to you/to themselves, feedback/suggestions etc.

b) How rare it is to find a body with no injuries. Everybody's got something so you can never make an assumption about someone's practice just from watching them.

c) Instant forgiveness of self. When I first started teaching I would get completely thrown off and lose my confidence if I made a mistake such as saying right instead of left or hand instead of foot. This kind of self consciousness is selfish because it means I'm thinking more about myself than my students. Teaching taught me how to roll with the punches. I still make little mistakes all the time but I brush them off because it's not about me, it's about them.

 

3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?

My dear friend Mathieu Boldron taught me about abundance. He told me about another teacher who gave him the advice to only give a little bit of information to students at a time so that they keep coming back for more. I asked him what he thought about that and he shook his head and told me he believes in abundance.

Being stingy or withholding comes from a place of fear, as if there isn't enough success or brilliance to go around. Ever since then I have seen in my own life how the more I give, the more I receive. Only good things can come from generosity.

 

4. How many times a week do you practice?

5-7 days a week depending on my schedule and how I feel.

 

5. Who inspires your practice?

The other people in the room. I love practicing in group classes. I usually only have about a 10% visual awareness of the two people on either side of me and 0% of everyone else but I can still hear and feel the presence of everyone moving together and it's magic. It's union. Plus, I'm an introvert so getting to be with other people without the need to talk to them is heaven.

 

6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?

Because I teach. Every cue that I give in class is something that I do in my practice as well. If I can't feel it in my own body then I would never instruct someone else to.

 

7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?

The yoga practice is a tool. Just like any other tool, knowing when, why, and how to use it will get you the most out of it.

 

8. Where are you currently teaching?

I teach group classes everyday in Brooklyn. Goodyoga in Greenpoint/Bushwick and Lighthouse Yoga School in Williamsburg. I teach privately as well, all over New York City.

 

9. How has yoga helped your character develop?

It's made me more conscious of my own behavior patterns. The more I become aware of my own patterns the more I see how they affect myself and others. I'm able to see myself in others and others in myself very clearly. Because of this, life has become a lot less dramatic. The jig is up, so to speak. I can't tell stories to myself that I'm a victim or everyone else is crazy or I'm crazy or whatever the case may be because I know none of that is true. Any frustrations I have with anyone else are temporary and will soon be replaced with compassion. Compassion is an equilibrium. It's almost disappointing because being dramatic is fun.

 

10. What has kept you practicing all these years?

That there is no obligation. I can stop any day I want and that's why I don't. For many people, discipline is what draws them to the practice and keeps them going. "Do it because it must be done." That doesn't work for me. The second I have to do something, I don't enjoy it anymore. I do what I love and that's it.

 

11. What is your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook name?

Instagram: @eatdrinksavasana

Website: www.samaraspeller.com

Jennifer Lynn Tune describes to us what inspires her, let it inspire you.

One thing is for sure, Berlin is very fortunate and lucky to have this amazing teacher, Jennifer Lynn Tune. Her classes are consistently filled with love, compassion, a push to your edge and wisdom. 

 

This is what inspires her practice...

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1. How long have you been teaching?

 

I have been teaching since 2012.

 

2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?

 

I had been really curious about teaching for a while but couldn't find the courage to commit to a teacher training. I've got to give credit to Kathryn Maykish who pretty much shattered all my excuses and gave me that final push that I needed. I'm so very grateful for her persistence.

 

Teaching yoga has taught me so much about authenticity and connection. I've relaxed so much as a teacher over the years. I used to over-prepare and worry about not giving enough to my students but I have learned to shift my focus to truly seeing, listening and showing up for them. If I want to help someone find ease and freedom, I want to be practicing what I preach.

 

3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?

 

I've been really lucky to have had so many teachers around me who have consistently pushed themselves to go deeper and not get complacent. I really couldn't point out just one of them. I've learned stillness, trusting the natural intelligence of my body, I've learned discipline and to not fall into negotiating with my own mind. Again and again, fellow teachers have seen potential in me that I couldn't see myself and I'm so grateful for those moments of limitlessness.

I'm really inspired by yogis who embody the idea of "ease inside effort".

 

4. How many times a week do you practice?

 

I absolutely love to move, in as many different ways as possible. I like intensity and challenge, so I have to be mindful that I listen to my body. I practice most days but have started to put the focus on meditation over asana.

 

 

5. Who inspires your practice?

 

I don't follow one particular lineage but I definitely gravitate most towards a vinyasa type style of yoga. I find the rhythm of moving with your breath incredibly therapeutic. It usually starts with an idea or a word (like "stability" or "freedom") and then I create a practice around that.

Jared McCann has been a huge influence on me. His classes changed me and opened me up like no other.

 

 

6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?

 

The practice puts things into perspective for me. I've had countless days where I was mulling over a perceived problem, took class and all of a sudden couldn't remember what the issue was. The practice makes my world feel bigger.

It gives me an appreciation for my body that I want to remind myself of, daily.

And most of all, it gives me that feeling of connection that I'm always looking for.

 

7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?

 

I want to do my part to spread the benefits of stillness, pausing, doing less. And being rather Type A myself, I know how challenging the quiet moments can be in the beginning.

There is no one right way to practice. I hope to help students trust their instincts and their body's natural intelligence more. Sometimes the practice is really just how to get out of your own way.

 

 

8. Where are you currently teaching?

 

I recently moved but was lucky to find a great community at Berlin Hot Yoga, where I currently teach Hot, Vinyasa and Yin.

 

9. How has yoga helped your character develop?

 

I've definitely relaxed into myself through yoga. Like with anything else, it's a work in progress but it's become so much easier to trust my curiosity and show up fully and honestly.

 

10.What has kept you practicing all these years?

 

I really just love to move. I enjoy variety, so I move back and forth between different styles of yoga but I've really never had a problem motivating myself to practice. It just feels so good and there's always another layer to peel back, a way to go deeper. I'm thrilled to be part of the yoga community.

Quazzy inspires us with his 'Quazzy'ness...

I remember teaching Quazzy the breathing sequence his first class. And I am so proud of his evolution as a teacher. The past 3 years, I have watched him improve his anatomy, care for his students and allowed his character to develop. He is clearly inspired and now, let him inspire you.

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1. How long have you been teaching?

Summer 2014 - Yoga To The People TT20 baby!

 

2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?

My first Yoga class was with a guy named Johnny, and Johnny is a former tough guy turned Yogi Bad Ass. I experienced a yoga class in a way I otherwise thought non existent.

 

3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?

"Don't Fuck It Up". Unpacking that:

1. Be aware of your students.

2. Know your material.

3. Be helpful in a way that supports the teaching and not the ego.

 

4. How many times a week do you practice?

I breathe everyday.

 

5. Who inspires your practice?

God. Kobe. Kanye. The Sag (Saginaw Michigan). Peace. Love. Light.

 

6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?

Life is inherently practice, and I choose to live because I love.

 

7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?

Breathing, and the Subtle Body.

 

8. Where are you currently teaching?

Yoga To The People and Cross Fit Bridge and Tunnel.

 

9. How has yoga helped your character develop?

Now, I'm Quazzy Quaz in HD.

 

10.What has kept you practicing all these years?

The undeniable evidence of change.

 

11. What is your Instagram, Twitter and Faacebook name?

Catch me Earf. Nuff said.

Hali Tsotetsi tells us about what inspires her practice

 Hali was born in New York but raised in South Africa, her parents native country, and England. She now resides in New York. She is a skin specialist, certified health coach, certified yoga teacher and CEO/Founder of KindGirlco.- an organic cosmetic company. She also runs BiologiqueLife. She believes that everyday has been sent to us in order for our souls to flourish through challenge and gratitude.

 

 1. How long have you been teaching?

I have been teaching for almost 4 years.

 

2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?

 

I came to a point in my life where I couldn't live without yoga. It may sound like an addiction; however, I live in New York and without yoga, I noticed that my anxiety increased, my stress levels went up and my faith in life narrowed. Yoga helps me expand: my breath, my body and my mind. So, with that in mind, I wanted to be a medium for others to expand too.

 

3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher? From Emalia Dawson, I have learnt that I, as a teacher, can be firm yet nurturing.

From Jared McCann, I have learnt many things but mostly to keep things simple and that I am worthy of what I want. From Yancy Schwartz- years ago- he told us in class to use our intelligence. These words were so powerful to me because yoga helps us access intelligence that we have always had. From Bryan Nygard, I have learnt to keep up with the current anatomy as research is always changing and scientists are discovering new things about the body. From Holly Colino, I have learnt to push myself within reason- she was my mentor during my first TT. I really also learn from every class that I take and I feel very fortunate to be able to practice.

 

4. How many times a week do you practice?

 

It depends. Sometimes everyday and sometimes 5 times a week. I don't like to get stuck in rigidity. I know when my body and mind need yoga.

 

5. Who inspires your practice?

 

Honestly, this question is a lot more difficult to answer than I thought 😀 The usuals: Kino McGregor, Jared McCann and Talia Sutra- of course. However, the conversations that I have with my friends about yoga inspire me, truly. My friends in the yoga community are people that I cherish so much and I am so grateful to have them in my life.

 

6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?

To stay grounded and be aware of myself. So much damage comes from people being unaware and I want to avoid that. I want to be the best version of myself that I am able to be.

 

7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?

To step outside of yourself and to honour the 5000 year-old science of yoga. We are blessed to be able to practice. Up until recently, only a small population was allowed to practice yoga. Now that we have access, we need to be cautious with it. I am an African and even though I started meditating and practicing yoga at a young age, I must be careful not to culturally appropriate and fetishize such a pure practice.

 

8. Where are you currently teaching?

Taking a minor break from teaching for KindGirlco. and BiologiqueLife.

 

9. How has yoga helped your character develop?

It's helped me pause and analyze my decisions, without judgement. Knowing that tomorrow, I can do it again differently and that how it was done before was not bad, it just wasn't how I want to do it in the future.

 

10. What has kept you practicing all these years?

The need to release. For some reason, I have had a challenging time in romantic relationships. A re-occurring trend in my love life is to be left or abandoned from my partner, which has been very difficult; however, yoga has helped me feel supported. Hopefully, I am learning from my mistakes and yoga has helped me deal with them in a way that makes me stronger each time. As I get stronger, I don't put up with disrespect and lack of consideration, from myself and my partner, like I used to.

 

11. What is your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook name?

Instagram: @halitsotetsi

Twitter: @kindgirlco.

Facebook: Hali Tsotetsi

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Image by Alcy Sivyer

Mara Lileas tells us about her yogic journey

I am a huge fan of Mara, her positive energy and strength is palpable and contagious. Let it spread to you through this article.

 

1. How long have you been teaching?

 I've been teaching since 2012.

 

2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?

A good friend and teacher Ted Caine motivated me to start teaching. I was avoiding it for a while. Making excuses to why I didn't want to try but ultimately I realized at the time, yoga was the one thing in my life that made me feel very happy and very connected not only to myself but the whole amazing universe around me.

Now I see that I can choose to be happy and choose to connect. As a teacher I see a LOT of very different people out there and it's so amazing how many right ways there are to connect with yourself and others, how many right ways there are to stretch and strengthen, how many right ways there are to live your life.

: )

 

3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?

That as you progress in yoga, you can't rely only on sensation. Only labeling feelings as good or bad.  It's important to start implementing measurements, alignment, and geometry into your practice.

 

4.How many times a week do you practice?

I practice everyday. It's always different, but I do something for myself everyday.

 

5. Who inspires your practice?

Me : ) and of course the people around me. But, ultimately my practice is a connection between my body and my breath and all the amazing exploration I can do between those things.

 

6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?

It feels like a great time to really care for myself. To stay openly interested and curious while challenging myself the kindest and most considerate way possible : )

 

7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?

That connecting with yourself and making time for yourself is wildly important. That there are a lot of right ways to do that, and to let go of judgements and expectations on what that should be. That wether we know it or not our practices affect everyone we come into contact with and we really have the power to ripple out our care and attention from ourselves to others and making this world a better place to be in.

 

8.Where are you currently teaching?

Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge, Jewel City Yoga, NP Rock Yoga

 

9.How has yoga helped your character develop? 

Yoga has helped me out of very dark, depressed, and anxious times in my life. And helped me to find a lightness that lets go of judgement and expectations and connects me more to myself. I used to spend a lot of time worrying about others, and what they thought of me. Yoga helps me to practice letting that go.

 

10. What has kept you practicing all these years?

Everyday is a new day. A new body. A new practice. There's so much to explore!

 

11.What is your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook name?

Insta:marbq

      FB: Mara Lileas

  No twitter yet

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Image from NP Rock Yoga website. 

Shakiem Evans introduces us to HOT HIIT, available at some Hot yoga studios

  If you have not taken a Hot HIIT class, I highly recommend taking it. I love it. Particularly Shakiem's class,  I never thought that muscular activity could be so fun. I think his dance background allows students to absorb the fun of it all. He, himself, thoroughly enjoys it and it is very apparent.

Here is Shakiem's Hot HIIT journey.  

 

1.  How long have you been instructing HIIT?

For 3 months
2. The class is so fun. Whait motivates you to have fun?
HIIT is high intensity so keeping it fun helps students get through the class.
P.S. - A banging playlist helps!!!LOL

3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow instructor?
My favorite classes are when the instructors are challenging yet compassionate and understanding. I strive to be just that.

4. How many times a week do you do HIIT?
3x a week is good to maintain a healthy practice. You'll really start to see the benefits. muscle toning, strong abs, glutes and legs.

5. Who inspires you to teach HIIT?
The students who want to learn how to burn the maximum amount of fat and calories and at the same time strengthen their core inspire me to teach!
6. Why is it necessary for you to do HIIT?
Because a strong CORE is the key to a strong body!  Core is the focus of the entire class. Also we incorporate the cardio in to burn fat and calories. I know people hate doing cardio but it's important. It's the ONLY way to burn fat and calories no matter ppl say.

7. What message do you like to spread through instructing?
Whatever you put into YOUR class, THAT'S what you'll get out of it.  Keep in my mind, it's your class. Work at your maximum but mindfully.

8. Where are you currently teaching HIIT?
Bikramyoganyc in New York  and Zuramontclair in Montclair, NJ

9. What outside struggle has HIIT helped you deal with? If so, how?
There's always haters!  Some people didn't believe in me, so every time  I teach the class, I'M LIKE ,  FU** YOU!!!!!!  lol
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Audrey Wayne inspires us with her beautiful words about Yoga

If you have met or taken Audrey's class, you will know how sincere and genuine she is with her compassion and intention.  

Here are her words from her yogic journey. 

 

How long have you been teaching?

About two years

2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?

I was actually convinced by my friend, Emmie, to go through the teacher-training. I had been practicing yoga for about a year and a half at that point and never imagined being an instructor. I was really captivated by all the amazing teachers I had at Yoga to the People II, such as Nikki Carter, Talia Peretz, Jared McCann, and Scotty Schwartz. I wanted to inspire others the way they inspired (and continue to inspire) me.

Teaching has given me a voice that I never had. I was always very shy, and had a really tough time with public speaking. I was the girl that would never raise her hand in class if she had a question because she was afraid of sounding stupid. Teaching has empowered me in so many ways .I have learned that I can be confident in sharing what I know and humbled by the fact that I will always have more to learn about this practice. Knowing that I will always be a student gives me comfort and being vulnerable creates space for growth.


3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?

Something that I've learned from all my mentors is that as a teacher, we can never really know what each person stepping into the studio is going through. This insight inspires me to lead with compassion and respect. It encourages me to hold space for each student and be extra thoughtful in how I communicate and interact with every individual, inside and outside of the studio.


4. How many times a week do you practice?

I'm always practicing yoga! The physical practice is just one piece of the puzzle. Recently my practice has been focused on self care. Doing little things for myself as often as possible so that I can be my best self. Something like treating myself to a nice lunch, applying a face mask, going on a longer than usual walk with my dog, calling a friend or watching my favorite show in the middle of the day. It might seem silly, but sometimes even the simplest things can boost my mood (which, of course, also includes the physical practice of yoga!). I practice asana 4-5 times a week on average. I don't put too much pressure on myself to practice everyday. Taking breaks is another form of self care. The yoga will always be here and I will always come back to it.


5. Who inspires your practice?

Every yogi! I am constantly amazed by the yoga community and how dynamic and vast it is. On the days that I'm feeling uninspired, I like trying out a new studio in NYC. I typically won't go to the same teacher's class until I've tried all of the other instructors. I'm interested in having new experiences and I always learn at least one thing from every class I take. I love seeing how teachers and students make this ancient universal practice their own. I'm also super inspired by the yogis on Instagram. I find it fascinating how you can never meet someone but still feel very connected to their journey and growth.


6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?

Yoga has become vital in my life because it reminds me that I am part of a whole. I have a tendency to let my struggles and anxiety consume me. It's hard to explain, and I know almost every yogi says this, but it's true: yoga connects you with yourself and the world around you. It's through this natural connection that I am better able to process my emotions and experiences as well as empathize with others. The practice constantly pushes me to challenge my perspective. Right now, yoga has inspired me to be more of an observer. Something that I have been working on lately is talking less and listening more.

7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?

I like to encourage my students to make conscious choices so that they can continue to do what's best for them outside of the studio. This practice doesn't live on a mat. It lives within the practitioner and it is all around us. Your practice offers constant opportunities to experiment, to do something different, to change your mind. I aim to create a space where students feel safe to explore, try, get messy, fall, laugh, cry, reach an edge, pull back, move faster, move slower, twist, turn- all information and it's all a breakthrough. Every part of you is welcome. I want my students to feel empowered in their practice, and if that means completely ignoring my voice and doing their own thing, I am thrilled. I hope those who take my class feel supported and free.

8. Where are you currently teaching?

Yoga to the People and private lessons


9. Has yoga helped through some painful
?

If so, what and how?I recently went through a traumatic experience that pulled me away from my teaching and my own personal practice. I was so wrapped up in the negativity and evil of the world that part of me resented the positivity found in yoga. After a month long hiatus with the practice, I realized that what I really missed was the community. I spent 4 weeks holed up in my apartment, and based on past experiences I knew that it was becoming extremely unhealthy. I felt weak and depressed, and noticed that my anxiety had hit an all time high. There wasn't a single "a-ha" moment that brought me back, it was just that I had nothing left to lose. I thank my higher power that I had a yoga practice prior to my experience because I truly don't know where I'd be right now if I didn't. I forced myself back to my home studio and also started an intro package at a new studio for the times when I wanted to feel anonymous. I completed a Trauma Informed Yoga training that opened my eyes to my experience and helped me understand how I can be sensitive towards others who have been through trauma. I still have down days, but I find peace in knowing I can step onto my mat to move that energy around. This practice is important and it heals. You just have to open your heart to it. 

10. What is your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook name? Just an Instagram - @audreywayneyoga

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Lara Saget describes her motivational yogic journey

I have had the pleasure of knowing Lara for almost 7 years. In all of this time, she has always been kind, gracious and loving. It is apparent in her yoga classes too.

She shares her yoga experience with us...

1. How long have you been teaching? 

I have been teaching for seven years.

2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?

I have been practicing yoga since I was four years old (or perhaps since I could recognize conscious movement). I was my mom's "yoga baby" so to speak. She started doing yoga when she was pregnant with me, and she would have instructors and practitioners come to the house. I always loved yoga, and it has always been an integral part of my life. When I was 17, I worked at an orphanage in Brazil and decided to attempt to teach yoga. I found it incredible how yoga could be such a universal point of connection. In that moment, I knew that spreading yoga was something that I wanted to do. 

3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?

I have learned patience from my teachers for sure (well I'm still learning it) and how important the practice of slowing down is. 

4. How many times a week do you practice?

I practice most days.

5. Who inspires your practice?

I am inspired to practice because I think there is always more to play with, more to notice, more to sense, things to learn. Yoga helps me move deeper in a way that resonates with me. 

6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?

I learn a lot through practicing. But I also learn a lot when the meaning of practice changes for me- from a group class, to meditation, to hiking, to running, to swimming- what is that space within stillness and movement that feels grounded and yet fluid?

7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?

I like to spread awareness through teaching. I like to invite inquiry- what happens when it's not about the shape? What comes up when it's hard? When it feels too easy? What are the things that pop up in a yoga practice that must exist somewhere else too? I also like to spread the message that it can feel really really good to be kind to ourselves, to listen to ourselves like we are helpless children and perhaps be able to hone in on what it means to give ourselves what we need. 

8. Where are you currently teaching? 

I am currently teaching private lessons and at Yoga to the People 

9. How has yoga helped your character develop? 

Yoga has made me a more thoughtful person, greatened my threshold for tolerance or discomfort, and I think enlarged my ability to be compassionate to myself and to others. 

9. What has kept you practicing all these years?

Honestly, I just love it. I am grateful for the practice and for my teachers. I truly don't know what my life would look like without the practice of yoga. 

10. What is your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook name? @larasaget 

Larasagetyoga.com

Emmie Danza talks inspiration and motivation.

I have witnessed Emmie Danza become a wonderful teacher. Her metamorphosis inspires me and now let her words inspire you...

1.How long have you been teaching?

It will be 2 years this coming August.

 

2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?

The practice motivated me to teach. I was attending classes religiously at Yoga to the People II on 23rd street when I moved back to New York after studying abroad in Denmark. I never thought I was a yogi until I started to come face-to-face with this inherent desire to deepen my practice- probably as a result of all the dance I did growing up. I was incredibly inspired by the teachers I had there and fell in love with the community. I know that it didn’t entirely start as a desire to teach, but it quickly developed into a love for sharing the knowledge I was accumulating and connecting with other students and teachers along the way. What I’ve learned from teaching is that you are never done learning. Ever.

 

3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?

I am constantly learning new things from fellow teachers (and students!), so much so that it’s hard for me to pinpoint just one thing. What sticks out in my mind currently is the importance of slowing down, especially in New York. If you see me in a yoga class, I tend to move quite quickly- my dance background makes me want to flow. However, after being trained in Yin, I have found that my body yearns for softness and very mindful movement. I am working every day to slow down not only in my own practice but in my teaching as well.  

 

4. How many times a week do you practice?

What I have come to understand about humans is that we are all practicing all the time. Whether it’s practicing love with my significant other, meditation with each step I take, or Yin when I choose to slow down for 10 minutes; I am practicing all the time, sometimes it just doesn’t “look” like yoga. I practice asana as often as I can, but I also am constantly reminding myself that the fulfillment of my yoga is not predicated on how often I step onto my mat. I teach quite a bit now and often times that is my yoga for the day. With that being said, I like being active and I love to move. 

 

5. Who inspires your practice?

So many people, things, moments, interactions. Yoga is all around me all the time. 

 

6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?

The practice is absolutely necessary in my life because the benefits never cease to amaze me. I feel a deep connection to yoga because of the way we found each other. Yoga and I were introduced during a dark time in my life and it completely pulled me out into the light, both mentally and physically. With that being said, we have also gone through a lot of different phases together too— I was obsessed at the start, compulsively practicing for a minimum of an hour everyday and only then would I feel “successful." After starting to teach full time, I lost sight of my personal practice and I felt very stuck and stagnant in my ability to be creative and spiritual inside of my own personal movement- we hit a rough patch. I've only fairly recently found what I now think is a healthy relationship with my practice-- I don’t squirm with guilt anymore if I am unable to step onto my mat that day because I know it will be there for me tomorrow, the next day, and so on.

 

7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?

Appreciation for one’s body and mind, connection that goes beyond your physical body, open mindedness, collective energy, and above all else, love.

 

8. Where are you currently teaching? 

Sweat Yoga in Tribeca, New York Yoga Hot in the Upper East Side, Jewel City Yoga in Brooklyn, and Yoga Herald Square in Midtown. 

 

9. How has yoga helped your character develop? 

Oh boy, this is a loaded question for me! Let's just say I have become more aware of my actions, hopefully in a good way. I'm still changing, adapting, growing, and learning every day. Yoga has taught me that we are all trying our best all the time, and that has changed my character for the better. I work everyday to make sure that I am reminding myself that I'll never know someone's whole story- compassion and empathy come first. 

 

9. What has kept you practicing all these years?

It might sound so contrived but I feel the yoga in my heart. It is part of who I am. It is one of the few things in my life that I am absolutely certain of. 

 

10. What is your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook name? 

Instagram: @emmieyoga

Twitter: @emmiedanza

No Facebook for me!

Be inspired by Yancy Scwartz...

There is no doubt that Yancy, who some may know as 'Scotty', Scwartz is a true yogi. By true, I mean that he has learnt to detach the Ego from his teaching and practice. 

Let his inspirational words inspire you:

1. How long have you been teaching?

Since 2008

 

2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?

It just kinda fell into place. The more I wanted to practice, the more I wanted to teach. I learned how to be more compassionate to others through teaching. Whatever I teach, I'd better be doing because it makes the teaching authentic. People know and feel what's real and what's not. 

 

3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?

I learned how to say less from my Dharma teachers. 

 

4. How many times a week do you practice?

My main practice is a specific mantra and pranayama routine sitting in lotus. That happens 5 days a week. Physical asana I do everyday for fun. 

 

5. Who inspires your practice?

My friends, the people around me. 

 

6. Why is it necessary to you to practice?

Because it will help spread consciousness and awareness. With that consciousness and awareness I can walk around more liberated. 

 

7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?

Stimulate your sixth sense and tap into your higher self. Operating from your higher self is a peaceful and compassionate place to be. 

 

8. Where are you currently teaching? 

Sweat Yoga, Hot 8 Yoga Santa Monica, Create Yoga and Hollywood Power Yoga 

 

9. How has skateboarding been a part of your yogic journey? 

It's a catalyst because you are constantly using your legs, so that takes care of your lower body. Yoga is a lot of upper body. So you spread awareness, consciousness through your lower body, your upper body. Once you master your body you can go beyond it. To skateboard you must be fully present like in yoga except in skateboarding if you are not present the consequences are a lot greater. 

 

9. Has yoga helped you through something that you struggled with? If so, what and how?

I've broken my wrist and foot skateboarding, and yoga has helped me recover. Yoga has helped me to not feel limited. Little by little yoga can help you rebuild and work past certain injuries. 

 

10. What has kept you practicing?

It's my dharma. I teach, so I must practice so I am always in the students position. Its a prerequisite for the job.

Follow him on Instagram: @yancyscotschartz Visit his website: www.yancyyoga.com