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