What are your goals as a teacher?
I have three for each and every one of my classes.
1. Safety. Yoga shouldn't hurt. My emphasis is always on building strength rather than forcing flexibility. When it's done right, strength building work actually gives way to true flexibility in the whole body, not just passive hypermobility in the joints.
2. Life application. I want my students to be able to bridge their physical experience in class, and the rest of their lives together. I live for the flash of recognition on students faces when they realize that when you feel strong on the inside, the rest of your life changes.
3. FUN. Life is serious. Jobs, deadlines, traffic, it's all serious. Movement is joyful.
Who or what inspired you to teach yoga?
I think I always knew that teaching would be a part of my life. I just didn't know in what capacity. One day after about a year of really consistent practice I saw a flyer for a yoga teacher training at the studio I started out at. It was really a moment of clarity, it just clicked. I thought, "Well, this makes sense." I sent in my application that night and the rest is history. It was one of the first times in my life I acted purely out of intuition, I was 24, and it proved to be one of my best decisions.
What keeps you practicing?
It's such an ingrained part of me, it almost feels like not practicing (in some way) isn't even an option. It would feel like something was missing if I didn't have this as an anchor. It's an every day thing, but it's not always these epic 90 minute sessions. Some days it's that, some days its a quick 5 minute flow to get things moving. I've experienced first hand the way I operate without some form of daily movement, so I know that without it, I'm not putting my best self forward into the world. As a business owner and as a woman who's trying to step into her full power, it's important that I continue to show up. I guess discipline keeps me practicing. Especially on the days when I want to bail.
Tell us about your students.
This is my favorite question. I LOVE my students. Each and every one (hi guys!!). It's so cool to be able to facilitate this shared experience of moving together. I never really get over that feeling. My students come from all walks of life, but during class, we're just humans being in the same space with the common goal of feeling good. It's pretty powerful stuff. Especially since opening my own studio, I feel that even more. I'm really protective of them and their experience at my studio - because I know they could go elsewhere, or nowhere, and they choose us. Myself, and my staff give them our best every time. They also laugh at my lame jokes and continue to look at pictures of my dog, so that's a plus.
If you weren't a yoga teacher, what would you be?
I'd be an author. Writing has always been a passion of mine. I used to write short stories, poems, and little novellas for my mom to edit and "publish" as a kid. My ring finger on my right hand has a permanent callous from where I held my pen as a kid for so many hours at a time.
What does organic mean to you?
It's a way of being in the world. From the food you're eating to the products you put on your skin, to the clothes you wear. Organic to me means the natural way -- the most beneficial way for me, for the earth and for others.
What advice would you give to someone who is just beginning yoga?
Trust yourself. Not all bodies are designed to do the same things, the same exact way. If something doesn't feel right speak up. You are your greatest teacher, you know what being in your body feels like, I don't. Find your teacher, find your studio, but always listen to yourself first. You're a lot stronger than you realize.
Tell us something most people don't know about you.
I'm pretty scared of the dark. Not the things in the dark, but the actual dark. It's really very silly, my poor boyfriend has to come with me to pee when we're camping. It's a whole thing.
How has yoga changed your life?
Almost in every way. I mean that literally. But the biggest change I've noticed (aside from making it my career) is that I'm sure of myself. I grew up a really nervous, unconfident kid. (I once refused to walk home from school because some dark ominous clouds on the horizon looked a liiiiitle too thunderstorm-y to me, and I, of course, was terrified of thunder AND lightning.) That translated to me not knowing how to get out of my own damn way when I got into my 20s. After about a thousands false starts, after finding yoga, I really sunk my teeth into it. The practice did it's magic and when I committed to showing up for myself, my entire world opened up.
It opened up slowly, but surely. It's kind of like how yoga works, slowly, but surely. Because of yoga, I have a deeper appreciation for delayed gratification. Putting the work in is now one of my favorite parts. Before, I more than likely would've given up if I didn't feel gratified instantly.
That magic, can really only be experienced. I can try to explain it to you all day, but it's really something that's meant to be felt. It puts you nose to nose with who you really are on the inside, all the murky dirty water gets shaken up, moves around, and starts to run a little clearer.
Besides yoga, what do you do to keep a healthy lifestyle?
Living in Maine, I'm happiest outside. I feel like my best self on the top of a mountain, or swimming in a natural body of water. I'm also super mindful about my diet -- 90% of the time I keep it super clean. 10% of the time I eat an entire bag of Tates gluten free chocolate chip cookies. Balance :)
What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
My mom tells me all the time: Rise above it. It's like a mantra to me. It helps me remember that I get to choose how I react and relate to my experiences.
Second best piece of advice: Eyebrows are sisters, not twins. Comes in handy when you've been genetically gifted a healthy unibrow.
What do you love about Hyde?
First off, the quality. I also love to see women at the helm of a business. I appreciate Hyde because it's an activewear line that *actually* lines up with my own code of ethics (while being super cute at the same time, bonus).