‘ I strive to always be open and truthful - meaning what I say and saying what I mean.‘

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Olivia Dunn is a yoga teacher based out of New York City.  

 

1. What style of yoga do you teach?

I teach mostly power vinyasa, but also slow flow/guided meditation classes. 

 

2. What is your intention behind teaching?

My intention behind teaching is to serve others and spread loving compassion, whether that is as a guide on the yoga path or to just hold space for whatever has brought them to the practice. 

3. Who are your mentors in yoga? At present, I find mentorship in Rose Erin Vaughan and Carlos Vazquez. Both are incredible NYC-based yoga teachers who inspire me and elevate my practice each time I study with them. 

 

4. What have they taught you? Rose Erin has introduced me to the lineage of the Chinese meridian system, and through her incorporation of this knowledge into asana practice, she has given me a new, holistic perspective on my body. Carlos, by leading with the utmost compassion and gentle spirit, has taught me that we practice not only to serve ourselves but to serve and uplift all beings everywhere, with no exceptions. His power yoga classes also put my body into poses I never thought were possible for me, which I find to be a fun aspect of asana practice - facing your fears and surprising yourself with what you’re capable of.

 

5. Please mention a book that you have read about yoga that has had a positive impact on you?

One Simple Thing: A New Look at the Science of Yoga and How It Can Transform Your Life by Eddie Stern 

 

6. What lesson are you currently learning in your Asana practice? 

Recently my awareness has really opened up to the powerful tricks the mind plays to distract away from attempts at pointed concentration. One moment you are locked into experiencing your breath and the next second the mind subtly slips into thinking about a conversation from yesterday or playing a song. I am learning that a tactic to corral the mind is to play its own game. As Patanjali implies in the yoga sutras, you can’t throw away all thought and clear the mind all at once; you must throw the mind little bones, so to speak, slowly training it - using intentional thought, such as mantra - to focus, still, and eventually clear thought, if only for a few seconds. When it wanders, as it will, reign it back in with non-judgment. 

 

7. How often do you practice? Nearly every day. If I am unable to do even a short asana practice, I always prioritize finding a little time in the day to sit with my breath and practice my awareness.

 

8. How do you implement the other 7 limbs of yoga into your life other than Asana? 

I do my best to practice and live by the yamas and niyamas, guidelines for restraints and observances. The most resonant yamas in my life are the practices of truthfulness and nonexcess. I strive to always be open and truthful - meaning what I say and saying what I mean. This is particularly important to me as a teacher. I also value sharing abundance and never taking more than I actually need, restraining from greediness. The most resonant niyamas in my life are the practices of contentment and self-discipline. Contentment has a positive connotation for me - to be content is to rest in the pure peace of your own being, in the abundance of life within you. It is the idea that you already have everything you need; only this form of happiness is sustainable, as it is not based on any external possessions which can come and go, leaving suffering in their wake. This does not mean that you do not engage in the world and strive to achieve goals; it means that you do engage in the world and reach toward goals - but not for yourself, for others. The purpose of everything you do becomes driven by the principle of serving others. How you uniquely can be of service. Self-discipline is also very important to me. Only through self-discipline - staying true to the commitments you make, whatever choices they may be - can you maintain your own peace and live the way that sparks the most joy in your heart, thus sparking joy in all the hearts that you touch. 

 

9. Why is being present so important to you?

As Thich Nhat Hanh says, only this moment is life. 

 

10. How can we keep up with you on social media? What is your IG handle and/ FB name?

My IG handle is olivia_grace_dunn and my FB name is Olivia Dunn.

‘I believe strongly in upholding integrity.’

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Nia Batiste is a yoga teacher and artist/musician based out of Los Angeles. 

 

 

1. What style of yoga do you teach?

Yin yoga is my preferred style to teach and my voice is closet to Tantra.

2. What is your intention behind teaching?

To remind people to listen to themselves and their bodies, and to notice the urge to react, or resist. Although, I don’t teach as often. I cycled back into student mode. I think that’s important for any yoga teacher, healer, artist, speaker, or service-provider to step back for a moment and receive what they’re giving, because honestly, we forget to do that sometimes. I personally need that break to ground pretty often, but that’s what makes a great teacher, one who is willing to be taught. I come back to my classes with more wisdom and compassion.

3. Who are your mentors in yoga?

I’m currently working with a Reiki Healer, Sosa. She’s called me out on things I’ve never noticed about myself, or didn’t want to notice before; baggage that I’ve carried with me through certain aspects of my life that would have, or have already caused me to react or resist. 


4. What have they taught you?

To notice the root of my actions, reactions and resistances. Is it coming out of fear or out of love? It’s always one or the other, but sometimes the ego gets in the way of seeing things clearly and intuitively, so it’s been nice to work with someone who can translate my energy, bluntly! She’s pretty raw! I’m my best self around people who don’t sugar coat things, and at the same time, can come from a place of love and support. It inspires me to do the same. From that, I’m learning to accept what’s already been done, to notice how I feel about it now, and to transmute my emotions into more love for myself and others by letting it go. For me, my release happens through art. Over time I’ve learned to watch more closely at myself, and anything that may come out of fear, reveals itself as clear as day, through creative expression. Usually at a time when life wants to make a lesson out of me, throwing me on my ass.


5. Please mention a book that you have read about yoga that has had a positive impact on you?

My Reiki healer actually recommended a book to me called A Return To Love by Marianne Williamson. The title says it all. We hold so much in our mind and body from the past, and we don’t realize how easily things can trigger us back into fear. This book broke me down all the way. Sometimes we have to fall apart into bits and pieces so we can transform into something new, and that’s what’s been happening with me lately.



6. What lesson are you currently learning in your Asana practice?

To be slower and allow more. I see the difference in my asana when I’m resisting trust or patience, it becomes upper body focused, strength-focused. That’s why I teach Yin, it reminds me to practice stillness for myself. If I’m going to hold space for others to move slower, then I should hold space for myself too. 

7. How often do you practice?

Everyday, in many ways, not just asana and meditation. Mostly through creative catharsis and healthy living.


8. How do you implement the other 7 limbs of yoga into your life other than Asana?

Good question, I haven’t thought about the 8 limbs since my Yoga School exam. I honestly just Googled what they were to remember... yikes! I’ve spent my entire life learning how to live by this practice, and didn’t even fully realize it, until now. 

 

I practice Dhyana and Dharana through meditation; turning my focus inward so I can connect more deeply with my intuition. There’s usually one thing going on after another with me. I get distracted easily, and although I’ve found ways around that, without grounding myself, things can get out of control. I practice Pranayama by taking breath-work classes, and as far as the Yamas and Niyamas are concerned, I practice them naturally. I believe very strongly in upholding integrity, and self-study is the most Important to me. I have a Psychology background so I can’t help but to look myself in the mirror at the end of the day. Even if someone does wrong by me, I always see the other side to it... eventually. As an empathic person, I can put myself in anyone’s shoes and acknowledge when I’m behaving in a way that goes against pure love, which is ultimately what I believe in and how I choose to live my life. Even if I were to fall out of alignment with that, self-study keeps me in check. I forgive myself and grow from there. It’s all about self-love. If you love yourself enough, applying the 8 limbs feels more instinctual; unfortunately they’re many ways to ignore instincts in this society. Practice is key.

9. Why is being present so important to you?

Because not being present doesn’t work out in my favor, like ever! Not being present looks more like self-sabotage in my world. I’m more at peace when I’m living in the moment. It’s so hard with social media though! You see everyone’s best selves and you can’t help but to think, “what about me?” “I should be…?” “why can’t I…?” or “I wish I could…” The mind battles itself extensively via Social Media. I’ve learned how manage my time around it and how to stay in my own lane.


10. How can we keep up with you on social media? What is your IG handle and/ FB name?

instagram: @niaizb

www.niaimaniziaire.com

‘Let go of a destination.’

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Carl Danielsen is a yoga teacher based out of New York City. He is the founder of his own style of yoga, Carlyoga. 

 

 1. What style of yoga do you teach? Carlyoga. It’s a blend of many different styles: anusara, ashtanga, katonah, vinyasa and common sense


2. What is your intention behind teaching? To keep people from hurting themselves


3. Who are your mentors in yoga? Ivy Ray, Lindsay Dombrowski


4. What have they taught you? Know the purpose of a pose; describe it simply.


5. Please mention a book that you have read about yoga that has had a positive impact on you? You Are The Placebo, Dr. Joe Dispenza. It’s about meditation. 


6. What lesson are you currently learning in your Asana practice? Let go of destination (what a pose looks like).


7. How often do you practice? 5 times a week


8. How do you implement the other 7 limbs of yoga into your life other than Asana? Philosophy is at the root of all my decisions (ahimsa, asteya, etc.); I meditate frequently.


9. Why is being present so important to you? Time is fleeting (and an illusion). This is the only authentic moment. I want to miss as few of these moments as possible.


10. How can we keep up with you on social media? What is your IG handle and/ FB name? carldanielsen on Instagram and Carl J Danielsen on Facebook

‘We do have control over what is happening right now.’

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Natalie Costello is a yoga teacher and photographer based out of L.A. 

 

 1. What style of yoga do you teach?

Sculpt and soon to be Yin!

2. What is your intention behind teaching?

To clear the head by staying present, connecting to the mind and body through breath, movement, and holding postures for quite some time.

 

3. What have your mentors taught you?

How to be a smart teacher, create a safe/efficient sequence, walk with intention around the room, have precise cues, modify/adjust clients, create themes for class, have personality, connection with everyone, and how to project the voice over the music. I could go on forever!

 

4. Please mention a book that you have read about yoga that has had a positive impact on you?

Eastern Body, Western Mind. It helped me have a deeper understanding of the chakras and how to apply it during practice.

 

5. What lesson are you currently learning in your Asana practice?

Various ways to do one pose or modify. The benefits of each pose along with the meridians they target. 

 

6.How often do you practice?

4-5 days a week.

 

7. How do you implement the other 7 limbs of yoga into your life other than Asana?

 

I bring Yama by helping others as much as possible, spending time with them and listening. I bring integrity into my work life and want the best for everyone.

I practice Niyama by going on long hikes, meditating, and nourishing myself with food specific for my body and reading books that lead to self improvement. I keep my work and home environment clean so I wake up to a fresh start each morning having a glass of water with my phone off to stay grounded and calm the mind.

I practice Pranayama through yoga especially in a yin class. Here, the teacher constantly reminds me to focus on my breath and to control it while I completely relax my muscles.

I practice Pratyahara by limiting my intake of coffee and learning how to be alone to focus on my inner self.

I practice Dharana by resting without falling asleep. It calms my mind, and allows me to not focus on anything.

I practice Samadhi everyday by doing all the limbs of yoga. It’s a lifelong practice.

 

8. Why is being present so important to you?

Because I am truly living my life in the present. Focusing on the past or future can bring anxiety or depression. We have no control over it. We do have control over what is happening right now. 

 

9. How can we keep up with you on social media? What is your IG handle and/ FB name?

Natalielcostello. 

‘My life is like a quilt: everything that I thread is a part of a bigger picture.’

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Hali Tsotetsi is theEditor-in- Chief and Founder of BiologiqueLife. She has been teaching yoga since 2013. Born in New York and raised in South Africa and England, Hali now lives and teaches in Los Angeles.


1. What style of yoga do you teach?


I teach Vinyasa, Traditional Hot Yoga and Yin.


2. What is your intention behind teaching?


To be authentic and spread that authenticity, whatever it may look like.


3. Who are your mentors in yoga?


I had a few mentors when I was living in New York who used to teach at Yoga To The People, one of them owned the Brooklyn studio. As I have progressed a teacher and lost contact of some of my mentors because of life and how it progresses, I have only recently made peace with the fact that some of them won’t be in my life anymore. So, right now, I don’t have a yoga mentor but instead of searching for my mentor outside of myself, I will look within. Like Pattabhi K. Jois famously said, ‘All is coming’, and I believe that about everything. If you stay on the right path, are genuine, stay uplifted and authentic, all is coming. It’s only a matter of time.


4. What have they taught you?


I have learnt so many things from former mentors. One being that I don’t have to like everyone. I took a teacher-training from Jared McCann in January, 2016 and it was internally transformative. He put emphasis on being authentic which I used to struggle with. His guidance has helped me on my path of being genuine.


5. Please mention a book that you have read about yoga that has had a positive impact on you?


So many. One on particular is ‘Myths of The Asanas’ by Alanna Kaivalya.

6. What lesson are you currently learning in your Asana practice?


I’m currently learning two lessons right now; Patience and Trust.


I used to be so good at trusting until I became jaded by New York City. I lived in New York for ten years as an adult. Towards the end, I had gone through some of the toughest and almost inhumane experiences that anyone could ever go through. It led me down a path of distrust, particularly towards myself and men. Right now, my practice is reminding me that there is a bigger picture and allowing is better than forcing my outcome. Looking back, God and The Universe have always known what was best for me. When I lie in Savasana, I try to surrender myself to that notion.


7. How often do you practice?


Almost everyday.


8. How do you implement the other 7 limbs of yoga into your life other than Asana?


As a true Aquarius, I am not the best at following rules. Rules scare me actually. So, the niyamas&yamas are not my forte. I like to live by karma. That my life is like a quilt: everything that I thread is a part of a bigger picture. So, I ask myself, what do I want that picture to look like?


I also practice Dharana  (meditation) twice a day for at least an hour-a-day.


9. Why is being present so important to you?


Because life is happening right now. I have always been an overly driven person. In fact, anyone who knows me well, knows that I am always on-the-go and working a lot. Recently, I decided to be more present than I had been because the future does not exist without presence. I have always looked to the future for happiness and now, I want to look to now for anything I want because now is the only moment that it is feasible.


10. How can we keep up with you on social media? What is your IG handle and/ FB name?


My IG is @halitsotetsi

Be Inspired by Olivia Dunn!

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Olivia Dunn has an angelic presence about her. Her teaching style is melodic, warm, and passionate. 

Be inspired: 

1. How long have you been teaching? 3 Years.

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


It was during my time in college that I came across yoga - coming to the practice initially for a good, sweaty work out and a skillful complement to my studies in dancing, singing, and acting. But, it didn’t take long for me to fall deeply in love with the practice in its own right. Looking back, I think I was initially motivated to become a yoga teacher not only because I was very passionate about the benefits of the practice but, perhaps more so, because something in me felt that I had potential to be good at it. I had always enjoyed helping and supporting people, whether as a tutor, mentor, or assistant - being a supportive guide for others to shine their brightest made me feel good, as opposed to competing for myself to shine solely in the spotlight. So when yoga entered my life, I got the feeling that it could be my calling to share it with others. Of course on a more practical level as well, I gravitated toward completing my 200-hour training right after graduating from drama school because being a yoga teacher seemed like an enjoyable day job to support me while pursuing a performing arts career.

I have learned and continue to learn so much about myself and human nature from teaching. It is now all I do. At this point in my life, I have put a hold on performing and committed myself fully to being the best teacher I can be. Teaching is so fulfilling to me both because it brings me so much happiness to be with and serve others and because it is a never-ending practice that constantly challenges me to grow and learn and be bold in trying new things. The most powerful lesson that I have gained from my teaching - one that I am still working on to this day - is to not take things personally. It is very easy to travel down the slippery slope of insecurity as a teacher. When we care so much about what we’re doing and give so much of ourselves to students in a class, it can be very hurtful when students appear to be apathetic or displeased. We identify their apparent experience with our worth; though, of course, we must be careful as teachers to believe that we know what people are experiencing, thinking, and feeling solely based on external observation - we don’t know, until we ask and listen. And in that vein, I have learned that more often than not, a person's experience or behavior toward you has infinitely more to do with them and their current state of being, what they may be going through in their life, than it has anything to do with you. We know this from the teachings of yoga - however the mind is colored, so too will the perceptions of the world be colored. Thus, I have also learned that what’s most important in the role of a teacher is to meet people exactly where they are and to hold space for that.

 

3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher? Something I have learned from a dear fellow teacher each time I take her class is that, as a teacher, sharing your honest humanity is the most impactful thing you can do. 

 

4. How many times a week do you practice? I do my own self practice, comprised of asana, pranayama, and japa meditation, in the morning nearly everyday.

 

5. Who inspires your practice? Currently, my asana practice and bodywork is very inspired by Rose Erin Vaughan and the workshops and trainings that I’ve done with her. My meditation practice is inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh.

 

6. Why is it necessary for you to practice? What drives me to practice so consistently is two-fold. Firstly, I believe it is essential as a yoga teacher to continue your own personal practice in order to be able to genuinely offer guidance to students. As the saying goes, ‘Practice what you preach’.  Secondly, Yoga as a science and practice has brought so many valuable tools for healing into my life. Through persistent practice, I am more present, available, and compassionate to the world. I feel at my best through practice. The practice asks me to look deep into the root causes of suffering in my life (and that of others) and gives me a path to untangle those knots with the intention of connecting to the pure Self, which is not bound by any identifications or desires. I can’t be certain that I will ever reach self-actualization, absorption into pure consciousness, but it seems that there is no harm in riding along the journey toward its attainment if we humans become more compassionate for each other and all beings in the process. 

 

7. What message do you like to spread through teaching? I have recently been closing all of my classes with this message, first introduced to me by Rose Erin Vaughan: “We remind ourselves why we come together to practice yoga. We practice to be of service to all beings everywhere, with no exceptions. May this practice be of service.” The deeper meaning of this sentiment is liken to another known saying in our culture - to change the world, you must first change yourself. When we lead with the intention of understanding ourselves more deeply, seeing our pains, our sorrows, our joys, the inner workings of our minds and meeting them with acceptance and love, then we become a participant in creating and connecting to a more conscious, loving world. The way to selfless, sustainable happiness is through serving others. 

 

8. Where are you currently teaching? I currently teach classes in corporate and residential buildings for hOM, a start-up company based in NYC. 

 

9. How has yoga helped your character develop? The practice of yoga has certainly helped me become a more understanding, compassionate person and, on good days, a more patient person (let’s be real, the powerful drive of the urban psyche is hard to let go of). I find myself moving through life and interpersonal relationships with more awareness and less reactiveness. And in particular, the practice of teaching yoga has given me so much confidence in myself. 

 

10.What has kept you practicing all these years? The very fact that yoga is a practice, not something to be mastered in a day. There is always more to unpack, explore, and finesse. I love to play with the possibilities of my human experience, in body, mind, and spirit, and there is quite a joy in doing that with other people

 

11. What would you tell your self when you started teaching yoga? I would tell myself to have fun, remember why I love this practice, and take it one breath, one movement at a time. 

 

12. What are the best ways to start teaching at a yoga studio? I think the best way to start teaching at a studio is to invest in its community. Find a studio that vibes with your spirit so that you are inspired to take classes there regularly, make connections with fellow teachers and students, and, perhaps, volunteer (or get paid) to help out with the maintenance and functioning flow of the studio. This shows studio managers and owners that you care and value the community that they are working to create and that YOU would be an asset to it. 

 

13. Why is breath so important in your practice? Breath, as many of us say, is the most immediate, accessible connection between mind and body. When we are working with the breath, we are essentially working with the nervous system, which when tapped into, can give us an experience of the true continuum (not perceived separate entities) of the body and mind. 

14. What is your FB name? IG name and twitter? My FB name is Olivia Dunn. My IG name is olivia_grace_dunn. I do not have a twitter handle.

Be inspired by Nia Batiste!


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Nia’s energy and teaching style is soft yet firm. Knowledgeable yet open. Soothing yet endearing.  

Please be inspired by Nia:  

1. How long have you been teaching?

I’ve been teaching yoga for about 4 years.


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

What motivated me the most to start teaching was the transformation within my own practice. I feel like a completely different person from the year’s prior. I created such a deep connection to, and an understanding of my body, which has always been an integral part of my journey. I have previously felt so much shame around the way that I looked and the way I moved in my body that, I didn’t even realize I wasn’t taking care of it. Yoga taught me how to love myself totally and whole-heartedly. Currently, my practice teaches me to continue loving myself, especially during the times I forget that I can.


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

I’ve learned many things, from many teachers. One teacher stands out the most to me is Stella, The owner of Stella Luna Yoga. I didn’t start my practice at that studio, but it was the studio that raised me. I felt home there. It’s where I trained to be a teacher. Stella placed emphasis on breath awareness, and how important it is. It’s common to ignore it and take it for granted, even I do. We get so caught up with everything around us that we forget to acknowledge the one thing that keeps us alive and present. So even though sometimes I forget while running around the city, creating my life (the seed her teachings have planted) is still very much alive and growing.


4. How many times a week do you practice?

I practice at least once a day. If not at home, then I’m definitely taking a class. It’s been a while since I completed a fancy, full hour sequence at home, like what some people may think. Sometimes I do energy work, then break into a cathartic dance. Then, sometimes I power through a good workout, sometimes I’m practicing yin, and lie there in Child’s Pose (or any one pose that feels good) for about 15 mins, or until I can surrender completely; whichever comes first. Then, there are times when I intend to practice, but I’m so caught up in my thinking that no yoga is happening at all. I’d do a couple stretches and move on with my day, then get back to it later.


5. Who inspires your practice?

This is a very vague answer, but life inspires my practice. The connection I’ve made to my body is so intimate, so personal. There’s so much to explore, and so much to release from my day. I’m very much in-tune with my emotions and yoga provides me with an outlet for it. I give myself what I need.


6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?

Piggy-backing off the previous answer, practicing is a channel and outlet for my emotions. On a physiological level, it keeps my body aligned. I have “severe” scoliosis, and there’s a lot of physical discomfort and emotional trauma that comes with it. Yoga helps release it all. No one believes me when I say this, but I actually grew an inch! The amount of rehabilitative yoga I’ve done on myself has opened up my body in ways I can’t fully describe. I notice that if I go too long without practicing, my body hates me for it. I slip right back into pain, and my mind spirals out of control. So, I’m very passionate about yoga. It’s a choice that I have to make everyday. Either by keeping up with my practice and continuing to move with freedom. Or, don’t and suffer the consequences. It’s real for me.


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

I like to encourage others to be there for themselves, at the very least. Show up! Maybe sometimes you don’t get anything done but show up everyday on your mat (figuratively speaking), with the intention of good health and awareness. This is how it manifests into your reality. I like to remind my friends, family, students, clients and even myself, that we actually do have that choice.


8. Where are you currently teaching?

I’m currently teaching for Hot8Yoga, specifically at the Pasadena, Manhattan Beach, and Koreatown locations. I’m also available for private lessons.


9. How has yoga helped your character develop?

Self study! LOTS of self study. I know my resistances, flaws, and shadows so well. Even today, I’m growing more and more inspired by my own ordinary, but extraordinary life. I love the lessons that allow me to vibrate higher and higher, and I love how I learn from them. It’s not all pretty, but after I’ve released attachment to it, I fall in love. I can’t help but to have compassion for others. Everyone is dealing with something, and life is taking him or her on a ride too. I respect it. Sometimes you clash with people and other times, you connect. Work is being done on all of us. I only want to show love, even on the days when I can’t, that’s more work for me.


10.What has kept you practicing all these years?

My mind, body and spirit. And, mostly my body. If my body gets the yoga, so does my mind and spirit, and once yoga has reached the spirit, there’s no going back.


11. What would you tell yourself when you started teaching yoga?

Be prepared to shed your old life. It’ll be scary and intense. You’ll resist a lot, but that’s okay, you’ll be okay!


12. What are the best ways to start teaching at a yoga studio?

Just go. Show up, show love, and take classes.Have a true interest in the practice. Teaching at a yoga studio isn’t about sending a resume and trying to look the part. It’s good karma; making connections,serving, and being apart of a community.


13. Why is breath so important in your practice?

Something I learned from a Yin-Practitioner that I follow, Bernie Clark. He brought it to my attention that when we’re in our minds, thinking about whatever; we’re not actually breathing: not fully and not to our capacity. We hold onto the breath and when we hold onto the breath, we hold on to tension! Its astounding, the way the mind and body connects. If there’s no balance, what is our spirit to do? We’re all over the place! So with that, I’ve learned that the breath is presence. Remembering and redirecting my attention to my breath and to what I feel in my body ,is my practice.


14. What is your FB name? IG name and twitter?

You can find me on FB under The Subtle Seed, a holistic wellness brand, community and service; I’ve created for artists. You can also follow me on instagram @niaizb.

Be inspired by Stefan Ericsson!

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Stefan is an authentic Yogi. His style is playful yet traditional. He stays grounded, calm and intuitive as a Yogi and as a person.


Please, be inspired by Stefan: 

1. How long have you been teaching?

2 years

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

The bubbling feelings I have about yoga were just spreading beyond my own mat and when I friend asked if I would try teaching a class for him and his family, I couldn't have been more terrified / excited. Also, I enjoy meeting people from all walks of life and holding space for their journey, as I've been far away from where I am today internally.


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

My favorite teacher, now this might be cheesy but true non the less, showed me that LOVE is way. I learned from her that through spreading love to others, when it's from a genuine place, it will circle back around to you. 


4. How many times a week do you practice?

I practice everyday.

 

5. Who inspires your practice?

Lately I've been into stronger flows on the mat, and I'd say Dylan Werner is a teacher I'm looking at there. Another, less famous favorite teacher of mine is Chanaka Rukshan, who lives and operates out of Mirissa, Sri Lanka.


6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?

I've reached the point where this can no longer be considered a hobby, but my lifestyle. So it's necessary for me to start the day with meditation/yoga because it sets the vibe of the whole day.


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

Playfulness is always an option, try to not be to serious, it's just yoga! Also, it really is for everyone. 


8. Where are you currently teaching?

Stockholm, Sweden

next stop Ko Tao, Thailand.


9. How has yoga helped your character develop?

In all ways, for me it started with a meditation practice and later a simple asana practice was added to that. Bit-by-bit,I was inspired to read about yogic philosophy, eat ayurvedic food, contemplate about the yamas and niyamas. It's like a habit you start out really liking then finding out that this habit grows with you, constantly revealing new exiting sides.


10. What has kept you practicing all these years?

Discipline, and this discipline has created a freedom I now enjoy everyday.


11. What would you tell yourself when you started teaching yoga?

Just remember to meet the people where they're at, it's about them not you.


12. What are the best ways to start teaching at a yoga studio?

You gotta get out there, go to a bunch of classes, what kind of yoga does your city offer? Do you feel that it aligns with you? Is something lacking from what's being offered? In what way can you give differently and how will you go about that? Then talk to the people in charge, let them know who you are and why you are what they've been waiting for. If you're serious about teaching, show it and own it!

 

13. Why is breath so important in your practice?

Why is breath important in life? It literary fuels every move and sets the paste of you movement. It's the constant reminder to give/receive, to let go. It's a great teacher because it's one of few things in our body that is both autonomic (self governing) and can be controlled. Much like things in our life, it's a fine balance of knowing when to surrender to what is and sometimes using your fire/agni to make things happen. 


13. What is your FB name? IG name and twitter?

IG Absolutstefan

Christine Matroud exudes inspiration!

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Christine Matroud totally gets ‘The Yoga Thing’. She inspires me with her genuine passion and love for yoga. Let her inspire you too:


1. How long have you been teaching?

I have been teaching for a bit over three years.


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

I started practicing Bikram Yoga in 2010. After my second class, I was hooked. Seeing how beneficial it was to my health and well being, I immediately felt the need to share with friends and family. Which quickly extended to anyone and everyone I met. I became so passionate about practicing yoga that I knew that I would be teaching it one day. They say “The best way to learn is to teach". What I have learnt from teaching is that just like how there are infinite ways of learning, there are infinite ways of teaching.


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

When I was teaching in Australia, a fellow teacher, named Kaz, shared true words of wisdom. She said ,“When I started practicing, I would look at teachers that were in the room and admire their perfect or close to perfect looking postures. Today, as a teacher, I see people come in with all types of injuries and problems. And I see them try their best, work hard and get better. And that's what inspires me today". Hearing her say that shifted my perspective on things as a fairly new teacher.


4. How many times a week do you practice?

3 to 5 times a week in a consistent way. Sometimes everyday or almost everyday.


5. Who inspires your practice?

Students do. Seeing people with crazy busy schedules make time for yoga inspires me to practice.


6. Why is it necessary for you to be consistent?

Practicing yoga is the most efficient way for me to take care of myself. It is a science. We get to work all of the systems of our body. When we say “Bikram Yoga is a workout from the inside out, bones to the skin", what we mean is that it works from our skeletal system, all the way through to our integumentary system, passing through the circulatory,  respiratory, muscular, lymphatic, nervous, and digestive systems of the body.


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

It's not about being good in yoga; It's about the yoga being good to you. It's not about what you can or can't do in yoga; It's about what the yoga can do for you.


8. Where are you currently teaching?

I am in Hawaii at the moment and am teaching at Hot Yoga Hilo, and Bikram Yoga Kona, on the big island.


9. How has yoga helped your character develop?

A big part of who I am is being in control of my emotions and not letting anyone or any situation steal my peace. Having some parts of the yoga class be more challenging and raise our heart rate allows us to master our breathing so that we can get through the postures, by slowing down our breath. When we slow down our breath, we get to slow down our heart rate, our thoughts ,our mind. Which allows us to be in control of how we feel, rather than letting our emotions take over us.


10. What has kept you practicing all these years?

I get to feel brand new after every class I take. Over and over again. There is nothing like it.


11. What would you tell yourself when you started teaching yoga?

That I couldn't wait to get good at teaching. I just wanted to give my students the kind of class that I enjoyed practicing.


12. What are the best ways to start teaching at a yoga studio?

Reaching out to studios by emails ahead of time is a great way to start teaching somewhereabroad. If it is at a local studio, the best way would be by practicing there.


13. Why is breath so important in your practice?

Breath is everything. Being aware of when we hold our breath allows us to know that we are working with a challenging situation, both on or off the mat. What's great is that when we catch ourselves holding our breath, we can go less deep in a posture by coming out of it just a few degrees, find our breath, and then move forward into the posture, together, with our breath.

14. What is your FB name? IG name and twitter?

FB Chris Matroud IG chrisnodramas Twitter n/a

Be inspired by Meredith Meyer!

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 Meredith is authentic, energetic and positive. Her classes are welcoming, approachable, and light-hearted; there’s always good tunes playing and some laughs to be had.  She tries not to take things too serious and keeps her instructions simple so her students have the space to explore whatever it is they are working on.



1. How long have you been teaching?

I’ve been practicing yoga consistently for 11 years and teaching for the last 5.5 years.

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

I worked as an advertising executive for almost 18 years and it was about 13 years into my career that I realized I wasn’t fulfilled anymore.  I was already practicing yoga and one day after leaving a yoga class with my husband, I looked over at him with tears in my eyes and said, “I want to be a yoga teacher.  That’s my chapter 2.”  The minute I said it, I knew it to be true.  I didn’t want to be in my 70s, looking back on my life wondering ‘what if?’. I signed up for a teacher -training and, that was that.  Ultimately, it was about finding fulfillment in helping others – giving back. 

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

Wow – so many things from so many teachers (I also want to add that I learn a lot from my students as well)!  Early on in my yoga career, and after teaching a class that I didn’t think went very well, I was talking to my teacher.  After listening to me go on and on about what I did wrong, what I could improve upon, what I thought the students liked or didn’t like – she told me two things that have stuck with me.  First – never assume you know what your students are thinking or how they are feeling.  Second – your teaching style will not be for everyone but your style will be right for a lot of people so stick to being you.  This is true not only for me as a ‘teacher’ but where the magic happens is how this advice really applies to how I interact with the world as a human when I’m at the grocery store, a party, whatever.  Solid advice is solid advice.

4. How many times a week do you practice?

I do my meditation along with breath work every morning and my physical practice 5-to-6 times a week.

5. Who inspires your practice?

A much harder question than it seems. At first, I went through the usual suspects: my son, my husband, me, my students, and so on. While I love them all very much, and despite the guilt in saying this, none of those humans sat right with me as the answer to this question. Yet someone I barely know rests nice and comfortable as the answer. I live in Santa Monica and there’s a man, Ray, who lives down the street from us who sits outside in his wheelchair every morning and every afternoon.  As he sees every biker, car, walker, scooter rider, and skateboarder,Ray smiles and waves.  Some acknowledge him back and some don’t; yet Ray continues to see, smile, and wave at every human.  Ray continues to give to other humans without always receiving anything in return. That’s the yoga and why I keep coming back for more of it.

6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?

It keeps me connected to myself, to others, and the world at large.

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

Yoga is more than the physical poses – it’s about awareness.  Through yoga, you get to know yourself better and this shapes how you interact with the world.  What we learn about ourselves on the mat during challenges poses or during a choppy meditation has a direct impact on and correlation to how we choose to live our lives off the mat.  But that doesn’t mean it has to be super serious…smiling, laughing, and trying new things is the good stuff of life.  The energy in my classes come from the laughter, the smiles, and the challenge.  Be it public or private sessions, my students venture out into the world with a smile on their face and a spring in their step.

8. Where are you currently teaching?

Hot 8 Yoga (Santa Monica, Koreatown, and Sherman Oaks locations).

Fauve Yoga Club (Santa Monica).

I also work with private clients.

9. How has yoga helped your character develop?

I believe that through yoga we shed the superficial layers that surround who we truly are.  In other words, we get to know ourselves better and we see ourselves with more clarity.  With the clarity, I’ve been able to enhance certain characteristics such as my playfulness and authenticity while strengthening others such as tenacity and compassion.

10. What has kept you practicing all these years?

The great thing about yoga is that it’s always evolving, there’s always somewhere to go, and a bit of fun to be had along the way.  Each experience I have on my mat or in meditation is different because I’m constantly evolving.  So, it’s never the same.

11. What would you tell yourself when you started teaching yoga?

OMG so many things – all the head games – that I needed to be like that teacher I saw on Instagram, that my students weren’t enjoying the practice, that I wasn’t good enough, that my personality wouldn’t resonate.  But I also knew right away teaching is for me and each time I doubted myself, I remembered why teaching yoga sits so securely in my being.  I love helping people, I love the creativity of vinyasa, I love holding space for my students, I love seeing my students faces after they nailed a challenging pose they had been working on, I love being a part of a welcoming community, I love the intimacy of the student/teacher relationship, I love being a part of the magic that happens when a bunch of humans get in a room and flow their bodies while listening to great music. 

12. What are the best ways to start teaching at a yoga studio?

From a nuts/bolts perspective, have your teaching certificate, resume, bio, and insurance certificate ready to go so it’s there for you to send off whenever asked.  It’s vital that you want to be at a studio just as much as you want them to want you.  It’s important to spend time at the studio you think you may want to teach at. I take a humble approach and I avoid announcing that I’m a teacher looking for a job…it just becomes transactional then.  Instead fly incognito at first &get a feel for the space, take classes from different teachers, get to know the community, and let them get to know you.  Take classes from the owner or studio Director at least twice so they get to know you.  Once you’ve decided that the studio feels right for you, that’s when you can find the Director or owner of the studio after taking a class (preferably theirs).  Start chatting with them, let them know what about their studio resonates with you, let them know you teach, and that you’d like to submit a resume or teach a free class as an audition.  Many studios offer free weeks, or heavily discounted pricing for new students for a week or two which makes this process more attainable.  Of course, you can certainly send in your resume via email without going to the studio & you can also hand walk your resume in (just call ahead, ask when Director or owner is there and just time it right).  Some studios also offer open auditions or post their jobs on their websites, social media, and through Craigslist.  My more human approach certainly requires more effort but it works.  

13. Why is breath so important in your practice?

Breath is everything in my practice (asana as well as meditation) because that breath is the connector, it’s the tether that keeps me aware of what is happening in my and in my body at any given moment.  And when I’m aware, I’m able to notice the pattern and behaviors as a way to inform what conscious choice to make next.  Breath provides me with a pause so I take notice before reacting/acting. 

14. What is your FB name? IG name and twitter?

Facebook: Meredith Meyer

Instagram: @YogiMeredith

Twitter: N/A

Meet the ever so-inspiring, Meredith Baker.

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Meredith is bursting with inspiration, buoyancy and genuinity. Her teaching style is delicate and a dance between effort and ease. She creates a playful space for people to push themselves to new realms of possibility.




1. How long have you been teaching?

I've been teaching for 3.5 years. First in Oxford, then in London, now in LA!


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

When I first moved to LA, I had never done yoga. I wrote a yoga rap parody, Namaste, Bitches, my 3rd day living here. By the end of the 6 months in LA, I had become my own parody and fell in love with yoga. I wanted to be able to share it as I started grad school at Oxford. I got certified and the rest is history! It's been such a great way to meet new people, hold space for others, and reflect on various other areas of my life that I had previously assumed were unrelated.


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

My teachers there have taught me that it's not necessarily the fancy sequencing that's important. It's about creating a solid and simple foundation, moving slowly and intentionally, and then building on top of that. Before, I used to think that the more 'advanced' the posture, the more 'advanced' the practice. I've learned that it actually takes more mastery to hold and marinate in the simple poses than it does to get into more complicated postures.


4. How many times a week do you practice?

I practice every day. I either practice at Sweat Yoga (where I teach) or at home.


5. Who inspires your practice?

My favorite teachers have been Schuyler Grant  (such smart sequencing that by the time I get to savasana, each muscle is completely relaxed and I drop into an intense full-body slumber!), Layna Daykin (not only are her classes so thorough and fun, but she's also given me feedback that has taken my teaching to the next level), and Bryan Kest (I love how he speaks in rhyme sometimes).


6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?

I'm a runner with an overactive mind. If I don't practice, my mind goes crazy and my joints feel much more achy. Practicing grounds me back into my body and makes me feel more open and aware of the magic of the present moment.


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

A lot of people say "oh I can't do yoga because I'm not flexible enough... I'm not patient enough,"... etc. I love yoga because it teaches us that with a little focus and breath, we can get our bodies to do incredible, unimaginable things that push our perception of who we thought we were. I like to remind people in my classes that yoga is truly mind over matter and the more you focus your intention, the more you are able to bring change from dreams to reality.


8. Where are you currently teaching?

I teach at Sweat Yoga on Monday and Wednesday nights in Playa Vista at 8.15. I also occasionally do yoga events. I recently did an event with Bumble where I led a yoga class and then we had a storytelling event after.


9. How has yoga helped your character develop?

It's made me a more patient person. It has reminded me that we are all on a journey to seek happiness and become our best selves. It's helped me treat myself and others with more understanding and compassion.


10. What has kept you practicing all these years?

I continue to practice because it keeps pushing me to evolve into my best self while grounding me and connecting me to others who are also on their journey to become their best selves. 


11. What would you tell your self when you started teaching yoga?

Simplify your sequences. Align people from the ground up. Move slow and don't rush the flow!


12. What are the best ways to start teaching at a yoga studio?

Show up at a studio that you love. Learn the teachers there. Ask for their advice on your teaching. Once you're a regular there, ask the studio manager if you can audtion for the sub list. Humility and enthusiasm are key.


13. Why is breath so important in your practice?

Breath is the thing in yoga that keeps my mind from drifting into the stratosphere. It infuses every inch of my body with presence. It makes me feel grounded.


14. What is your FB name? IG name and twitter?

@merclairemethod/ facebook.com/meredithbaker07

@mer.claire

Be inspired by Will Staten

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Authenticity can be very inspiring. So, when I first took Will’s class, I was inspired by how authentic his approach to teaching is. He does not have the need to be extra because it is clear that he knows that his teaching is enough. 

Be inspired but Will Staten:

1. How long have you been teaching?

It'll be 4 years in December.


2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching? A lot of factors.


3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher? In general, everything, specifically what I don't wanna do in a class. I was actually a student in class when the teacher stopped class and asked who had been eating garlic. That seemed like a shitty thing to do, for example.


4. How many times a week do you practice? 0-7


5. Who inspires your practice? My body and what do i need today, that's what inspires me.


6. Why is it necessary for you to practice? My own peace of mind, my body is old and needs to move.


7. What message do you like to spread through teaching? We’re all the same.


8. Where are you currently teaching?Hot8yoga, Sweat Yoga and Private corporate yoga.


9. How has yoga helped your character develop? Patience and calmness.


10.  What has kept you practicing all these years? It started as a way to ease the chronic back pain from years of playing soccer. As I got rid of the back pain and regained flexibility, it became less about the physical and more about the breathe. So basically now, its the meditation, I've really grown to love it.


11.  What would you tell yourself when you started teaching yoga? "What’s the worst that can happen?"


12. What are the best ways to start teaching at a yoga studio?  Teach anyone and anywhere. Audition as much as you can and be open to criticsm.It usually takes someone from the outside to clue you in.


13.. Why is breath so important in your practice? It  regulates everything.


14. What is your FB name? IG yogablahblah

Be genuinely inspired by Jennifer Kim

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There is something so genuinely kind and loving about Jennifer Kim. I have had the pleasure of knowing her for a few months and am grateful to be in the presence of this Yogi. She truly walks the talk. 

Here is why you should be inspired by her:


1. How long have you been teaching?

 I've been teaching for 10 months.
2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?
 I wanted to share the light that I've discovered within me with others and I think more importantly, I had a strong desire to serve my community. I've learned that I will always be a student regardless of being a teacher. There's so much information around us to learn and to integrate into our own daily practice. I've learned that I learn most from my students. 
3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?
I continue to learn a lot from colleagues, but the key things I've learned from my fellow teachers are to use specific and effective key words/ verbiage and, to not take anything personally.
4. How many times a week do you practice?
I practice about 4-5 times a week. 
5. Who inspires your practice?
Everyone does! I truly feel like everyone inspires me in some way or another with my personal practice. 
6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?
I need to feel it and learn it in my body before I allow myself to teach others. Being a compassionate teacher is very important to me because I know that we all carry some kind of burdens whether that may be physical or mental, and only when I experience it in my own body and in my own mind is when I can become a better teacher to others because I can relate.
7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?
Love + Trust.
8. Where are you currently teaching?
I currently teach at Hot8Yoga and privates. 
9. How has yoga helped your character develop?
Yoga has helped me practice more love and patience in myself and in others.
9. What has kept you practicing all these years?
To stay connected to my mind, body, and community. 
10. What would you tell yourself when you started teaching yoga?
Two things: 1. I can do all things through God. 2. I want to serve others. 
11. What are the best ways to start teaching at a yoga studio?
 The best way would probably be to take classes at the specific studio you wish to teach at or take the teacher training. 
12. Why is breath so important in your practice?
I love that you asked this question! Breath allows my body to stay engaged, to relax, and to bring circulation blood flow. When I breathe, I have more physical and mental endurance. I also feel more connected to my body. 
13. What is your FB name? IG name and twitter?
IG: jennifer.k.ys

Amandla: Unleash your inner-power

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Join Hali Tsotetsi and Garrett Steagall on a 5-day and 4-night retreat in Cape Town South Africa. From February 4th-February9th, 2019.


CLICK HERE: 

https://biologiquelife.com/amandla/

 

1. Why is practicing yoga so important you you?

Yoga brings me back to myself. It allows my feet to touch the ground and walk knowing that I am on a journey worth walking in. Yoga means union and solidifies the union with me and God, me and The Universe, me and The Earth, me and other people, me and animals and, me and myself.


2. What does yoga mean, to you?

Union. Embracing peace in its many forms. 


3. How do you guide your students through their yoga practice?

With discipline, love and compassion. Anatomy is important to me but I also acknowledge that everyone’s body is different.

4. Why are you most excited about going to South Africa?
I am South African and our history makes me so proud. We have survived. We have survived African domination, European domination and Neo- Colonialist domination. If you ever visit South Africa, the streets are alive with love and hope. People genuinely smile when they say hi and we don’t hold onto un-necessary issues. Our history has forced us to forgive.


5. What do you want to promote by going there?

Inner-power is important and always possible.


6. Who is going to benefit from this retreat?

Anyone who is seeking a journey back to their inner truth. Your personal truth is powerful.

7. How do your nutrition sessions help you teach about power?

As someone who has suffered from eating disorders and terminal anemia, I know the power of nutrition. Like the saying goes, ‘You are what you eat’ meaning that what you eat has an effect on what you think, how you think, your efficiency and overall wellbeing.

 

 

Meet The Truly Inspiring Cornelius Jones Jnr.

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There is something truly remarkable about Cornelius Jones! It is clear that he teaches from a place of purpose and intention. I am also impressed by his choice of music during class. Which is Afro-based and a reminder of the connection we all have to our rhythmic and intuitive roots.  

Here is more from Cornelius:

 

1. How long have you been teaching?
6 years

2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?
I discovered a heated vinyasa class back in NYC at a time during my life when I needed yoga the most. I needed to rest and recharge from a busy and at times anxiety driven life as a Broadway performer, stacked on top of completing a tough Masters program at NYU, and ending a tumultuous and toxic intimate relationship. That place of deep physical and emotional exhaustion had caught up to me, and I needed a true reset.  I was offered an opportunity to work in Las Vegas for a few months.  While packing up to move west, I toyed around with the idea of teaching. I moved to Vegas for 8 months to work in a show and there in Vegas I met a teacher who inspired me so much and that idea of teaching spoke louder than the previous time.  Literally during my first week in LA, in a yoga class, there was an announcement about a teacher training starting in 5 days and I signed up right away.  I knew it was the time to grow, to be with myself, and around other like-minded individuals.  Teaching & practicing yoga jointly and consistently has been the perfect medicine for me emotionally, creatively, and spiritually.  I am most at ease and happy with my life.
3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?
A moment is what it is, a moment. Try to have no attachments to the good the bad and the in-between.You make the choose to either live in that one moment forever or prepare to enjoy fresh moments approaching.
4. How many times a week do you practice?
Atleast three times a week.
5. What inspires your practice?
The many physical and emotional benefits that yoga can offer you.
6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?
It is necessary because I need that emotional balance and that reminder to breath and stay centered during every moment of my life.
7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?
Oneness, Co-Create, CoExist, Artistic Freedom, Strength, Creative Expression, Courage, You are perfect who and complete as you are, Health is Your Wealth, Resilience, YOU ARE ENOUGH!
8. Where are you currently teaching?
I currently teach group classes at Hot 8 Yoga, Independently contracted as a Creative Arts & Movement therapist for a small company that serves the drug & alcohol rehabilitation community,  and I lead teacher trainings and yoga retreats independently as well.

9. How has yoga helped your character develop? Yoga has allowed me to be a better listener, more effective with language skills& the art of communication and more accountable for my actions.

9. What has kept you practicing all these years?The balance between work, life and playtime. When something is off in my personal life, it's normally because I'm out of my yoga practice.
10. What would you tell your self when you started teaching yoga?
Well, when I started teaching, I was very focused on providing an experience for my students. And, today, I still  am focused on providing an exceptional experience. It was not so much of me having to pump myself up, but I was mostly focused on how can I make this the best experience for them.
11. I loved the Afro influence of music in your class. Any particular why you have chosen this type of music?
EXPERIENCE.  EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCE.  Yes, my music choice is all about an experience. The Afro beats are fully grounding and it roots you into the practice. It also roots and grounds me into my teaching practice.
12. Why is breath so important in your practice?
Without breath you have nothing. If you're not breathing you're not living. You're not going to get the most effective experience. If you're not breathing, you're not listening to what your body is allowing you to experience.
13. What is your FB name? IG name and twitter?
I'm more active on IG: @corneliusjonesjr  You can also catch me on FB:  Cornelius Jones Jr.Twitter, I'm there but definitely not much:  corneliusjonesj.
This is my website: corneliusyogaburn.com for info about classes, private sessions, teacher trainings, and upcoming retreats. 

Evan Sun is ultra-inspiring!

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You can tell by Evan’s practice that he is inspiring. He took my class when we both lived in New York in 2014 and I was prompted to ask him an array of questions because he left a mark on me.  

Now, you can be inspired by him, as a person and a teacher: 

1. How long have you been teaching?I have been teaching for 5 years. 

 

2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?
I was motivated to teach after I started practicing yoga more consistently. I thought it was a great way to deepen my understanding of the practice and help me towards a new path in my journey. I learned so much from teaching yoga especially from my students. From each student, the yoga is represented in different ways as each body is, of course unique and different. I found ways to read bodies and learn how to give variations of asanas, helping my students understand and connect to their practice.

 

3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?
"Sometimes less is more". I realized that everyday, our bodies are different, and so is the practice. While practicing yoga, it should never feel like we are practicing yesterday's poses today and if it does, I feel like its purely the mind's perspective of the present experience. We, as yoga practitioners, create our own experiences in our practice.

 

4. How many times a week do you practice?
         I try to practice at least 4-5 times a week.

 

5. What inspires your practice?
         Building a connection between mind, body, breath, and spirit.

 

6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?
          I don't feel like its necessary to practice. Yoga for me is never an obligation and if it does, I would take a break, which i have before. There is a difference between doing yoga to live and living to do yoga.

 

7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?
          Take action regardless of the fruits of your labors.

 

8. Where are you currently teaching?
           I currently teach at Powerhouse gym in South Hackensack, NJ
9. How has yoga helped your character develop?
           Yoga has changed my perspective of reality. To notice things i would normally get upset about and realize its not worth it or to take deep breaths when im stress.

 

10. What has kept you practicing all these years?
The way yoga has made me feel mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
11. What would you tell yourself when you started teaching yoga?
           "Fake it till you make it" I was never good at public speaking so I told myself I am good. It helped me build the courage until it became real.
11. What are the best ways to start teaching at a yoga studio?
          Practice yoga at studios you would be interested in teaching. Get to know the studio owner and take a few classes.
12. Why is breath so important in your practice?
 Breath is what connects mind, body and spirit. Without breath there is no life.
13. What is your FB name? IG name and twitter? Evan Sun for FB and Evansunyoga for IG. No twitter.

Inspiration should be her middle name, meet Rose Erin Vaughn!

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 I am a huge fan of Erin Vaughn. She has humbling left a foot-mark on the yoga community. Particularly on The East Coast. 

 

She has has taught me so much, including the importance of knowing anatomy as a yoga teacher. She has a way of being articulate and sincere from a loving perspective. When she looks at you, you can feel her heart.

I am very grateful for her and would love to share her inspiration with our interview with her below:  

 

When did you decide to become a yoga teacher?

When I took my original training in 2001, I did not plan to teach. I have seen many people like this who just want to study, but then later realize that part of living, studying and practicing Yoga means TEACHING yoga also.  I started teaching yoga at a yoga studio and at a hospital cardio rehab center.  Then, once I came to New York in 2003, I wanted to continue teaching.  Well, in NYC there is huge competition.  So, I could not get a job teaching anywhere.  The studios and gyms wanted a fancy video (VHS!) of you teaching a group class and I did not have one. Plus I needed to study more.  I had other work doing massage therapy.  SO I studied with Sri Dharma Mittra for a lot more years before I started realky teaching again.


2. What has been the best part of your yoga journey? (Anything major that yoga has helped you through.)
Yoga helps me through everything.  I think it is not the outside circumstances that challenge us or reward us the most.  Its is the inner drama that can really bring us down or elevate us.  That is what Yoga helps with. No one can know what is going on inside your head and heart.... only You and the divine.


3. Who are your inspirations in the yoga community?

Sri Dharma Mittra, Yoshio Hama, Hector Marcel, Nevine Michaan, Amma

4. Please tell us about the teacher-trainings that you are offered?

We are offering a 200-hr teacher training and a 300-hr advanced certification.

I focus on embodied practice.  What you cannot feel and see inside, you cannot teach.

We use the meridian and chakra systems to help illuminate the inner world - physically, emotionally, spiritually.

It is quite a vast system that could be studied for years. But, we have created a system that allows new students to learn and apply the basic right away. We also offer Acupressure certifications for those who want to learn more about meridians and points and how to manipulate them manually.

5. Please tell us about the healing work that you offer?

I also do Acupuncture sessions in my office in Manhattan NYC.  I specialize in combining traditional acupuncture with trigger point dry needling.  Its great for athletes but also psycho-emotional of stress related issues. I treat a lot of Yogis!

6. What is your message to spread to others through teaching yoga?
As a teacher, the best qualities are patience, clarity of purpose, discipline, compassion.  That is also what I think students should develop.  The main thing is to remember the ultimate purpose behind all of the learning and practicing - to help others, to remove the obstacles that prevent us from seeing the real Self. This Self is not separate from others. 


7. Please tell us your Instagram name and Facebook name?

instagram : @erin_bodyware

Facebook : Rose Erin Vaughan

*FOR MORE INFORMATION ROSE ERIN’S TT, VISIT: https://www.scienceofselfytt.com/ 

Be inspired by Jessica Kulick!

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There is something so sweet and sincere about Jessica and the yoga class that she offers. 

To me, kindness can be very powerful. And, Jessica embodies this. 

Please, be inspired by Jessica Kulick.  

 

1. How long have you been teaching?

I started teaching in September 2012, so just about six years.

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

I hadn’t been doing yoga very long when I decided to enroll in teacher training—I’d only started practicing regularly in late April 2012 and by June, I was already in TT! I had tried yoga once or twice many years earlier, but didn’t connect to the styles I experienced. The smells were funny, the chanting was weird, and I couldn’t understand the names of the poses. It wasn’t until I found a challenging power vinyasa practice that I truly fell in love with it. I remember lying in Savasana after that first class and just...feeling. I could feel my body, I could feel my breath, I could feel the edges of my thoughts. I had never felt so deeply or completely before, and I knew right away that I wanted to share that with others.

Through teaching, I’ve learned how to use the full force of my presence to be immersed in the moment and how to create the opportunity for others to do the same.

I’ve learned that I do not need the protective emotional armor I used to wear all the time; now I whip it out only when the situation requires.

I’ve learned that mistakes are an opportunity to exercise improvisation.

 

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

When I started teacher training, I knew so little about yoga I couldn’t have told you the difference between Reverse Warrior and Up Dog. So nearly everything I know about this practice has come from another teacher.

The lesson that sticks out to me most though is that abundance begets abundance. Before then, I never understood that I had always been subconsciously participating in a story of scarcity. That was five years ago. Now, I still find myself repeating those old stories of “not enough” (enough money, enough opportunity, enough skill, enough whatever), because old habits die hard. The difference now is that I don’t believe them, and I’m aware enough to notice myself and adjust in the moment.

 

4. How many times a week do you practice?

This fluctuates wildly for me depending on my personal life. At the beginning, I practiced at least six times a week for usually an hour—or more—per day. I became overly flexible, to the point where now I’ve scaled back my practice to once or twice a week, for about 60-75 minutes per session, and work mostly on strength training instead.

 

5. Who inspires your practice?

My students. My fiancé. My friends who are fellow teachers (there are a lot of these!). My pets. I’ve learned a lot just from watching my cat and dog stretch and rest.

 

6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?

I find my asana practice to be both creative and meditative. My own practice is what inspires my teaching and sequencing for the week—as I move, I’ll note what feels particularly juicy or revealing. Did I find fearlessness in a backbend where I haven’t found it life? Did that arm balance feel like the sense of power I’m seeking? Does forward folding feel like relief?

By practicing, I tap into what I’m hungry for, a healthy way to satisfy needs, and the inspiration needed to bring those learnings to others.

 

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

I don’t have just one message. Week after week, I use my classes to explore themes like liberation, resistance, presence, and ease. There seems to be a very heavy emphasis on things like “your message” and “your life’s purpose” in the wellness industry right now. I would argue that, for most of us, our purpose and our message will be in a constant state of flux as we change and grow as humans. At least, mine does.

8. Where are you currently teaching?

I teach at Jewel City Yoga in Brooklyn. I also take on the occasional one-on-one client. 

 

9. How has yoga helped your character develop?

Ha, how hasn’t it?! Yoga has been one of the most powerful tools for my personal development and growth as an adult. So much of my unconscious mind became conscious to me, and I became the change agent of my own life. Because I became aware of my own inner monologue—and, more importantly, my capacity to alter and refine it—I became the creator of my own life. While life hasn’t stopped happening to me, it feels a lot more like I’m also happening to life.

 

10. What has kept you practicing all these years?

It helps that many of my friendships have yoga as a shared foundation and common language, so we often practiced together or swapped new tricks and techniques that kept things fresh and interesting for many years.

These days, my practice is mostly at home, though I do still make time to take class. I keep practicing because I’m driven to seek knowledge and to become a master of myself.

 

11. What would you tell yourself when you started teaching yoga?

“Slow down.” As a native New Yorker, I’m just hardwired for speed.

 

12. What are the best ways to start teaching at a yoga studio?

The best advice I got—and followed—was to be around. Be at the studio. Make friends with the other teachers. Chat with the students. Help out where you can. The more integrated you are into the community, the easier it will be to stand at the front of the room with a sense of intention and authority.

I would also add that it helps to reach out. Very rarely—if ever—in my life has an opportunity just landed in my lap like a gift from the heavens. Put your feet to the pavement. Take class at every yoga studio in your town, and once you’ve done that, explore the studio communities in surrounding towns. Reach out to studio owners and managers, and put your résumé in their inboxes. Actively participate in the conversation they’re having on their social media channels. Make your presence known.

 

13. What is the most important part of your practice?

Staying in love with it. I’m at a stage right now where I notice that one of my greatest skills—my love of learning—also has a dark side, in that I get bored very quickly. There are parts of my practice that I’ve mastered, so it’s important to me right now to stay in the student mindset, to continuously seek out new sources of inspiration and challenge, and to be humble enough to remember that I’ve still got decades of learning ahead.

 

14. What is your FB name? IG name and twitter?

I’m /jessica.kulick on Facebook and @jess_kulick on Instagram.

contribute

Excerpt from When? By Hali Tsotetsi

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 Day 2

When will I stop drinking?

Today is day 2 of my thirty- day yoga challenge. I didn’t drink yesterday for the first time in a few years. Maybe I should stop drinking? No! I love my wine and cocktails way too much but something is calling me to stop poisoning my body. I don’t feel good when I drink and today I could enjoy my morning without having a hangover and feeling embarrassed about the way that I behaved the night before, something that has become second nature to me. For the first time since I was a teenager, my cup of tea tasted creamy and delicious, my oatmeal tasted like more than food, it spoilt my mouth with its rich texture. I’ve never been able to appreciate food like this. I am not anxiously waiting for the chance to have a drink at work, the drink that I would spend the day thinking about having. Drinking became my friend. When the people in my life judged me, drinking understood and empathized with me”


Excerpt From

When?

Hali Tsotetsi

A letter to someone who just started teaching yoga.

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Image by Getty images  

 

Dear Yogi,

Yes, you are still a Yogi. I completely understand if you feel alone and as though you are not worthy of being a teacher. But, you spent so much time on making an effort. So, why not just go for it?

When I started teaching, I had a deep need to please other people. I felt like my worth came from caring what others thought and felt about me. Teaching quickly cured me of that disease. I learnt that I could focus on the one or two people who don’t like my class as opposed to the thirty others who have shown up to my class and, are present.

I made a choice to be present for myself and those who trust me to guide them through their practice. Which, now I carry through to the rest of my life: relationships, career and lifestyle- I have clear boundaries and don’t dwell on the negative.

It’s time for you to figure out what your lesson is that you have to learn on your process to becoming a great teacher and better person.

A great teacher is one who is always learning, growing and healing. You are more relatable and people will reveal their true selves to you more if you are open and humble as opposed to uptight and a know-it-all.

Because anything that you ask of others, you must ask of yourself too. Hypocrisy has no place in the yoga community. Students will not trust you if you don’t practice what you preach. And, trust is the first step to becoming a good teacher.

Your teaching journey is a journey, not a destination. It might not be exactly how you thought it would be. But, you have a responsibility to teach and being allowed to be a part of someone’s journey is a gift that is worth cherishing.

 

Sincerely,  

Hali