If you’re looking for inspiration from a graceful presence, look no further! McKenzie Dreher is a prime example of this. While she is not currently teaching at a studio, we are able to get a glimpse of her inspiration from her words below:
1. How long have you been teaching?
I think I was certified to teach in June of 2015 or 2016! Whoa, I didn’t realize how long it had been!
2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?
The original motivator I guess was that I was in a car accident my junior year of college. I was pursuing a dance career, and I was doing yoga on the side. Eventually, that reversed with the happening of the accident. As my body healed, I was relearning how the body moves with a component of forceful patience because of the injury. It was a deeper and different understanding than I had gained from dance, and I wanted to share how valuable it can be to understand why the body moves as it does. Sometimes just the knowledge of this can release you deeper into a posture.
3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?
I owe a pretty great deal to who I’ve learned from. I received a very strong foundation from Joseph Encinia, Gianna Purcell, and Jared McCan. Everyday they teach me about kindness, endurance, and patience in their own ways. But as a collective, I owe my real life grace to them.
4. How many times a week do you practice?
Every day! Every day because there’s so much that can be practiced throughout the course of a day. It’s crazy! It never ends (giggles) . I don’t aways practice in a group or studio setting. I wake up and meditate and stretch everyday before leaving my room. This brings me into my body so that when I practice in a group, I can have the courage and spontaneity and familiarity to take the physical practice further.
5. Who inspires your practice?
Oh man! That could be endless with Instagram so available to me. In complete honesty though, I think I’ve worked up a pretty solid habit of drawing inspiration from everything. I’m very inspired by jazz musicians, because they teach me how to improvise in solitude as well as a group setting. I’m physically inspired by the three teachers referenced above constantly. When I am sad, I am inspired. When I am joyful, I am inspired, on the train, waiting in line.These things all give me momentum.
6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?
This is a tricky question for me, because I used to feel like I couldn’t interact with anyone unless I had gone to yoga beforehand. It felt almost like an addiction at one point. And I had to change how I was approaching it, what I am trying to cultivate (grace, honesty) has to come from me. And, cannot come from a practice, or a teacher, a boyfriend or a spectator. And that is why now, it feels so necessary for me to practice. Because I have all of these things thrown at me in the course of a yoga class. Well, maybe not a boyfriend (haha!). That setting is a platform to be vulnerable so that I can be wholesome from myself and not from an outside recommendation. I really do believe you need to cultivate complete vulnerablity to see how much your heart and spirit support you in all of these different conditions and emotions.
7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?
Jared told me once to feel joy in a posture. He said, ‘If you cannot make the switch from determination, perseverance or irritation or distraction to joy. Like, what are we really practicing here if you cannot have your mind to open up to the idea of feeling joyful? As naturally as possible, out there. This is super fueling to me, and I like to carry it with me.
8. How has yoga helped your character develop?
It’s given me the means to see how reactive we are as humans during communication, with ourselves and others. And that that’s okay! It’s very easy to close off, personally speaking, sometimes it is awkward or uncomfortable. But yoga shows me everyday that despite how uncomfortable or awkward I feel, it always lands back to joy, love or appreciation at some point, and more often than I even notice sometimes. Constant changes. And yoga shows me that that is normal. That is what I want to cultivate; not to escape from.
9. What has kept you practicing all these years?
Everything I just stated above haha! But really, it love more when I practice. I’m more open. I give, I’m less afraid... I could go on. There’s really negative if I’m practicing in complete honesty.
10. What would you tell yourself when you started teaching yoga?
Stop trying to feel good all the time. It won’t get you anywhere.
11. What are the best ways to start teaching at a yoga studio?
12. Why is breath so important in your practice?
Breath control and mantra practice help get into the grittiness of my head that I’m not naturally inclined to understanding. It clears out my subconcious in a way
13. What is your FB name? IG name and twitter?
McKenzie Dreher on Facebook