I'm hosting Yoga + Brunch @ Neighbor in Venice LA Sunday Sept 23, 2018

Alright, I’ve been wrapped up finishing my PhD thesis while teaching up to 9 classes per week and I’m barely keeping up with my instagram feed, let alone this blog. BUT next week I’m taking a week off (kinda, I’ll still have to reply to Phd-related emails and edit a draft of an article in preparation for publication) and I CAN'T WAIT!

I’ll be between Los Angeles and the Bay Area to visit family and my boyfriend and scope out where I’ll be moving in November/December (Bay Area)! Currently leaning towards Oakland but would love opinions!

Best part is, I get to teach a yoga brunch at my favorite restaurant Neighbor in Venice, right on Abbot Kinney! I’ll be teaching a 75 min strong and steady flow in their beautiful Garden Bistro.

Check out their IG @NeighborLA to drool at their mouthwatering food, literally salivating as we speak 🤤!

Come join me this Sunday, September 23rd for a 75min flow at Neighbor on Abbott Kinney in the heart of Venice!

From 7:45-9am we’ll be flowing in their outdoor garden patio 🧘🏾‍♀️ then feasting on the best brunch in Venice! 🙌🏾

Only want the yoga? $10
Want yoga + brunch? $35

Here’s a link to the tix or hit me up and I’ll shoot over a link!
See ya next Sunday! 💗

Recent hiatus

how to pretend you're naked even though you're a nevernude pomaia.jpg

Ok, when it comes to blogging, I won't lie. I've been completely intimidated by it and frozen with fear for months, but I can usually muster up the courage to ramble on in an instagram post. But lately, even that's been a burden.

Honestly, I haven’t been posting recently because I haven’t been feeling like sharing much. It’s been an exhausting few weeks. I’ve taken 6 flights in 3 weeks, most of them at the ass-crack of dawn and I haven’t been practicing yoga very often. My body and mind have been tight, tense, tired and I haven’t been myself lately. This has lead me to make some rash decisions, some for the better (realizing my PhD is immensely frustrating, it’s no longer where my passions lie and it’s time to finish up so I can move on ASAP), some for the worse (trying to fit so much in that I haven’t taken nearly any time to take care of myself), and others somewhere in the middle (getting so upset while detangling my hair I decided to cut off half a foot of it, easier hair care routine but I miss my big poof to cushion headstands like this one). Also mercury is in retrograde (and I just discovered I was born with mercury in retrograde) so I’m blaming all my problems on mercury in retrograde, ok?

The past few weeks have also been bittersweet af. The past few weeks have also been bittersweet. Bae is dope af and decided to change his career path and get out of academia. In the span of a few weeks he’s gotten through several rounds interviews with two of the top companies in his new field (Facebook and Amazon!!!) AND got accepted to do a fully funded 7-week fellowship in artificial intelligence. I’m incredibly proud and so excited for him, but the job interviews are in Washington State and the fellowship is in Silicon Valley. Literally the other side of the frickin’ country! The fellowship and in-person interviews start at the end of the month, meaning I’ll be solo dolo for a while. This also means I’ll have to finish up my final PhD experiments, analysis and draft up two journal articles and my thesis asap before I can move on to the next chapter. Last December we moved 3,600+ miles from London and this December it may be another 2,800+ from DC to the other side of the country, but who knows exactly where. He's been amazingly supportive as I dragged us here to finish my PhD, and now it's clear that the universe is screaming that it's his turn to shine and my chance to be a supportive gf in the background. 

I’ve been feeling like it’s time to complete my PhD and get out of academia for a while now, but finishing my experiments and writing my thesis seems like an almost insurmountable amount of work. In a bid to balance out what I’m sure is about to be one of the most stressful periods of my life, I’m committing myself to do more of what makes me happy, to teach more yoga. I’m bulking up my teaching schedule and ramping up to start teaching 7 classes a week and I CANNOT wait. I’m also getting back into my early morning routine of spending an hour on myself so I can be the best version of myself for others.

Hope y’all have been taking care of yourselves and are doing the same.

Ps. This photo is the perfect example of how to pretend you're naked even though you're a never-nude.

My Yoga Week: From Handstands to Hangin'

This week took me from goddess pose to hungover hag.

Monday: Just did a little stretching in my sunroom, mostly hamstrings.

Tuesday: Hot Yoga 60, it was mostly Bikram with very few, minor adjustments. Pretty good class but 5 years in and damn, I'm bored of Bikram...

Wednesday: Yay, my friend Maya is in town and we're heading to a Hot Power Fusion class over at Core Power Yoga together. It was essentially a broken down vinyasa class then the Bikram spine compass series, a few chair modifications and some balancing stuff with a warrior series thrown in. Come to think of it, it was like a Fierce Grace Fix class only not as well sequenced. The classes seem to vary A LOT depending on the teacher. This gyal wasn't my style unfortunately. The music was distractingly bad but most importantly SHE STEPPED ON MY YOGA TOWEL, LIKE, WHERE MY FACE GOES!!! Grievous side-eye was served.

Thursday: After a dope vegan meal at Fare Well with Maya (coincidentally it was our farewell meal), I went to yet another Core Power Yoga class, only this time a more flowy vinyasa class called Core Power 2. Not bad, but I find there isn't enough hip or hamstring stretches. Nor were there any balancing postures. It was very warrior series focused, but I snuck in my hammy stretches when I could.

Friday: Fridays are my yoga maniac days. I usually teach a free 1 hour Fierce Grace Deep Core or Fix class at work. It's nice to get away from your desk and I really enjoy bringing a brand new style to new yogis. And because a lot of people don't know the names of the poses or the sequence, I practice the class to visually and verbally guide them through. Then (I head to physical therapy, but after) I'm off to Hot Yoga Capitol Hill to teach a 90min Fierce Grace class and a 60min Fierce Grace Fix class back to back. These students are also new to the Fierce Grace system, so I practice most of the class with them as well. And by the time I'm done, I am a zombie and drag myself to Whole Foods to finally eat something. (I tend  to dislike to practice on a full stomach, so after my lunch that's pretty much it until around 7:30pm). I am immediately then a piece of linguine 

Saturday: Saturday was the Pride parade in DC, which meant I was so excited about having practiced hot yoga almost every day, I thought I would silently sneak out of the parade with my friends, go do some yoga then come back. I WAS WROOOOOOOONG, SO WRONG. I started off at brunch at my friend Julia's and somehow got roped into chugging vodka drinks out of red solo cups and the rest is history. By 4pm my girls and I had ditched the parade to go to a friends house and watch Rihanna videos and pretend to be stripper/singers, and 7pm I was cartwheeling in the streets. Needless to say no yoga was done in the traditional sense, but I totally nailed savasana at the end of the night, but technically that was Sunday...

Sunday: Home at 2am, petrified by the realization that I live in the south and there are cockroaches scurrying across the sidewalk. Sleep for about 5.5 hours then wake up and immediately Google "can you die of a hangover?" I'm pretty sure that while I was laying on the couch watching Season 2 of Master of None I was in a pose pretty damn close to savasana and once I dropped a snappea crisp and had to forward fold to pick it up (and obviously still eat it off the floor, duh).

Flexiseq Photoblog Feature

I'm absolutely BUZZING about my feature on the Flexiseq blog. I was lucky enough to have been interviewed as a part of their photoessay series on different movement styles. Check out the interview on their site here or read on below :)

The Art Of Movement - Yoga

Flexiseq wants to inspire people to get moving because the body, which can do seemingly impossible things, is never something to be taken for granted. The Art Of Movement series is a collection of photo essays about people who thrive upon using their joints, bodies and movement to do the things they love.

Tara Zinnamon has been practicing yoga since she was 18 years old. At first yoga was part of her dance training but it has since become a passion. So much so that she is now an instructor at Fierce Grace, a yoga school first established in London back in 1994. Fierce Grace pride themselves on being accessible to all levels of those looking to practice yoga, from beginners to experts. They run a variety of different classes including one specifically tailored to those feeling Stiff, Old or Broken.

"What I love about yoga is the looseness I feel afterwards. I love stretching and moving the body. Movement has always been a key part of my life." 

"A lot of people believe yoga is some tall, slim, girl, with a ponytail on a beach doing a ridiculously hard pose. But it’s not about being able to do those complex poses, it’s engaging your body in a way that is going to be beneficial for the rest of your life." 

"I have a student who is 65 years old and I’ve never seen someone with so much energy and range of motion. She has one of the strongest practices in any of my classes. It goes to show that keeping the body active changes how you age." 
 

"Fierce Grace offer a sense of freedom of your own movement in the classes, they also provide injury modifications. They’re unparalleled."

"I would recommend yoga to anyone. It’s not about whether or not you can touch your toes now. It’s about moving your body and stretching the body in ways to help you move better. It can be a little goal like being able to tie your shoes without having to sit down. It’s about the way you move everyday."

"Yoga has such a vast array of poses and modifications for different life stages, injuries and body types it can evolve with you. There is something for everyone in yoga."

You can find out more about Fierce Grace on their website and follow them on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

You can find out more about Tara on her blog Do I Move You?  and follow her on Instagram.  

Photos by Craig Gibson. You can follow Craig on TwitterInstagram and Tumblr.

Teaching TRX Yoga Core at ETHOS

Welp, that was quick. Within two weeks of trying out a few classes at a brand spankin' new hot yoga studio, I was asked to teach there. And a week after training to teach ETHOS TRX Yoga Core, I was on the mic, guiding people through TRX handstands. Let's back up a minute...

What is ETHOS?

ETHOS is a hot yoga fitness hybrid studio that's been around in Cambridge for about 2 years. I'd first heard about them when a friend showed me their jaw-dropping 500-hour hot yoga teacher training video. But at that point, I had already committed to the Fierce Grace 200-hour teacher training (shameless plug: check me out in their video here, I'm all up in it and the training was great!).

I did some research online and found out they were building a studio in London (sidenote: they raised over £700,000 to build their new London studio through crowdfunding, wut!? They're clearly very smart business people, they grew their Cambridge studio with less than £10,000 of their own investment and are one of the biggest gyms in the city despite having only two studios. ) 

Ethos crowdfunding video

Their crowdfunding video was just as sexy as their teacher training video and I knew this was something I wanted to at least try out. I was drawn to the fact that they also have a hand in health-technology and scientific research while also offering nutrition guidance and health assessments. I like the idea of going to one place while getting more than just one activity, but I didn't want to have to go to a huge corporate gym to do it. And a 83% customer retention rate is pretty much unheard of, they have to be doing something right!! But most importantly, who doesn't love a fitness power couple thats as beautiful, fit and well-educated as they are, right?

Fast-forward to the the 28th of July: I snag their intro offer (£60 for 30 days unlimited classes) the day before it ends. This was just before the full launch of the studio. Not only is it well located at Old Spitalfield's Market, it's lifted above the hustle and bustle below as it's in their loft space, and the studios are GORGEOUS. Their team is impeccably managed, the receptionists are all beautiful, super helpful AND genuinely friendly.

 Their outside cafe space is a huge bonus as well

Their outside cafe space is a huge bonus as well

For hot yoga, a brand new yogamatters mat (not stinky and scratched like in some studios) and towel are included in the price. And while I hate to ruin the surprise: THEIR RECEPTIONISTS TURN INTO FAIRYS AT THE END OF CLASS AND WHILE YOU'RE IN YOUR FINAL SAVASANA, THEY QUIETLY COME IN AND PLACE A COLD, SCENTED FACE TOWEL IN YOUR HAND!!!! At the end of sweating up a storm, this is ORGASMIC.

 Their sanctuary of a hot yoga studio

Their sanctuary of a hot yoga studio

 The changing rooms are humongous, include individual shower stalls and have pretty much everything you need and more. Want Cowshed body wash, hand wash, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion? No problem. Need a blowdryer, hair straightener, tampon or (hygienic aerosol) deodorant? They got you! Want to lock all your stuff in an electronic locker at no additional cost? BOOM, wish granted.

It seemed like Ethos was made for me, my areas of interest, and my past athletic training.  The co-owner Jennifer and I had a lot in common, we were both dancers (although she's muuuuuuch more acclaimed, like, there's no comparison), both trained under Michele Pernetta at Fierce Grace and are both interested in bridging the gap between dance and yoga. Her husband, Dr Theo Koutroukides and I also have quite a bit in common and are both interested in science and more concrete aspects of yoga and fitness. He holds a PhD in Biotechnology/Schizophrenia research (I'm also doing my PhD in schizophrenia research), and was an international competitive rower and semi-pro cyclist (I used to compete in the long and triple jump at the national level at university). I JUMPED at the opportunity to teach there!

 OK, good for you Tara but wtf is TRX? 

TRX stands for Total Resistance eXercise, and it's suspension training equipment. It uses gravity and body weight instead of free weights to develop core strength, balance, stability and flexibility. I'll do another post about the science about TRX, but for now, suffice it to say that it WORKS. I promise.

Well then what's TRX Yoga Core?

The Ethos TRX Yoga Core is an original ETHOS signature class. It's a unique blend of yoga, strength, cardio and flexibility work. It's practiced in a warm room to add fitness benefits and test your mind body discipline. It's basically bae and everything you could ever want from a yoga/cardio/strength/resistance training combo.

I've recently completed my training with the studio owner and ex professional dancer and hot yoga instructor Jennifer Hersch along with Lisa and Hassan. 

 Action shot after our training, pretending that doing the splits in TRX straps is easy/fun/smile-inducing! Not really bruh, but I think we faked it well for the camera. Casualties: 1/4 of Hassan's face.

Action shot after our training, pretending that doing the splits in TRX straps is easy/fun/smile-inducing! Not really bruh, but I think we faked it well for the camera. Casualties: 1/4 of Hassan's face.

 And one more for the camera, but this time one hand on the hip to display our sassiness. We're so fierce and ready to teach and we STILL manage to pretend that this is a comfortable position, nice!  Casualties: Lisa's foot.

And one more for the camera, but this time one hand on the hip to display our sassiness. We're so fierce and ready to teach and we STILL manage to pretend that this is a comfortable position, nice!  Casualties: Lisa's foot.

And a week after the training, I was teaching the 60min TRX Yoga Core class at the Cambridge studio. Long story short, the class and the studio is amazing. There's not too much more to say besides when will I see you there?

 I spent the whole weekend sequencing the class, but not to worry, this pose wasn't in it. Although, it should be in the future... It was a great stretch but difficult as hell to get into!

I spent the whole weekend sequencing the class, but not to worry, this pose wasn't in it. Although, it should be in the future... It was a great stretch but difficult as hell to get into!

A long awaited intro...

Hey, there! I'm Tara and I've been hesitant to start this blog for years. I've thought about hundreds of potential posts but always stopped short of writing them. Partially because I'm a perfectionist and I always thought each idea could use a bit more time to marinate in my brain-juice (this is a technical term, trust me, I'm a neuroscientist), but mostly because I never wanted to open myself up to potential criticism.

 

Let's get this straight: I am completely and utterly over opinionated (see photo right as I am probably judging someone at NY Fashion Week a few years back, note the furrowed brow). And as such, I've found it really difficult to put myself on the chopping block. I read so many blogs and instagram posts and think "geeze, since when is mediocrity like this celebrated?" (mind you, I don't actually say these things, I just think them real hard). And I can be HARSH. I mean, that's something I'm actively working on, but in the meantime, while imperfect souls like myself and millions of internet trolls who actually vocalize/materialize these mean-ass thoughts run rampant out here in these virtual streets, why would I put myself out there? 

Let's get this straight, my goal is NOT to pretend that I'm livin' this flawless life, or to build some fake-ass yogi persona that people admire or aspire to be like. There's enough people out there spewing inspirational yet damn-near unattainable quotes at you paired with some off-the-wall, perfectly altered and retouched photos. I'm not trying to pretend like I effortlessly run 5 miles everyday, strength train, make avocado face masks and have great tips for you to make your smoothie bowls more textured. Important tangent to follow:

This is one of my many judgmental faces. Fun fact: This was the day Bill Cunningham took a photo of me and Ryan at NYFW!

Photo credit: @thatsaboysname

(Sidenote: Go elsewhere for that bullshit. I FUCKING HATE smoothie bowls! Why would you want to put a smoothie, which is inherently super portable and convenient, and add the need for a spoon and more than one hand to enjoy it, besides creating a more "like-able" instagram photo with designs made out of fruit and seeds? WHY WOULD YOU FUCKING PUT A SMOOTHIE IN A BOWL?!? Sorry, I told you I'm over-opinionated).

Photo credit: eatthis.com

 

Nor is my goal to pretend like I know more about anything than hundreds and thousands of experts out there, whether it be neuroscience or yoga. I'm doing this for a couple of reasons (in no particular order):

 

  • As cheesy as it sounds I really do believe in the the old Latin proverb "docendo discimus," "by teaching, we learn." One of the best ways to see if you truly understand something is to teach it to someone else. In what's been dubbed as the “the protégé effect,” students who are told they'll be teaching material they're learning score higher on tests than students who are learning only for their own sake, even without having to teach anything. It's basically a paradigm shift that moves you from a basic understanding to a more holistic one.  But I'm not saying I know everything about any given topic, I'm just trying to make sense of the world around me and consolidate my knowledge, know what I mean?

 

  • I'm partially doing this because (queue the sad violin solo) when I was growing up, I never saw examples of people who look like me doing the things that I'm doing now. I've always been a brown face in a white place, and likely will continue to be, given the spaces I navigate. There's something I like about contributing to the billions of semi-useless, narcissistic blogs created by my generation and adding my voice as a black woman raised by a single mother on the southside of Chicago. Statistically speaking, I should NOT be where I am today, but I'm damn proud of what I've accomplished and I'm not done yet. As the Simones' performances (#blackexcellence) in the Rio 2016 Olympics have proven, representation matters. So I'm here to sprinkle a little diversity in this yoga/fitness blogger party (and I mean diversity of opinion as well, there's a lot of bs and wishy-washy science out there in the fitness world, so I'd like to add my science-spin and my sense of humor to the game, yogi's can be so damn uptight!).

 

  • But most importantly, I'm doing this because it's about damn time I put my money where my mouth is. Instead of sitting back, talking shit and complaining that I could do it better, I'm doing it. I'm trying to turn what tends to be downtime into something productive and investing it back into learning about myself and the world around me. And I'm twirling on my haters because if you're sitting there doing the same thing I used to do and talking shit, COME FIGHT ME THEN! Jk, if you're sitting there criticizing, why not be more constructive with your feedback and give me some suggestions instead? As the wise @thatsaboysname commented @ me on instagram: 

 

 Photo credit: @americanbae (instagram)

Photo credit: @americanbae (instagram)

 

Don't really know why I felt the need to defend my right to start a blog (kidding, I do, I'm an introspective ex-psych major. It's because so many people clutter the internet with narcissistic blogs like this and I feel I have to prove that I maybe possibly deserve a voice in the blogosphere), but now I've gotten that out the way I'm good to go.

In summary: "I am deliberate and afraid of nothing" - Audre Lorde

...JK, I'm shitting myself re: opening myself up to potential criticism and the fact I'm about to make a bunch of mistakes, but at least I'm tryin'!

x

Tara

 

Hypermobility for the win!

Why do airplane when you can do deep airplane?

Maybe because you wanna pull out a cheap trick and rest on your laurels?

 As my favorite teacher says, "BODY DOWN, LEG UP, ARCH THE SPINE LIKE COBRA!"

As my favorite teacher says, "BODY DOWN, LEG UP, ARCH THE SPINE LIKE COBRA!"

Let me be honest and say that because I'm a bit hyper flexible in my spine, it looks like I'm doing something more impressive, but actually this just easier because of my anatomy. For me, this pose is a cop-out. This "deep airplane" or warrior III (virabhadrasana III) variation may look less exciting than the "balancing stick" pose we normally see, but the one I'm in here suits the hypermobility in my back. I have to use A LOT more strength to keep this overextension in check when I try to keep my body and leg parallel to the ground. One of the most important lessons my yoga teacher training has taught me is that at the end of the day, a lot of your practice is due to your anatomy. No matter how long you stretch into a pose trying to relieve what you think is tension, you can't release the compression of bone meeting bone or change your proportions. Yes, I work hard at this pose, and every other pose for that matter, during my practice, but a lot of it is just that I happen to be built for it. And there are just as many, if not more poses that I'll never be able to do to their fullest extent because my body just can't get there. And that's ok. Yoga has taught me humility and acceptance. I no longer get discouraged when I look around and see other practitioners in guillotine (firefly b or tittibhasana b) with straight legs. I just accept that my body's not ready to do that today and may never be. Instead, I focus on how far I've come and how grateful I am to be exactly where I am.
 

 In this photo my arms and legs are both a bit too high and my lower back is slightly arched... my hypermobiity makes it difficult for me to establish parallel in balancing stick pose

In this photo my arms and legs are both a bit too high and my lower back is slightly arched... my hypermobiity makes it difficult for me to establish parallel in balancing stick pose


Anywho, back to deep airplane. It's important to establish parallel (even just momentarily) as you make your way into the deeper version of this pose in order to keep your hips level, but the most important thing is that you keep your weight forward in the toes! Don't forget to pull up the thigh muscles, point the toes to extend energy from the crown of the head all the way to the foot and to engage your core (hay uddiyana bandha). One day (or never) the stomach may be on the thigh and turn into standing splits, but for now, wherever you are, just enjoy the view.

I'll be teaching airplane and deep airplane along with a bunch of others at Fierce Grace North this August, dates and times below:

Wednesday 3 August: 17:00 - 18:30 Fierce Grace class

Thursday 4 August10:15 - 11:45 Classic class

Saturday 6 August: 10:15 - 11:45 Classic class

Wednesday 10 August: 17:00 - 18:30 Fierce Grace class

Wednesday 17 August: 17:00 - 18:30 Fierce Grace class

Thursday 18 August: 10:15 - 11:45 Classic class

Wednesday 24 August: 17:00 - 18:30 Fierce Grace class

Monday 29 August: 17:00 - 18:30 Fierce Grace class

Wednesday 31 August: 17:00 - 18:30 Fierce Grace class

 

x

Tara

Why I became a yoga teacher (aka the most honest post I'll probably ever write)

Complete and utter honesty is pretty much never the best policy, but here I go anyway. I had originally planned to make my first post about why it's taken me so long to write said first blog post (given that ideas for this blog have been running through my head for years, I purchased the domain in November 2015 and began constructing the site in January 2016) about why I've been so hesitant to actually start writing. But I'll save that for another time. To celebrate the fact that I've been given my first yoga class ever aaaaand the fact that I officially have a teacher profile over at Fierce Grace, I feel somewhat inclined to share why I became a yoga teacher. I call this post the most honest because I didn't write it for the web. No quips, no jabs, just me being open. So, here goes, my application essay to become a Fierce Grace yoga instructor:

Movement has always been a part of my life and I’m keen on obtaining the qualifications to continue to do so. My journey to yoga was a bit of a circuitous one, but I’m very grateful to have found my passion for it. I started as a gymnast when I was 6 (but my career was dramatically cut short when my instructor told both my mother and me that I’d never be very good because I was too tall). Luckily, I then found my niche as a dancer at the age of 7 when I began attending my aunt’s dance school. I became a part of the junior company, travelling across the United States to attend national dance competitions. I learned tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, and lyrical, and began teaching tap and jazz to our younger students when I was 15. I had always loved dancing, but this is when I first realized that I loved teaching. The smile on my students’ faces as I extended their movement vocabulary to include new phrases was inspiring. As I have discovered my love for yoga, I want to become confident enough to do the same with asanas.
            One of the reasons I want to become a teacher is because I love learning and I adore teaching. When I joined a modern dance company during university and began choreographing, we were required to take pilates and yoga classes in addition to ballet and modern classes to compliment our training. As a choreographer I began to teach my pieces to dancers my own age of different abilities and body types. I loved breaking down the moves and giving the dancers different tips to adjust the movements to benefit their body type and skill level. During my years dancing ballet this was something that was never afforded me. The movements are just as strict and prescribed as the ideal body types. I have a slightly more curved spine, hips that don’t naturally allow perfect turnout, and feet that don’t elongate into the perfect point. Dancing en pointe was excruciating for me, but all my life my teachers simply pushed me into the correct and “ideal” position and literally sat on me to force my body into submission. In addition to dancing I played tennis and ran hurdles during high school and was also a long and triple jumper on my university track and field team. I happen to be quite strong and flexible, and all of my coaches and instructors have noticed this and pushed me extra hard in whatever activity they coached. Additionally, I tend to be a perfectionist, and I used to view everything as a competition with myself. I had the tendency to push myself to my physical limits and used to covet the morning-after pain. I learned to genuinely enjoy not being able to walk up stairs after lifting and conditioning training, or long dance rehearsals. My coaches and instructors encouraged this, telling me this meant I was working hard and making progress, and simply pushed me further and harder. As a result, over the years I have pulled my hamstring, developed tendonitis in my knees, sprained my ankle twice, and after the second time, the arch in one of my feet has fallen slightly. I’m interested in learning more about preventing and modifying for injuries through adjustments, topics that have never been discussed in my dance or athletic training. I’d also like to learn more about practical anatomy and physiology. But most importantly, I’d like to share this knowledge with other students, so they can be spared the injuries I’ve suffered.
            I’ve learned to love yoga because of how humbling it is. I see so many people doing awe-inspiring poses, but for once, I'm not competing to get my leg higher than it was yesterday. At Fierce Grace I’ve learned that despite what 'asana' means, you're not supposed to pose, you're meant to stretch! And you can only stretch into the pose your body wants to do on that day, at that time. Over the years with the guidance of Fierce Grace instructors I’ve become more comfortable and confident in my practice. I’ve learned focus on alignment and doing the best with what I've got at that moment. It's taught me humility and instead of going full steam ahead 100% of the time, I now know how to listen to my body to know when to back off and when to push forward. It's taught me to be unassuming, as what your body wants to and can do each day can be completely different. I’ve also learned that yoga is practice, not performance, which I used to confuse.
            As a dancer and athlete, I have a good knowledge of movement, alignment and energetic principals in addition to possessing body awareness, but there’s so much more for me to learn. I believe in the old Latin proverb “docendo discimus”, which means, “by teaching, we learn." I want to become a yoga teacher to deepen my practice and learn more about my body, but also to learn about the practice of yoga as a whole and how it applies to other bodies. I believe that by being tasked to teach this to others will be the ultimate challenge that will push my awareness as a practitioner to new levels. But above all, I’d like to become a compassionate and inspiring teacher and an effective communicator, all of which are qualities I admire in all of the Fierce Grace teachers whose classes I attend. I’d also like to learn more about yoga as a business and how to effectively earn a living teaching. 

That's not really the end, but I cut out the very last bit which was a bit TMI for y'all. So there it is, my first blog post and why I became a yoga instructor. I'll leave you with my very first schedule of taught classes. All of the following are multi-level classes, Classic and Fierce Grace (learn more about the different classes here):

Monday 6 June: 19:00 - 20:30 Classic class

Monday 20 June: 19:00 - 20:30 Classic class

Tuesday 21 June: 18:00 - 19:30 Fierce Grace class

Saturday 2 July: 17:00 - 18:30 Fierce Grace class

Petrified/terrified/excited/about to wee myself all at the same time. 

x

image.jpg

Here's a photo of me in "proper yoga teacher attire," pretending like I casually just sit around chillin' in cobblers pose with a shiny forehead.

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Here's a photo of me and my photogropher laughing really hard at the idea of how shiny my forehead is as I called it "a beacon for the aliens".