Ohh…we’ve got a great duo this month! Can’t wait for you to meet them — and check out their classes!
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Tell us a little about your relationship with yoga — both your practice and your teaching. I have always been a gentle yogi. I like postures on the floor, lots of props, practicing with others and long meditations. I like the group energy of a class and working through yoga challenges with the support of others. For me, and my students, these are the things that lead to healing, discovery and calming the mind. After 30 years doing yoga on and off the mat, living in 3 yoga centers and owning a studio my heart is still with a gentle, restorative yoga practice.
Why do you want to bring Curvy Yoga to your community? My studio already offers classes for all ages and stages of life. We have Kids Yoga, Chair Yoga, Gentle Yoga and Yoga for Cancer Patients. People with a wide variety of special needs have found us or have been sent to us by their doctors. This includes people with curves and I have had people in my Curvy Yoga class since day one.
What can folks expect when they take a class from you? People have come to expect small, private classes with very gentle yoga instruction and a focus on relaxation. The studio is clean and handicap accessible so if people have medical conditions they are comfortable. There is a wall of props and sturdy chairs so people of all sizes can learn how to make poses perfect for them.
What has been your favorite part of the certification process? Talking to Anna about topics we have both found in our yoga communities that really motivate us to keep moving forward, for example the complete lack of images of curvy people in poses. I now feel more empowered to offer Curvy Yoga as a stand alone class or workshop as part of the offerings Lifespan Yoga®.
How can people get in touch with you? Call me at 904-233-6162, email me at email@example.com and see what is happening at www.lifespanyoga.com. My blog includes random notes and lesson plans about teaching yoga to all ages and stages, blogger.lifespanyoga.com
Location: Montréal, Québec, Canada
Tell us a little about your relationship with yoga — both your practice and your teaching. Yoga is a way into the intelligence of my body, and a way to experience self-integration and self-acceptance. I teach yoga classes for queer and trans students, so as a teacher I’m trying to make yoga accessible and create space for those on the margins of mainstream yoga communities.
Why do you want to bring Curvy Yoga to your community? Body positivity and fat acceptance are key elements of queer-positivity and trans-positivity. Being present in the body, as we are when we do yoga, can be really challenging and feel really vulnerable; offering yoga classes that actually welcome all bodies as inherently valid and valuable is a first step towards making that feel safer.
What can folks expect when they take a class from you? People can expect that we’ll focus a lot on breathing, body connectivity, and cultivating acceptance of the present moment. They can also expect a non-judgmental environment where they can bring their full selves without closeting anything they don’t want to closet, not only in terms of gender identity and sexual orientation, but also mental health, surviving abuse or assault, or being kinky.
What has been your favorite part of the certification process? Taking apart concepts of authenticity and lineage with Anna and gaining confidence about doing what works for me and my students, whether or not it’s The Way It Is Done. Also, Anna’s mentorship in starting to think about a potential future Queer Yoga Certification program.
How can people get in touch with you? People can find find more detailed information on my website at www.queeryoga.com, connect with me and other students in our Facebook group, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Location: Austin, TX
Tell us a little about your relationship with yoga — both your practice and your teaching. I took my first yoga class when I was a teenager, but I attended only a handful of classes over the years that followed. I was seeking relief from stress and anxiety when I finally returned to yoga many years later. The mental and emotional benefits inspired me to learn more. I enrolled in a teacher training program just months after completing a Hatha Beginners Series.
Yoga is an essential part of my life now. My practice encourages me to stop living in my head. And I truly enjoy teaching yoga. It’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever had.
Why do you want to bring Curvy Yoga to your community? My curves kept me from practicing for years. I felt so awkward and defeated when I couldn’t get into certain poses. There was a sense that I simply didn’t belong in the classes I attended. Sadly, this is what a lot of women experience when they practice yoga for the first time. I want to change that.
I am so fortunate to practice and teach at a studio that offers “Yoga for Every Body”. I hope to inspire other curvy gals to find freedom and confidence in their yoga practice, and most importantly, to nurture a positive relationship with their bodies.
What can folks expect when they take a class from you? I teach a mindfulness-based practice with a focus on cultivating body awareness. Everyone’s body is different, so my approach is less about form and alignment and more about finding what works best for each student. I encourage my students to be present, connect with the breath, and experience the grace within.
What has been your favorite part of the certification process? Definitely the chats with Anna! I really admire her honesty and sense of humor. She is a great source of inspiration and encouragement.