Hi Carly, thanks for joining us. We’ll start with the tough questions. What’s your favorite song on your top yoga playlist?
I have two… I know it’s a cop out, but when it comes to music it is so hard for me to choose. ‘So Much Magnificence’ by Steve Gold is such a great Savasana song. It just helps everything float away and opens people up to their individual practices. And ‘Dreams to Remember’ by Otis Redding, I just love the song; it always puts me in the right mood.
Who’s your favorite yoga playlist artist?
Nikka Costa – she is such a soulful singer, her voice is very evocative, it speaks to me emotionally and really helps me connect with my practice.
A great personality is so essential in a yoga teacher, how does yours come through during class? Readings… Jokes… Challenging students… etc.
I have been known to crack a joke or two during class, because while it is important to be present during your practice, I don’t want a student to get so caught up in achieving a perfect posture, that the practice is all about efforting and suffering. At the end of they day I want them to remember that yoga is not suffering, but conquering, digging in, connecting and breathing through a challenge and making it through to the other side.
It is also really important for me to be encouraging as an instructor. I see students progressing with every practice, but sometimes it’s difficult to see that when you are on the mat. I want to be that mirror for the practitioner, that shows them their successes. I want them to feel successful every time they step on their mat.
What’s your background as a teacher and how did you first get introduced to yoga?
I have been practicing yoga on and off for years, but it was really the introduction to the Power Vinyasa Practice that really made me super-addicted and dedicated. I loved the connection I got to my body, my mind and my breath with a very physical practice. I was able to quiet my mind, I was able to focus and learn to trust myself. Once I found a dedicated practice I became better able to appreciate other styles of yoga and meditation as well, and it has been life changing.
Was there a particular moment when you first realized you wanted to start teaching?
I have been teaching fitness classes for years, so it was a natural transition to include yoga when it became an important part of my life. I started singing the praises of Yoga, so much so my friends dubbed me the Yoga Apostle. I wanted to share my practice with people, so they could experience the benefits I had received.
Whether around the corner, or around the world, how have some of your most influential teachings, or learnings, transpired?
The more I learn about yoga, the more I realize how little I know. I have been really lucky to have some great teachers on and off the mat, and they have been great in instilling me the desire to learn more. To learn how as the body changes and that there are many facets of yoga to meet you where you are. Some of my most profound teachings have happened on the mat, in my daily practice, just putting it all together in those brief moments, to glimpse that connectedness that we are striving for.
Who are some of the instructors that have inspired you most and why?
Rolf Gates – I took my first teacher training with him, he is so inspirational and charismatic, he made learning so fun, I just wanted to keep learning more and more. I wanted to be able to inspire others to want to learn more about connecting to their bodies as well.
All the teachers at Flow have been so welcoming, and encouraging, I have taken a little bit from all of them. They have helped me deepen my practice, showing me the endless possibilities of a yoga practice. Marcia Hoffheins and Tori Lundock, in particular, have been really influential teachers for me. Every practitioner that I have had the honor to practice with or lead in a practice are great teachers, showing me something new everyday on the mat. Showing me the power of yoga in their daily commitment, that is truly inspirational.
If you could offer a special, more in-depth class to students, what would it be and why?
Maybe something about Pranayama, the breath is so powerful, it can calm, energize and heal. If our students can learn more about the power of breath it can only help them take their practice to a higher level.
What are some of your plans to evolve your practice as both a teacher and student?
I think for me as a teacher, I never want to stop learning. It is important to keep exposing yourself to new teachers, new teachings and new experiences.
Thanks again for sitting down with the Flow Blog!