I practice yoga pretty much every day. And since I moved to Portland, one of my favorite spots is Woodlawn Yoga, which is in my neighborhood and a short walk away. It gives me a great home base where I can always drop in even if I decide at the last second that I want to go to a group class. They put out a newsletter and do short little bios/interviews with students and teachers– and for the next one, they asked me. It gave me a great reason to reflect on my practice, so I thought I’d share my answers here. Enjoy!
What brought you to yoga and why are you sticking with it?
- When I tried to answer this question, it became clear to me that all my roads led to yoga. My mom has practiced and taught yoga for years, and I atteneded some classes with her as a teenager. I took a gap year after high school and spent time in Varanasi, India. I practiced yoga with my group there, and found that the time we spent in asana (especially savasana!) was deeply restorative and necessary in an otherwise taxing time. I also learned a lot about yoga’s traditions that year— including its roots and philosophy and how it came to the West. As I went through college and then nursing school and graduate school, I found that both the asana and meditation practices were a great counterbalance to all that studying. And through all my years as a dancer and a runner, the asana practice has made my body strong and stable. And now, practicing yoga is like brushing my teeth— I feel off if I skip a day!
Why did you choose our studio?
- I moved to Portland on New Year’s day this year, and on January second, I took my first class at Woodlawn Yoga (then Drishti) with Kelli. This is my neighborhood studio, and it’s like cheers— everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came. The community is powerful and awesome!
What is your favorite yoga pose you’ve learned so far, and why?
- My favorite poses shift with the seasons, but these days, I’m finding great satisfaction in ardha chandrasana— half moon. It takes a combination of strength and balance that I can never take for granted. Some days I feel solid, like I could take flight, and some days, I’m wobbling all over the place. It’s a good reminder not to be attached to the outcome.
Do you have any yoga goals you’d like to share?
- I have a few: first, I’m working hard on improving my transitions. As I’ve been doing more vinyasa practice (with the wonderful vinyasa teachers here!), linking my movement and breath during pose transitions is an area for growth. And just for fun, I’m working some arm balances and inversions— I’ve gotten more comfortable with headstands, and I have pincha mayurasana in my sights for some day!