Why I Teach Yoga

In my twenties I experienced some catastrophic mental health events that led me, eventually, to a prolonged engagement with yoga practices. I rely on the techniques and philosophy of yoga to keep me sane, grounded, and healthy, and I teach these practices in public classes and private settings. More about my teaching below. You can learn more about my own experience with mental health and yoga in my book Wind Through Quiet Tensions.

What I Teach

The classes I teach vary depending on the context and the audience, but they are centered on two aspects of hatha yoga:

  • vinyasa: physical forms connected through conscious breathing
  • pranayama: subtle breathing practices designed to release blockages on the flow of vitality (prana)

Classes at yoga studios will include some chanting and kriya work, as well as an introduction to yoga-related philosophy that may support the work of the class. I teach without music, unless I'm teaching in a noisy environment, in which case I use mellow ambient sound to tone the room.

Who Taught Me

Most of my yoga studies have been guided by Jim Bennitt and James Tennant. I am indebted to them for many of the key principles of my approach to sharing this discipline. I've also been greatly influenced by some study under Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor. There are a handful of other teachers that continue to influence my teaching, but listing their names here would feel disingenuous given the limited time I've spent in their presence. Suffice to say that I'm still learning.

What I Value

I'm a proponent of pragmatic, therapeutic yoga practices. I don't encourage people to force things. I don't consider accomplishment of difficult physical postures a high priority in my own practice or my teaching, though I give room in my classes for those who want to explore advanced poses. My approach to vinyasa is slower than the average. My primary interest is the increased sensitivity, self-awareness, lightness, and resilience that effective yoga practice can promote.