Occupation: A little ball of light in a human body. Oh, and I love to teach yoga.
Location: Charleston, SC
Favorite yoga style: Vinyasa with a side of restorative.
Favorite yoga pose: So many! But my go-to would be supta baddha konasana with a bolster or block under my upper back.
Yoga is… a really wonderful tool for bringing people together while simultaneously exploring your own Self.
What Do You Love Most About Yoga?
That yoga is for everyone. There are countless styles and teachers. If you're itching for something really physical and acrobatic, yoga has you covered. Want to just get down on the ground and connect with the earth? We've got that, too.
Want to drink some wine, stretch, and laugh? Oh yeah, that's a style of yoga as well. This practice is universal and the only code is to show up, exactly the way you are, and shine.
How Has Yoga Changed Your Life, Personality And Physique?
I was a stubborn rock climber, full-time student, and paramedic when I found yoga. Looking back, I was always happy—but admittedly, a little scared, very insecure, and kind of lost. Yoga taught me to be unafraid, to love bigger, and to trust that I'll always find my way as long as I keep living with compassion, grace, drive, and a lot of gratitude.
As far as physique goes, I have found more fluidity in motion, more flexibility, and the kinds of strength I never knew I had. Your outside reflects your inside. And yoga has shaped both of mine.
What Everyday Thing Did You Get Better At Because Of Yoga?
Breathing, for starters. I swam and ran competitively and, as I mentioned, I was a rock climber—three sports that take a lot of drive, a lot of commitment, and a whole lot of breath. Yoga taught me to be more mindful and watch my breath because it guides everything else.
Choppy breathing drives turbulent movements. Smooth and deep breathing however, flows into fluid and easy movements. Yoga has also taught me quite a bit about people and interacting with others. I'm much more patient, understanding, and compassionate now. I try to see myself in others and relate.
How Do You Keep Your Yoga Practice Interesting And Challenging?
I love to practice with as many teachers as possible. I'm always excited to take from someone new. I also take a playful perspective with just about anything, so I view my practice as an adventure, and I like to bring friends along for the ride. Surround yourself with the right company, and you'll always be interested and challenged.
What Book, Website Or Person Inspires You?
Oh gosh, inspiration abounds! It's everywhere! I am part hopeless romantic, part day-dreamer, and part nerd. So…for books: any distopic futuristic story with a hero/heroine and overcoming obstacles or overthrowing the cruelty and monotony of classism. Doesn't hurt to have a love story thrown into the mix, either (Hunger Games, Divergent, Maze Runner, The Giver, etc.).
I also studied psychology in under grad, so any textbooks about the workings of the mind, chemical neuroanatomy, physiology, sleep patterns, cognition, language acquisition, cerebral development, etc. will get my nerd gears cranking. Websites: Anything TED or NPR.
People: My friends, family, students, strangers… just about anyone. But for more specificity, check out any of the spoken word poetry by Shane Koyczan. My favorite is "Instructions for a Bad Day".
What Do You Listen To While You Do Yoga?
Sometimes silence, sometimes lots of laughter from our little group of friends who frequent classes together, and sometimes music. If I'm flowing, I like some upbeat tunes from Florence + the Machine, Ben Howard, Sia, and so many others. For restorative work, I keep it ambient and mellow until I'm nearly asleep. Dreamy.
What’s The Best Advice You’ve Ever Received?
"Comparison is the thief of joy– don't get robbed." And I firmly believe in this. It's so easy these days to feel inferior when we see magazines, commercials, billboards, and social media telling us we aren't good enough, or that we need to look or behave a certain way.
Anyone can go along with the norms and pressures, but it takes more strength, character, and determination to swim upstream. We all have unique gifts to share and bring to the community.
Be yourself, thoroughly and unapologetically. It's a practice, but so is yoga, and so is life. Practice more, love more. – Taylor Harkness
Other links: Practice with me online at YogaGlo.com