Facebook: Bidaboo Yoga, Twitter: @bidaboo
Where do you teach?: Life Yoga + Boutique, Shanti Yoga Shala, as well as private group and individual classes in Audubon Park
What types of classes do you teach?: I teach vinyasa flow style classes focused on pranayama (breath work) and asana (postures) which include meditation, themes, storytelling, and more. I am certified from the White Lotus Foundation, as well as being a Registered Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance.
What inspired you to teach yoga?
I have always wanted to share my love of yoga and its transformational properties with others. During a difficult time when I was not utilizing my masters degree and felt like I was just going through the motions at work, I realized that yoga was the highlight of my day and was teaching me to live my life in a better way. I was in the middle of a 30 day yoga challenge at Life Yoga when I decided to take a big leap by quitting my job, flying to California, and immersing myself in a yoga teacher training program. I think that teaching yoga fits perfectly with my lifestyle and personality. Also, my personal yoga practice is important to me and something I greatly enjoy, so I am honored to be able to teach others and share in their practice.
What is your teaching philosophy? How does it relate to your personality and goals? My personal teaching philosophy is that yoga is for everyone and that it is a lifestyle. Yoga is not only what you do on your mat but also how you conduct your business, handle relationships, and treat yourself. My teachers, Ganga White and Tracy Rich, taught me that yoga is a life-long practice and that we should be careful not to burn out or injure ourselves through asana. That said, I enjoy teaching a class that lets you get out of your monkey-mind and just be yourself.
I think that my teaching style and philosophy relate to my personality through my background in counseling psychology. I believe that yoga is therapeutic and healing and I invite my students to express themselves on the mat while also maintaining alignment for safety. I like the concept of us standing on our teachers’ shoulders: we do our practice for us now, but we use the teachings of the past as our foundation. My goal is to help people find the best in themselves and share it with others through yoga.
What do you hope students leave your classes with? I hope students leave my classes feeling empowered, uplifted, peaceful, and better connected not only with themselves but with the universe. Although that sounds like a LOT from one yoga class, I believe that this is what yoga can give you every time you step onto the mat. I also hope that as we practice asana, pranayama, chanting, and meditation we learn to bring part of our practice off of the mat and into the rest of our lives. Coming to my classes will balance you by toning, strengthening, and stretching your body and mind together. Through this practice my students begin to notice bad habits fall away and a healthier lifestyle ensues for them. They begin to practice wellness in all aspects of their lives. All around, I hope that my students walk out of class feeling loved and loving.
What do you feel makes the New Orleans yoga community unique? I must say that I have never really been a part of a yoga community anywhere else. Practicing yoga in others cities (I came here after living in Boston for eight years.) I never got to know the other studios, teachers, or studio owners. That could never happen here. New Orleans is often known as a small town posing as a city. People in the yoga community and across different studios are friends. They support each other and work together for the betterment of the community, instead of just working for themselves. One great example of this is the off the mat series by Life Yoga + Boutique (Uptown) and Balance Yoga + Wellness (MidCity) which is put together by both studios. Shalas, mandirs, and studios in New Orleans are second homes where everyone is welcome as family and I believe that that is unique to our special city.
How do you feel living a healthy lifestyle in New Orleans is different from other urban areas of the country? I think that New Orleans is a great city for anyone. What I mean by that is that the people here will welcome you in, no matter what lifestyle you enjoy. There is something for everyone. But, living a healthy lifestyle in New Orleans for many people may mean finding balance. Balance between work and play, between eating healthy foods and the fried goodness we’re known for, between excessive imbibing and going to a detoxifying yoga class. New Orleanians need a physically healthy lifestyle, as well as a mentally healthy one. I believe that being kind and compassionate is healthy for everyone and New Orleans supports this with its friendly and generous people.
What are your thoughts on the recent media coverage the New Orleans yoga community has received and the city being named by Yoga Journal as one of the top ten yoga friendly towns? New Orleans is a yoga loving city and we are making noise here in the yoga community with kirtans, public classes in the park, acro yoga and dessert parties, and a new lululemon showroom which promotes yoga. It makes sense that people are beginning to take notice of our wonderful yoga community. Also, New Orleans is a city where there are more than an average amount of people who don’t work a regular nine to five job. There is an abundance of musicians, bartenders, dog walkers, entrepreneurs, and people holding multiple part-time jobs whose schedules permit a daily yoga practice. Furthermore, the community has more than 20 yoga studios spanning the city that offer ashtanga, kundalini, bikram, anusara, restorative, and many more yoga styles to choose from. With drop-in classes as affordable as $6 for students and $10 for everyone else (at Life Yoga) there is no reason why anyone and everyone cannot make yoga a part of their lives here in New Orleans. I am thrilled to see our city being noticed for something positive and hope the media coverage can inspire healthy change all across the U.S.!