Here’s a new segment we hope you’ll really enjoy! Ever wondered how yoga teachers feel about their own yoga practice? Want some advice for beginners from an experienced practitioner? We’ll be showcasing a different instructor every month, so be sure to check in and get to know your Yoga One instructors off the mat.
Instructor Spotlight: Interview with Sarah Clark
1. What is your favorite style of yoga?
I lean towards a vinyasa-style practice with lots of dharma (yoga’s philosophical and psychological teachings) sprinkled in, with bonus points for incorporating pranayama (breathing practices) and meditation. My preference for this style is influenced by OM Yoga Center in NYC, where I studied a lot, so that type of practice just feels like home to me. But really, I love any ‘style’ presented by a high-quality teacher. I’m a sucker for an amazing teacher, of anything.
2. What first attracted you to yoga when you began your practice?
I’ve always been a person who enjoys embodied movement; moving in a way where you feel from the inside out. I’m also a total philosophy geek, a person who’s endlessly captivated by the ‘big’ questions like “what is the point of this existence anyway?” and “how am I to make the most of it?” When I realized that yoga incorporated all of this, that was it. I was smitten.
3. What is your favorite yoga pose right now?
Ug, this is such a hard question! The truth is that my favorite and least favorite change all the time and the same pose often begins on one list only to shortly move to the other. I have a chronic right shoulder/neck injury that is in a flare up phase right now, so finding a deep, supported fish pose on blocks is one of the few things I can do that offers me relief.
4. What is your least favorite?
In honor of full disclosure, I must say that it’s true: I even love the poses that I totally cannot stand because I know they’re good for me and I’m always better off having done them. That being said, as of today, I’d have to go with kapotasana (pigeon), folded forward. It’s very difficult for me to choose this pose because usually I love it! But for right now, it tops my least favorite list because I’m dealing with a knee/hip issue as well and it’s very difficult for me to abide calmly in this posture. I have to concentrate on my breathing and make peace with the fact that this pose looks, feels and IS very different than it has been in the past. But THAT is totally the practice of yoga: being honest about the present moment, modifying your practice and meeting that experience calmly. Being in pigeon is not a pleasant situation for me right now! But it’s a great chance to work with my mind in my practice.
5. If you were an animal, you would be: a hummingbird, my mother adores them 🙂
6. Describe what yoga means in your life using just 6 words: Calm, Steady, Wakeful Awareness Manifesting Interconnectedness
7. What might your students be surprised to learn about you?
I have scoliosis and lots of old dance injuries. I danced professionally in NYC for 6 years and yoga has always been my therapy. My practice looks different every day because I’m one of those practitioners who requires constant adaptation. On some level, we’re all that way. Also, I love the NFL. Yes, Yogis can love the NFL too!
8. Do you have any words of wisdom or advice for new students?
When I started this practice, it was rather unpleasant and I think that’s typical! So if you are new to the practice and that’s your experience, you’re normal. Lastly, I would just say, in this practice, an inch is a mile.
Sarah Clark teaches a mixed level flow class at Yoga One on Wednesdays at 5:30pm.
Go here, then click on “workshops” to check out her upcoming workshop: Balanced and Calm Holiday on Sunday, December 11th.