Instructor Spotlight: Janike Robinson

This month brings you the fabulous and hardcore Janike Robinson who teaches Thursday’s noon class, Ashtanga-inspired Vinyasa. Seriously, I dare you to read her answer to question #7 then go take her class and not be inspired by her arms alone! Check out our full schedule here, no reservations required for class.

1. What is your favorite style of yoga?

Ashtanga!!! As a type-A, pitta, high-energy, athletic person, I naturally gravitated toward Ashtanga.  It is physically demanding but very meditative once you are acquainted with the series. You move and breathe through the poses and there is little time to look around. I’ve greatly benefited from the Ashtanga tradition of a mysore practice – a self-study in which you practice whatever series you are working on at your own pace. It is not led, but there is a teacher present to give you adjustments and personal attention. I love that Ashtanga is very direct and traditional. We usually practice pranayama, meditation and the spiritual aspects of the practice outside of class, so once you roll out your mat – class begins!

2. What first attracted you to yoga when you began your practice?

My first class ever was Bikram, and I immediately felt like I was home – I’d found something that came naturally and began to explore other styles until I alighted upon Ashtanga.

3. What is your favorite yoga pose right now?

Viparita dandasana (inverted staff pose) because it combines an inversion, an arm balance and a backbend.

4. What pose is still the most challenging?

Mayurasana or peacock posture because it requires whole-body strength. Mayurasana is a challenging arm balance in which your upper arms support under your solar plexus and your legs are raised straight out behind you. Many people “cheat” by putting their chins on the mat and raising their legs at a diagonal toward the ceiling. To perform this posture fully requires significant upper body strength and control.

5. If you were an animal, you would be: a tiger (one of my nicknames is ‘Tigger’)!

6. Describe what yoga means in your life using just 6 words: Moving to a special place with breath.

7. What might your students be surprised to learn about you?

I do NOT lift weights! People always assume I work out at a gym but all my muscle comes from my Ashtanga practice!

8. Do you have any words of wisdom or advice for new students?

“Do your practice and all is coming,” said Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Practice at least 4 times a week and give yourself at least a year for amazing results. Yoga is not something you ‘do,’ it’s a life-long practice. One day down dog will become a resting pose! At first you will be sore, fatigued and maybe even frustrated, but if you are consistent, your practice will become the most important part of your life!

Also, consider taking a teacher training even if you don’t want to teach – it will deepen your practice tremendously.

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