How do yoga teachers feel about their practice? What inspires them to keep teaching and keep practicing yoga? Get to know your Yoga One teachers outside the studio and off the mat. This month’s interview is with Heather Fenwick.
1. Why do you practice yoga?
I practice yoga these days more for the mental and emotional benefits. I love combining the idea of sthira and sukha (effort and ease) while sitting in a traffic jam, or during a difficult conversation.
2. What was the most intimidating aspect of our teaching when you first started?
My first teacher training didn’t include any actual practice teaching, so putting together the words and phrases was a great challenge for me. It wasn’t until later that I was even able to observe a classroom properly so that I could give appropriate feedback! (I can’t blame my teacher trainers though, as that program was jam-packed with useful information!)
3. What gives you the most joy as a yoga instructor?
Teaching yoga is often the best part of my day! I spend a lot of time thinking about how we can make the world a better place, and while I would love to wave a magic wand so that every single person is driven primarily by empathy and compassion, I realize that teaching yoga takes a close second. When we feel good, when we can observe our strengths and our faults, when we can approach pleasure and suffering with equanimity, then we can spread joy, acceptance, and altruism out into the world around us.
4. If yoga were a food, car, smell, planet, song, artist, flavor, etc… it would be: Jim James’s voice of My Morning Jacket. I melt into bliss as my heart cracks open and spills forth.
5. What’s your yoga inspiration?
Every single moment is my yoga inspiration. We are here to perfect the art of living, but not necessarily to live “perfectly.” When I’m in line at the grocery store and catch myself planning out my next 8 steps in my list of things to do – I try to take a single conscious breath, look around me and notice what is true in the Here and Now.
For me, living my yoga is when I can hold my head high in times of disappointment or “failure,” and if I can take success with humility and acknowledge that we are all interconnected.
6. What classes do you teach at Yoga One?
I teach Wednesdays Level 1-2 Flow at noon, as well as offsite corporate classes.