Teacher Feature ~ Beth Day

Beth teaches Deepen Sunday's 4:30 and facilitates our Lamaze Prenatal Yoga Series.  Next series begins Monday Oct 22nd.

 

When were you first introduced to yoga, and what got you hooked?

  

My first yoga “class” was a VHS taped series called “Power Yoga 1, 2, and 3” by Bryan Kest.  I was in high school and my mom bought those videos and I practiced so many times that I still can hear Bryan’s voice in my head sometimes when I teach.  And I still follow him as one of my master instructors.

 

 What made you decide to become a yoga instructor?

  

I stumbled into it, really.  I had a teacher here in Bentonville who I practiced with religiously.  One day she called in sick right before class and there was no one to teach.  I looked around and said, “Hey, I think I can remember how a typical class goes.  I can sub if you you all want to practice anyway.”  From there I continued to grow more and more in my practice and ability to teach.

  

What’s your favorite pose?

  

That’s like saying, “What’s your favorite word?”  I love all the words because you need all the words to write sentences and thoughts and paragraphs and chapters and stories.  I love speaking the language of yoga, and all the words are important.  Some are fancier than others but less essential to daily expression, like “Astavakrasana” (which I find extremely fun) and some are basic and essential, like “Down Dog” (which I find extremely grounding).

  

How do you remain grounded outside the yoga studio? What does your personal practice look like these days?

  

Outside the studio, I stay grounded through writing.  I have found that expressing myself through the written word is amazingly therapeutic for me and I find that words flow like water when I am connected and my soul is ready to speak.  

As far as my personal practice goes, my personal practice looks like doing the dishes, cleaning the house, vacuuming the floor, and folding laundry.  But I make those daily tasks a meditation.  I breathe while I work and I work on opening my mind up to the divine while doing otherwise “mindless” tasks.

  

What advice do you have for the beginner yogi, other than only focus on yourself?

  

My best advice would be “Just show up and just keep showing up.”  The rest - the asanas, the meditation, the breath, will come with time and consistency.  Just put yourself in the environment consistently and give it a try.

  

In your opinion what the biggest misconception about being a yoga instructor?

  

I think the biggest misconception is that being a yoga instructor is this highly regulated thing and that you can’t teach anyone anything unless you have all these certifications behind your name.  I love the way Bryan Kest put it…

 “I like to describe teaching yoga like this: Let’s say your grandma has a great recipe for chicken soup. You love this chicken soup, it’s amazing!!! Your grandma gave you her recipe, and now you cook chicken soup all the time. One day your friend comes to your house to visit. They say, "what smells so good"? You say, "I’m cooking chicken soup." Your friend says: "I love chicken soup, and that smells so good, can I have some? So you give your friend some chicken soup, and he loves it. Then they ask, "can I have the recipe?" You say: "Sure!"

This is all teaching yoga is — you sharing something that makes you feel good with others. I guess if people are willing to pay for it, then you can teach (or share) yoga for a career. Teachers training's are where you refine this sharing through practice and dialogue.

 Also, your learning does not stop with the end of your training. Your craft is constantly refined with each and every class you teach and each and every experience that deepens you. Our knowledge and teaching or sharing abilities will forever be refined, as our teacher (our life experiences) continues to inform us.”

  

One healthy food you swear by, and why?

  

Avocadoes.  They contain healthy fats and who doesn’t love guacamole?


Yogi's Of The Month ~ Scott and Brenna Drindak

How long have you been practicing?

 

Scott: Yoga 101 with Casey on July 14th 2018

Brenna: I did a couple yoga DVDs years back but took my first class at Yoga Story on June 25th

 

Any advice on how to make time for practice with a busy work/family schedule?

 

Scott: Make time. Something will always take your time away. You just have to make time for
you.

Brenna: You have to make it a priority. When I worked out at a gym, I made excuses and wouldn’t
go. I’ve never felt that way about yoga. It’s something I look forward to during the day and
know when I leave class, I’ll feel better both mentally and physically.

 

Describe your yoga practice in one word:

 

Scott: Revitalizing

Brenna: Essential

 

How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies?

 

Scott: It aids in helping my flexibility.

Brenna: It gives me confidence to try new things.

 

Why did you start practicing yoga?

 

Scott: I could tell as getting older that I needed to do some form of exercise and discovered
yoga. What I also discovered was that it goes more in depth than just exercise. The exercise
just gets you ready for the meditation part.

Brena: I injured both Achilles tendons last year doing high impact classes at a local gym. At the
worst point, I was unable to stand or walk long periods of time due to pain and swelling. I
went to my doctor who sent me to PT for several weeks where I did exercises and was told to
rest as much as possible. (If you know me, you know this was extremely challenging..) but I
did what they said in order to heal. As my body slowly started to rebuild, my doctor
suggested yoga so here I am!


Yogi of the Month ~ Chandra Holt

How long have you been practicing?  4 years

 

Any advice on how to make time for practice with a busy work/family schedule?  Plan ahead and make it a priority.  I always have my yoga mat and a change of yoga clothes in my car in the event that I can squeeze in a class during lunch or after work.

 

Describe your yoga practice in one word: Restorative

 

How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies?  I'm a runner and I do crossfit and I've found that yoga is one of the best ways to recover from workouts and also helps prevent injury.

 

Why did you start practicing yoga?  4 years ago I wanted to increase my flexibility so I started doing yoga once a week.  I got injured a year ago and found that yoga helped my recovery so I started going as much as possible and can usually make it 3-5 times a week.

 

How does yoga impact your everyday life?  Yoga helps me achieve balance.

 

What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing?  I thought yoga was just for really flexible people.  I practiced in the back of the room for a year before I felt comfortable that I wasn't going to look ridiculous. 


Teacher Feature ~ Milo Fish

Join Milo every Monday 4:30 pm for Warm Flow.

 

When were you first introduced to yoga, and what got you hooked? 14 years ago & I was immediately hooked because it was the first time I really began to breathe.

 

What made you decide to become a yoga instructor? I just got it... I knew I could teach it in a way that people could use the tools to live differently.

 

What's your favorite pose? Child's Pose

 

How do you remain grounded outside the yoga studio? Eat right, sleep 8 hours, weight train, walk/run, have an amazing group of friends & wonderful family

 

What advice do you have for the beginner yogi, other than only focus on yourself?

Keep your focus on your breath & how your body feels.

 

What does your personal practice look like these days?  As of right now my personal practice is focused on full body engagement. Working my entire body in every shape/pose.

 

One healthy food you swear by, and why?  Salmon, makes my skin glow.


Yogi of the Month ~ Lynette Menna

How long have you been practicing?  I have been practicing yoga regularly for a little over 1 year.

 

Any advice on how to make time for practice with a busy work/family schedule? I am blessed with a great support system at home and with friends.  I often have a friend, my husband or my daughter join me in class.  I take advantage of the weekend and evening classes and yoga is a priority in my life.  I need it so much to balance my life, that I make sure and attend between 2-4 classes in a week. 

 

Describe your yoga practice in one word: Essential

 

Why did you start practicing yoga? Honestly, I was going through a very difficult time in my life and was having difficulty sleeping and suffered from a lot of anxiety.  Yoga story classes have helped me learn so much about myself and taught me how ‘breath’.  It has changed my life for the better!

 

How does yoga impact your everyday life?  Well, I have great balance standing on one foot now!  I remember to breath more, manage my anxiety and sleep better. My overall quality of life is better when I do yoga.

 

What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing? I thought that I couldn’t do it because I had chronic neck pain.  But the teachers taught me how to listen to my body and build up gradually.  There are so many different levels and classes at Yoga Story that I was able to go at my own pace. A year later, I surprise myself by easily finishing a challenging hot flow class. 


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Teacher Feature ~ Bryttney Miller

Join Bryttney every Monday at 5:45 AM for Sunrise Hot Flow, and check out her BUTI Yoga class under events/workshops.

 

When were you first introduced to yoga, and what got you hooked? I was first introduced to yoga 5 years ago. I went to a restorative class and couldn't believe how hard it was and how great it felt after! I've been practicing ever since. 

 

What made you decide to become a yoga instructor? It was actually really spur of the moment. I was a babysitter at a studio that was offering a teacher training and I decided to just go for it. Since then I've expanded my certifications and fallen deeper in love with yoga. 

 

What's your favorite pose? Warrior 2! It's very empowering.

 

How do you remain grounded outside the yoga studio? What does your personal practice look like these days? I try to be outside as much as I can. I spend a good portion of most days inside, so it helps to go somewhere open to just breathe and feel more relaxed. My personal practice is 10 or so minutes scattered throughout the day when my little one allows me to pull out my mat. 

 

What advice do you have for the beginner yogi, other than only focus on yourself? Don't worry about looking cool. Don't worry about being flexible. Yoga is so much deeper than some pretty poses on Instagram. Respect where your body is and accept it. Love it. Then will it further. 

 

In your opinion, what's the biggest misconception about being a yoga instructor? People assume I'm this super health nut that can do all these crazy poses. 

 

One healthy food you swear by, and why? Avocados always! They are loaded with vitamins and are high in good fats. I just add some lime juice and a tiny bit of salt and will eat them all day. 


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Teacher Feature ~ Meet Ben Cary!

When were you first introduced to yoga, and what got you hooked?

 

I was first introduced to yoga a little over 2 years ago, I attended a yin class to help improve my flexibility and never stopped attending. I really enjoyed the mental benefits of intentional movement/breathing.

 

What made you decide to become a yoga instructor?

 

I decided to become an instructor once I realized I was passionate about movement. Teaching others has been the most rewarding thing I’ve done.

 

What’s your favorite pose?

 

My favorite pose Is probably bridge or shoulder stand. I have built up lots of shoulder strength due to my years in sports and I feel very grounded when balancing on my shoulders.

 

How do you remain grounded outside the yoga studio? What does your personal practice look like these days?

 

I remain grounded outside the studio through nature, I try to practice outside as much as I can in addition to training outside as well. There is nothing like finding your flow state out in nature all by yourself, it is just the most meditative experience. I make an effort to practice personally every day along with my breath work (wim hof).

  

What advice do you have for the beginner yogi, other than only focus on yourself?

 

My advice for a beginning yogi is to prioritize pranayama and breath control over physical asana, if you can’t express a pose in its fullest, back off and use your breath to get you there. Be patient, it takes time for your body to change; to undo years of conditioning. Continuing to practice with intention and consistency will have you experiencing change in no time.

 

In your opinion what the biggest misconception about being a yoga instructor?

 

“yoga is just stretching”

 

 

One healthy food you swear by, and why?

 

Just one? low glycemic fruit. it’s my treat now that I eat little to no sugar + filled with antioxidants. bananas, berries, etc. maybe even some dark chocolate if no one’s watching...


Yogi of the Month ~ John Watson

How long have you been practicing?

 

I started practicing yoga in 2013, taking free classes at the gym. I started at Yoga Story around January 2014.

 

Any advice on how to make time for practice with a busy work/family schedule?

 

It's something you really have to prioritize – schedule it like a major appointment every day. Ultimately, every individual has to be responsible for their own well-being.

 

Describe your yoga practice in one word: swashbuckling!

 

How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies?

 

Practicing yoga consistently has certainly made me stronger and more balanced– it enhances all the little muscles and supporting structures of the body and makes me a more resilient runner, biker, or hiker.

 

Even the breathing exercises we practice in our yoga classes help me push past discomfort and then focus on expanding my limitations.

 

Why did you start practicing yoga?

 

I originally started practicing as a way to assist myself from getting injured while running. Yoga ended up being a catalyst for me transforming to a much healthier lifestyle though!

 

How does yoga impact your everyday life?

 

I find I can deal with stress fairly easily, and also slow down to appreciate the little things in the everyday world a lot more.

 

What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing?

 

It is actually very accessible to everyone and to all abilities. With some enthusiasm and a consistent practice, I think most people could surprise themselves at what they would learn about yoga and their own abilities.


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Teacher Feature ~ Meet Courtney Sturm!

When were you first introduced to yoga, and what got you hooked?

-I was introduced to yoga in New York City in 2007. A few friends talked me into going to a donation based studio called yoga to the people. I wasn't expecting to like it, honestly I had no clue that it was anything more than stretching. I remember how transformed I felt physically after only one hour of moving and breathing, So I kept going back to simply get in shape. After a few classes the benefits started to manifest in my emotional and mental life and It got me through my toughest days. I quickly realized that it was a practice that I needed in my life.

 

What made you decide to become a yoga instructor?

- I had been bartending in New York and chasing my dreams of becoming an actress! I wasn't really taking care of myself like I should. I was definitely living it up in the big city in my 20's and I realized that I needed direction. I wanted to have a job that I loved and that I felt was rewarding. I wanted to help others feel good!  My best friend started teaching and I saw her personal growth and how happy teaching made her and it inspired me to take the leap.

 

What's your favorite pose?

-Arhda chandrasana (balancing half moon) I rarely teach a class without it! Its got all the goods! Opening, expansiveness, grounding, balance and its accessible.

 

How do you remain grounded outside the yoga studio? What does your personal practice look like these days?

- Well that's really where the yoga begins. I feel like my practice is a reflection of my daily self. Sometimes its all over the place and sometimes its grounded. I try to breath and remind myself of things i'm grateful for. Being in nature doesn't hurt, maybe with a glass of wine!  Since moving from NYC in December my personal practice has changed. I haven't had the opportunity to get into class as much, which means I've been practicing at home. Hello, self discipline!  My Practice has become less about the perfect body or perfect pose but rather letting go of the ego while practicing self love and patience from where I am today.

 

What advice do you have for the beginner yogi, other than only focus on yourself?

-Dont worry about the outcome!! Be present with your personal journey. Let go of any expectations. As long as you're breathing its enough.

 

In your opinion, what's the biggest misconception about being a yoga instructor?

- In my opinion a lot of people think that yoga teachers are health nuts and live a really clean life. While that can be true its not always the case! I also think some underestimate how challenging it is to teach a yoga class and all work that goes into it! Between sequencing, cueing and holding space with confidence its not an easy gig.

 

One healthy food you swear by, and why?

 

- AVOCADO! I try and eat one a day. They are full of vitamins and leave you feeling satisfied and energized!


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Yogi of the Month ~ Melinda Wilkie

How long have you been practicing?  

I've been practicing 2.5 years

Any advice on how to make time for practice with a busy work/family schedule? 

I think we all make time for the things that are important to us. Practicing yoga helps me find balance with my family life & work life.

Describe your yoga practice in one word: 

Happy! 
Practicing yoga makes me happy! 
Sorry that's 5 words. 

Why did you start practicing yoga? 

I started running last year and yoga definitely helps me stay stretched and flexible.  My friends invited me to a yoga class. I was intimidated at first but quickly realized that everyone's practice is different and nobody judges anyone. I was hooked!

How does yoga impact your everyday life?  

Yoga has helped me relieve stress, helped me be more patient, it's helped me with strength, balance, confidence and self love. 

What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing? 

That yoga is easy. Boy was I wrong. 


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