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!


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: 

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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