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?