Meet Camryn, one of our teachers at Yoga District. Learn about how her search for healing led her to yoga and her approach to tackling challenging asanas.
“Yoga has taught me how to be so much more compassionate and loving to others, as well as myself.”
Check out Camryn’s current class offerings below and sign up here!
Tuesday, 7:15PM: Candlelight Flow for All Levels @ Online
Friday, 4:15PM:All Levels Flow @ Online
Healing with Yoga
I was in a deep grieving phase when I came to yoga. In search of healing and looking for a way to cope with the grief and pain. From my practice, I’ve gained that and so much more.
I like to say that yoga has radically changed my life from the inside out. Little by little, I’ve learned to care for my inner hurts with tenderness. Yoga helped me find a greater sense of strength and love. It enables me to treat myself and others with compassion and genuine care.
Empowerment Through Yoga
I believe that a yoga class should be a healing and empowering experience. A place where students feel comfortable honoring their individual bodies and accepting changing needs with gratitude and humility.
In my classes, I teach a contemporary vinyasa flow that is both graceful and powerful. I love creating sequences where students explore and develop an awareness of the balance between effort and ease. They focus on “moving through, not plowing ahead” (1). While vinyasa is my go-to, I also incorporate my Ashtanga and Rocket yoga training into my sequences (2).
I’m a big fan of arm balances and inversions. During class, I make sure to offer opportunities for students to explore more advanced asanas. One of my favorites is eka pada bakasana (one-legged crow) (3). When I was first introduced to this asana, it felt impossible! It took me years to finally develop the strength to succeed. It reminds me that we are each a work in progress: you can’t rush your growth, your healing, or the transformation you’re undergoing.
I don’t believe in intensity for intensity’s sake. I think that any asana can be a powerful mirror, reflecting habits and thoughts holding us back. More challenging asanas can be an opportunity to grow, but they are most beneficial when we give ourselves compassion in the learning process. I like to say that we don’t win any prizes for doing fancy poses. Often the the most difficult and important lessons to learn seem simple like trying to sit in stillness and quiet the mind.
Creating a Welcoming Space
I enjoy the time spent building connections with each of my students! Even in virtual classes, I love to speak with everyone before and afterwards. We chat about our days, discuss requests for specific asanas, and work together to develop modifications for their injuries or other health concerns.
During class, I also try to teach directly to my students and work with them on their practices. I understand what it’s like to see a pose and wonder, “How in the world do I even get there?” So I often try to have workshop moments in my classes. I’ll break down a specific asana and explain the steps to developing it. There is always a mindset of progress, not perfection.
I have such tremendous gratitude for the many teachers and mentors who helped guide me along my yoga path. It’s incredibly important to me that every student feels welcomed and supported when they come to one of my classes. I became a teacher to share the gifts of yoga with others in a safe and caring space. It is a way for me to say: “I see you — the real you. I don’t know all of what you’ve been through, but I’m here to support you, and I care.”
Teaching Yoga Online
Moving to an online practice environment brings a whole new set of challenges to teaching and practicing yoga. It can be very difficult to maintain focus and not get distracted by your surroundings. It’s important to come to the mat with a set intention and a sense of purpose.
When we’re able to focus on syncing our breath and our movement, any practice can become a deeply meditative experience. You might not feel immediately amazing in the middle of a flow sequence. Yet, effort put into a practice has a powerful ripple effect. It lasts well beyond the moment you step off the mat. After a class, I feel less reactive and more grounded. I am able to handle whatever comes my way with more consideration and compassion.
This lovely effect of yoga can only happen when we show up and do the work, no matter what form the work takes. That’s one upside of online classes: the ease and accessibility. We have the opportunity to get in touch with our amazing yoga communities, at Yoga District and beyond, from virtually anywhere. Especially right now, building and maintaining connections is so important. Those connections remind us that we’re not alone, and we all struggle. There are moments of emotional and physical exhaustion. We need a space to recenter and reset.
Effort and ease in yoga, https://thriveglobal.com/stories/effort-and-ease/
Rocket Yoga, https://itsyoga.com/the-rocket/
Eka pada bakasana, https://www.yogapedia.com/definition/7284/eka-pada-bakasana
The Yoga District 200 and 500 hour teacher training certification programs, registered by the Yoga Alliance are unique in their emphasis on diversity of teaching styles studied, personal attention, and trauma sensitive yoga. It's no coincidence that Yoga District is regularly voted the leading studio in the nation's capital, and that most of its classes are taught by graduates of its training program. As a full time yoga school, small group trainings are led up to eight times a year by a dedicated faculty including Jasmine Chehrazi, contributor to the Harvard Karma Yoga Project teacher training, teacher training faculty at George Washington University, Yoga Alliance Standards Committee Advisory Board Member, Yoga Activist Founder, and Yoga Service Council Advisory Board Member. So take your practice and community involvement to the next level by joining a training. There's a reason why our graduates call the training "transformative."
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