Teacher Feature: Meet Heather!

Jun 21, 2020   //   by Betsy   //   Teacher Feature, The Blog, Yoga Teacher  //  No Comments

Meet Heather, one of our teachers at Yoga District! Learn how her yoga practice and teaching emphasize body awareness , exploration, joy, and play.

“[Y]oga provides us with the opportunity to really get to know our individual bodies. As we try new poses, the process of learning is an opportunity to explore and play.”

Check out Heather’s current class offerings below and sign up here!

  • Wednesday, 5:30 PM: Flow Yoga 1-1.5 @ Online
  • Thursday, 6:45 PM: Flow Yoga 1-1.5 @ Online

The Healing Power of Yoga

I found yoga in my early 20s when I was in graduate school. I was dealing with the anxiety of being a new grad student. As I spent my days reading and writing, I felt disconnected from my body. I saw yoga as a kind of workout, or as something that would help me deal with anxiety. Yoga helped me improve my physical and mental health.

As I explored more of the philosophy of yoga, I began to see yoga as something more than the classes. It is a way of living. I became invested in yoga as I read more about its ethical and spiritual practices.


Sharing and Learning

I love working with beginners because they eventually find the same love for yoga I found so many years ago. I remember how my first few classes as a beginner helped me experience my body in a different way. As I continued to take more classes, I felt more connected to my body. I got excited to learn what my body could do. I love teaching folks who are new to yoga because I see that joy in them and it helps me see my own yoga practice with fresh eyes.

Before I taught yoga, I worked for many years as a women’s studies professor. Teaching yoga helps me appreciate the body-mind connection and how that connection increases receptivity. Now,  I am more attentive to how students feel as they learn. I view learning from a holistic perspective.


Getting to Know Our Bodies

My most inspiring yoga moment was the first time I did a handstand. I knew the cues, such as where to put your hands and how to kick up your leg. I knew how to do it, but I couldn’t make my body do what I wanted. So, I played with the pose. Making sure to stay safe, I just explored the ways my body could get upside down. I felt my way through it.
Eventually playing with the pose helped me do a handstand. I adapted the cues to my body, customizing my approach as I learned more about how my body moved. I’m still in progress working on my handstand. But, I learned a wonderful lesson: yoga provides us with the opportunity to really get to know our individual bodies. As we try new poses, the process of learning is an opportunity to explore and play.


Online Classes with Yoga District

I think the online environment is different from an in-person experience. They each offer different advantages. For example, as we’ve shifted to online classes, I’ve been able to practice more because I don’t have to travel to a studio. It’s just so easy to turn my computer on and join a class. I also think online classes can be wonderful for beginners who are feeling shy about yoga. They have the opportunity to take virtual classes with their cameras off.
I love the way that Yoga District structures online classes. They are very interactive. Students can use the chat feature to check in with their teachers before class and make requests. Even though we’re not practicing in the same physical space, the online classes give me a sense of community. I feel connected, and I really look forward to them. I will be happy when we have the opportunity to practice in-person again. There are a lot of wonderful things about in-person yoga classes, and I miss them! For my personal yoga practice in the future, I will combine in-person and online classes.

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The Teachers

The diverse family of DC yoga teachers at Yoga District are dedicated to making yoga accessible to everyone through a huge variety of yoga class types, from vinyasa flow to restorative and beyond. Most Yoga District teachers are graduates of Yoga District’s nationally-attended 200 hour teacher training program. All Yoga District classes focus on coordinating breath with body movement to promote flexibility, strength, and peace of mind. We strongly believe in yoga as therapy, so catch one of our classes whenever you need a healthy dose of self-care.
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The Next Step

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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