Meet Stephanie, one of our teachers at Yoga District. Learn about her journey with yoga and her love for the DC community.

“People come to their mats for many reasons, but once we’re in the studio we’re all in it together.”

Check out Stephanie’s current class offering below and sign up here.

Monday, 8PM: Flow Yoga 1.5 – 3 @ H Street

Practicing Yoga

My mom has been doing yoga for over twenty years. As an immature teen and fundamentally competitive person, I wanted to see how much better I could be at it than her. That was my first introduction to yoga as a feisty teenager.

After my last season of collegiate diving, I began to practice yoga regularly in my early twenties. I needed to find a way to stay active and I’ve never liked running, plus I have horrible hand-eye coordination. I went to a hot yoga class and fell in love (1). I had never been so focused on doing a physical activity that I was able to let go of all the background chatter in my mind.

Teaching Yoga

I like teaching a powerful flow because I love a sweaty yoga practice. For me, there’s nothing better than when you get in a good flow and you’re not thinking about much of anything else. You are listening to the teacher give cues and muscling through with the people on their mats next to you.  In most of my classes, students can expect hands-on assists (unless they opt out).  Also, I share odd details about my life (like my father’s stretching habits and my love of Melville). There is always time in class for savasana! 

3 Lessons from Yoga 

1. From yoga, I learned how to breathe through difficult situations.  Like when you are holding wheel for 10 breaths towards the end of a challenging practice, or when your small child is on the floor crying because their banana broke.

2.Through practicing yoga, I know how to listen to my body and responsibly “work my edge.” I’m naturally risk averse and if I am not not good at something I don’t like to do it.  Yet, there’s no mastering yoga because it is always practice. That attitude is helpful and healthy for plenty of other things in my life as well. 

3.Yoga has taught, and is still teaching, me how to accept rest and let go of stuff. 

Inspirational Yoga Moment

I had a wonderful teacher Tara Morris. Towards the end of an early morning yoga class, she encouraged us to reflect on just how fortunate we were to take that class. All of us had the physical ability to practice yoga, the financial means to attend class, and a support system that allows us to be out at 5:30 in the morning on a weekday. The previous day had been bad, so that sentiment really resonated with me. Regardless of things going on in my life that I perceive as negative, I remember that I am still so fortunate. I think of  that every time I’m on my mat.

DC Yoga Community

My favorite thing about the DC yoga community is that it exists! We move every three or four years for my spouse’s job and it’s hard to leave behind familiarity and friends to arrive in a brand new place.

I’m so glad I walked into the H Street studio one day. The teachers and students I found myself practicing with immediately made me feel more settled. It always strikes me how a good yoga studio is like an automatic community. Whether it’s a tiny one where you know pretty much everyone who practices there or a studio with seven locations in a major metropolitan area. People come to their mats for many reasons, but once we’re in the studio we’re all in it together. What’s more lovely than that?

 

Reference Links:

  1. Yogapedia: https://www.yogapedia.com/definition/10696/hot-yoga

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