[dropcap]When I met Dustin he was already fit, and loved his boot-camp. I would see him all the time going to work-out but never venturing into the yoga classes. It appeared to be over night that changed. The next thing I knew Dustin was in what seemed to be every yoga class. I remember him telling me he could no longer do boot camp as it would throw his yoga practice off track! It wasn’t long as a dedicated student before Dustin was interested in teacher training. Now moving into teaching his practice has grown and encouraged him to grow. I am amazed at how yoga can illuminate areas of ourselves we never thought we there. Dustin is a great example of yoga finding you, it almost seems as though in was inevitable.[/dropcap]
To me yoga ultimately is a personal journey in self-discovery and connection to the inner self.
2 When did you start yoga and how did that come to be?
My best friend Steph Herits had been asking me for years to attend a yoga class with her, most of the time my answers involved my pre-judged hate for yoga. Eventually she convinced me to try out a class. It took a few classes but eventually I was hooked, I started to feel not only the physical benefits of the practice but also the mental and spiritual aspects.
3 Have you had any teacher(S) in particular that helped you along your journey, if so what made them special?
There are so many teachers that I have encountered and they all have impacted by yoga journey, each instructors brings something new to me and my practice and I am grateful for every instructor I have had the pleasure of working with. Shauna Nyrose, Pam Radar, Sheila Chutskoff, Laura Martini, Sarah Wolton, Carol Ann Domanko and Chelsea Ray are a few instructors who have made the biggest impact on my yoga journey.
4 What kept you coming back to the mat and has that changed over time?
I continue to come back to the mat because of the good feeling I get at the end of class, every muscle in my body feels worked and rejuvenated.
5 What does yoga bring to your life?
6 How has your practice evolved?
I think the area that evolved the most in my yoga practice is the asana’s. When I first started I was not flexible and lacked upper body strength. I notice week after week that my physical practice is getting stronger.
7 How might you and/or your life be different if you hadn’t found Yoga?
Its hard now to imagine my life without yoga, I would probably still be searching for the missing piece to my life. Practicing and teaching yoga brings so much calmness and joy to my life.
8 What is your “can’t do without” favorite pose?
9 Tell us about an asana you struggle with.Suya Namaskara A and B, my practice is not complete without sun salutations.
This question took me the longest to answer… My ego definitely got in the way of me coming to an immediate answer for this. I have to thank Laura Martini for helping me discover what challenges me. Immediately after class I expressed to her how I had found the posture that I struggle with, Hanumanasana (the splits). I quickly blamed the lack of flexibility in my groin, when really the major struggle is with my ego.
10 Who inspires you, on or off the mat, what keeps you going?
My Mom is my biggest inspiration in life, and I would have to say my competitiveness is what really keeps me going.
11 What tips can you offer beginning students for a safe practice?
I can’t stress the importance of proper alignment enough, so I would have to say to find an instructor who teaches alignment.
12 How about guidance for beginning teachers. As a veteran student what would you say to a new teacher?
As a new instructor myself I am searching for guidance from my fellow students and teachers. I think the greatest piece of advice that I got is to breathe, just like in our own practice we often forget to breathe. So breathe and don’t take yourself to seriously.
13 What few steps do you think a yogi can take today to tremendously improve their practice, was there or is there anything that has helped you along the way?
My biggest recommendation is to practice daily, you will notice tremendous improvement in your practice. Daily practice allows you the opportunity to check in with your
mind and body and help you to connect to your inner self each and every day.