April’s YOTM Elise Dunn, there are not words to describe how lovely this yogi is. She will get real with you about life and challenges we face but has a wisdom and a knowing that makes you feel like you can handle anything. She is a wonderful mom and intuitive teacher. There has never been a class of hers that I haven’t gotten exactly what I needed from the asana and from her holding the space. Elise was already a teacher when I took my teacher training and she has been very encouraging of me teaching, I never felt a resistance to me growing as a teacher (which sadly is the case with some other teachers) she has really been open and encouraging of the evolution. She is the real deal; great person, teacher,mom, and friend, make sure to check out her classes.
1 What does yoga mean to you?
It’s a sacred place just for me… on my mat, with my breath…
2 When did you start yoga and how did that come to be?
Well over a decade ago. When I was a dancer, yoga was something I decided to part take in to stretch, unwind, have down time. And I grew to love it.
3 Where and with whom did you study with?
Oh Where to begin?! Teacher Mark in L.C., Lisa Frenette, Bikram Yoga (numerous locations), Bodhi Tree Yoga (Calgary), Calgary Hot Yoga, Kelowna’s Debbie McDougall (Anjali Yoga), Eddie Modestini & Nicki Doane (Maya Yoga Studio (Maui), Judith Laster (Restorative Yoga)….
4 What kept you coming back to the mat and has that changed over time?
Hmmm… this is a loaded question?!!?
Coming to my mat, wether I’m motivated or not prior to stepping on to it, I ALWAYS feel better than I did before I practiced. Over time my yoga practice has evolved from predominantly physical to so much more… it continues to change….
Freedom, a feeling of space inside my physical body and my mind, contentment, appreciation, gratitude for health and those who are close to me…. acceptance of myself & others… Grace & JOY!
6 How has your practice evolved?
From Surya Namaskars to Sirsasana & Pinchamayurasana to Restorative to Meditation…..
7 How might you and/or your life be different if you hadn’t found Yoga?
I believe it would be rather crazy and unbalanced… haha.
8 What is your “can’t do without” favorite pose?
9 Tell us about an asana you struggle with!!
Eka Pada Baddha Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (One legged bound extend side angle)
10 You inspire so many, who inspires you?
There are so many…. To name more than a few…
B.K.S. Iyengar, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, Ana Forest, Jill Miller, Nicki Doane, Judith Lasater, Desiree Rumbaugh, Dana Skoglund….
LISTEN LISTEN & LISTEN to your body… not so much your mind. I believe that especially in the beginning the Body will follow the mind which in my experience hasn’t always been the best road to travel down. Try many different classes until you find someone you really connect with. Trust yourself. Be honest with where you’re at (on all fronts/areas of your life). Be open. Know that feelings, circumstances and how your body feels will always evolve… OBSERVE in order to steer AWAY from Judgement (easier said than done – we’re human, right?) Enjoy opening your body to open your mind:)
12 How about guidance for beginning teachers?
While teaching, Listen to your intuition and to your students, watch them, observe them with kind eyes – have fun… AND DEFINITELY Stay connected to your own practice.
13 What few steps do you think a yogi can take today to tremendously improve their practice?
Try to Have a daily Meditation Practice even if it’s only 5 minutes. Do an inversion every day. Journal. Share with others….
Yoga is not just practiced on a mat in a studio….. I believe it’s through connecting with others around us and in our community.
14 Where are you teaching now and how can we find out more about you?