Friday, November 1, 2013

Introducing our Teacher of the Month!

Introducing the beautiful Eileen! 
My interview with her was rather different, more question and answer based and below are some of her responses to the many questions I was so eager to get answers to. 

Hometown: Hauppauge, Long Island, NY

Childhood Ambition:  I dreamed of being a dancer ... than got practical, and since I loved animals and always had pets, I thought I'd become a vet, but then realized I'd never be able to operate on animals! 

First job:Like most girls I started baby sitting at age 12 or so... then got my first paycheck job as camp counselor at age 14. I had the 5 yr. old group, it was so fun and utterly exhausting!

First yoga class: NYHRC in the early 1990's

Favorite yoga pose and why: There are so many! each for it's own reason ...but when I think about it I'd have to say ustrasana (camel), i always seem to integrate it into my practice, it has such a sweet, expansive quality. 

Person who influenced me most: My grandfather, he was so good natured ... a truly kindhearted, loving and patient man.  There was a steadiness to him. He's been gone for 2 decades and he's still with me. 

Last book: I recently reread "A Path with Heart" by Jack Kornfield, a decade into trying to maintain a consistent meditation practice, I loved reading it again and understanding it from a different perspective.

How do you live your yoga? I read this quote by Richard Freeman recently "good teachers are not swayed by the changing phenomena of the world, the are able to rest completely silent and serene at the center of their own experience"  so beautiful ... a way of being that I've been trying to move towards as I age as a yogi and a teacher. I see others that live that way and it's inspiring.

Explain your journey that led you to become a yoga teacher at Devotion: Liza hired me as a sub when she first opened :)  and when I made the shift from corporate world to teaching for a living, she gave me steady classes on the schedule! ... she also opened the doors for me to offer Yin classes, and am so appreciative of that!!

What's playing on my ipod?  Lately, stories.  I've been podcasting it a lot.  Love the downloads from the MOTH radio hour ... also been tapping into talks from Dharma Seed. 

Retreat: First one:  1994 to Kripalu.  Favorite one: Koh samui, Thailand at Samahita Retreat Center.    Most 

Recent: Last spring at IMS, Barre, MA

Indulgence:  A massage!! Susanne Ziegler is my saviour!

Last purchase: a cute pair of flats for the fall :)

Biggest challenge: I am not at all good with long range planning!

Inspiration: I am continually humbled and inspired by the sincerity, spirit and dedication of students and teachers that share of themselves and the practice ... it truly is what accompanies me on my path. 

Introducing our Client of the Month!

Starting this November we will be showcasing a client and a teacher from our studio!

This Month, please welcome Trisha Wiles!

Below is a narrative interview I had with Trisha.

I have never done an interview before. I have only been interviewed, and that was usually for job openings and professional reasons. But this time, I was the one asking questions and creating conversation with some of Devotion Yoga’s annual members. I remember seeing Trisha so often that she soon became a warm and welcoming face, but now was my opportunity to talk about her, and her connection to yoga.

We started out a bit awkwardly, neither knowing what role we held, or how to start. I wasn’t a professional who interviewed people regularly, but what I was good at was talking and simply holding a conversation. Thus, my interview with the lovely Trisha Wiles began.

I believe we all carry a story with us, a path or a journey we are walking on, aspirations we are walking (or running) towards, and passions that enlighten us and skills that make us special. Trisha, born and raised in a farm town in Ohio, grew up as the youngest of three. She then later on attended university at Ohio State where she fell deeply for the women’s studies department. It was there, in a classroom, surrounded by like minded people where she found intelligent conversation, deep insightful questions being asked, and a satisfying feeling she had never experienced in any other course.

It was in that classroom that she could make sense of the world around her, bring light to the issues that troubled her as a young woman. Like any woman growing up in today’s society and body culture, Trisha struggled with her weight, school, alcohol, and drugs. Trisha describes her women’s studies class as being on the mat during yoga. “Contextual mindfulness...” Trisha details the mat as her breath and there she is able to connect back to the present moment of her everyday life and bring all her issues and vulnerabilities to the mat where not a single soul can judge her. We all have our own story.

Thankful and grateful, Trisha has been sober since August of 2011. A few months her sobriety Trisha began her yoga adventure where she realized gentle yoga and restorative was just not her thing. It wasn’t until August of this year that Trisha took another shot at yoga, it was in our studio, at Devotion Yoga, that Trisha began to show up to her mat. It was through the diversity of our teachers, between Patrick’s Power Flow to Jocelyn’s Flow and Let Go that Trisha was able to appetize the buffet of classes Devotion offers. It was in Patrick’s class that Trisha had to stay present and determined to attempt the crow stance, but it was in Julie’s class that Trisha is reminded to be peaceful and stay humbled by the many warrior poses.

It was there that I felt Trisha opened up about her experience with yoga and her time on the mat. Through all the struggles, emotionally and physically, Trisha was able to face those demons through the challenges of accepting yourself as who you are. Yoga, “...helps to accept the way you are,” and, “...honor the authenticity of others and recognize you’re worthy.”

Trisha Wiles has come a long way, from Ohio resident to New Jersey bound, from addict and alcoholic to sober, now a student of yoga and ready to face any demon she meets on that mat. Because we all know she can defeat anything that stands in her way.

More About Trisha:
Favorite Yoga Pose: Peaceful Warrior & Humble Warrior
Wants to accomplish: The Crow & A sturdy hand stand