• Find Out Why These Omstars Teachers Practice Yoga

    “I feel blessed every time I teach that I can be a conduit for the teachings of yoga. I can get out of the way knowing that any transformation that takes place is the grace that happens between the student and their practice.” – Anamargret Sanchez

    We do our best to gather the most amazing yoga teachers in the world to teach Omstars members. They are dedicated to the practice and have so much to share with you. Today we’ve asked Marie Belle Perez Rivera, Shawn J. Moore, Anamargret Sanchez, and Henry Winslow to share some of their yoga experiences. Keep reading to find out why they practice and what advice they have for new yoga students.

    Why do you practice?

    Shawn J. Moore

    I practice to be in alignment with Self. For me, practice is practical, spiritual, and developmental.

    Anamargret Sanchez

    To stay awake to Life.

    Marie Belle Perez Rivera

    I love the connection and processing

    Henry Winslow

    I practice to understand myself, and to realize the best possible version of myself in this lifetime.

    Why do you teach?

    Shawn J. Moore

    Representation matters. I teach so people that look like me know that these practices are for them and beneficial to them.

    Anamargret Sanchez

    Because I love to share the rich beauty of Yoga. And I feel blessed every time I teach that I can be a conduit for the teachings. I can get out of the way knowing that any transformation that takes place is the grace that happens between the student and their practice.

    Marie Belle Perez Rivera

    I love connecting with the community, learning from them, and sharing in the process

    Henry Winslow

    To help others do understand themselves and realize the best possible versions of themselves.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga student?

    Shawn J. Moore

    As a student – just sticking with the practice past some of the microagressions I experienced.

    Anamargret Sanchez

    When my intuition very strongly led me to my Himalayan Tantric lineage. I had never heard that inner voice speak so loudly or clearly.

    Marie Belle Perez Rivera

    The most inspirational moment I’ve experienced as a yoga student was finding my people, those willing to look at themselves, work with what is, and continue to do their work consistently, for a long period of time, with devotion.

    Henry Winslow

    In 2018 I won the World Yoga Asana Championships in Beijing, China. Plenty of people scoff at the idea of competitive yoga, and I think that’s totally fair. But I still point to my experience competing as both a major struggle and a major milestone because of the lessons I learned on stage. I competed for several years at the regional and even national level, and every time I would be well prepared and polished, only to stumble once it was my turn under the spotlight. The year that I progressed all the way to internationals and won first place was the year that I finally allowed myself to relax. I stopped trying to be the absolute best, and simply made my goal to do what was average for me. I’d always heard and understood intellectually that putting undue pressure on oneself wasn’t helpful, but the yoga championships ingrained this knowing in my physical body.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga teacher?

    Shawn J. Moore

    Inspiring my students at Morehouse College (I teach full-time) to get involved in meditation and yoga.

    Anamargret Sanchez

    I’ve had many. But the most recent one was when a student told me that her yoga practice brought her back to her spirituality. That made my heart soar.

    Marie Belle Perez Rivera

    I had an experience in DC once that really shook me to my core and grounded me at the same time. In the city, we are taught to lock all doors at the beginning of class. If someone is late, they can take the next class. For some reason, this day I didn’t lock the door. 10 minutes into class, I had 3 students run in and roll their mats out to practice. I was a bit confused and locked the door after them. Class went as planned. After class, the students stayed after to thank me for leaving the door unlocked. There had been a shooting outside and they ran for cover. Our door was the only one unlocked so they came in to practice. They thanked me for leaving the door unlocked, accepting them, and guiding them into stillness.

    Henry Winslow

    When studios shut down worldwide in response to COVID-19, I was surprised, impressed, and inspired by the yoga community’s adaptability. Studios, teachers, and students rallied, stumbled their way through standing up online classes, and continued to support each other when everyone needed it most.

    What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?

    Shawn J. Moore

    Approach the practice from a place of exploration.

    Anamargret Sanchez

    Student first. Teacher second. Consistent practice is key. Fill your toolbox. Be the light.

    Marie Belle Perez Rivera

    Practice, explore, listen to your intuition, remain grateful, curious, resilient

    Henry Winslow

    Never compare yourself to others — only to yourself, yesterday.

    By Omstars

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  • An Interview with Melanie C Klein

    Joyful, loving, determined

    Where are you from?

    Santa Monica, CA

    How did yoga come into your life and what has that journey been like for you?

    My sister introduced me to Kundalini yoga in 1996. Shortly thereafter I began practicing with Bryan Kest which also led me to Vipassana meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka. From the get go, I realized that yoga & meditation coupled with my newly discovered feminist consciousness and social justice work offered a gateway and support for my own personal transformation and my commitment to collective healing and liberation. It’s been profound and deeply humbling. I’m grateful every day.

    How has yoga affected your daily life?

    My yoga and meditation practice offers me the opportunity to pause, listen and make conscious choices that increase my sense of personal empowerment, purposefulness, and living a life that feels meaningful and fulfilling.

    Who were you before you started practicing and how have you changed, evolved, and transformed?

    Before I started practicing I was confused, lost, and felt deflated and adrift. Once I started practicing, I was able to make peace with and forgive myself and others as well and begin to harness the innate wisdom, power, and sense of agency I possessed but had been obscured by the circumstances of living in a society that had socialized me as a woman to question and doubt myself.

    Why do you practice?

    I practice to stay centered and grounded as well as continue to expand and grow.

    What is the single most defining issue facing the global yoga community today?

    The continued dearth of diversity in representation and the issues related to access and ability in all their forms, including the commercialization, commodification, and objectification of yoga practice and yoga practitioners.

    Do you have any recommended yoga reading?

    Meditation with Intention: Quick and Easy Ways to Create Lasting Peace by Anusha Wijeyakumar

    Accessible Yoga: Poses and Practices for Every Body by Jivana Heyman

    Yoga for Everyone: 50 Poses For Every Type of Body by Dianne Bondy

    Yoga Where You Are: Customize Your Practice for Your Body and Your Life by Dianne Bondy and Kat Heagberg

    Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery & Loving Your Body by Melanie Klein and Anna Guest – Jelley

    Yoga Rising: 30 Empowering Stories from Yoga Renegades for Every Body by Melanie Klein

    Yoke: My Yoga of Self-Acceptance by Jessamyn Stanley

    Peace from Anxiety: Get Grounded, Build Resilience, and Stay Connected Amidst the Chaos by Hala Khouri

    Yoga, the Body, and Embodied Social Change: An Intersectional Feminist Analysis by Beth Berila, Melanie Klein and Chelsea Jackson Roberts

    Embrace Yoga’s Roots: Courageous Ways to Deepen Your Yoga Practice by Susanna Barkataki

    Restorative Yoga for Ethnic and Race-Based Stress and Trauma by Dr. Gail Parker

    Radiant Rest: Yoga Nidra for Deep Relaxation and Awakened Clarity by Tracee Stanley

    Are there any current projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?

    I just published the anthology Embodied Resilience through Yoga: 30 Mindful Essays About Finding Empowerment After Addiction, Trauma, Grief, and Loss with my co-editors.

    What do you like to do for fun that’s non-yoga related?

    Hiking, the beach, movies, and game nights!

    Who is your greatest inspiration?

    My son, Atticus.

    If you were stranded on an island what 3 things would you bring with you?

    My son, chocolate and loads of good books.

    When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

    Believe it or not, a lawyer or an artist! Some serious left brain right brain wanderings.

    What’s your favorite movie?

    Moxie! Great job, Amy Poehler.

    What’s your favorite TV series?

    I’m a big fan of Schitt’s Creek, the Umbrella Academy, The Good Place, WandaVision, The Magicians, Young Sheldon and The Great British Baking Show.

    What is your life’s biggest question?

    How can I be better and do better?

    By Melanie C Klein

    Melanie Klein, M.A., is an empowerment coach, thought leader and influencer in the areas of body confidence, authentic empowerment, and visibility. She is also a successful writer, speaker, and professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies. Her areas of interest and specialty include media literacy education, body image, and the intersectional analysis of systems of power and privilege. She is the co-editor of Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery + Loving Your Body (Llewellyn, 2014) with Anna Guest-Jelley, a contributor in 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics and Practice (Horton & Harvey, 2012), is featured in Conversations with Modern Yogis (Shroff, 2014), a featured writer in Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Mindful Living (Llewellyn, 2016), co-editor of Yoga, the Body and Embodied Social Change: An Intersectional Feminist Analysis with Dr. Beth Berila and Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016) as well as the editor of the new anthology, Yoga Rising: 30 Empowering Stories from Yoga Renegades for Every Body. She co-founded the Yoga and Body Image Coalition in 2014 and is the co-founder of The Joy Revolution. She has been practicing yoga and meditation since 1996 and currently lives in Santa Monica, CA.

    Connect: melaniecklein.comybicoalition.comyogaandbodyimage.orgyogarisingbook.com

    Photo by Sarit Z. Rogers/

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  • An Interview with Jesus Caballero

    Flexible, Funny, Quiet

    Where are you from?

    I was born in Spain but I have been living in Miami since 2000.

    How did yoga come into your life and what has that journey been like for you?

    I first got into yoga and then Ayurveda when I was looking for alternative ways to heal myself. Little did I know at that time that 20 years later I was still going be so attached to both practices.

    How has yoga changed and what do you feel it creates in your daily life?

    Yoga has given me clarity, balance, calmness, deepness, and a complete new view of life. On a daily basis, it continues to reaffirm all these wonderful feelings and connections to my essence.

    What is yoga to you?

    A way of living and understanding how to live.

    How did you feel after your first yoga class and how do you feel this influences or impacts the space you create for your students?

    To be honest, I felt terrible as my ego was badly hurt at seeing a bunch of old ladies being so flexible and balanced while I was unable to do anything properly 🙂 On the other hand, it also created a hard-to-explain, new feeling that made me come back the following day. Holding on to that feeling and having it present all the time helps me create a high vibrational space for my clients and students.

    Who were you before you started practicing and how have you changed, evolved, and transformed?

    I was clueless about what life was and therefore rather unhappy. After I started practicing Yoga and Ayurveda, I started to feel better, eat better, think better, but mostly I started to understand what this beautiful journey called life is.

    What has been your biggest struggle and your biggest milestone in the practice, in teaching, and within the yoga community?

    Recovering from several illnesses where I had to put my practice on hold for several months.

    Why do you practice?

    To be in balance.

    Why do you teach?

    To help others be in balance.

    What is the single most defining issue facing the global yoga community today?

    Purpose

    Do you have any recommended yoga reading?

    Hands down, the Bhagavad Gita.

    Through your own personal journey, what do you feel is your path and offering to the community- local and global?

    Nowadays, I mostly practice Ayurveda so I basically try to help other people heal.

    What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?

    Flow and have fun!

    Are there any current projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?

    Yes, I am offering personalized Ayurveda Home Detox Programs. They have become very popular as they are very effective and you don’t have to travel to a retreat.

    What’s your favorite book?

    Zorba the Greek

    What’s your favorite meal at a restaurant?

    Green Thai curry

    What’s your favorite meal to make at home?

    Curries

    What do you like to do for fun that’s non-yoga related?

    Spend time in nature

    If you were stranded on an island what 3 things would you bring with you?

    Fishing rod, music, and some sort of tool to open coconuts

    When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

    A rock & roll star 🙂

    What’s your favorite movie?

    Casablanca

    What’s your favorite TV series?

    Sense8

    By Jesus Caballero

    Jesus Caballero is dedicated to the teachings of Yoga, Vedanta and Ayurveda, Jesus Caballero has been involved in the art of healing and inner development for over 15 years. He is a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner from the renowned Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico, certified yoga teacher, and Pancha Karma Practitioner, as well as a national certified massage therapist, mindfulness and meditation instructor, and reiki master. His seminars and workshops are a fun and thorough journey along the integral science of Ayurveda and its multiple benefits and applications for a healthy, happy, and conscious lifestyle.

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    Photo by ryan baker on Unsplash

  • An Interview with Allaine Stricklen

    HEART WIDE OPEN

    Where are you from?

    ORIGINALLY FROM LONDON ENGLAND LIVING IN MIAMI CURRENTLY.

    How did yoga come into your life and what has that journey been like for you?

    YOGA CAME INTO MY LIFE WHEN I WAS 7 YEARS YOUNG. I LEARNED FIRSTLY HOW TO MEDITATE AND RELAX THEN THE ASANA PRANAYAMA PRACTICE CAME NEXT. MY VERY FIRST MEDITATION EXPERIENCE I FLOATED AND TRAVELED IN SPACE (ASTRAL REALM).

    How has yoga changed and what do you feel it creates in your daily life?

    YOGA FOR ME IS CONSTANTLY EVOLVING AS I PRACTICE EVERY DAY I HAVE LEARNED TO LISTEN TO WHAT MY BODY MIND AND SPIRIT GUIDE ME TO EXPERIENCE.

    What is yoga to you?

    YOGA FOR ME HAS BEEN SUCH AN INCREDIBLE MAGICAL HEALING MYSTICAL AND HUMBLING PRACTICE. YOGA HAS TAUGHT ME FLEXIBILITY OPENNESS & PATIENCE WHICH I TAKE OFF MY YOGA MAT INTO MY LIFE. SO MUCH GRATITUDE, JOY, LOVE HAVE AND CONTINUE TO MANIFEST IN MY LIFE. THANKS TO THE YOGA PATH.

    How did you feel after your first yoga class and how do you feel this influences or impacts the space you create for your students?

    I ACTUALLY CRIED AND CRIED DURING MY VERY FIRST YOGA CLASS SAVASANA, AND CONTINUED TO SHED LAYERS AND LAYERS OF EMOTION FOR YEARS AFTERWARDS, AS YOGA HELPED ME TO LET GO OF HELD STUCK EMOTION.

    I LOVE TO CREATE A CALM WARM & WELCOMING SPACE FOR EVERYONE WHO JOINS ME TO PRACTICE WITH NO JUDGEMENT JUST ENCOURAGEMENT AND LOVE.

    Who were you before you started practicing and how have you changed, evolved, and transformed?

    I CERTAINLY WAS A VERY ACTIVE CHILD VERY INQUISITIVE INDEED. YOGA BREATHWORK & MEDITATION HAVE CERTAINLY TRANSFORMED ME TO MOVE INTO STILLNESS WITHOUT JUDGEMENT AND LOVE MYSELF MORE AND MORE EVERY DAY.

    What has been your biggest struggle and your biggest milestone in the practice, in teaching, and within the yoga community?

    BEING PATIENT ON EVERY LEVEL LEARNING TO PLANT A SEED AND WATER IT WATCH IT GROW AND HAVING FAITH THAT STUDENTS WILL SHOW UP READY TO GROW EVOLVE AND HEAL.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga student?

    THE MOST INSPIRATIONAL MOMENT AS A STUDENT MEETING BKS IYENGAR IN PUNE INDIA. WHAT AN AMAZING MOMENT. I AM TRULY GRATEFUL.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga teacher?

    THERE ARE SO MANY INSPIRATIONAL MOMENTS I HAVE EXPERIENCED ESPECIALLY WHEN I SEE STUDENTS HEALING THEMSELVES, PURE BLISS FOR MY HEART AND SOUL.

    Why do you practice?

    I FEEL SO MUCH MORE POWERFUL AND VIBRANT WHEN I PRACTICE YOGA.

    Why do you teach?

    I LOVE TO SHARE WISDOM KNOWLEDGE TO HELP SUPPORT NURTURE AND HEAL EVERYONE I MEET WITH A SMILE LOVE AND JOY…. IT FEEDS MY SOUL AND NOURISHES MY HEART.

    Do you have any recommended yoga reading?

    LIGHT ON YOGA BKS IYENGAR
    BREAKING THE HABIT OF BEING YOURSELF DR JOE DISPENZA

    Through your own personal journey, what do you feel is your path and offering to the community- local and global?

    GENTLE THERAPEUTICS YOGA IS A GENTLE HEALING APPROACH TO YOGA USING PROPS SUCH AS CHAIRS, BLOCKS BLANKETS AND BOLSTERS TO FACILITATE THE POSTURES AND SUPPORT THE BODY… I LOVE PROPS AND INVITE MY STUDENTS TO EMBRACE THEM…

    What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?

    FIND A TEACHER YOU LOVE…. TRY DIFFERENT STYLES OF YOGA …

    Are there any current projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?

    I AM CURRENTLY WORKING ON LEARNING ABOUT THE BRAIN AND STUDYING POLY VAGAL THERAPY AND HAVE BECOME A HEALTH COACH AS WELL.

    What’s your favorite book?

    LIGHT ON YOGA BKS IYENGAR

    What’s your favorite meal at a restaurant?

    I LOVE SOUPS VEGGIE CURRY, SO ASIAN FOOD INDIAN FOOD WITH SPICES I LOVE ALSO.

    What’s your favorite meal to make at home?

    ANYTHING GREEN VEGGIES ESPECIALLY FRESH JUICES SALADS

    What do you like to do for fun that’s non-yoga related?

    ANYTHING THAT IS FOOD-RELATED I LOVE TO COOK AND EAT OF COURSE…

    Who is your greatest inspiration?

    BKS IYENGAR GURY MAYI SIDDHA YOGA MEDITATION DR JOE DISPENZA

    Do you have a favorite podcast?

    I LOVE ANYTHING ON TED TALKS AND ALSO I LOVE HOMEBOUND AND NO TOILET PAPER PODCAST.

    If you were stranded on an island what 3 things would you bring with you?

    WATER, FOOD, YOGA MAT

    When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

    A STOCK BROKER

    What’s your favorite movie?

    DEATH IN VENICE DIRK BOGART

    What’s your favorite TV series?

    DO NOT HAVE A TV.

    Do you have a favorite band/singer?

    EARTH WIND AND FIRE

    Favorite song to dance to?

    HIGHER LOVE BY WHITNEY HOUSTON

    What’s your favorite quote/affirmation/mantra?

    TODAY I WELCOME INFINITE POSSIBILITIES WITH OPEN ARMS, I ACCEPT SUPPORT OF THE UNIVERSE, I KNOW THAT ABUNDANCE OF HEALTH WEALTH AND LOVE ARE AVAILABLE TO ME NOW.

    What is your life’s biggest question?

    HOW DO YOU BECOME A GENIUS????

    By Allaine Stricklen

    By Allaine Stricklen is an accredited Master Yoga Instructor with the Yoga Alliance and IAYT -International Association of Yoga Therapists. Allaine teaches and offers meditation sessions, workshops, and Teacher Training programs all over the world including Miami. Her unique style of teaching derives from her extensive studies in many different styles of Yoga, including Iyengar Yoga. Allaine is the creator of Gentle Therapeutics Yoga, a method utilizing props to restore the body’s balance and vitality. She currently teaches at many studios in the Miami area About Gentle Therapeutics Yoga is the Yoga of non-doing and the core practice underlying the essence of all Yoga. Even those with an active dynamic practice will benefit greatly from the inner peace and deep release of this Restorative class. Gentle Therapeutics Yoga is the practice of entering into Yoga postures using an assortment of props: blankets, bolsters, blocks, straps, walls, chairs, eye pillows etc. Supported and stabilized by various props, one experiences the Yoga postures as profoundly relaxing and deeply rejuvenating, invoking a natural state of healing rest, renewal, and equanimity. Supported and passive yoga postures allow the body to naturally release, letting go of held tension and stress. The results are a balanced state of being from the inside out. Gentle Therapeutics Yoga is a life-enhancing practice and is appropriate for anyone at any age or stage of life and in any physical condition.

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  • An Interview with Anamargret Sanchez

    Funny, Irreverent, Loyal

    Where are you from?

    I’m a Jamaican living in Miami.

    How did yoga come into your life and what has that journey been like for you?

    The profound practices of Yoga helped me get through the grief of losing my elders one year apart. The journey has been deep, magical, and life-changing. Yoga has connected me to so many different people, supported me in joy and sorrow, and brought me to a revolution of consciousness. I’d say it’s been an amazing journey so far with more surprises to come.

    How has yoga changed and what do you feel it creates in your daily life?

    Yoga has taught me to go inward. To uncover the voice of intuition and trust it. To have courage to look at my shadows. To understand that compassion and radical self-love are necessary to be able to offer the same to others. It creates a space for authentic joy.

    What is yoga to you?

    Yoga is my north star. It helps redirect me when I fall off the mindfulness wagon. There is no longer a difference between my Yoga on the mat and off the mat.

    How did you feel after your first yoga class and how do you feel this influences or impacts the space you create for your students?

    I felt so embodied after my first yoga class. Like I had finally arrived home in my body and the space around me. I had never felt so whole before. That feeling is what I try to provide for students. Everyone is welcome. Everyone is seen. Everyone is safe. You are home.

    Why did you decide to start teaching yoga and what qualities do you feel are important to build and work on as a yoga teacher?

    When I experienced the profound healing qualities of Yoga I felt the need to share that with others. It’s important as a teacher to SEE the student in front of you and not the idea of what a pose should look like. It’s the most important to have your own practice so you have something rich and authentic to transmit. You have to do the work before you can teach the work. Remember you are a student before you are a teacher- always.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga student?

    When my intuition very strongly led me to my Himalayan Tantric lineage. I had never heard that inner voice speak so loudly or clearly.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga teacher?

    I’ve had many. But the most recent one was when a student told me that her yoga practice brought her back to her spirituality. That made my heart soar.

    Why do you practice?

    To stay awake to Life.

    Why do you teach?

    Because I love to share the rich beauty of Yoga. And I feel blessed every time I teach that I can be a conduit for the teachings. I can get out of the way knowing that any transformation that takes place is the grace that happens between the student and their practice.

    What is the single most defining issue facing the global yoga community today?

    Holding the space between Namaste and activism.

    Do you have any recommended yoga reading?

    Loving the simple, yet thought-provoking, message of the Yamas & Niyamas by Deborah Adele.

    What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?

    Student first. Teacher second. Consistent practice is key. Fill your toolbox. Be the light.

    Are there any current projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?

    Bringing the linear and the spiritual together.

    What’s your favorite book?

    Siddhartha

    What’s your favorite meal to make at home?

    Vegetarian Picadillo & Parmesan crisps

    What do you like to do for fun that’s non-yoga related?

    Dance, swim, draw, write poetry, go boating, host dinner parties, read, laugh with friends, go on road trips, be out in nature with Fonzie.

    Who is your greatest inspiration?

    My Grandmothers

    Do you have a favorite podcast?

    Right now I’m listening to Lama Rod.

    If you were stranded on an island what 3 things would you bring with you?

    Books, my dog Fonzie, my favorite knife

    When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

    A teacher- lol

    What’s your favorite movie?

    The Man That Fell to Earth

    What’s your favorite TV series?

    Sense8

    Do you have a favorite band/singer?

    David Bowie

    Favorite song to dance to?

    Salsa music in general

    What’s your favorite quote/affirmation/mantra?

    “Look for the rainbow after the rain.” my personal quote

    What is your life’s biggest question?

    Who is the I?

    By Anamargret Sanchez

    Among Miami’s most experienced and sought-after yoga teachers, Anamargret Sanchez is a global citizen of Jamaican, Cuban, and German heritage. She is a dedicated teacher and student of the yoga tradition, and has been blessed to study with many respected teachers, including Rod Stryker, creator of Para Yoga, Manorama, founder of Sanskrit Studies, T.K.V. Desikachar, Leslie Kaminoff, Marlysa Sullivan, and Judith Lasater. She is Cofounder of the Enhanced Healing Yoga Studio, located in Miami’s Upper East Side, and Cohosts YOGAMI, a podcast originating in Miami and focusing on “yoga and stuff.” As part of her commitment to giving and service through yoga, Anamargret also founded the Legion Park Community Yoga class, East Miami’s most successful and long-running yoga outreach effort. Anamargret’s classes are challenging, fun, compassionate, and create space for students to shine in their own light.

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  • An Interview with Angelica Wilson

    Unicorn, Ambivert, Different

    Where are you from?

    I’m a born and raised New Yorker that’s still in NYC.

    What is yoga to you?

    Practice for how to handle life’s wild situations.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga student?

    Honestly, there are too many to count. But all of them have a common theme of making me feel seen in the yoga space. So many times (pre-covid) I’d walk into a class and automatically be asked if I’ve ever done yoga before or if I know that I signed up for a non-beginner class. While other students who were actually new weren’t asked the same questions. Anytime a teacher let me practice or motivated me to go farther gave me an inspiring moment to remember.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga teacher?

    I don’t know if this is inspirational but one time when I was teaching at a donation-based studio a student came in who didn’t look as “neat” as the other students and the manager on duty looked a bit nervous about them being in the room. They came in, paid for the mat rental, and set up in the back. The manager looked kind of confused as to whether she should ask the student to leave. I wasn’t bothered nor were the other students. She asked if I was okay with having them in class and I said “yes”. It felt great to sort of be a deciding voice at that moment to not turn away someone for wanting to practice. Needless to say, the class went well and everyone was fine. But it was kind of funny to me that after the class the manager called me brave for letting them practice. I wasn’t brave I was just doing my job.

    Why do you practice?

    To keep myself sane-ish.

    Through your own personal journey, what do you feel is your path and offering to the community- local and global?

    My offering to the community is to provide as many options as possible so people can realize yoga is for them. Whether it be physical variations or offering options during a meditation no matter what I’m guiding I want to always offer options.

    What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?

    Yoga is not easy but it gets easier. Unless you stop for a while then it gets hard for a little bit but then it gets easier again. Also, there’s more than one way to do most poses. (Speaking from a vinyasa point of view.)

    What’s your favorite book?

    the life changing magic of not giving a fuck by Sarah Knight

    What’s your favorite meal at a restaurant?

    Grilled Pork Belly

    What’s your favorite meal to make at home?

    Seaweed Soup

    What do you like to do for fun that’s non-yoga related?

    Learn K-pop Dances

    Do you have a favorite podcast?

    K-pop Daebak with Eric Nam

    If you were stranded on an island what 3 things would you bring with you?

    Phone, Phone Cable, Portable Charger

    When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

    Singer, Fashion Designer, Forensic Scientist

    What’s your favorite TV series?

    Great British Baking Show

    Do you have a favorite band/singer?

    SHINee

    Favorite song to dance to?

    Anything that isn’t country haha

    What’s your favorite quote/affirmation/mantra?

    “Stop trying to impress everybody. You don’t even like everybody.” – Anonymous

    What is your life’s biggest question?

    Why?

    By Angelica Wilson

    Angelica Wilson has been guiding bodies through space for over a decade. At 15 years old she became a dance instructor for her local studio. At age 18 she was convinced by a friend to take a yoga class and fell in love with savasana. The feeling of rest after so much movement was euphoric. Over the years she’s found movement to be her escape, second home, and source of comfort. As she began teaching yoga, she found that there weren’t many teachers that looked like her but there were plenty of students that did. That realization led her to become a full time yoga instructor. Through teaching, Angelica is the representation that she wishes to see on and off the mat, to show that everyBODY can do yoga.

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  • An Interview with Lauren Chaitoff

    Energetic, Disarming, and Loyal

    Where are you from?

    I’m from Long Island and after living in Chicago, Los Angeles, and NYC, I am back in Long Island where it all started!

    How did yoga come into your life and what has that journey been like for you?

    I started practicing yoga in college. Like many other people, I started it with only the physical benefits in mind. About two years into practicing I began to notice the effects the practice would have on my mind. When I was deep into practice my mind had a one-pointed focus and I felt calm. I’ve always practiced Asana, however, for the past 5 years, my meditation practice has been just as paramount to me as the physical.

    How has yoga changed and what do you feel it creates in your daily life?

    My practice is my anchor. It is a daily ritual that grounds and centers me.

    What is yoga to you?

    To me, Yoga is a way of life. When I teach kids I focus on the body-heart-mind components of Yoga. I want them to understand it is so much more than just the Asana – that it is a way of living.

    How did you feel after your first yoga class and how do you feel this influences or impacts the space you create for your students?

    I took my first yoga class in college after having my heart broken. I went to class not knowing what to expect. I remember feeling the class was a place of non-judgment and there was no competition. The teacher kept reminding us that it was ok if we couldn’t do certain poses – it was very different from any other activity I had experienced in a gym setting.

    Who were you before you started practicing and how have you changed, evolved, and transformed?

    I still have anxiety and struggle with reacting too quickly, however, Yoga has made me more self-aware and self-reflective. (Svadhyaya) I notice how my practice on the mat mirrors what’s going on in my life off the mat. Without my practice, I would feel like I was free-falling. My practice definitely roots me!

    Why did you decide to start teaching yoga and what qualities do you feel are important to build and work on as a yoga teacher?

    I began teaching yoga in 2007. I started out as a pilates instructor and as my own personal Yoga practice continued to deepen I knew I wanted to share the practice with my clients. I think one of the most important qualities of a yoga instructor is to create an environment where everyone feels welcome, accepted, and included.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga student?

    While living in NYC getting the opportunity to practice on a weekly basis with Sri Dharma Mittra was truly inspiring.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga teacher?

    When kids tell me how they used their yoga practice off of their mat (eg: taking deep breathes when they are feeling angry or sad, or mastering a pose in their own time) always reassures me that I am on the right path.

    What is the single most defining issue facing the global yoga community today?

    The yoga/wellness community needs to do better in terms of inclusivity and diversity. I’m constantly listening and learning on ways I can take action and do my part to make that change.

    Do you have any recommended yoga reading?

    Not necessarily yoga, however, I love A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield, Polishing the Mirror by Ram Dass, The Power on Intention by Wayne Dyer, and most recently purchased, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor

    Through your own personal journey, what do you feel is your path and offering to the community- local and global?

    I definitely feel my path is to work with children and share the practice with them. I also feel incredibly inspired when I lead our Kids Yoga Teachers Trainings. I love sharing my knowledge and experience of teaching yoga to kids, and I am always left feeling inspired by the trainees and knowing all the good people that are out there in the world looking to make a difference

    What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?

    Practice with a variety of teachers, try different styles, and always continue learning and listening.

    Are there any current projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?

    Yogi Beans has original kids’ music that we will be releasing soon! (You can hear some of the tracks in our Om Stars + Yogi Beans classes) I am also working on compiling an On Demand library of Yogi Beans classes and short exercises that can be sprinkled into kids’ everyday life as well as some other surprise collaborations that are in the works!

    What’s your favorite meal at a restaurant?

    Stuffed Artichoke

    What’s your favorite meal to make at home?

    Vegetarian loaded nachos

    What do you like to do for fun that’s non-yoga related?

    Anything in Nature makes me most happy!

    Who is your greatest inspiration?

    Both my grandmothers are huge inspirations to me.

    If you were stranded on an island what 3 things would you bring with you?

    My family, music, and snacks!

    When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

    Vet/Actress (My plan was to act during the week and be a Vet on the weekends!)

    What’s your favorite TV series?

    The Office

    What’s your favorite quote/affirmation/mantra?

    Be Here Now

    What is your life’s biggest question?

    There are so many….

    By Lauren Chaitoff

    Lauren Chaitoff founded Yogi Beans in 2007. Lauren found herself teaching yoga to hundreds of kids, attending numerous trainings, workshops and lectures and designing the Yogi Beans curriculum “sprouting” from her innate ability to connect with children and her knowledge of yoga. Yogi Beans has since become one of the top rated children’s programs in New York City. As Founder & CEO, Lauren oversees and trains the stellar Yogi Beans Instructor team, leads regular Yogi Beans’ public teacher trainings, and creates and teaches weekly classes to beans of all ages at a range of venues. Lauren holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater from Northwestern University and is a registered E-RYT Yoga Instructor through the Yoga Alliance. Lauren continuously evolves Yogi Beans’ programming from her extensive experiences in the classroom, on her mat, and through her love of her own beans, Vivienne Bell and Juliette Rose.

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  • Interview with Shawn J. Moore

    observant, ambitious, a vibe lol

    Where are you from?

    I’m from Baltimore, MD, but I am currently living in Atlanta, GA.

    What is yoga to you?

    Yoga is spaciousness for self-inquiry.

    How did you feel after your first yoga class and how do you feel this influences or impacts the space you create for your students?

    I honestly did not feel welcomed in my first yoga class. I felt “othered”. It makes me so much more
    intentional about how I facilitate and how I hold space for people who take my classes.

    Who were you before you started practicing and how have you changed, evolved, and transformed?

    I don’t think I was anyone different. For me yoga has allowed me to shine brighter in who I am, dissolving some societal and cultural blockages.

    Why did you decide to start teaching yoga and what qualities do you feel are important to
    build and work on as a yoga teacher?

    I decided to lean into teaching yoga (focusing more on stillness practices like meditation, Yoga Nidra, sound healing) as a means for personal exploration for others. For me, I like to create those opportunities for folks to listen deeply to themselves and inquire deeply about beliefs, power, and authenticity.

    What has been your biggest struggle and your biggest milestone in the practice, in teaching
    and within the yoga community?

    My biggest struggle is not letting the superficial side of the practice that is sometimes promoted dampen my own practice and perspective on the work. I think my biggest milestone has just been the ability to connect with larger platforms, to share practices from a unique perspective. For me, representation is important.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga student?

    As a student – just sticking with the practice past some of the microagressions I experienced.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga teacher?

    Inspiring my students at Morehouse College (I teach full-time) to get involved in meditation and yoga.

    Why do you practice?

    I practice being in alignment with Self. For me, practice is practical, spiritual, and developmental.

    Why do you teach?

    Representation matters. I teach so people that look like me know that these practices are for them and
    beneficial to them.

    What is the single most defining issue facing the global yoga community today?

    Authentic safe spaces. I think oftentimes, people promote studios and offerings as inclusive and equitable. As someone that is explorative to studios and practices, I know that it isn’t always to case. It is harmful, traumatizing, and damaging to BIPOC and LGBTQ+ plus communities. I know this as a Black, gay man.

    Do you have any recommended yoga reading?

    My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem
    Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion by Pema Chödrön

    Through your own personal journey, what do you feel is your path and offering to the
    community- local and global?

    Residing at the intersection of leadership and mindfulness, my work, whether yoga or otherwise, creates sacred spaces for self-inquiry and personal discovery.

    What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?

    Approach the practice from a place of exploration.

    What’s your Favorite Book?

    Siddartha by Herman Hesse

    What’s your favorite meal at a restaurant?

    Pizza…. I am a happy camper with PIZZZZZZA! lol

    What’s your favorite meal to make at home?

    ummm…. still pizza… I am not above making it at home lol

    What do you like to do for fun that’s non-yoga related?

    I am a gamer, through and through!

    Who is your greatest inspiration?

    Kid Cudi

    Do you have a favorite podcast?

    The Gary Vee Experience

    If you were stranded on an island what 3 things would you bring with you?

    My dog, iPad, and a singing bowl lol

    When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

    a paleontologist

    What’s your favorite movie?

    Jurassic Park (see: what I wanted be when I grew up) lol

    What’s your favorite TV series?

    The Office

    Do you have a favorite band/singer?

    Kid Cudi and Daft Punk

    Favorite song to dance to?

    Oasis – Wonderwall

    What’s your favorite quote/affirmation/mantra?

    “Such as I am, I am a precious gift.” – Zora Neale Hurston

    What is your life’s biggest question?

    What is legacy?

    By Shawn J. Moore

    Mindfulness has been an integral part of Shawn J. Moore’s life. In 2019, he decided to take his refuge vow (a formal commitment to the Buddhist Path) in the Shambhala lineage. He is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), sound practitioner, meditation teacher, Yoga Nidra Teacher, reiki practitioner, and Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, with trainings in Mindful Communication and Brand Identity.

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  • Interview with Henry Winslow

    I practice to understand myself, and to realize the best possible version of myself in this lifetime.

    Where are you from and/or where do you live?

    I was raised in Richmond, VA, but I discovered yoga in New York City. I currently live in Los Angeles, CA.

    How has yoga changed and what do you feel it creates in your daily life?

    On a day-to-day level, I’d say the greatest practical gift I’ve received from yoga is the perspective to decide what will activate me and what I will let slide. In a perfect world, we should be choosy about these things, but most people don’t have the wherewithal to direct their energy.

    What is yoga to you?

    Yoga is a never-ending path to deeper clarity and aligned living. The physical practices temper your nervous system, so that you can think, speak, and act from intention rather than reaction. And the contemplative practices ensure that those intentions are in fact aligned to your personal values.

    How did you feel after your first yoga class and how do you feel this influences or impacts the space you create for your students?

    I left my first yoga class energized and excited about new possibilities. I remember being motivated by the asanas that were beyond my reach, so now as I teacher, I always try to keep students invigorated with a challenge.

    Who were you before you started practicing and how have you changed, evolved and transformed?

    I found yoga at a critical pivot point in my life. I was finishing college and entering adulthood, and for the first time in my life, there wasn’t an obvious next step or paved path ahead of me. Establishing a yoga practice gave me a structure to fall back on as I navigated unsettling changes in my career, friendships, living arrangements, etc. At first, yoga was a tool I used to stay grounded through a period of shifting sense of self, and later yoga eventually became part of my identity.

    Why did you decide to start teaching yoga and what qualities do you feel are important to build and work on as a yoga teacher?

    I resisted teaching for a long time because I had been telling myself a story that my practice, or the sanctity of it, would suffer if I mixed yoga with work. As it turned out, teaching actually deepened my practice by pushing me to connect more intimately with other people, develop my empathic senses, and in turn, recognize intricacies of my personality that I had taken for granted or not consciously considered. I think all yoga teachers share a few responsibilities. First and foremost, we have to keep up our own practice. Also, we have to be vigilant about staying humble and cultivating a beginner’s mind. Finally, I believe it’s important to honor the traditional roots of yoga. That doesn’t mean you can’t add your own unique spin. It’s possible (and beneficial, in my opinion) to modernize and personalize your practice and teaching without appropriating culture.

    What has been your biggest struggle and your biggest milestone in the practice, in teaching and within the yoga community?

    In 2018, I won the World Yoga Asana Championships in Beijing, China. Plenty of people scoff at the idea of competitive yoga, and I think that’s totally fair. But I still point to my experience competing as both a major struggle and a major milestone because of the lessons I learned on stage. I competed for several years at the regional and even national level, and every time I would be well prepared and polished, only to stumble once it was my turn under the spotlight. The year that I progressed all the way to internationals and won first place was the year that I finally allowed myself to relax. I stopped trying to be the absolute best, and simply made my goal to do what was average for me. I’d always heard and understood intellectually that putting undue pressure on oneself wasn’t helpful, but the yoga championships ingrained this knowing in my physical body.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga teacher?

    This year, when studios shut down worldwide in response to COVID-19, I was surprised, impressed, and inspired by the yoga community’s adaptability. Studios, teachers, and students rallied, stumbled their way through standing up online classes, and continued to support each other when everyone needed it most.

    Why do you practice?
    I practice to understand myself, and to realize the best possible version of myself in this lifetime.

    Why do you teach?

    To help others do the same.

    What is the single most defining issue facing the global yoga community today?

    Wow, this is a tough question… because there are SO many defining issues facing the global yoga community today. The events of 2020 have escalated a whole host of problems in our society that have been percolating just underneath the surface — abuse of power, systemic racism, exploitation of nature, and individualism (not inherently a bad thing) to the point of total self-absorption and lack of compassion for others, to name a few.

    If I have to pick one issue to plant my flag in, I’ll choose the alarming tendency of folks in the yoga or ‘spiritual’ communities to disengage from reality. There are two parts to this issue. First, as yogis, we want to rise above the suffering in the world — that’s why many of us sought out yoga in the first place. But we can’t do it by disengaging from the dirty work in front of us. It’s not ‘divisive’ to confront real-world problems, or engage in political discourse and social justice. Spiritually bypassing these challenges is not a viable option.

    The second part is the growing overlap between spiritual seekers and conspiracy theorists. I can sympathize with people whose trust in authority has been tested, but that skepticism is misguided when we reject science and academic consensus outright. There’s a lot to unpack with this topic, and I can’t give it full and proper attention in this post. I highly recommend the Conspirituality podcast for those interested in learning more about this social phenomenon.

    Do you have any recommended yoga reading?

    I loved Eddie Stern’s book, One Simple Thing. He does a wonderful job demystifying the core teachings of the Yoga Sutras in plain language, and the second half weaves in modern neuroscience to support the benefits of the practice.

    Through your own personal journey, what do you feel is your path and offering to the community- local and global?

    My understanding of my role within the community is always evolving and taking new shape. For a time, I think my place of service was in teaching classes, and to an extent, that’s still what I want to do. But if look ahead into the future, I believe my biggest impact is yet to come, through entrepreneurship, conscious capitalism, and leading a new generation of business leaders by example to shape the world in a positive way.

    What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?

    Never compare yourself to others — only to yourself, yesterday.

    Are there any current projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?

    I’m thrilled that Henry Yoga, the app-based program I co-created, is merging onto Omstars. I honestly can’t think of a better home for the program or our users, and I’m honored and grateful to build upon my existing partnership with Omstars. With Henry Yoga off my plate from a business standpoint, I’m freed up to ideate, create, and launch new projects. And yes, I do have something new in the works already, but it’s not quite ready to share!

    What’s your favorite meal at a restaurant?

    Vegan pizza!

    What’s your favorite meal to make at home?

    Chana masala

    Who is your greatest inspiration?

    My cat, Phil. He never worries about the future nor ruminates about the past. He is always present and content. Phil is an enlightened master.

    Do you have a favorite podcast?

    I recommended Conspirituality above because it covers a really important topic for our community, but my favorite show is probably the Rich Roll Podcast. Rich is a vegan activist, alcoholic in recovery, ultra-marathoner, and of course a stellar interviewer. He invites on the most inspiring guests and hosts rich and insightful conversations across topics that matter.

    When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

    A doctor

    What’s your favorite TV series?

    Lately the best series I’ve seen, which I binged about 15 years after its release, was Avatar: The Last Airbender. It’s light, playful, and packed with profound spiritual wisdom.

    What’s your favorite quote/affirmation/mantra?

    I have everything I need and more.

    What is your life’s biggest question?

    How can I help?

    By Henry Winslow

    Henry Winslow is a dedicated yoga practitioner of 9 years, whose teaching is rooted in the Ghosh, Ashtanga, and Dharma Yoga traditions. In 2018, Henry took first place in the International Yoga Sport Federation’s world championships. Although strength and flexibility initially attracted him to the mat and remain a focal point of his teaching, his appreciation for the practice has since expanded beyond the physical. To Henry, yoga is above all else a tool for cultivating clarity. Through workshops, private and group classes, and his podcast Dharma Talk, Henry empowers students worldwide to connect to their innermost selves, where our natural resilience, unlimited power, and universal compassion reside.

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  • Interview with Emily Cox

    Firey, Silly, Authentic

    Where are you from and/or where do you live?

    I am from Kansas City Missouri and currently live and work here. However, I would love to move to the beach in the next few years!

    How did yoga come into your life and what has that journey been like for you?

    I was always a very athletic child. I played soccer, basketball, volleyball, the like. I had a full-ride scholarship to college for soccer and decided that I wanted to deviate from the path that was laid out for me, yet felt this yearning for the discipline and structure that I always had from sports. A friend asked me to join her for a hatha yoga class at a local studio. I bounced from studio to studio taking different styles and methods of Yoga until I walked into an Ashtanga class 10 years ago. I was hooked! The discipline, the structure, the rigidity, the spiritually inclined philosophical teachings were everything that I needed at the ripe age of 19. I continue to take classes at that same studio to date and owe so much of my physical, spiritual, and mental growth to this practice.

    How has yoga changed and what do you feel it creates in your daily life?

    Yoga has dramatically shifted my life and my practice has evolved significantly over the years. It creates stability and comfort for me while also providing a strict and disciplined format that I can rely on. The asana practice is like a safe laboratory to explore the often unsafe challenges of the world around us. For this reason, I find everything that I need through the practice.

    What is yoga to you?

    Yoga to me is a way of exploring the inner self. I feel that our biggest disease in the west is our disconnect with ourselves. Thus, I find that the more I practice, the closer I get to my purest form.

    How did you feel after your first yoga class and how do you feel this influences or impacts the space you create for your students?

    After my first Yoga class, I remember feeling things I had never felt before. Places in the body, places in the mind and the space between felt as if a veil had been lifted. For this reason, I tell my students to let go of everything they think they know about the body, the mind, the breath, and the practice as every time we step onto our mat we come with a brand new body, set of intentions, stressors, triggers and truamas. So, it is important to view every class regardless of how seasoned you are as you viewed your first: Knowing nothing and ready to learn about not only the practice, but the self.

    Who were you before you started practicing and how have you changed, evolved, and transformed?

    I was lucky to have found Yoga at a young age, so my life before consisted primarily of going to school, playing soccer, and contemplating life. However, Yoga has deeply changed me since discovering it. My whole life pivoted in the direction of Yoga. I don’t do Yoga, I am Yoga!

    Why did you decide to start teaching yoga and what qualities do you feel are important to build and work on as a yoga teacher?

    In the beginning, my intention was actually not to teach. I received my certification in hopes to deepen my own practice. When I arrived home, the studio where I practiced had an opening for an Intro to Ashtanga class on Sunday mornings. I agreed to mentor under the teacher who had been teaching the class for several years prior and ultimately took it over after she left and opened her own studio. I feel it is vital to be authentic & provide a modern take on ancient teachings to the best of your ability.

    What has been your biggest struggle and your biggest milestone in the practice, in teaching, and within the yoga community?

    In my practice & teaching my biggest milestone was myself. I am a type-A person, I guess a lot of us Ashtangis are, huh? Thus, the ego and I have a hot and cold relationship. Within the Yoga community, I have found that it is important to remember that everyone is human.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga student?

    Practicing with Kino is definitely up there! Although, traveling to India to live and breathe Yoga for 5 weeks wasn’t bad either!

    Why do you practice?

    I practice in order to develop a deeper relationship with myself and the world around me, to transcend the limits of the mind, and to tap into something limitless.

    Why do you teach?

    I teach to share the method of Yoga. This practice is so powerful and so healing for the mind, body, and soul…I feel it’s my duty to be a vessel to pass on the knowledge.

    What is the single most defining issue facing the global yoga community today?

    I feel that saturation is a big issue. Yoga is much like the game of telephone. One person’s Guru told them something which was interpreted by someone else as such and so on and so forth and the next thing you know there is Rage Yoga and Goat Yoga and Beer Yoga and it dilutes the integrity of the method itself.

    Do you have any recommended yoga reading?

    I highly recommend educational books like:

    • Light on Yoga
    • The Living Gita
    • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
    • How Yoga Works
    • The Journey Home

    Also anything Kino writes is gold!

    Through your own personal journey, what do you feel is your path and offering to the community- local and global?

    I feel that my offering is to share a life of health and happiness with everyone around me. To preach the power of personalized nutrition and to spread the message of Yoga!

    What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?

    Just keep coming! The first few classes are always the most vulnerable and then you’ll be hooked!

    Are there any current projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?

    I am currently holding a Mentorship Mastermind Program for new and aspiring Yoga instructors. I will be holding 2 per year! Other than that, I am working on some upcoming events, collaborations, teaching experiences, etc. so just stay in the loop on my Instagram, website or newsletter!

    What’s your Favorite Book?

    All time favorite book is WomanCode. Totally changed my life.

    What’s your favorite meal at a restaurant?

    I am a sucker for ravioli!

    What’s your favorite meal to make at home?

    My Fiance and I make a mean gf vegan lasagna, mac n cheese & Shakshuka. We also love homemade cesar salads with grilled salmon! I am always experimenting for work and recently we have done a lot of soups… vegan potato soup… to die for! Oh and all of the smoothies, juices, protein balls and anything breakfast all of the time!

    What do you like to do for fun that’s non-yoga related?

    I have a huge garden with chickens that I tend to! I love to be outside in the sun by the water. I like to read, cook, eat, and i’ll admit it…I indulge in reality TV from time to time!

    Who is your greatest inspiration?

    Kino! She has really built an empire, yet is incredibly humble despite being one of the most well-spoken and well-read FEMALE individuals in her field. She is an expert and has devoted her life to the practice and I commend her!

    Do you have a favorite podcast?

    I love Stuff You Should Know! They are always discussing new and interesting topics, telling crazy stories or recounting historical events. Definitely worth listening to!

    Also MindBodyGreen.

    I also love podcasts on women in business, relationship advice, nutrition and health, science, mindfulness and self-growth

    If you were stranded on an island what 3 things would you bring with you?

    Swiss army knife/machete, matches/mirror, sleeping bag (trying to be realistic)

    When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

    I wanted to be a lot of things that kids say they want: A doctor, a lawyer, the like, but I always thought I would be a professional soccer player.

    What’s your favorite movie?

    That’s a hard one… Definitely a Wes Anderson film!

    What’s your favorite TV series?

    Well… Since the pandemic, my tv watching norm has shifted. As of late, I have been hooked to 90 Day Fiance… But I also love crime shows, docu-series, and Bobs Burgers!

    Do you have a favorite band/singer?

    Also a hard one! I am really all over the map from Fleetwood Mac to Lauren Hill to Rolling Stones to Linda Rhondstat to Childish Gambino…

    Favorite song to dance to?

    I’ve been listening to Feels Like Summer a lot recently and that has a good shoulder shimmy to it!

    What’s your favorite quote/affirmation/mantra?

    Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.

    What is your life’s biggest question?

    I am one of those types of people that just wants to know it all and I am trying to be okay with more observation.

    By Emily Cox

    Emily is a yoga teacher turned holistic healer. She has a passion for getting upside down and being involved in her community. She is a licensed Holistic Nutritionist and Ashtanga Yoga Instructor with more than 10 years of personal practice and 6 years of teaching experience. She started her own wellness business in 2017 where she preaches the power of personalized nutrition to all of her clients! She specializes in gut health and hormone harmony and believes that with the right guidance, tools, and motivation we can all take back the reigns of our health through sustainable yet systematic practices!

    Check out her specialty course on Omstars, Hormone Harmony 101.

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