August Teacher of the month – Tricia Townes

1) How did you start practicing Yoga? Tell us about your early yoga experiences

I began practicing yoga in college.  There was actually a Yoga PE class that I took with one of my roommates back in the 80s in Atlanta. The text we had for the class was something  called The Religiousness of Yoga.  I don’t remember the author.  I took that class and enjoyed it, and then filed it away in my mind, thinking that I would get back to it when I was older.   That’s exactly what happened, beause I didn’t take another yoga class until 1998, when I became more serious about the practice.

2) When was the moment you knew that Yoga was different or special – more than just another “exercise” or way to be physical?

I knew Yoga had a spiritual side early on, because we touched on it in that first PE class.  I didn’t understand the breadth of the spiritual side of Yoga until I began meditating regularly, and later took teacher training at Integral Yoga in the West Village.

3) What is your favorite and least favorite pose, and why?

My favorite pose is Supported Relaxation pose in Restorative Yoga, because in that pose I can let everything go and slowly get all the kinks in my back out.  Right now my least favorite pose is Shoulder- stand on the open floor ( I actually love shoulderstand against the wall) because it’s challenging for a person of my size.

4) What practices do you use to feel more peaceful, present and content? 

Meditation, Meditation, Meditation.

5) What Yama or Niyama do your find most helpful in your daily life, and why?  (Yamas are “observances” that are recommended for relating to the outside world, and Niyamas are observances for dealing with internal struggles) 

Santosha, or contentment and acceptance.  I feel it’s very important to be content with what you have now in order to progress with meditation.

6)  How do you incorporate  Brahmacharya  into your Personal  Yoga Practice?  Into your daily  life ?

When meditating, non-covetousness is very important.  You have to let go of the everyday worries and thoughts about acquiring things in order to focus on the divine.