Friday, September 8, 2017

Teacher Feature: Emily Reardon

Teaching at O2 Since: 2012
Emily’s Thoughts on Primary Series: “I love the Astanga months because they remind us of O2’s roots. I really like Primary’s introverted poses and am in need of them after a hectic summer. For so many of us, summer is fun but scattered and we all need to reel it back in.”

12pm Tuesdays – Basics
12pm Wednesdays – Intermediate

We have two fabulous Emilys on our teaching staff, but today we are getting to know Emily Reardon (herein referred to simply as “Emily) a little bit better.  Emily started practicing yoga back in 2009 as a way to stave off injuries and build strength for her day job.  “I wanted to heal some forearm tendonitis I got in my first year working as a massage therapist and yoga was recommended by my acupuncturist as a great way to strengthen my wrists,” Emily said.  It just so happened that she was in massage school with Heather Stewart, who many of you may remember as a former teacher and former studio manager.  “I thought she was cool,” Emily said, wryly adding, “I remember telling her I did some yoga at home, like standing on my head with my legs up the wall and she very calmly was like, ‘You should take a class sometime.'”  After that, Emily went to one of Heather’s classes in our former South End studio and not only enjoyed it but realized our Somerville location was pretty close to where she lived.  And with that, Emily became an O2 Yogi, all to the benefit of her practice as a massage therapist.
What brought Emily to teaching is the marriage of her love of yoga and her career-previous-to-massage-therapy as an English teacher.  “I missed the classroom setting and saw yoga TT as a way to have students again,” Emily said.  She joined the illustrious O2 Yoga Teacher Training Class of 2012 and the rest, as they say, is history.  With further reflection, Emily added, “What kept me hooked on O2 was the emphasis on building strength along with flexibility and that was something I hadn’t come across since I was a dancer (100 years ago). When I decided to go to college instead of pursuing a professional ballet career, I sort of left my body behind and took my brain off to school. Taking class regularly at O2 was the first time I enjoyed feeling connected to my physical self again. And of course, in a much healthier way. I love classical ballet and I cherish my experience with it but it is harsh on your body. You are in fact, beautifully deforming yourself. In contrast, yoga is nourishing.”  Emily imparts this wisdom to her students through her creative and inspired sequences with the directive always to build flexible strength that will not only empower students on their mats but also to strengthen them for their lives outside of the studio.
In the summer of 2015, Emily’s daughter Vivian was born, yet another incredible game-changer for her.  “I was inspired to get certified in infant massage,” she said, rounding out her practice that includes Swedish/deep tissue and Thai massage, “and hope to do some workshops for new parents and their babes soon.”  And it should also be noted that when we needed someone to volunteer to demo handstand for our YouTube channel, it was a pregnant Emily who went for it.  Talk about gusto!
Emily, we love your bright spirit and your passion and enthusiasm not just for teaching but for the O2 community.  We so love having you on our teaching staff where we not only enjoy your classes but get to pick your brain about nerdy anatomy stuff.  We can’t wait until Viv is old enough to roll a mat out with us, too.  Thanks for always being a sunny spot in our day — we so appreciate you!

What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from Mimi?
“Mimi’s recent letter to the O2 community says it all, really. She’s in the midst of teaching us how you continue to be a leader and lover  in the face of something so crushingly difficult.
When I reflect on my TT days, the lesson that comes to mind is that when you pass another human out in the world, you should say hello.
In theory, I was on board right away. What a simple way to be kind! In practice though, I think I lacked confidence for a while and was often looked at like the village idiot. I don’t know…it’s more natural now. Maybe it’s practice or maybe motherhood has softened me. I walk everywhere and usually have Vivian with me. She’s the kind of kid who stops to pick flowers, fashions a hat out of the petals and then lies down on the sidewalk for a spell. So…yeah, we say a lot of hellos. And it really does shape your day for the better, acknowledging the other precious human lives out there.”
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from one of our other teachers?
“I took Carly’s class recently and decided I needed to re-evaluate how I taught Basics! Her class was challenging but uncomplicated. Slower paced but not boring. Wednesday night at 7:30, I’m there-nerding out, trying to soak up how to teach Basics like she does.”
What’s your favorite pose to teach?
What’s your favorite pose to do?
What’s your “dream pose”?
“King Pigeon.”
Anything else about your teaching or your practice or yourself you’d like to share?
“My mom’s a big inspiration to me and since she has been living with Parkinson’s Disease for over a decade, I took a course on teaching yoga to those with PD and other mobility disorders. I have taught some students with PD privately and it has been very rewarding. I did my certification program with RenĂ©e Le Verrrier who is a stroke survivor, person living with PD and a yoga teacher– just a force! If you have s moment, check her out  And if you know someone living with PD who is interested in yoga, please put them in touch with me!”
To learn more about our fabulous teaching staff, click here.

Originally published on September 1, 2017.  View it on O2 Yoga's website here.

Staff Feature: Cemile Marsan

Doing Workstudy at O2 Since: 2012
Cemile’s Thoughts on Koundinyasana: “It looks so fancy! I admit it was a ‘dream pose’ for me for a long time. I actually remember the first time I managed to this pose (in the Somerville studio) — I guess my surprise and suspicion of whether I had actually successfully managed it was obvious because the instructor commented on the confused yet enthusiastic face I had. Last year (I believe it was also when Koundinyasana was pose of the month), I had the exact experience but in the opposite role of the instructor — I saw that confused yet excited look of ‘Wait, did I really just do it?’ It felt rewarding to think that I had some aid in feeling accomplished.  Also, I love that it has so many variations and is an impressive just as a transition.”

We are diverting somewhat from the regular premise with this mid-month “Teacher Feature.” While Cemile (pronounced “Gem-ah-lay”) did complete Mimi’s 200-Hour Teacher Training in 2015 and taught regularly for the following year-plus, she came off the schedule last spring so she could focus on finishing up her PhD in astrophysics at Tufts.  Now that she’s completed her degree, our resident rocket scientist is preparing to take on a new adventure just outside of Toronto where she’ll be doing a post-doc fellowship.  We’ve only got a few more weeks with this beautiful soul regularly in our presence, and so we wanted to give her the honor of a proper send off.
While many of you likely got the chance to take class with Cemile, even more of you may recognize her from behind the sign-in desk in Cambridge, where she’s been a workstudy staff member since that studio’s opening in 2012.  She’d already established a regular practice at our Somerville location — “I lived very close when I first moved to Boston,” she said — and so we were delighted to have her as part of the team during the process of opening the Cambridge Studio.  She said, “I was pretty hooked when the Cambridge studio was announced to be opening — so I jumped in to join the community!”  What that meant initially was helping out even before the general public had set a foot inside.  “I still remember Cemile with a paintbrush in her hand, pitching in, helping out wherever,” said Steven, one of the studio owners.  Once those studio doors were open, Cemile became such a dependable, skillful, and, of course, kind sign-in staff member, we tapped her to manage the desk staff, a role she’s served for the last three years.  “She makes my job so much easier — she will be missed very much by all of us,” said Cambridge General Manager Sarah.
Here at O2, we are so appreciative of all of our workstudy members — these dedicated individuals work behind the desk and also as part of our cleaning crew.  They volunteer for two hours per week (in exchange for their yoga memberships) to help operations run smoothly at both studios and also to keep the space beautiful.  Being part of this team is a great way to get more involved in the community, so if you’re interested in learning more, ask for an application at the desk in either studio!  We especially encourage those of you who have, like Cemile, practiced with us for awhile to apply since it’s a win-win for those of us we know — and who know us — to become these key members of our team.
Cemile initially started her yoga practice with us seven years ago because she needed “something to get her out of the house, to move and breathe in a non-competitive environment.”  It gave her a break from her studies which had her spending her days reading and thinking about how structures evolve in the universe (“On a good day,” she quips) or trying to fix the bug in a code she wrote for data analysis (“On most days,” she adds).  It’s a bonus-beyond-measure that she opted to come to O2 for that chance to breathe and that she became such an integral part of our community.  In fact….now that we’re thinking about it….maybe our science-rooted name — O2, of course, being the chemical symbol for oxygen — drew her to us??? Whatever magic brought Cemile to O2 Yoga, we are thankful for it.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from Mimi?
“The importance of remembering names! Seriously, try it! It made a significant impact on my social interactions! Besides the fact that it is good mental exercise, I think it is important to have people recognize that they are really seen and their presence appreciated.”
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from teaching/working at the desk?
“Be patient with others and yourself! It seems trivial but as someone whose ‘day job’ is pretty solitary, I don’t get the chance to practice this so often!”
What’s your favorite pose to do?
“A seemingly ‘simple’ pose: a glorious hip and oblique stretch, spinal extension, and chest/shoulder opener all in one — Trikonasana! I find it so grounding and yet energizing at the same time.”
What’s your “dream pose”?
“Savasana — without the monkeys in my mind jumping around.”
Any “Fun Facts” you’d care to share?
“I helped organize this year’s World Naked Bike Ride in Boston — I’m pretty passionate about biking (I am somewhat proud of the fact that I’ve come this far without ever getting a driver’s license), promoting body positivity and living sustainably!”

To learn more about our fabulous teaching staff, click here.

Originally published on August 15, 2017.  View on O2 Yoga's website here.

Teacher Feature: Devon Wilson-Hill

Teaching at O2 Since: 2008
Devon’s Thoughts on Koundinyasana Month: “I remember watching a student do this pose when I was just beginning my practice. It looked so fun! At this point, I couldn’t do Half Moon. But in a year, I could do Koundinyasana.  Revolved Triangle is another of my favorite poses. So is Fallen Warrior or ‘Hippie Warrior’ as Mimi calls it. You could say I’m all about IT band hip stretches. And Koundinyasana is all of that in the air! Taking off! Totally awe inspiring.”
10am Fridays – Mommy & Baby (Postnatal)
**Saturday, August 5th: Self-Care in the Resistance ($45) – sign up here
5:45pm Wednesdays – Prenatal
12:30pm Saturdays – Prenatal

Devon’s yoga practice started as a counterpose to her other passion:  running.  “I needed to stretch in order to keep running injury-free,” she said.  But what kept her coming back was the surprise element of her practice, both in what it was teaching her off and on her mat.  “Yoga marries the physical endurance and challenge with mental focus and awareness.  Every day I do yoga, I’m a better person and a better citizen.  There is nothing else that brings that effect consistently,” Devon said.  What brought her to O2 Yoga, specifically, though was a coworker who invited her to a Karma Class that happened to be Astanga, which resonated with her previous yoga experience.  She kept coming back because of the clear and anatomically precise — yet still very creative — nature of O2’s teachers.  Devon eventually joined the workstudy staff, lending her friendly presence behind the sign-in desk, which brought her even more deeply into the studio’s community before going on to do Mimi’s 200-Hour Teacher Training Program.  “I teach in order to share my excitement, my awakening, with others.  Teaching is fun and rewarding.  I also value the relationships I build with students.  Teaching at O2 has made my community richer,” Devon said.  Even more than that, teaching helps her remain present and deeply value this moment, which also means being flexible and adaptable to changing the plan when need be.  “That’s why, as a teacher, it’s important to have a regular practice and teach from experience,” she said.  Being present and open paves the way for everyone to have a great yoga experience, be they student or teacher.
These days, Devon teaches mostly pre- and postnatal yoga at O2, though occasionally she will sub one of our “regular” classes.  Never fear, one of these days she’ll return to teaching an O2-style class, but in the meantime, she’s doing the good work of building a community of mamas-to-be as well as new moms in these specialized classes (also taught by Barrett on Sundays at 7pm in Somerville).  Prenatal Yoga is designed as an accessible, relaxing, and preparatory practice for women at any stage of pregnancy, while our Postnatal (aka Mommy & Baby) classes help postpartum women rebuild abdominals, chests, and backs — it’s important to note that the babies aren’t participants in this class but, rather, welcome to the space.  Both of these class styles include a community element where the students can share about their experiences and many a friendship has been forged at O2 this way!
For those of you not in the pre/postnatal market who need a little more Devon in your lives, we’ve got you covered: she very consistently has workshops on offer at both studios.  Coming up on Saturday, August 5th, she’s got her second Self-Care in the Resistance workshop, this one focused on hips.  This class combines a short O2-style class with very relaxing and restorative yin poses.  Basically, if you like to feel very calm, peaceful, and centered, you will love this experience.  Devon will be donating a portion of your enrollment fee to the Southern Poverty Law Center, just in case you needed an extra excuse to sign up for an extremely zen afternoon.
And for those of you with a yoga teaching interest and/or background, Devon will be leading an Intro to Teaching Prenatal Yoginis 2-part workshop, the first date being Saturday, August 19th and the second being Saturday, September 16th, both in our Cambridge location. 
She also regularly teaches different Kids’ Yoga classes — so stay tuned for details about upcoming opportunities for such fun this fall!
Devon is one of our most practically minded teachers with an incredibly vast library of knowledge about yoga, anatomy, meditation, and so much more, which makes her a true resource both as a teacher and student at O2.  She takes the time to get to know her students and their practices so the more regularly you take class with her, the more specific her advice and assistance will get — Cambridge manager Sarah often jokes that it was five years into her practice that Devon finally taught her how to do a proper vinyasa.  Devon has a keen eye for detail and can utilize her super powers to make you the best yogi you can be!  Get to one of her classes or workshops soon and you’ll see what we mean…

What’s your favorite pose to teach?
“I love teaching arm balances. We don’t do them too often in prenatal yoga (wink) but I love to fly! Crane, Koundinyasana, forearm stand! I love how confident and excited it makes me feel. It also humbles me.  I respect how one must be hard and soft to really take off. Strong core but open and supple at the same time in order to float and stay balanced on your hands, head, elbows, chin. I also love that we do these poses at O2. Lots of other studios don’t teach these poses! There’s always a variation everyone no matter how long they’ve practiced or how much sleep they got last night.”
What’s your favorite pose to do?
“Supta Viransana. I know. Everyone hates it. This pose with the fancy name is the one you do when instead of sitting on your heels while kneeling, you have your feet on the outside of your hips. I love this pose because I always enter it like a beginner. What are my knees doing today? Do I need a block? Two blocks? How does my back feel. This pose makes me go very slowly and check in. On the days I can lay all the way back and settle, I focus on my breath and releasing and doing less. It’s great for calming my nerves. Do I love it? Sometimes I could just stay there for twenty minutes, I kid you not. Do I hate it? Sometimes. Yes. Absolutely. And it makes me angry. So, facing that pose is my challenge and my yoga. On another level of ego, it sure helps my running stride and makes me faster…”
Do you play music during class?
“I don’t play music during class. I used to. I love music.  And sometimes I enjoy practicing to music. It can even set the tone. In a group class, however, the power of the breath is stimulating and part of what makes this communal practice so rich. I’m often listening to a podcast or NPR.  Being quiet with others is powerful. Have you ever experienced an awesome savasana where forty people are so still and calm. When the bell chimes, all of a sudden there’s a new buzz, a new energy in the room, not from the clashing of bells but from everyone’s energy.  I find it helpful as a teacher to tap into those sounds when I teach and when I practice. But, come on, let’s not be dogmatic about anything. I’ve been in other classes where there is music and it’s been powerful, too.”
Any “Fun Facts” you’d like to share?
“I really like ice cream. I may eat it for dinner once a week. I also like fast cars. Half the time, I can’t figure out how to work my iPhone.”

To learn more about our fabulous teaching staff, click here.

Originally published on August 1, 2017.  View it on O2 Yoga's website here.

Teacher Feature: Eliza Wilson

Teaching at O2 Since: 2015
Eliza’s Thoughts on Props Month: “This month is one of my favorites. O2 does a great job of regularly incorporating props even when they’re not the focus of the month. But this month gives ‘permission’ to experiment with props where normally you might not take advantage of them. As a teacher, it reminds me to be specific and clear about the purpose and positioning of any prop we’re using – what is it accomplishing? How does a student know if they might want to incorporate a prop?”

4:30pm Fridays – Basics
4:30pm Saturdays – Intermediate

Eliza has her sister to thank for getting her into this “yoga thing.”  It was back in 2013 and all Eliza really wanted to do was hang with her sibling and agreeing to meet up for a class turned out to be the most efficient way for that to happen.  “I admit I was an initially skeptic recruit,” Eliza recalled.  “I didn’t feel like a particularly graceful or flexible mover, I hated spandex…”  But over time, she got hooked:  the experience of being in the room with others there, like her, to breathe and just be, was humbling and connecting.  “It fostered a sense of bodily awareness that I hadn’t even realized I’d been missing.  I love that yoga shattered easy assumptions about our bodies and what is within reach.  And it commanded my full attention, absorbing me completely in a way that few endeavors do,” Eliza said, adding, “I’ve even turned the corner on spandex — let’s face it, it’s really comfortable!”
Not long after she got into the swing of yoga, Eliza started seeking a home base for her practice, wanting something that would help her understand the logic behind the sequences being taught.  “O2 immediately fit the bill with its progressive sequencing and informative specific cues,” she said.  Not only did Eliza settle into O2 as her place to practice, she also got involved in our community by taking on a workstudy role, eventually managing the cleaning crew at our Cambridge location.  She added a calm, steady, thoughtful voice to our team and we couldn’t have been more psyched when she said the words we always hope our regulars will say: “I’m thinking about doing Teacher Training…”  To this day, Eliza’s application for TT is one of our favorites, offering poignant and inspiring reasons for wanting to take this transformative leap of faith.  Namely, she expressed how teaching had once been a central part of her professional life in the healthcare field, but over time, her work shifted away from teaching and she realized how much she missed watching people grow and change, which helped her grow and change as a result.  “I became increasingly convinced that the skills and awareness cultivated in the yoga studio could be powerfully applied within a healthcare setting, where staff have few opportunities to digest the hardship and loss that they witness on a daily basis,” Eliza said. “I embarked on teacher training with the immediate hopes of being back in a teaching role, but with a long-term ambition to incorporate this into my professional life in the healthcare world.”
So far, so good.
Eliza continues to bring that steady, calm, focused vision to our community and to her classes.  Despite her hectic work-life where she spends a great deal of time traveling around the country meeting with folks from different health systems as a means to understand patient care in a proactive, longitudinal, and holistic manner, she is committed to her teaching, always striving to learn more about herself through the power of yoga.  Thank you, Eliza, for being such a fantastic member of Team O2 — thank you for reminding us that there is always something beautiful to learn.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from Mimi?
“Community matters.  It nourishes and sustains us.”
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from teaching?
“Be vulnerable and real with your students. This is a lesson I took from a mentor at a past job, but I think it applies equally to yoga teaching. Yoga can have a high barrier to entry. It’s expensive. It can feel like an insiders club, meant for certain types of bodies but not others. It demands students do things with their minds, bodies and breath that we don’t cultivate in many other aspects of our day-to-day lives. I think students are making themselves vulnerable by walking in the door and deciding to take a class, and we can honor that by doing the same as teachers. Vulnerability as a teacher can manifest in many different ways – a willingness to teach something you’ve never taught before, having a sense of humor when class doesn’t go exactly the way you planned, or being able to allow space for each student to take something different away from the experience. In my mind, vulnerability is a precursor to being fully present in a class. We will all have days (or weeks or months) where we can’t open up like that. But I think it’s worth it to challenge ourselves to do so when we can, and make sure that as teachers, we’re offering up the same vulnerability that we’re asking of students.”
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from your fellow O2 teachers?
“Generosity of spirit.  The teachers at O2 show up for each other, offer each other thoughtful feedback and continued inspiration.”
What’s your favorite pose to teach?
“Crane. It’s a pose where you regularly get to see the joy of firsts – whether first time holding the balance, or first time jumping back from crane into chaturanga.”
What’s your favorite pose to do?
“Supported bridge toward the end of class. O2 is a pretty vigorous style of yoga, and I like the opportunity to be still and be supported. Another favorite is bharadvajasana with the cleansing feeling of a good twist.”
What’s your “dream pose”?
“Pressing up from crane into a handstand.”
Do you play music in class?
“Depends. I play music in Basics classes more often than I do in Intermediate. When I was a new yoga student, I found music to be helpful in quieting my mind. The steady drumbeat of ujjayi breath without music to soften it was initially intimidating and distracting. With time, as I became more comfortable and adept at attuning to my own body, I felt I had the mental bandwidth to begin focusing more on my breath without the aid of music. Everyone experiences this differently though, so I try to mix it up and give students the opportunity to experience classes with and without music.”
Anything else you’d like to share?
“Stop me after class and share your thoughts!”

Read about all of our fabulous teachers here.

Originally published on July 15, 2017.  View it on O2 Yoga's website here.

Teacher Feature: Carol Ciaravino

Teaching at O2 Since: 2007
Carol’s Thoughts on Props Month: “I find props to be very useful in several ways. The props we generally use are blocks, a strap, the wall, and occasionally a partner. They can facilitate proper alignment. For example, block under your hand in ardha chandrasana. They also can provide support or a reference point that allow you to enter a deeper version of a pose and build strength for the full pose. For example, half-handstand on the wall. I sometimes observe that more experienced students will avoid props unless specifically cued. Remember blocks are you friend and may give insight into the true nature of the pose.”
12pm Saturdays – Basics
10:30am Sundays – Intermediate

Four years into her eighteen year practice, Carol discovered O2 Yoga in a roundabout way.  After taking yoga as an adult education class that lead to yoga-at-the-gym, she decided she wanted to go on a retreat, somewhere warm, preferably.  That’s when she stumbled across O2’s retreat at Maya Tulum in Tulum, Mexico.  “I figured I could check [O2] out because they were local,” Carol said, adding, “I went to one class and then signed on.  I’ve been to every retreat since.”  In fact, January 2018 will be her fifteenth time on the trip, and she’s gotten to be on the teaching staff twice.  “Tulum is a magical place, kind of a summer camp for adults and some strong bonds with other O2 peeps have been forged there over the years,” Carol said, also recalling that the first year of the trip when Mimi, who she’d actually met for the first time when they were in Mexico, was six months pregnant with Dylan and still popping up into forearm stands.  “I was enthralled,” Carol said.
Her passion for the O2-style practice only blossomed after that blissful week in Tulum and she never looked back.  With thirty years of experience working as a clinical social worker and trained psychoanalyst (now retired), Carol believes in therapy as a path to transformation and change, though it’s not always an easy road.  “Yoga is another such path and one that usually leaves students feeling good,” she said, happy to share her passion for the practice with others, now as a teacher.  “I decided to do O2 teacher training after a number of years of immersion in and commitment to the O2 community.  It seemed like a natural progression,” Carol said, remembering how our 200-Hour Teacher Training Program used to be structured in week-long segments spread out over the course of a year.  When Carol did TT in 2007, it was still held at the original O2 Yoga in Portsmouth, New Hampshire (now we hold the training in our Cambridge Studio location).  “Even though I didn’t know Mimi that well at the time, she invited me to camp at her home and that was my introduction to the unique and inspiring Carpenter clan,” she said.  Carol experienced what many of us who’ve spent a lot of time in the O2 World: that Mimi’s kindness, generosity, and all-around beautiful spirit has given us all a sense of home.
As a teacher, Carol’s sequences are designed to remind students about the foundations of the practice, driving home the importance of savoring the transitions and spending as much time focusing on “the spaces in between” as the poses themselves.  Carol will remind you not to rush through your chatturanga-to-up dog.  She’ll ask you to think about where your weight is being distributed in your palms in down dog.  She’ll get you to slow down, to move through the sequence without rushing.  The buildup to that fancy arm balance is just as necessary if not more so than the full pose you’re working towards.  Carol is as methodical and practical in her approach to sequencing as she is creative and visual.  As one of our senior teachers involved in assisting with Teacher Training, Carol’s “Sequence Binder” has become rather famous for its detail and organization.  The care and thoughtfulness that goes into each of Carol’s classes results in a truly wonderful experience for students of all levels.
It only makes sense that a teacher who found her way to us via our Maya Tulum retreat would offer a calm, collected, compassionate voice in our O2 community.  Carol, we’re so happy you wanted to “do yoga some place warm” all those years ago.  Taking class with you is just like having our toes in the sand, an inviting stretch of ocean holding our gaze, ready to stay in this moment and love it for all it has to offer.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from Mimi?
“If you tell someone to do something, give them a reason.  If you are going to give constructive criticism, give two positives for every negative one.  There are many lessons she’s taught me, but the most important one has been by her example as she has faced major challenges in her own life in the last few years with grace, dignity, and courage.”
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from teaching?
“Teach what you know.”
What’s the best lesson you learned from your fellow teachers?
“One thing I love about our teaching community is that we all take each other’s classes and learn from one another.  So many times I have seen one teacher birth a creative idea that makes the rounds through the teaching staff as it grows and develops and morphs.”
What’s your favorite pose to teach?
“I like teaching the foundations and the basic alignment and intentions of the poses no matter the level of the class. There is always more to learn and refine even in the most basic poses.”
What’s your favorite pose to do?
“Extended Side Angle Pose, Utthita Parsvakonasana for its blend of strength and flexibility.”
What’s your “dream pose”?
“Handstand in the middle of the room.  One day!!”
Do you have a mantra?
“I Am/Here Now.  Ask Sarah.”
** Note from Cambridge Manager Sarah:  “Once during savasana, Carol told us that on the inhale, she likes to think, ‘I am’ and on the exhale ‘here now.’  I tried it in class that day and it completely quieted and calmed my mind during this restorative posture.  From then on, I used that mantra at the end of every class, during challenging poses, and even times off my mat when I needed to re-focus my energy.  I now have ‘I am’ tattooed on my left foot and ‘here now’ tattooed on my right foot and it’s a mantra I’ve taught many others as well.  All thanks to Carol!  What a game-changer!”
Do you play music in class?
“I like to play low-key music as a background.  I find it soothing.”
Any fun facts you’d like to share?
“I recently became a grandmother.  Knox is three months old and lots of fun.”
Final thoughts about your practice or your teaching?
“It keeps me young.  I think I’m twenty-five.”

To learn more about our fabulous teaching staff, click here.

Originally published on July 1, 2017.  View on O2 Yoga's website here.