Friday, September 8, 2017

Teacher Feature: Lynne Carr

Teaching at O2 Since: 2007
Lynne’s Thoughts on Pranayama: “Mimi has taught that breathing is one of the most direct ways to communicate with your central nervous system.  If our breath is shallow, we may feel weak.  If our breath is deep, we can ride the breath and move through postures with greater ease.”

6pm Tuesdays – Basics
8:30am Wednesdays – Basics
7pm Wednesday – Astanga

We joke sometimes at O2 about the “Astanga Police.”  This is referring to those in our midst who are to-the-letter-astangis, following the many rules of the practice to a strict T.  And if mean ol’ Elliott is the “bad cop,” that definitely makes Lynne the “good cop”  (Just kidding, Elliott, we love you).  Lynne started doing yoga back in 1999 and stumbled onto a David Swenson Astanga DVD sometime after.  “I was looking to take my practice public.  O2 offered classes and was in my neighborhood,” Lynne said of how she discovered us back in 2005.  That discovery lead to her eventual decision to do Mimi’s 200-Hour Teacher Training and start teaching for O2 in 2007.  “I went on sabbatical from a software consulting job to explore and pursue passions.  Life away from the desk was just too good! The sabbatical ended up being permanent,” Lynne said of her decision to start teaching.  When Lynne is not leading a kick-asana yoga class, she’s developing small business websites and writing technical documentation in the winter and gardening at homes and businesses in the summer.
Lynne’s O2-style classes are always core-intensive and highly creative.  Her Astanga classes are “serious business” that she manages to make very approachable and fun.  Some of you may be wondering:  how can Astanga be fun?  Well, there are lots of ways!  Besides being a bright, warm light of a human being, Lynne is also unabashedly a self-declared “wanna-be” comedian.  “I’m trying to own the corny joke genre,” she confessed, adding, “If you’ve got a good math joke or yoga one-liner, please share.  I’m pretty sure there is untapped potential for combining yoga teaching with standup comedy.  That’s my groove.”  Some of our Lynne-Yoga-Joke-Favorites:
“That’s dangerously close to bootykonasana.”
“I think I’m gonna name my next dog Utpluthih. ‘C’mere, Utpluthih!!'”
“This is about the time everyone forgets to breathe… Remember, it’s not ‘MarichyASPHYXIA,’ it’s ‘MarichyASANA.’
“Release your contortion and come through vinyasa.”
“It’s called CHAIR pose, guys, not SOFA pose.”
And oh so many more…
Lynne, along with Elliott, has the important job of leading our regular Astanga classes (Tuesdays at 7:30pm in Somerville with Elliott and Wednesdays at 7pm in Cambridge with Lynne), which gives students the chance to experience O2 Yoga’s foundational practice.  This may be a bit of trivia for some of you, but it was Astanga that got our fearless leader Mimi into yoga in the first place, and while O2’s style has evolved in a way that is far less predictable than a set sequence like Astanga, being familiar with Primary and Second Series is a great window for our regular and experienced students to get a glimpse into where the O2-style comes from.  It’s a very fast-paced, strength and flexibility-building practice whose predictable sequence can result in a student’s self-evaluation of progress on the mat.  Students who like Astanga tend to be pretty loyal to it, so it’s also one of the more social classes on the schedule at both students, since everyone gets to know each other week in and week out.  Check it out one of these days!  Especially if you’re interested in doing our Teacher Training — having a leg up in your Primary Series Game offers a certain advantage…  And practicing regularly with Lynne will up your yoga joke game immeasurably, which is the best possible outcome of any yoga journey, if we’re being really

We’re so happy to have Lynne on our teaching roster, bringing her sunny approach to both our regular and Astanga classes.  And she’s not kidding about wanting more one-liners — share ’em with her anytime!

What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from Mimi?
“When giving feedback to someone, make sure you say three nice things for every one constructive thing.”
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from teaching?
“You can’t judge a yogi by the expression on their face.  Sometimes when I look around a class, people look downright miserable.  Mostly, they aren’t.  They are intensely focused.  This absolutely freaked me out when I started teaching.  I thought I must really su$% at it.  Now, I appreciate their focus.”
What’s your favorite pose to teach?
“I have to pick one?! No way!”
What’s your favorite pose to do?  
“Headstand.  It instantly clears out my mental cobwebs.”
What’s your “dream pose”?
“Handstand – away from the wall.”
Do you have a mantra?
“Lovingkindness — especially with what I say.  I’m trying to take a pause consistently between thinking and speaking to give me time to cultivate lovingkindness for whomever I’m speaking to — before I speak.”
Do you play music during class?
“Yes and no.  I often play music during a vinyasa class.  I never play music during an Astanga class.  When I do play music, it’s in the background to soften the street noise.  The real music, though, should come from the students, from the sound of their ujjayi breath.  When we first learn to do this, our breath is softer and quieter.  The music gives us a sound to focus on while we learn to amplify our breath.  When we develop our ujjai breath, it energizes us and livens up the whole room.  This is often the case in an Astanga class.  Here, the music is unneccessary.”
To learn more about our fabulous teaching staff, click here.

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