Bett’s Thoughts on Primary Series: “I LOVE IT! The Ashtanga practice in general is such a growth-oriented series where the fixed sequencing allows the practitioner really to engage mindfully with their own practice and where they are at, both physically and mentally, at that particular moment. Primary Series, in particular, emphasizes the idea of progressive sequencing, where the next pose builds on the previous. The immediate right-left nature per asana (traditionally with a vinyasa in between) allows for an incomparable understanding of the symmetry (or lack there of) in the body, and how this symmetry can vary from day to day. I also love how this sequence jam-packs in the poses, efficiently covering it all– shoulders, chest and hip openers, hamstrings, inversions, etc. etc.!”
Bett started practicing with us about four years ago and quickly fell in love with all that we had to offer. “I was in search of a great studio and after a bit of trial and error came across the wonderful stylings of O2. I fell in love with the teachers, the community, and the alignment-oriented sequencing that encourages growth in one’s practice over time without compromising the joints or overstretching the muscles,” she said. And once Bett decided we were her yoga home, she jumped in full force, even working in VO2 Vegan Cafe and joining the workstudy team before going on to do Mimi’s 200-hour Teacher Training Program. Just the other day, we were fondly recalling how Bett rolled up to the studio ten minutes before the TT Class of 2014 met for the first time to enroll formally in the program — which only goes to show that even with TT Class of 2017 meeting for the first time at 5pm today, it’s not too late for you to join the fun — especially if you, like Bett, are someone who is already practicing with us, with a deep love for O2 and the itch to learn more about how we “do what we do.”
But we digress…
Bett started her yoga practice in 2011 in a “Yoga and Mindfulness” class at University of Vermont. By the time she came to O2 in 2013, she was already passionate about the practice and the lifestyle, mindfulness, and peace that comes along with it. Her decision to kick that up a notch to do TT was related to the desire to further understand and develop her own practice, but she got a bonus result: “Later, it became the enjoyment I got out of geeking out over yoga poses with other self-proclaimed ‘yoga nerds,'” she said. Come early the next time you’re taking Bett’s class and you can easily engage her in a discussion about triangle pose or koundinyasana or even something “simple” like ujjayi breath. While we don’t have leaderboard in this yoga nerdy community, Bett is certainly one of the best of us to get into the nitty gritty of pose specifics and anatomy/alignment and more.
It’s always a treat to see students start coming to the studio…then start coming super regularly…and then get involved in our family-run business in as many ways as possible, eventually landing on our teaching staff. Part of what makes O2 such a wonderful and unique place to practice yoga is the depth of our staff’s commitment to this dream-come-true studio started so many years ago by Mimi and her family. Each and every one of us at O2 is here because we love it and that is something you hopefully experience as our students. You certainly experience it in Bett’s classes!
Bett, your passion for O2 is a bright, warm light on our class schedule and we are so happy to have you as a teacher.
What’s the best lesson you learned from Mimi?
“Do what you can. For example: if your lifestyle doesn’t allow you to fully commit to being vegan, see where you are able to make some conscious adjustments that work for you. Balance is key. If you’re giving up things that are crucial to your own happiness and well-being, it’s difficult to be a positive light in the greater community and sense of things.”
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from teaching?
“Every body is different, but everybody is one. Physically, we all have different abilities, but at the end of the day, we all hold the common denominator of being human; and it’s this human nature that ties us together, regardless of how different our life paths may be.”
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from another O2 teacher?
“Any and everything that comes out of Ann’s mouth.”
What’s your favorite pose to teach?
“I love teaching standing balances that progress from the back of the mat forward towards the front.”
What’s your favorite pose to do?
“Too hard to choose just one. Lately I’ve been really enjoying the transitions between poses (arm balances, hop backs). I particularly enjoy transitions that deepen the objective of a pose, such as the hip opening and backbending when transitioning from natarajasana to ardha chandrasana (dancer’s pose to half moon [bound then unbound]).”
What’s your “dream pose”?
“Vrischikasana (scorpion pose). Specifically, to touch my head with my toes in forearm stand.”
Do you have a mantra?
“Anatta (inhale ‘an’, exhale ‘atta’). This is the Buddhist concept on ‘non-self’ or non-attachment (to internal or external circumstances). One’s self image is not based on their successes nor their failures. There is an acknowledgment and acceptance that everything is impermanent and happiness comes from within, happiness isn’t the result of something else.”
Any “fun facts” to share with the class?
“I’m a twin and my twin brother finally attended his first yoga class (ever!) with me last month, he’s looking forward to many more.”
Originally posted on O2 Yoga's website on September 15, 2017. View it here.