Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Getting to Know You: Becky Murphy

We are so excited to have added five brand new teachers to our regular schedule this spring, so we wanted to take a moment to introduce you to each of them.
Becky_tripod headstandToday, we’re getting into Becky Murphy’s backstory.  Becky took her first yoga classes in college, though without fully connecting with what the practice had to offer.  When she moved to Somerville in 2013, her roommate suggested she check out the yoga studio a block from their apartment (“Spoiler  Alert: it was O2,” Becky said), but even then, her practice remained sporadic. That all changed in 2015 when she went to one of Ann’s Power classes: “It absolutely murdered me in the best way.  I don’t think I’d ever felt that physically exhausted before,” Becky recalled. She was surprised by how peaceful she felt in savasana that night, all of the stresses and anxieties that usually pinged her brain now suddenly quiet.  “I didn’t know my head could be that still,” she said. That was enough to convince her that maybe she should stick with this yoga-thing and hope to have that same experience every time she got on her mat.
Beyond the sense of inner calm it gave her, Becky also admitted that she enjoyed the “spectator sport” of coming to class.  “I loved going to class and watching — usually with my jaw on the floor — as other students popped up into the craziest arm balances and inversions,” she said.  What that awe did was inspire her to work towards achieving those advanced poses and eventually lead her into a super-regular Astanga practice. “It was amazing finding something that was so physical but where I felt like no matter how often I went or how much progress I made, there was still room to keep polishing,” Becky said.
Eventually that drive to push her practice further and better understand her evolution as a yogi inspired her to sign up for Mimi’s 200-Hour Teacher Training program.  Well, that drive and, as she put it, “a healthy dose of peer pressure.” We do always love when our committed regulars decide to take the leap and do TT with us — we see those longtime students as our ideal TT candidates because we know they will get so much out of the experience.  Becky was certainly one of those students so we were delighted when she was our first student enrolled in the Class of 2017.
Going into the program, Becky’s goal was to deepen her capacity as a yoga student.  “I had zero interest in becoming a teacher… I was mostly interested in getting a better idea of how to practice in a way that would be safe and sustainable for my body so that I could minimize the risk of future injuries,” she said.  But when the training came to a close, she made the last minute leap to audition for the Karma program and intern as one of our new teachers. “I found cuing small sections in class to be stressful… I was also nervous that my love for practicing yoga wouldn’t necessarily translate into the ability to teach,” Becky admitted, adding, “With some very helpful nudging from friends and a bit of curiosity to see if I could rise to the challenge, I decided to give [Karma] a shot.”  She did, indeed, rise to the challenge and graduated from the Karma program to the regular schedule at the start of March 2018.
Overall, doing Teacher Training taught Becky a number of important lessons that range from understanding her body in space — “I am useless at lefts and rights,” she confessed — and also how she utilizes language when she’s nervous or trying to employ both English and Sanskrit.  “Most importantly, I found that if you just keep breathing, you can get through everything,” Becky said. And now as a new teacher, she’s gaining a whole other perspective of herself as the one standing in front of the room instead of being the one on her mat. She worried that her recent entry into being a yoga instructor might be more apparent to students who would, in turn, judge her harshly.  “So it made a huge difference when Mimi pointed out that by teaching yoga with care and compassion, you’re only going to make someone’s day better,” Becky said. That realization took the pressure off in a very freeing way.
So what advice does she have for you, dear yogi-contemplating-doing-teacher-training?  How about this: “There are so many reasons to enroll. If you are hoping to understand what’s going on anatomically so that you can keep everything safe and healthy, then Teacher Training is for you. If you want to know how to sequence a class to help you get deeper in your own practice, then Teacher Training is for you. If you want an excuse to eat more food at the cafĂ© and spend even more time in the studio, then Teacher Training is for you.”  Cheeky. But we like that last one. She then added, “Honestly, it can feel really overwhelming and nerve-wracking, but every time I could get through another day (or even survive on an hour by hour basis), I would feel really proud of myself. It’s tough, but it’s worth it.”
When Becky isn’t at the studio, she’s reading and baking.  “I’m such a grandma at heart,” she sighed.
Welcome to the team, Becky!  We are so looking forward to watching you grow as a teacher and practioner.  Students, you can join Becky for 6am Basics in Somerville every Tuesday morning.  For her full teaching schedule this week, click here.

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