Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Getting to Know You: Sarah Coombs

We are so excited to have added five brand new teachers to our regular schedule this month, so we wanted to take a moment to introduce you to each of them.  First up, we’re meeting a member of the Sarah Squad.  There are two Sarahs joining our teaching staff — Sarah Coombs and Sarah Rose — so along with Sarah Hoffman (and Cambridge manager Sarah Wolf), it may take a few moments to connect which member of #TeamSarah we’re talking about, but stick with us — each Sarah is her own unique, wonderful part of our team.
Today, we’re introducing you to Sarah Coombs (herein referred to simply as Sarah).  She started practicing with us about four years ago when a talk therapist suggested yoga as part of a stress-relief regiment.  “I was very skeptical at first but given that the O2 was at the end of my street in Somerville, I finally decided to give itSarah March Yoga (21 of 16) a try,” Sarah recalled.  “I was hooked almost immediately. I did not feel intimidated by the community at O2 — in fact I felt very welcomed — and I noticed positive changes almost immediately.  Connecting to my breath and my body did in fact help me feel calm and I also loved how I started to see myself getting stronger. I have always been somewhat accident-prone and was never particularly athletic, so seeing progress with yoga postures brought me an internal sense of accomplishment I hadn’t found elsewhere.  The first time I managed to hold crane pose for a few seconds, I felt like I had defied gravity!” Unlike her previous scattered attempts at a yoga practice over the years, Sarah had finally found her yoga-home with us at O2.
And as her practice continued to build, she started incorporating aspects of yoga into her “day job” in rehabilitation science where she works as an occupational therapist who often helps clients improve strength, balance, and motor planning.  “Last year I took a short course on using yoga in pediatrics and began using yoga poses in treatment sessions with my clients. I started running small yoga groups for 5-7-year-olds and received a lot of positive feedback from both the kids and other staff.  I realized that I wanted to delve into this further, thus prompting me to enroll in Teacher Training,” Sarah said. At first, her goal was to use her 200-Hour Teacher Training as a stepping stone to do an adaptive yoga training. But as she worked towards that first goal of earning that RYT, she was surprised to learn how much fun she has teaching O2-style vinyasa classes. “I never would have thought I would want to try out for Karma or teach at the studio, but I really like it!  I also discovered in Teacher Training that I enjoy planning sequences. I know it’s a skill that will continue to grow, but I love the opportunity to be creative and I love seeing how creative other O2 teachers are with their sequencing,” Sarah said.
Stories like Sarah’s are so great — and just one of the many paths that lead yogis to Mimi’s Teacher Training program.  Some folks know they want to teach, some have no aspirations to teach, some think they want to teach (or think they don’t) and come out of the program with a deeper understanding of their practice that will then inform them of where the training will take them next. “My advice to anyone thinking about Teacher Training is that if they are feeling nervous about it, they should take the plunge and do it.  It will be a good challenge.  The best things I’ve done in my life so far were the ones I was scared of and had to push myself to do.  I would also say that even if you don’t end up teaching, Teacher Training will definitely deepen your practice and you will grow from it,” Sarah said. And maybe, like with her experiencesarahc_duckpose, TT will reveal a whole new way to share your love and appreciation for yoga to yourself and to the many corners of your world.
Sarah’s had the added benefit of heeding a few great pieces of advice since the start of her teaching:
  1. Learn how to speak concisely.  “You really don’t have a lot of time cuing a pose and it’s important to prioritize the information you are going to convey to your students,” she said.
  2. Like with most new things, you know more than you think you know!
When she’s not here at the studio teaching or practicing, Sarah loves to spend time knitting.  “Years ago I worked at a yarn shop and I also have experience with machine knitting and weaving.  These days I’m mostly knitting baby outfits for friends, but it’s definitely another passion of mine,” she said.  And another favorite past-time? Roller skating. “With old school quad skates, not inline skates! My favorite thing in the summer is the free outdoor Donna Summer skate dance party,” she confessed.  As if we didn’t already love Sarah, that really seals the deal.
Welcome to the team, Ms. Coombs!  We are so looking forward to watching you grow as a teacher and practioner.  Students, you can join Sarah for 7am Intermediate in Cambridge every Monday morning.  For her full teaching schedule this week, click here.

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