October has arrived! Our featured teacher of the month is Barbara Arens, or “Barb,” as she is fondly known by many of her students and colleagues.
We checked in with Barb to learn more about her yoga practice, her unique teaching style, and the advice she’d give to students wanting to deepen their practice. Check out our Q&A below, then grab a buddy and drop in to any of her classes throughout October for just $10. That’s 50% off the drop-in rate!
Wednesday 5:45-7 pm (new!) | Core & Yoga (Fifth)
Sunday 9-10 am | Core & Yoga (Cochran)
Yoga Nook: What originally drew you to the practice of yoga?
Barb: I had been to a few classes in my 20s, but it wasn’t until my 30s that I began practicing yoga more seriously. I picked it back up because of some mild issues I was having with my back, and it was “love at first class.” The asana practice called to me in a way that no other activity did. I was lucky that my instructor taught using Sanskrit and delved into the philosophy of yoga right from the beginning. I can truly say that yoga made my heart sing, and still does to this day.
How would you describe your teaching style? What makes your classes unique?
My teaching style is very dynamic and challenging, and it can be either slow-paced or a bit faster. The slower the flow, the more time students have to perfect their alignment in the poses. I do prefer a flowing form of yoga because of the artistic beauty of the movement, which is different for every student.
What is your favorite pose and why?
One of my favorite poses is Ardha Chandrasana because it is such a challenge for me. It makes me go deep inside my body and mind to cultivate the breath and work on my alignment. Some days the pose feels beautiful and serene; other days I feel lucky if I can balance at all. Yoga keeps me humble.
What advice would you share with a student looking to deepen their practice?
Talk to teachers you admire and ask them questions. Most teachers love to mentor. Also, read the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, which is the core text of yoga covering ethics, meditation, physical postures, and even dealing with situations in daily life.
There are many translations of the Yoga Sutras, and it’s important to find one that resonates with you. At this time, my favorite translation is by Sri Swami Satchidananda. There are stories you can relate to and a complete breakdown of the Sanskrit verses with the teacher’s explanation of their application.
What inspires your teaching?
The students inspire me. It is such a privilege to share this sacred practice with them. There is so much more to yoga than the asana practice. It dwells within you and becomes part of who you are.
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