november 2014 : meghan ruiz
1. What is in your yoga bag?
A: I try to carry around as little as possible but with me you’ll generally find my phone or iPod for my playlists and possibly my notebook with sequencing or a quote that I’d like to use during my class.
2. What is your favorite…?
Animal: Birds. Big birds specifically like hawks or ospreys. Birds symbolize freedom and freedom has been my sankalpa, or intention, for the past few years.
Asana: Currently handstands. Doing a handstand is such a great pick me up. Handstands everywhere!
3. What is your favorite yoga book &/or online yoga resource?
A: My favorite yoga book is Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar and my favorite online yoga resource is Yoga Journal for referencing and YogaGlo.com for practice and inspiration.
4. How do you challenge your personal yoga practice &/or how do you keep a consistent yoga practice?
A: Keeping a consistent yoga practice can be challenging when you’re not able to go to a studio every day but I’ve come to love and look forward to the time I spend on my mat. It’s a time of playing around with ideas and disciplines. I come up with most of my creative sequencing on my mat. One breakthrough I had that changed my personal practice was that the time spent does not have to be a rigidly structured increments of 60 minutes or 90 minutes. Spending just 5 minutes breathing or flowing through 6 – 12 sun salutes can be your practice. I like to challenge my practice by going to classes and attending workshops.
5. What is your favorite thing to do off the mat?
A: My favorite thing to do off the mat is go on hikes or run outside, preferably my family or friends.
6. What is your personal teaching motto &/or teaching model? Or a favorite yoga quote?
A: My personal teaching model is to feel into the energy of my students and let them guide me. What are they needing out of their practice? How can I challenge them and uplift them? As an eternal student of yoga (life) I am inspired by the quote “Do your practice and all is coming.” Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois.
7. Please briefly describe your most fantastic & amazing teaching moment.
A: I was teaching a class with a student who had a double mastectomy. Obviously she was dealing with a lot of scar tissue and lack of sensation and range of motion across her chest and shoulders. Recently, I had taken a workshop with a teacher from the bay area all about the shoulder girdle and we were working with myofacial release using tennis balls. During class I decided that it would be nice to try these techniques with her and after we were done she had a strange look on her face. I asked if she was alright and she said yes, it was just that she was experiencing feelings and sensations where there had been none before. I still get goose bumps thinking or talking about it. To be able to help someone heal themselves is the greatest feeling in the world and it’s why I love doing what I do.
8. What song is currently #1 on your yoga playlist?
A: I really love Sugar Drop 77 by DJ Drez. It’s on a lot of my playlists.
9. Any final words?
A: This practice is not a race, it’s a slow unfolding. It’s not always pretty or graceful. It can be vulnerable and it’s not always in our comfort zone. Observation rather than judgement. Feeling it and leaning into it. Laughing and crying and flopping on the floor. Sweating and smiling and connecting with other human beings. I find it so incredibly beautiful.
Don’t miss out on Meghan’s classes! She offers a variety of fun and challenging classes including: Bhakti and Mellow flow, and even incorporates Yoga Nidra into her Sunday evening Mellow Flow class. Check out her schedule, as well as, the rest of our teachers, classes, and class descriptions at yogastudiotahoe.com.