When/Where/With whom was your first yoga class: I had been practicing on my own from books for a couple of years before I took my first yoga class in 2000. It was with my friend, Erin Abrams, at her small Anusara yoga studio in Sturbridge, MA. Erin taught me the importance of proper alignment in the postures, and more importantly, that your yoga practice can be a life-affirming joyful celebration.
What and who inspires me: I’m inspired when I think about the strength and courage my Mom had as she raised me and my two brothers on her own, and by my wife, Kelly, whose constant grace always amazes me.
What I love most about yoga: It is what I take with me off the mat, which is a mind that is more clear and still, a physical body that has been strengthened and integrated, and a heightened intuition that helps me to more consistently feel a divine presence in my life.
What I can’t live without: Music
What you might not know about me: I am a stay-at-home Dad for my four year old son, Gary, and my little girl, Annalee, who is almost a year old.
Best advice I ever received: From my Aunt Nancy when she was terminally ill. She told me, Find someone to love and let that person love you.
Favorite book: Too many to name. I did just finish Life of Pi. The books On my nightstand right now are: A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and Meditations From the Mat by Rolf Gate
Favorite local escape: Lake Boon in Stow, MA where my Mom lives.
Favorite inspirational quote: No Mud, No Lotus. - Thich Nhat Hanh
When/where/with who was your first yoga class? My daughter recommended that I get my(very stressed out)self to yoga. Thankfully, I listened to her and began my yoga journey with Gail Cannon at Earthsong Yoga. Gail's teachings in Kripalu and Ashtanga yoga changed the direction of my life.
What / who inspires you? My husband, my children, grandchildren, my teachers, fellow students and so many people who face their fears, embrace compassion and serve their community.
What I love most about yoga is:
Attention to breath and all the wonder and simplicity that comes with that focus on and off the mat.
What you can’t live without? Breath and Nature
What you might not know about me:
I spent 15 years living in Europe (Germany and Belgium) and never expected that I would come back to the US.
Best advice you’ve ever received (from who?): "Practice, practice, all is coming" - Guruji via Gail Cannon
My favorite book: For inspiration, The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. For a great adventure, Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. For daily reading, No Mud, No Lotus, by Tich Nhat Hanh
Favorite Word: Compassion
Local escape: You can find my almost every day at one of these locations; The Beals Preserve, Breakneck Hill Farm, Chestnut Hill Farm, Hopkinton State Park, and The Memorial Forest in Sudbury. I love to walk!
My favorite thing to do (other than yoga): Paint, Walk and Hike, Garden, and Cross Country Ski
Favorite inspirational quote: You miss 100% of the shots you never take.
When/where/with who was your first yoga class? At my Mom’s (Shawn Shaw) first studio in our house(converted bedroom – yoga studio)
What / who inspires you? My mother-( my first yoga teacher), my sister because she exudes confidence, Johnny and Diana from Empowered Yoga and Bob Marley for his world views and perspective on people, love and life.
What I love most about yoga is: I can feel like I’ve eliminated the bad, and added the good.
What you can’t live without? Music, guitar, yoga and working out…ice cream!
What you might not know about me: I still love to be on my skateboard.
Best advice you’ve ever received (from who?): Be Yourself. Everyone else is already taken!
My favorite book: “Where the wild things are”.
Favorite Word: Infectious
Local escape: After the yoga studio(Metrowest of course) ..The Ashland Res
My favorite thing to do(other than yoga): Play my guitar
Favorite inspirational quote: Depends on what day you ask me really. I have so many! As of late, “Dance in the Rain”. It implies that we can find good in all things.
When/where/with who was your first yoga class? Quincy, MA – in 1980 at the local YMCA. It was the first time I realized that I could bring calm and peace into my being.
What / who inspires you? My children, Yoga teachers that stay genuine and true and committed to the practice.
What I love most about yoga is: Yoga not only helps me feel more confident physically, it strengthens me spiritually. I walk through life with more confidence, optimism, self awareness and with a more positive joyful attitude.
What you can’t live without? My children. They are my greatest teachers and no one can make my belly laugh the way they do.
What you might not know about me: I once was a Color Guard in a Marching Band.
Best advice you’ve ever received (from who?): “Make it Good”. Whenever I find myself having an especially bad day, I try to pause and think about what’s gone well that day. What happened that was good. What’s good about my life. When I do I find it shifts my whole perspective.
My favorite book: Again, so many! A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield, and “How Yoga Works” by Christie McNally and Michael Roach
Favorite Word: “Grace”
Local escape: Hopkinton State Park
My favorite thing to do(other than yoga): Watching the sunset preferably by the ocean.
Favorite inspirational quote: “You wander from room to room, hunting for the diamond necklace that is already around your neck.” – Rumi
When/where/with who was your first yoga class? Before school one morning during my senior year of high school with my very good friend, Cadena. Her father had just opened a yoga studio in downtown North Attleboro.
What / who inspires you? My mother and father. Also, nature and the circle of life – it just blows my mind.
What I love most about yoga is: Yoga has given me a new set of eyes. I love most that it continues to help me create space in places that I get stuck and how it helps me to shed off layers of armor that I wear for protection. It helps me to connect deeper with who I really am.
What you can’t live without? Fresh air and my few but very close, childhood girlfriends.
What you might not know about me: I have dreams of being a hip hop dancer with big, poofy hair wearing high top Reebok Pumps.
Best advice you’ve ever received (from who?): “Everything is a choice,” from a very good friend.
My favorite book: “How Yoga Works” by Michael Roach
Favorite Word: Hello
Local escape: Kennebunkport, ME
My favorite thing to do (other than yoga): Garden, cook, cat naps, swim, hike, play in the snow, and pretend to be a hip hop dancer.
Favorite quote: “Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take
between two deep breaths”.
When/where/with who was your first yoga class? Chanel Luck in Westborough MA at a yoga studio that is no longer there.
What / who inspires you? Nature, the seasons,and life all inspire me
What I love most about yoga is: The blissful pause from my hectic day.
What you can’t live without? Besides the obvious (air, food, water, family) I would have to say dark chocolate, preferably from Pandolphi’s in Bellingham
What you might not know about me: I like to dance and do crossword puzzles – although definitely not at the same time.
Best advice you’ve ever received (from who?): My husband always has good advice for me no matter what. The one thing that comes to mind, and I should probably follow it more often is his recommendation to slow down and take a nap.
My favorite book: No favorites – usually depends on what I am reading at the time, although I often find myself gravitating to a book I have by Rumi.
Favorite Word: Anomaly
Local escape: Western MA
My favorite thing to do(other than yoga): Cooking, gardening and just simply being outside.
Favorite inspirational quote: Life isn’t measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.
When/where/with who was your first yoga class? First Yoga class was an Iyengar Class in September 1997, New Directions Yoga Studio in Brookline, Teacher Roni Brissette - she studied w/Patricia Walden.
What /who inspires you? Watching people grow and transform and share in their experience.
What I love most about yoga is: The way it has made me connect physically, emotionally, and spiritually with myself. It has also allowed me to stay in the moment and speak my truth.
What you can’t live without? My life partner Maureen and my yoga practice.
What you might not know about me: I have a twin sister.
Best advice you’ve ever received (from who?): Be yourself and doubt your doubts – my teacher and mentor Shawn Shaw
Favorite Book: Don’t really have a favorite book.
Favorite Word: Truth
Local escape: Arboretum in Jamaica Plain
My favorite thing to do(other than yoga): Take long walks, people watch, bike ride, hike and sit on the beach.