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: 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
What inspires you? My daughter, music, nature, creative humans, survivors, and authentic yoga teachers. I'm easily inspired.
What do you love the most about yoga? I love the heightened sense of awareness it has given me, the space and clarity it creates within my body, mind, and spirit...but above all the practice of self-love and the ability it gives me to appreciate every part of myself. I wish to share it with every soul I can.
What can you not live without? My daughter, she reminds me to be present at all times. Also...sunshine.
What might people not know about you? I was a professional dancer at Hersherypark for five years, and I was dancer in the movie "School Ties".
What was the best advice you ever received? "just breathe" from a dance teacher in high school.
What is your favorite book? I love books. I never turn on the television. I love "The alchemist" by Paulo Coelho and anything pertaining to yoga of course.
What is your favorite word? Serendipity
Favorite local escape? Any beach in New England, and Metrowest Yoga of course.
What is your favorite thing to do? Watch an approaching storm. The way the wind blows, the trees sway, how it intensifies, and the rain that follows always mesmerizes me, and soothes my soul. Also, hanging with my daughter, taking an amazing yoga class, dancing, listening to the ocean, laying in the sunshine, and long bike rides.
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: Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift. That is why it is called the PRESENT. I don't remember who said this.
When/where/with who was your first yoga class? I first tried yoga when I was in college. Marquette offered Hatha Yoga classes at the Recreational Center.
What / who inspires you? Nature, with its beauty, power and resilience and little acts of kindness.
What I love most about yoga is: that it makes me strong and flexible both physically and mentally. I love the way it gets me out of my head to a peaceful place.
What you can’t live without? My friends and family
What you might not know about me: I was on a swim team in Hawaii when I was younger.
Best advice you’ve ever received (from who?): "Do the best you can in all things" My father never really said this to me, but everything he did exemplified this philosophy.
My favorite book: hard to say....I'm currently reading When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron.
Favorite Word: Amazing
Local escape: Nickerson State Park in Brewster, MA
My favorite thing to do (other than yoga): play tennis and cook.
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.
Favorite inspirational quote: But For the Grace of God, there go I
When/where/with who was your first yoga class? 2010 Mystic Fitness and I think the teachers name was Mimi
What / who inspires you? Family, friends and nature
What I love most about yoga is: How it gets me out of my own head. The only thing that really matters on your mat is your breath.
What you can’t live without? Animals
What you might not know about me: I almost didn’t go to the retreat in Costa Rica due to my fear of bugs. I got hypnotized and it helped but I am still fairly irrational about it.
Best advice you’ve ever received (from who?): Get honest, first with yourself because without that you can never be real to anyone else. Shirley Waller
My favorite book: I honestly don’t read that much. I prefer music.
Favorite Word: The truth would not be appropriate. Second runner up Serenity
Local escape: My sister’s backyard just being lazy by the pool
My favorite thing to do (other than yoga): Travel
Favorite inspirational quote:From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. –Luke 12:48.
When/where/with who was your first yoga class? I began exploring yoga independently at a very young age, but my first yoga class was at a small home studio in Beverly, Massachusetts. I instantly fell in love.
What / who inspires you? My husband, my daughter, and my parents. Additionally, I work in mental health and find my clients to be very inspiring. I feel constantly moved by working with people through their struggles and witnessing their strength and resilience.
What you can’t live without? Music and my husband’s cooking.
What you might not know about me: I studied math in college and taught high school math for a few years. And then I somehow ended up a mental health counselor and music therapist.
Best advice you’ve ever received (from who?) I’m not sure I have one piece of advice, but I grew up in the military, and many of those values have helped pushed me forward throughout different experiences in my life.
My favorite book: Captivating—John & Stasi Eldredge. Also, one of my favorite yoga books is The Inner Tradition of Yoga by Michael Stone.
Favorite Word:Tigress. I had a very vivid dream of a tiger when I was in my early 20’s. In the dream I heard, “be a graceful tiger leader.” The tigress has been a very meaningful image for me since.
Local escape: I actually love the Worcester Airport. I often run or drive up there to clear my head and enjoy the view. It’s the closest I can get to my Arizona mountains!
My favorite thing to do (other than yoga): I’m an avid distance runner, so I love turning up loud music and going for a long run. I love local races; half marathons are my favorite to race. Of course, spending time with my husband and my daughter is also at the top of the list. And I can’t leave out my secret passion for New York Times crossword puzzles.
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.
Hometown: Easton, MA
Favorite Inspirational Quote: Everything is going to be ok.
When/where/with who was your first yoga class? South Boston, MA. I don’t remember the name of the studio but it closed in 2004. Jacqui Bonwell was my first teacher and is still my favorite teacher. How cool is that?
What/who inspires you? The vast abundance of amazing yoga teachers that are in the area, the funny funny people floating around on the internet, macro photography, bugs, bonsai, my home and everyone who lives there. Oh and reddit/awww.
What I love most about yoga is: Finding myself laughing at some silly podcast while sitting in traffic. 10 years ago I would have been simmering with frustration.
What you can’t live without? Don’t really have anything. I love my stuff and the people around me but I think the human spirit can carry on with any change. Ok I’d be really bummed out without pizza.
What you might not know about me: I fold towels and laundry really really well. Best advice you’ve ever received (from who?): My friend Aaron has given me so much that I cant even think of one thing.
My favorite book: Contact by Carl Sagan if you had to twist my arm, but Douglas Adams if I want to laugh.
Favorite Word: Luminous
Local Escape: Right now, Wingaersheek beach.
My favorite thing to do (other than yoga): Have a day that does not have anything scheduled.