Happy Monday everyone. Today, I have my third yoga teacher interview.
My name is Yaco Murphy. I have been teaching yoga for 8+ years.
I initially went to Yoga Teacher Training because I wanted to know more about yoga. The training then made me want to share my experience.
I teach 13-15 classes per week. I like to teach all types of yoga classes, ranging from chair yoga to Vinyasa flow and private sessions to big group lessons.
Learning about yoga was life changing for me. It was also great training, but learning English was my biggest obstacle (even now😉). However, I have learned to let go of perfect – I learn what I can when I can – and relax knowing the rest will come later.
My yoga practice started with a physical focus only and now I am adding more energetic and spiritual aspects into my practice.
I always tell myself to, “Practice Yoga honestly.”
I take yoga classes as often as possible. Whenever I go back to practice in my teacher’s class, I am always grateful.
Remember that Yoga is a lifelong journey.
Be mindful to breath.
Be mindful to pay attention to the sensations from your body.
Commit to your practice once a week at the beginning. Then do short asanas (poses) and some meditation practice everyday. (In Sanskrit, āsana means “seat” or “manner of sitting” and there are 84 asanas.)
Namaste in Nature:
My buddy friend, yoga teacher and I have been doing Namaste in Nature, which is a monthly outdoor yoga session at Bryan Park (in Richmond, VA). This allows us to practice our yoga while appreciating nature. We have been meeting at the park monthly since May 2016. It all started when my student requested me and then asked if we could meet at Bryant Park.
Doing yoga outside is very different from practicing inside a studio. I love both because I learn more variety of aspects of life. The Namaste in Nature is open to anybody (all welcome) and there is a suggested donation of $2 (proceeds go to the Park). More info here.
Oneness (all things connected).
Thanks so much for reading. And many thanks to Yaco Murphy for allowing me to interview her for the Priorhouse blog series.
In closing, here are some tidbits about why I asked Yaco for an interview:
Yaco is what I call an alignment specialist. Now you might think that all yogis help students with alignment – you know, with all the core strengthening and breath work – but teaching styles vary so much. And last year around this time – I was assessing various goals for 2017 – and one of them was to fortify my posture. I realized that one of Yaco’s specialty areas is “posture strengthening” poses. It was funny how I arrived at this conclusion. I was driving home with my spouse and chatting about the class. I said, “I think Yaco is some kind of shoe-sum Master.” “What kind of master?” asked my spouse. I said it again and then we both laughed. Another made up word….. ha! And now as a joke, I sometimes refer to Yaco as the Shoe-Sum Master Alignment Specialist.
A couple of years ago I dropped in on some of Yaco’s yoga classes and they were quite fine, but at that time, I was in a different mode – I was trying to do yoga with as many different teachers as possible (which by the way is my advice for anyone interested in yoga – I feel that everyone should take yoga with AT LEAST 10 different instructors – there are a few reasons for this – but it could really impact whether or not you become acclimated to a long-term practice). And so I dropped in on some of her classes but it took me a while to develop discernment here.
One thing I love about Yaco’s teaching style is how well she reads the class. Yes, yes – other teachers read the class too – and many will ask if there are any requests – but Yaco’s in-tune-ness stands out – as she gauges the mood that day – the energy levels – class aptitude – and then she often knows students and might target what they are working on.
I love how she encourages – with her Japanese accent – she will often softly say, “Nice” (pronounced Niiiiiiiiiiccccccce).
Oh and did you know that Yaco donates her hair – for many years now she has donated huge amounts of hair – and this next photo shows how it is growing back in:
Yaco is a safety guru. Maybe this was in my mind when I said she was a “shoe-sum” master – maybe I was thinking of her masterful way of showing us proper stances – like hips or hands – or reminding us to never have our knee go past the toe (to protect the knee). And how she continues to remind us to not come out of a pose too quickly because injuries sometimes happen when releasing a posture. She once even explained extra details about wrist exercises and how careless, or too vigorous, of warm ups could injure. The safety strength area also connects to her ability to help students with alignment. Yaco knows “how to” and “when” we might need to use the wall (or props) for poses that are better because they are supported.
Yaco teaches in a way that flows so well. The music is right on (changes – but always good) and class time flies on by (this matters to me). And I love how she sometimes leads us into a pose in a fresh way. For example, she might have us stand this way – adjust that – lift this – and then spread the arms – realign heels – and then suddenly, she’ll say, “Warrior two…..” Without realizing it – she led us into the pose with such smoothness and without tons of readjusting. Then, poses are not held too long, and she has counter poses as needed. All of this keeps me coming back and I am very grateful for what Yaco has given me in 2017. Truly a gift.
Thank you, Yaco.
and Thank You, blog friend, for reading.