It’s fitting to feature Tenesha as our teacher of the month for March, because her brightness is uplifting like the early signs of Spring that make us feel joyful. She teaches a soothing Slow Flow Fridays 9:30-10:45am She’s been a member of the community for many years. We were curious to learn more about her. Here are some fun facts about Tenesha.
How did you start practicing yoga? What was your early yoga experience like? I started practing (hot) yoga in 2008. I was not working as much as I do now, so I had time to cultivate a daily studio practice. This particular practice is a closed set sequence of postures in a heated room. This discipline helped me learn how to move my body and breath consciously. The heat helped relax my muscles and detox the skin. I lived Yoga Sutra I.2 by coming to my mat over and over, using tapas and kriya to cultivate a study of my true Self.
When did you get a sense that yoga was different, not just a way to be physical? My path to yoga is similar to most Western practitioners. Once I became familiar with the movements and breath, it began to calm my mind and still my thoughts. This became the most important aspect of my practice. My focus shifted from the physical practice to staying present in the moment. This shift in awareness moved off my mat and into my every day life. I also began to visit other nonheated yoga studios to experience the practice of yoga from other perspectives. I looked for a studio experience which cultivated the 8 paths of yoga and could be sustainable for my entire life.
What is your favorite yoga pose and what is your least favorite yoga pose? And why? One of my favorite poses is the standing balancing pose Ardha Chandrasana. Half Moon Pose is an opportunity to root down while extending outward simultaneously. I love the feeling of energy moving in all directions. My least favorite pose is Gomukhasana (legs) because when the knees don’t stack, it is difficult to maximize the benefits of the pose, even with modifications. There is always more than one option for opening the hips and in practice & my teachings, this is not a pose that brings me joy.
In what way does your yoga practice most impact your daily life? Yoga helps me stay in the present moment.It creates space to see things as they are, instead of how I would like them to be or how things were in the past. My practice creates space to slow down, become less reactive and keep my ego in check. It also helps cultivate gratitude and compassion, not just for myself, but into the community.
This month at Breathe we are focusing on the fifth yama, aparigraha, non-grasping/non-coveting/non-attachment. How do you experience/practice aparigraha on your yoga mat, in your teaching, and in daily life? The Buddha says the root of all suffering is attachment. When I step onto my mat, I let go of the need to be a certain way or “rock” a particular pose because in the present moment, nothing stays the same. If I set an expectation that is not attained, this leads to suffering in the body and mind. It sets off the chain reaction of self judgement and ultimate defeat which will impact practice and time on the mat. My practice teaches me that this letting go of attachment serves me not just on my mat, but in every day life.
What is a fun fact about you that not many people know? When I am not on my yoga mat, I enjoy going to an entertaining movie or play. It is a pastime that has been a part of my life for many years.
Tell us something about teaching at Breathe. One of the joys of teaching at Breathe is the sense of space and community. I have the opportunity to create space for the practitioners to be present to the moment, one breath and one movement at a time. As I teach, there is an exchange of energy, growth and awareness. We are both cultivate compassion and gratitude. We take this peace and stillness with us in the studio and in out to the world.