Teacher Feature – Deanna Bekker

This month we’d love you to meet Deanna! You can catch her, and her enthusiasm for Yoga every week on Wednesdays at 12:30, Fridays at 9:00am, and Saturdays at 9:00am.

Deanna, when did you start practicing Yoga and why?
I started practicing in 2004.  There was a Bikram yoga studio across the street from my apartment and I loved the idea of working out in a heated room.
2. How has Yoga helped you in your life?
I think overall, yoga has taught me how to breathe! When I first started yoga I was running a lot and I immediately remember how much my lung capacity increased.  Beyond that and the obvious strength/flexibility it helps to build, it has offered me salvation, inspired me and been a creative outlet, and ultimately it is the place I go, over and over again, to come home to myself.
3. What style of Yoga do you teach?
I’m trained in alignment-based hatha/vinyasa yoga.  Right now I love teaching fluid classes with creative and purposeful sequencing.  That’s what I love to practice, so it feels the most authentic for me to teach.

4. What can students expect from your class?
You can expect to be accepted and welcomed.  You can expect me to show up authentically and bring my quirky creativity.  I promise to challenge you, keep things playful, and to share my infectious love for yoga at all stops.

5. How do you support beginners in your class and emphasize their safety?
It’s my goal to help every body get into the general form of the pose safely, maintain breath and then add additional challenges or flair for fun or to help people’s practice evolve. I emphasize foundation and build poses from the ground up – offering stages as building blocks so students can take their practice to their edge on any given day – and I walk around and watch.  It’s not uncommon for me to offer addtional guidance to someone, or to stop the entire class to workshop something so it can be done with more integrity.

6. What advice can you offer students with a regular practice to take their practice further?
My practice really started evolving when I started my home practice.  It helped me get more sensitive and tune into the subtle sensations.  It’s also a whole different edge to practice alone, rather than have someone witnessing you, directing you, supporting you, etc.  It challenges you to show up as a witness for yourself. That’s a huge evolution – I’d start there!

7. How do you take yoga off the mat?
I experience a lot of anxiety and fear and I know I have some fairly well-established ways of responding that aren’t all that productive… So for me my practice on and off the mat is a lot about balance, honesty, giving myself permission to be seen, make mistakes and play around.  Ultimately, this is a living practice that’s all about awareness, so bit-by-bit I work to peel off the armor and make more compassionate choices when crap is hitting the fan. I think that’s what makes it so relatable.  It’s the moments that I stopped and took a breath before speaking out of anger, or did a handstand in the middle of the office on a stressful day that stand out.

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