1. What made you try yoga for the first time?
I was a previously the owner of a gymnastic/ fitness facility. I was into perfection. So, because I gave 150% every day, I expected my staff to do the same. My best friend Joyce (who also worked with me) said, “Anne, you need yoga.” I poo-pooed it for many years, until one day she took me to a class in western MA. There was something about the class that made me go back--I felt better, I felt calm, I felt good. I don’t remember anything special about the class except I couldn’t stay still in savanna--I looked around out of the corner of my eye and thought, "OMG, I've gotta get out of here. I have so much to do when this is over!!!!!" Everyone else was calm, enjoying the stillness, the quiet mind, the energy in the room...which I am now able to do (thanks to my best friend and yoga!).
2. What's your favorite yoga pose and why?
My favorite yoga pose is half moon. When I first started practicing, I couldn’t balance in this pose, couldn’t turn my body toward the side wall without falling. After a lot of practice and an understanding of the balance between effort and ease, I became calm moving into this pose and can now balance in half moon every time I do it. It makes me feel powerful, strong, steady and balanced.
3. What are you focused on in your teaching right now?
Right now I'm focused on gaining confidence to walk into a class without being nervous. I want to walk in without an agenda and just let the class flow as it happens. All of my nerves happen before I step into the room ready to teach. Once I’m there, the energy in the room, the smiles I receive, and the class that I have in mind all flow naturally. When I leave, I feel great. I learn from my students, too; yoga really is for everyone!
4. If you could study under anyone for a year who would it be and why?
Petra Ledkovsky. I have been to classes in RI, MA, CT, and FL, and have found that Petra has a specific, keen eye for alignment, more experience in pranayama (breathing awareness) than most teachers, and an amazing amount of variety in her classroom and business sense at her studio. She has so much yoga knowledge that I feel I could really expand my yoga experience and be able to share it with my students teaching under her for a year.
5. What's your favorite book and why?
Eat, Pray, Love is definitely a favorite book of mine. I read a lot, so on another day it may be something else, but this book brought me deeper into yoga and encouraged me to go out and experience new things, to observe, indulge, and be present in every day. When i read it I was worried about going forward with a divorce, and it helped me take the steps I needed to take, and gave me the courage, confidence and faith to get away from something that was not making me fully happy in my life.
6. What inspires you?
People inspire me. My kids inspire me. My neighbors who are retired professors inspire me. People that talk about things that are real to them and who are not afraid to open up about these things--that inspires me. I am inspired by learning new things, asking questions, and meeting new people. Everyone has something important to say, when you take the time to listen.
7. What's the best trip you've ever taken?
A trip to Sedona, Arizona for my 50th birthday. My sister and I went to the Grand Canyon and I was in AWE! The world really did spin around me as I was standing still on top of a spot overlooking the Canyon. Sedona was very spiritual; the energy was powerful (I cried), and I can still feel the beauty of that place as I sit here and write. I need to go back there someday.
8. What's your favorite restaurant on the Cape?
The Ocean House in Dennisport--for bringing friends to experience the fine dining experience on the water--and then Land Ho in Orleans to experience local, fun dining and great food!
9. How do you stay balanced? How do you unwind?
I'm laughing because I’m still working on this. Yoga helps me--I go to class 3-4 times a week and then teach less than that, as I need my own practice in my life. I try to stay true to myself, be kind to others, smile a lot, surround myself with positive people and give love all around me. Sitting reading a book in my backyard and then pausing to look up at the sky and the trees dancing, this brings me balance. I try to mediate right when I wake up, sitting up in bed and timing myself to see how many minutes I can handle. This is very challenging for me, but I always feel better after the meditation. I am working on finding balance on a daily basis.
10. What's your favorite part of teaching yoga?
Watching students leave with smiles on their faces. We never know what anyone is going thorough in their life and helping them find a little love and happiness in their day is everything to me. They may have come in with uncertainty, but when they leave they are all smiles. This is my calling.
11. Words (or quote) you live by?
"Thank you dear Lord for all that you have given me." I say this every morning and sometimes during the day to remind myself of all I have and all that I should appreciate.
12. How do you try to live a mindful life?
I try to live a mindful life by being true to myself and surrounding myself with positive people. I try to be kind to all those around me as well as myself. I try to help those who cannot help themselves, give lots of love and hugs, practice non-judgment, communication, and listening. I do my best to take care of my family and practice patience. There is a lesson to be learned in all experiences--look for the lesson!
Anne teaches Slow Flow on Fridays at 11am. View the full class schedule here.