Here is the place where we get to talk a little more in depth about our favorite subject, our students. We will be sharing their stories and why they walk through our doors and lay their mats and hearts down in a space called Gen.
Amber Pearson, Math and AVID Teacher (PS she just won Elkins HS Teacher of the Year! Get it gurl!)
How long have you practiced yoga? On and off for 15 years.
What would you say to someone who is curious about trying out yoga?
If you are thinking about it at all, even just a little bit, then do it! There are modifications for everything and regardless of what you do or do not do during the rest of the class, the last few minutes make it all worth it!
How has yoga informed your life?
Yoga has taught me that it is not selfish to have this little space of time where all I have to do is come to my mat and breathe. And anything I do on top of that is just extra. That I can leave my phone in the hall and be here and it’s enough. Yoga also helps me to remember to breathe, outside of my mat, when things get overwhelming, I come back to my breath.
What has kept you coming back to the practice of yoga?
There is a shift that happens and as I grow and get older, I am gravitating towards activities that encourage me to have comfort in my own skin. There is something beautiful about aging and when you pair it with this yogic approach to life, it helps to create this attitude that I don’t have to show off or go as hard as I can go. That I can choose to go into a pose, or hold back if I’m not feeling it in the moment. That each day I practice, I can let it be what it’s supposed to be and that approach is unique to yoga. I don’t have to compare myself to when I was younger, I can give myself the freedom to evolve and see it as something lovely.
What can you share about the way we teach here? How is it unique?
All of the teachers welcome you to scale your practice. Nothing is forced and all kinds of invitations are laid out, whether it is to scale up or down and you are challenged, but accepted as you are. I think that is something special about Gen, that as soon as you walk in the door, the vibe of the people and the employees is one of warmth and no stress or pressure to be anything other than what you already are. Gen is also very responsive to what the community asks for and you can see it reflected on the schedule – chair yoga, prenatal yoga, etc. And that’s the nice thing about belonging to a small studio. Charlie and April do a great job of listening and allowing the studio to be a reflection of what we need.
What’s the impact of practicing as a family – with kids and with your significant other?
I think kids need to see their mom enjoying and being part of things other than just being their Mom. That as women we are going to be many things in life and so we are going to take this time to cultivate some of those expressions of self. And yeah, there are times where my kids look over at me at think “wow, my Mom is kind of a badass”and that’s awesome, because they get a chance to see me as a whole person. And practicing with Felipe has allowed us to enjoy a different kind of intimacy. I appreciate and respect seeing him grow in his practice and he sees what it does for me and allows him to get a deeper understanding of why this is important for my wellbeing.
And speaking of, why is it important to practice yoga?
It provides an opportunity to be thankful for what you’ve done and to be deliberate in feeling that this is my time where I am with me.
What do you enjoy outside of yoga?
Traveling, lifting weights, hanging with family and friends, eating yummy food, baseball games, and finding cool Netflix shows.
Side note: When I first met Amber, I was immediately in awe of the beauty of her floral tattoos. She said they are all Texas flowers. Her vibes are warm and embracing. Her smile completely swallows you whole and I immediately wanted us to be friends.
“I am with me” – best response ever as to why yoga is essential to the survival of the best parts of us.
Interviews conducted and written by Victoria O’Neal, Yoga Teacher + Manager. (Wanna share your #genstory? Hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can make it happen).