Our Guest Instructor and Spotlight Studio for the month of July is the inspiring Monica Gerber of Studio Samadhi in Roanoke! She joined us at one of our Tuesday Mulberry classes, and is such a thoughtful teacher from a truly unique studio. Her passion for yoga is contagious, and her super sweet personality instantly puts a smile on your face. Get to know a little more about her in our monthly Q&A!
When did you first start practicing yoga? Why?
Although I had dabbled in yoga growing up and in college, I really began cultivating an active practice in 2011. At the time, I wanted a way of staying physically active, and the yoga studio down the street was so welcoming and diverse. I was also working full time as a case manager with a vulnerable population. This work was emotionally and spiritually draining. I found that my yoga practice nurtured my aching heart and helped me connect my body, mind, and spirit in ways I had not experienced in organized religion or the work I was wrapping my life around.
What is an example of how has yoga impacted your life?
I often get lost in all of the negative things my mind likes to tell me. My yoga practice has helped me slow down to an inner peace and grace for myself which I am better able to cultivate and access when actively following a yoga practice.
Do you have a favorite style of yoga? Do you stick to this style or incorporate different styles into your practice and teaching?
Kundalini is my favorite! It’s a bit wild, and always trans formative. I like to incorporate elements of Pranayama and some of the meditations into the other classes I teach. Typically my classes focus on a holistic connection of mind-body-spirit, often slowly moving through asanas with mindful awareness and reflection incorporated throughout. I’m flexible with using different styles in part or in whole – whatever students are in need of!
What is your favorite pose to practice? Why?
I love a good headstand! I usually just practice it at home on my own. This pose helps me so much when I need to refocus and center.
Do you practice or teach with music? If so, what does a typical playlist look like?
My personal practice is usually in silence, but I typically do teach with some light background music. Most of the music I use is instrumental, with the energy reflective of where we are in the practice. When teaching Kundalini I do always incorporate mantra music – it’s amazing how much it can help to loudly chant along with the recording while pushing through some physically challenging kriyas!
As a teacher or student, have you ever had a bizarre or unexpected experience in a yoga class?
When I first started practicing yoga, I was meditating every day and regularly attending Kundalini. I think my mind got a lot of quick opening during that time and I did have a few bizarre experiences both in class and at home while meditating. Bizarre, and beautiful.
When you aren't on your mat or sharing yoga with others, what other activities do you enjoy?
I love simply being outdoors! Cycling, hiking, swimming. Of course, lots of time enjoying good food and the company of people I love.
Where would we most likely run into you around Denton?
I ride my bike a lot, so you may see me riding by! I also enjoy frequenting some of our uniquely-Denton establishments around the square.
Our topic for the month of June is mantras, do you have a favorite quote or mantra you come back to in your practice?
Center. It’s simple and invokes a lot for me.