OM Yoga studio is happy to announce Liz as our Yogi of the Month for August! Here is a portion of her Bio and below are her answers to a Q&A session. The Owners at OM would like to thank Liz for her work, dedication and all the positive smiles she brings to the studio! Lets find out more about Liz!.
Elizabeth Hoffman RYT 500, Bringing 15 years of yoga experience to her classes, she is a certified yoga instructor and is registered with Yoga Alliance. She completed her 200-hour training and her 500-hour Yoga Certification. Elizabeth has taught a variety of classes including Restorative, Yin, Gentle, Basics and Power Yoga. Elizabeth believes each class she teaches is an opportunity for the student to explore their own needs whether through a gentle sequence or a power class, both focusing on rejuvenating the mind, body, and spirit. For full Bio please visit our Om Staff Page
How did you get into yoga?
I got into yoga almost 20 years ago......I knew it would aid in my busy, active lifestyle and help recovery from lifting weights and training. I never had a steady practice. It was a home practice from watching videos and practicing when I had the time to fit into my day. I grew up in a small town so I never had the luxury of practicing in a studio with others. Only in the last 5 years has my practice become more steady with deeper understanding of the benefits of yoga that extend beyond the physical body. I used my yoga practice to help rehabilitate myself after surgery and it was so beneficial to me I knew I wanted to share my knowledge with others so I trained to become a teacher in order to share what I had learned thru my own practice.
What is the best advice you were given when you started out? What one piece of advice would you give students today?
My best advice I was given is that yoga is a practice. You practice you become better as with most things we practice.......I was never a super bendy pretzel person....I always thought being a yoga person one would need to be super flexible but that isn’t the case. The flexibility comes with time. I tell folks today that one doesn’t need to be flexible to do yoga. You need yoga to become more flexible. One of the hardest parts in the practice is leaving the ego out of the practice. We have been trained to compete and compare ourselves at a very yong age. Really, no one cares what you look like on your mat. I always tell my students if they find themselves part way thru the class and need to take Savasana early. Go for it. We practice together but the practice is always your own.
What is your favorite pose?
My favorite pose...? Savasana.......best and most healing pose of course! I also like Easy Seat sitting on a block. Something about a seated meditation really brings me back to myself.
What is the most asked question by your students?
Can I do this class? Yeah...why not....coming back to the ego and worrying that one cannot keep up. Try it. Then decide if you would like to take the class again. Sometimes you might surprise yourself. That is always a nice treat. Of course always honoring yourself and your body but don’t ever sell yourself short. Yoga researches us to be aware of our bodies. We had such a curiosity of our bodies as small children but as we grow older we sometimes go through the motions of our life without thought. Yoga remind us to be aware and mindful of simple and complex moments.......and what we do in those moments as we practice.
Why should people do yoga?
Everyone should do yoga. From the young to those nearing the end of their lifetime. I have known teachers that have worked with patients in hospice to aid in movement in order to avoid the stiffness of being bedbound. There is so many different kinds of yoga to practice and there is something for everyone. Ask questions if you have them. Never be shy about expressing your needs and concerns. All walks of life practice. We all have different stories and our bodies carry those stories. There is no standard practice for everyone. I do beleieve from my own experience practicing in a studio is so much more advantageous than a home practice where a youtube video explains the practice but not having a teacher to aid in modifications if needed or being able to talk about the needs of your practice.......but I do understand the time restraints on our lives. But if you have time, make and effort to attend a studio class for your benefit. The atmosphere of the studio and the patrons are absolutely wonderful and so warm and a pleasure to have their aquaintenance. We always have a great community of folks that see being more as friends than just random folks off the street.
What's the best stretch for a sore lower back? Tight hamstrings?
Child’s pose is great for the lower back...especially when you walk the hand over to the right and press the left hip point to the left and then reversing the hands to the left and stretching the right hip point to the right back corner of your mat. Bridge pose using a block under the sacrum is magical too.
For tight hamstrings....a low runner lunge with hands on the knee and shifting the hip forward feels good. Pyramid pose is good for the hamstring as well.
How does yoga compare to other forms of exercise, e.g. lifting, running, Zumba, etc.?
Yoga is awesome....you can find a resting pose anytime to find your breath again.....but the true reality is no where else can you have Savasana at the end of the practice. You would never lay on the floor of the gym after lifting. Yuk. I am not sure how Zumba ends.....and running is the same repetitive motion..you can either run slow or fast but it is the same motion. Yoga moves the spine in 6 different directions kept in the central nervous system flexible and supple.
Tell us a funny yoga story!
Funny yoga story......the story when someone..anyone become so relaxed that they toot in class. I think there is a meme somewhere of that.
My funny story is when I was in training a fella next to me while taking a hot power class threw up in his mouth because he had eaten breakfast before class. He managed to swallow it and moved thru class without chunks being thrown around thank goodness. I definitely knew from there on out that not eating at least 2 hours prior to class was a must. All the twist can reunit you with your last meal real fast. Yuk.
Favorite book/s? Favorite Author? Is there one that changed your life?
I have a ton of books that I have. Paul Grilly, Deepok Chopra, Baron Baptiste, Bernie Clak, Sarah Powers, Gary Kraftsow, Dave Frawley to name a few of my favorites.
Yoga accessories, equipment or props you recommend?
A good mat is a necessity. I have gone thru all sorts of mats in the lifetime of my personal practice. The one you can find at TJ Maxx for $10-20 is nice when starting out to see if yoga is your jam but when you can invest in a good dense mat. There are so many different kinds of mats out there depending on what your practice consists of. My favorite mats are lululemon, jade, and manduka in that order.
Favorite music to listen to while you practice yoga?
I like a trance meditation music......gets me into concentrating. My favorite is Treavor Hall......with the music with lyrics. His voice is like velvet to me and his lyrics are perfect.
Do you have a favorite brand of clothing?
I like lululemon’s leggings...they don’t roll...the align line are fabulous.....they feel like second skin.....but are pricy at $60-$90 a pair. I’ll be honest I have one pair and they were a gift but I love them.
But I also like a brand from TJ Maxx that I can’t think of the name of them right now. They are good too and range from $13 to $20 bucks.