1- In less than a minute, tell us who you are and why we keep hearing good things about you.
I'm Aubrey and I'm a 14 year veteran second grade teacher and budding yoga instructor. My soft skills in education are definitely transferrable to being a yoga instructor - from organizing the flow of a routine, to making sure everyone feels welcome and supported, to using my teacher voice!
2- What inspired you, if any, to join the Warrior Flow 200-Hour Yoga Training’s faculty?
It was an easy match. My specialty is to foster safe, creative environments for students and Warrior Flow's specialty is to foster safe, creative environments for adults. It's nice to be with grownups for a change, so thank you for having me!
3- In simple words, what does yoga mean to you?
Yoga is my reminder to go with the ebb and flow of life. You see, I'm a natural Type A personality and I really like to have things in order and for everything to make sense from my point of view. In yoga, there are endless poses, speeds, flows, and variations. You're sweaty, there's noise distractions, and sometimes the ground below you isn't even flat. I have to remind myself that life is messy and I'm not always in the captain's chair.
4- What is the main difference between learning yoga now and when you took your first yoga training?
When I first started going to yoga classes 15 years ago, I wanted to get "better" each week. I thought stretching was crucial for runners, but yoga was just considered my rest day at the time. Even up to a few years ago I was pushing myself to the fullest extent of what my body could do in class. I'm completely different after YTT and after the pandemic... I needed to change. Nowadays, my approach is softer and gentler. I'm on my mat for the mental vacation from school, finances, chores, and so on. Can I still do all the physical poses I used to do? No. Do I care? No. Am I still getting "better" each week? Yes. And when I'm not actually getting "better"? Still yes. What is "better" anyways?
5- In your opinion, why is this a key moment in time to learn yoga?
DO IT FOR THE KIDS! Your kids at home, the kids at work, the kids in your neighborhood. There's never been a better time to dial in on the benefits of a yoga practice in school. The next generation needs all the tools in their toolbox.
6- Who would you be without yoga?
I don't know who but I know where - I'd be in my head, spinning.
7- Who were your role models? And what pushed you to learn and become who you are today?
The person who has carried me through the past few years is Jessie Chapus, host of The Ultimate Health Podcast. I believe he is such a sincere human and his interviews are top notch. His guests are so intelligent and tell great stories. I highly recommend putting this podcast on when you're in the car or cooking a meal or going for a walk. Everytime I come back to it after a hiatus, it pushes me towards reinvigoration and helps me to be the best version of myself.
8- What were the pivotal roadblocks and challenges you encountered along the way that helped you define your path?
The COVID pandemic stopped me dead in my tracks. I worked tirelessly from home helping my second graders to finish the last three months of school. We rocked it! It was uncharted territory for sure, but I made my lessons so fun, plus organized the technology portion so their parents had an easy to follow routine to assist their students, if needed. The following year, I taught hybrid - half of the class online and half of the class in person - and we rocked it again! It was double the work, not to mention the ever changing health and safety protocols and school rules. All of this came at an unbearable cost to my mental health. It's so hard to only work your contracted hours and it's so hard to not worry about your 20+ students while falling asleep. I had unexplained stomach aches, hair loss, disordered eating patterns, and so much sadness in my heart. The pandemic has been a worldwide disaster, but I think the silver lining is that it drove people to realign with their core values. Now I work from home and my purpose is truly being fulfilled. I work with students who have ADHD, Dyslexia, and Muscular Dystrophy and they are getting specialized, uninterrupted attention from me in a one-to-one setting. I was scared to redefine my path but when I realized that I wasn't changing my career, I was just pivoting, and it's so much better.
9- What can we all do right now to make this world a better place?
In a world where you can be anything, be kind.