Q&A with the goodteachers


Get to know the goodteachers of goodyoga a bit better.

Check out each of their fun yoga-related question and answers below.
Then go have a chat with them at the studios!

Tejal

Tejal

How did you get started practicing yoga?
In 2006, while working a corporate job in Ohio and living by myself and I felt disconnected to reality. I decided to take a yoga class to get back to basics and get back to me!
What has yoga done for you as a person?
Completely chilled me out. I’m not really a chill person, I am smiley and extroverted, but learning and practicing the eight limbs of yoga has totally tuned me in.
What is your favorite pose and why?
All of them! Is that an OK answer? If it’s a new experience I fall in love with it, full of curiosity. If it’s a beloved, worn in sequence, I feel peaceful and happy. If it’s challenging, I feel all my gunas in balance. If it’s… well, you get the point!
What’s your silliest or most embarrassing yoga teaching moment?
That moment of silence after I tell a joke in class. Oof, it was already a bold move, me attempting the joke, but then the silence. That’s so silly & embarrassing that I think it’s hilarious. That reminds me of something my best friend thinks of me: “I try not to laugh at my own jokes, but we all know I’m hilarious.” Hahahaha!
What can one expect from your class?
I can only say what I hope to offer as our expectations and perceived results vary greatly. I hope people find connections to breath and body, stillness and mind, peace and play, laughter and tranquility. I hope people discover something new and surprise themselves every time they take my class!

Jeanette

Jeanette

How did you get started practicing yoga?
It was a random act, I was with a friend and we went together to a studio nearby and took a class ,which I remember was way too advanced for me, and I loved every moment. The rest is history. 
What has yoga done for you as a person?
What comes to mind right now is that I can see how my attitude towards life has changed. I’m in a place of allowing. It’s like I used to let life push me around and I push it back and now it’s like we’re holding hands and skipping together. Do you know what I mean? 
What is your favorite pose and why?
My favorite pose is changing all the time. How frequent? I would say once a month or so. As of now, my favorite posture is Dhanurasana- bow posture, this one was my nemesis. for a long while I felt completely stuck,like nothing will ever change, and than all of the sudden, the feeling in the posture didn’t feel as discombobulating ,and so it begun, my love affair with Dhanurasana  
What’s your silliest or most embarrassing yoga teaching moment?
Let’s see, the one that immediately pops up is during a class close to end, my leggings ripped as I bent over to demonstrate Malasana- garland pose, as it happened I got up as nonchalantly as I could for that moment, and pulled my undershirt down towards my knees, maybe more than I should’ve. and that basically is the most embarrassing moment in all my years teaching yoga. And I just shared it with the masses. The end.
What can one expect from your class?
Expect a flux of different classes and they are all yoga styles from intense core awakening to vinyasa flows and some deep chill restoratives. And no matter which one you choose you’ll be leaving the studio feeling light and rejuvenated. Amen to that! 

Tiffany

Tiffany

How did you get started practicing yoga?
As most New Yorkers do, I began my yoga practice through Yoga to the People at their Saint Marks location. I remember how hard it was at first, I couldn’t even hold downward facing dog for 5 breaths! But it wasn’t until I took my first Jivamukti class, where I experienced the marriage of asana along with spirituality, that I truly began a meaningful, committed practice.
What has yoga done for you as a person?
Today, we live in a culture and economy that flourishes from the soil of so much suffering. It grows from our dissatisfaction and discontent, from our self-hatred and our self-doubt. With each subtle (or not so subtle) campaign the inner dialogue of “I am not enough” and “I don’t have enough” grows more insidious. There is a quote by Caroline Caldwell, “in a society that profits from your self doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.” To me, yoga is the radical practice of remembering how lovely you are.
What is your favorite pose and why?
Honestly? Chaturanga. It’s insane, I know. But I think it is, by a landslide, the hardest pose to do with correct alignment. Because it is a transitional pose it is rarely spotlighted by teachers and often moved through unconsciously by students. But something glorious happens when you can extend your awareness all the way through into chaturanga. When you can lower forward and down with control, coming just onto your tip toes, the shoulders open and lifted, the abdomen drawing in to keep the body in a plank position, the legs strong enough to relieve the arms of excess burden, the breath holding you up, the gaze slightly lifted. Every part of you working in harmony. There is a moment where you can almost suspend yourself in time and space. You are moving forward, back, up, down, out and in all at the same time. It is AMAZING! It reminds me that we are always expanding, both internally and externally.
What’s your silliest or most embarrassing yoga teaching moment?
It was during my test class at Jivamukti. After enduring an extremely intensive, 9 month long, 500 hour, absolutely exhaustive apprenticeship, the time had come to teach my final test class. It was going beautifully despite how terrified I was, and many of my friends had come out to support me. While adjusting one of said friends in salamba sarvangasana, I was kicked dead in the face. My mentor said, “congratulations, you’ve been inaugurated,” and I passed the class. I learned to always expect the unexpected.
What can one expect from your class?
You can count on some lively tunes, music is very important to me as a way to tap into ourselves emotionally and vibrationally. You can also expect to be challenged, not because I want you to have hot abs, but because I want you to watch yourself get through something that seems beyond your capacity, even if you only flail through it at first. We have such a limited vision of ourselves and over time learn to only move within the confines of this image. we are stuck, like a picture in a frame. The challenge is about going to the edges of that frame – physically and otherwise – and gently expanding; one breath, one pose, one class at a time. Eventually but inevitably realizing that really there is no frame and you are, in fact, infinitely capable.

Leslie

Leslie

How did you get started practicing yoga?
I took my first class at the 92nd street Y in 2000 when I first moved to NY. The teacher was wonderful and I remember feeling peaceful and at home.
What has yoga done for you as a person?
My yoga practice teaches me how to practice living. It provides space to tune in to myself, to be gentle rather than critical. It helps me to be as true and as whole as possible.
What is your favorite pose and why?
Viparita Karani aka Legs-up-the-wall pose because it’s restorative and accessible to most everyone and just feels good after a long work day or challenging practice.
What’s your silliest or most embarrassing yoga teaching moment?
Hmm… probably teaching a yoga class to a bachelorette party one morning in Tompkins Square Park while there was something sketchy going on in the corner. It wasn’t silly or embarrassing exactly… but interesting.
What can one expect from your class?
soothing spaciousness, intelligent sequencing, light heartedness.

Casey

Casey

How did you get started practicing yoga?
I started my yoga practice in hopes of healing a knee injury I acquired while break dancing.
What has yoga done for you as a person?
Yoga has expanded my view of life. 
What is your favorite pose and why?
I enjoy all of the poses and try not to favor one over the other, but handstand is a posture I am particularly fond of.
What’s your silliest or most embarrassing yoga teaching moment?
Once I was in the middle of teaching a yoga class at the Greenpoint Goodyoga studio with the back door to the garden open and a little dog ran into the studio!
What can one expect from your class?
A well rounded sequence of postures mindfully liked to a dynamic and precise breathing practice. 

Rachel

Rachel

How did you get started practicing yoga?
I remember feeling as though I needed something bigger in my life to focus my energy on. At the time, I went to the gym a lot. I was big into cardio machines. There were regular yoga classes at the gym, and I started practicing with the same teacher twice a week. I fell in love quickly and was inspired in a way that I hadn’t been before. The rest is history!
What has yoga done for you as a person?
It’s calmed me, quieted down parts of me that were once noisy. Since I began practicing and studying yoga, I’ve been told by people close to me that I seem at peace in a way that I hadn’t before, and they’re right. I found a physical and spiritual practice that speaks to me in a way that nothing else had. Its gifts are boundless and I am inspired every day to learn more.
What is your favorite pose and why?
I’d like to say all of them! Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2) is a pose that seems to be at the top of my list most often. I feel powerful and grounded in that shape. It’s a physically expansive pose, one in which I can let my practice take up space. The mechanics of the physical pose are in depth and I enjoy the challenge of holding the shape through several breath cycles.
What’s your silliest or most embarrassing yoga teaching moment?
Other than tripping over blocks… Once in the middle of teaching a class, I completely spaced and lost my train of thought. After a few seconds of the sudden silence of my voice, I stuttered, “uh, where was I?”. Some very kind students reminded me what was next. Knock on wood, that’s been the silliest moment as of yet. I’m sure I’ve got plenty more on the horizon.
What can one expect from your class?
I try and give what I receive from the practice. Peace in the midst of a noisy outer and inner universe. Challenge for both the physical and mental body, in the sense of letting go and creating space to breath and move through whatever it is that could use some attention.