Meet Michelle – our goodteacher of March. Friday night’s after-work-freedom takes on a whole new special feeling with Michelle’s goodness class in Bushwick. If you haven’t been to one yet, prepare to be transported into a place of ease, contentment and surprisingly deep relaxation. Michelle’s warm demeanour and thoughtfully planned classes make spending Friday nights with her better than any swanky dinner or dance party. We promise. Hot stones in savasana are just the cherry on top of it all.
We asked Michelle a few questions about her motto – “Hakuna Matata” – and so much more…
What is your greatest fear?
Heights. So a few summers ago I decided to boulder climb in the Catskill Mountains. I made it to the top and sat at the edge with my feet hanging over. I had the biggest smile on my face.
On what occasion do you lie?
I lie when I’m trying to plan a surprise. I’m really horrible at it though. I tried planning a surprise for my partner and became overwhelmingly giggly. I ended up just telling him.
When and where were you happiest?
I am happiest when I am on a beach, toes in the sand. The beach has become my safe space, it’s where I go for ease and comfort.
What is your favorite occupation?
I have two. My first is being a yoga instructor. I have also fallen in love with being an Art Therapist. The two allow me to help people heal in many ways.
What is it that you most dislike?
I am not very fond of milk, or clowns.
What drove you to start practicing yoga?
When I was in high school I started my yoga journey. My experience at that age was not the best. I had no control over anything. I was depressed and anxious all the time. I turned to alcohol and drugs to self medicate. One day I woke up and decided I didn’t want to end up like the people I disliked most in my life, so I walked into my first yoga studio and never looked back.
What is your favorite thing about your yoga practice?
My favorite thing about my yoga practice is how playful it is.
What has not been so pleasant about yoga so far?
Sitting still and holding poses. I love to move constantly but I know this stillness is what I need most at times.
What is your motto?
“Just do it” and “Hakuna Matata”
Procrastination is something I am not fond of in myself. If I think about doing something, its better to just do it now then wait. When I wait I usually end up missing out or forgetting all together.
I am and always will be a huge Disney fan.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
I would want to be a bird. I’ve always wanted to fly and they project a sense of freedom that I am attracted to.
What is your greatest regret?
My greatest regret is that I didn’t walk into that yoga studio sooner. I drove past it everyday for years.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I most overuse ‘inhale’ and ‘exhale’.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Currently, my greatest achievement is graduating with my Creative Arts Therapy Master’s degree. It was the hardest two years of my life but I learned so much about others and myself. I feel very fortunate to do what I love both as a yoga instructor and Art Therapist.
Where would you most like to live?
I am currently thinking about California in a year, then Thailand, then who knows. As long as I’m near a beach I will be happy.
What has pleasantly surprised you about yoga so far?
How forgiving it is. No matter how many times I get off track with my own personal practice, yoga is always accepting and forgiving when I return.