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About Angela: "Angela is currently the Regional Director of the YMCA for group programming. Her vision is to create a movement arts community center where all kinds of people can come be empowered through movement. She has a Masters of Divinity, studied Buddhist chaplaincy through the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, and worked for 12 years at Joseph’s House AIDS hospice. She has extensive experience in directing Yoga and Movement Arts programs throughout DC."
Angela was kind enough to answer a few questions for our new Featured Yogi segment.
How did you begin practicing yoga?
I was living in Denver and went to a Bikram Yoga class with a friend. I did NOT think I would like yoga. I thought it would be too boring and slow for me.
Why is yoga important to you?
I’m always moving, usually at a fast pace, yoga is a practice where I am still moving, but more deliberately with breath. I can practice stacking the bones in my body, building a strong foundation for everything else to flow from. This is not only a physical practice, but also mental and spiritual.
What made you want to teach yoga?
I started teaching yoga when I was living/working at an AIDS hospice in DC. I needed something to balance working so close to death and teaching yoga was the perfect avenue.
Do you have a preferred type of yoga to teach/practice?
It really just depends on the day. I am an athlete, so I do enjoy a strong and powerful yoga practice, or Budokon Yoga, that incorporates a lot of slow, circular motion drawn from Mixed Martial Art techniques. I also love the playfulness and therapeutic quality of Aerial Yoga and of course depending on what my body needs, I’m drawn to Restorative Yoga and deep breathing. I love handstands and floating, but without integrating deep holds and a grounding practice, handstands and floating are not accessible.
Describe one of your classes. What makes the experience unique?
My classes tend to lean towards the stronger side of yoga, so you will definitely feel like you’ve moved! I lead with a blend of deep nurturer (my hospice/chaplain side) and confident, essential alignment (not a lot of fluff). I think students come to my classes when they need to feel safe, seen and known, yet lead, challenged and empowered.
Who is your favorite Washington D.C. area yoga teacher?
That is a really tough one….as I’ve learned so much from so many different people. Some of my favs….HawaH Everlutionary, I’ve learned so much from his style of teaching, always informative, playful and fun. Patty Ivey, she has been a mentor of mine and understands the tools of teaching yoga like none other. Mimi Rieger, she is just no frills and bullshit, which I love. Peg Mulqueen, she can teach anyone how to do advanced poses, like it was nothing. The list goes on.