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Featured Yogi: Angelyn Shapiro of New Beginnings Yoga

Featured Yogi: Angelyn Shapiro of New Beginnings Yoga

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 - 5:36am
Angelyn Shapiro of New Beginnings Yoga

Angelyn Shapiro of New Beginnings Yoga.

About Angelyn: "Angelyn Shapiro is passionate about helping yogis and non-yogis alike learn how to use the practice as a tool for growth and transformation on and off the mat. Registered with the Yoga Alliance at the RYT-500, E-RYT-200 level, Angelyn also holds separate certifications in pre- and post-natal yoga and is proud of her work helping women who struggle with infertility find peace and support for their journey.  When not on her yoga mat, Angelyn is blessed to practice the yoga of life with her husband Jeff, their miracle baby Adeline, and an incredible community of friends and family."

Angelyn was kind enough to answer a few questions for us in the latest installment of our Featured Fitness Instructor series. 

1. How did you begin practicing yoga? I stumbled into my first yoga class looking for relief from running-related aches and pains. Not long afterward I was hooked on how the practice felt in my body and intrigued by the idea that a physical practice could yield benefits for my mind and spirit. 

2. Why is yoga important to you? I get out of bed every day excited to bring healing and joy into the lives of other people. Becoming a teacher has given me the opportunity to create a rewarding and flexible rhythm that allows me to pour into others and spend time with my baby girl.

3. What made you want to teach yoga? I have to confess I first became interested in teaching yoga because I saw it as a path toward a free gym membership. Over the course of my training, however, I began to understand the true gift of the practice and became enthusiastic about the opportunity to share it with others. 

4. Do you have a preferred type of yoga to teach/practice? Please elaborate. I have been a vinyasa girl from the beginning. As a practitioner, the lyrical quality of the practice resonated with my background in dance. As a teacher, I love using the elements of sequencing, pace, rhythm, and sound to pull students out of their heads and ground them in their bodies.

5. Describe a yoga class with Angelyn. What makes the experience unique? Every student comes to the mat with a unique story and unique needs, and I work to meet them where they are. No two classes are the same, because no client or group of students is the same. One of my favorite teachers gave me a beautiful analogy years ago that captures how I see my role: Life is a river each student must navigate in his or her own vessel. Your place as a teacher is not to row or steer the boat, but to serve as a guide. I am honored to hold space for students so they can find their own unique path to follow when they leave the mat. 

6. Do you find that cross training makes you a better yogi? What other forms of exercise do you enjoy? I gave up any pretense of serious running years ago, but I do lace up my shoes a few times a week and enjoy watching the sunrise over our beautiful city while pounding the pavement on the national mall or Rock Creek Park. A good run helps me clear my head and tap into the sense of grace and strength I feel on the yoga mat. 

7. What is your favorite article of yoga-related gear? Socks! Whether over-the-knee argyle patterned wool or toeless grippers, socks are my go-to when teaching in non-traditional settings. They keep my feet warm, prevent me from sliding on slippery floors, and add some pizazz to my (largely monochromatic) teaching wardrobe.

8. Who is your favorite Washington D.C. area yoga teacher? Is it cliche to say my students? I learn so much every time I teach! I am constantly finding my assumptions challenged and discovering new areas for learning and growth. 

For class schedules and contact information, visit  Angelyn's website