About Sara: "Trained as a dancer her whole life, Sara first saw Vinyasa yoga as a natural supplement to her dancing. Though after discovering Shiva Rea’s Prana Flow in 2006, her commitment jumped to a whole new level, and Sara is currently studying to complete her 500 hour RYT in Prana Flow at Ananda Shala. Yoga has also ignited a deep passion for service work and she recently completed the Off the Mat and Into the World Leadership Training Program with Seane Corn and hopes to continue to use yoga as a means to unite, heal and empower."
Sara teaches at extendYoga and Blue Heron Wellness. She was kind enough to answer questions for us in the latest edition of our Featured Yogi segment.
How did you begin practicing yoga?
I began dancing at a very early age, so creative movement has always been a part of my life. Initially I was focused on classical ballet, however as a teenager and young adult, I became drawn to the more expressive contemporary and lyrical styles of dance. The movement was so intwined with the breath that it seemed much more natural to my body. It was this same connection that drew me into Vinyasa yoga, and it soon became a natural supplement to my dancing after college.
Why is yoga important to you?
Yoga is like nothing I have ever encountered before, a beautiful melding of soundness in body, mind and spirit. My practice has touched all aspects of my life and I can honestly say that because of yoga, I have evolved into a much more present, patient and conscious participant in the world. I've always believed that a small group of mindful people can make all the difference. Yoga creates that community.
What made you want to teach yoga?
I taught dance for years and saw what body awareness can do to students. It gave them confidence, grace of body and spirit and a respect for others, and themselves. But, while dance can be intimidating to some, yoga is accessible to all. It promotes health in every aspect of the word. And knowing what it had done for me, I just had to find a way to share that.
Do you have a preferred type of yoga to teach/practice? Please elaborate.
The style that resonates the most to me is Prana Flow. This fluid approach to vinyasa, pioneered by Shiva Rea, speaks to me in the same way lyrical dance does. I feel light, yet connected; present, yet expansive. The guided free form movement and creative, flowing sequencing really resonates...it's like dancing on my mat.
Describe a yoga class with Sara. What makes the experience unique?
In my class, students can expect to be in constant movement around their mats. Rarely are poses simply held, but rather approached with mindful movements of the body. My sequencing is based around the cultivation of a "peak asana," fostering a sense of community within the class, everyone working towards a common goal. Through various "kramas" or stages, students are invited to stay true to their own unique pathway toward full integration of the body and the breath.
Who is your favorite Washington D.C. area yoga teacher?
In DC, we are so blessed to have an exceptional yoga community. And each and every one of the teachers I have studied and continue to practice with have influenced me in profound ways. But to give credit where credit is due, I would have to say my favorite teachers are Jessica Lazar, for introducing me to a world that has altered the course of my life, and Greg Marzullo who, to me, embodies everything that this practice represents.