Why are you passionate about yoga and what do you love about teaching at Eugene Yoga?
I am passionate about teaching yoga because I love humans! It’s an honor to support people in their self-discovery, in finding a gentle pathway into themselves. Holding a safe space, one that gives permission to explore what it feels like to be fully embodied is one of the best parts about being a teacher. To submerge in the joy of community while supporting a practice of radical self-acceptance, carried by the collective breath is completely awesome! (and important, scary, and beautiful!). I love that my “job” is to offer that point of reflection back to people’s own strength and capacity, especially in the aging body.
What I love about EY is it’s sparkly, long-standing community. I COME HERE FOR THE RAD HUMANS! I’m continually blown away by people‘s commitment to their practice and this supportive community. I feel complete freedom to show up as my authentic self and honor my calling to teach in the way that I feel called to teach. Thank you Valerie for the continued encouragement!
What is your favorite style or lineage or yoga?
My initial deep-dive was into the Desikachar lineage, but wouldn’t say that it completely drives the way I teach or practice. I come from a simple, practical, breath-centered approach. The hope is that we could do this thing in a way that would make us want to do it again and again and again! Leslie Kaminoff from the Breathing Project in NY, is one of my main teachers. The style I teach, if I had to name it, is permission yoga; permission to honor shapes from the inside out, permission to be freeeeeeeeeeee! The notion that things don’t need to look or feel a particular way is a guiding light, the magic of the yoga postures. I’ve learned from various modalities and schools of alignment, but all of our bodies are unique. This really opens up a space for each practitioner to find what works for best them on any given day. It’s important for each individual to be able to feel the beauty of the breath and their authentic selves in the shapes, a sweet balance of effort and ease.
What style of yoga was the focus of your training?
Therapeutic. I have a 500hr RYT in yoga therapy and several other specialized certificates .
How do you pursue ongoing education?
I practice asana almost every day and LOVE attending regular studio classes around town! I am a life-long learner and have passion for continuing my yoga education. Much of what I offer my students comes from the explorations in my personal practice. I love it when something I’ve been practicing or teaching is cracked wide open to reveal a completely new route or language. This is where the magic lies! I seek out adventures around the world to train and to practice with humans from different cultures and backgrounds. The power of the collective breath is a universal love language! And… I HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO LEARN!
What is your favorite asana or pranayama?
Savasana! My favorite yoga is the stuff I get to do off the mat. The beauty of the natural breath is my choice pranayama. The process of allowing, of not forcing or manipulating, but just landing in the beauty of what’s already there, is one of the greatest A’ha’s of yoga! There’s nothing to do, we’re here, we have arrived! But sometimes we have to engage all the things and ways, and flip upside down and inside out and go round and round to land in that place where we can realize there’s absolutely nothing to be done! Yay!
How do you engage with yoga off the mat?
I feel like my whole existence and how I show up in community is an extension of my yoga practice. Moving from a place of deep empathy and self-compassion radiates into what I touch, build, write, attempt, or breathe… but, I’m a wild fleshy vessel, just like the rest of you(s) and so I totally flail and flop, and that’s where some of the most challenging and beautiful learning comes from. It’s a reflexive practice and one that lasts a lifetime, maybe several. As a high school teacher, with my kids who come from lots of trauma and challenging circumstances, I am called to anchor into my yoga skills continuously. As an educator for teens I get to practice active listening, allowing, supporting, experimenting, yielding, changing my mind when new information is presented, and LOVE LOVE LOVE. That’s the yoga and I am grateful for the opportunity.
How did you become to work at EY?
I was hired essentially through an email! AWESOME! – moving back from Brooklyn, I was determined to keep teaching; it’s an anchor for my whole human health and one of my favorite ways to be in the world!. I love supporting others – it’s essential to my heartspace.
What classes and events have you offered and/or would like to offer?
How to Build a Home Practice is my favorite workshop to offer. People seem to really benefit and I get lots of good feedback. So much of the daily yoga we need is not in an hour long choreographed routine, right? It can be like ten deep breaths, touch your toes, shake it off, and drink a glass of water! Home practice is one of those tools of empowerment that really helps support a studio practice, and most importantly, a life practice! I would love to get back to Yoga in the Vineyard and Yoga on Tap… social media memories have been popping up and it seems like lifetimes ago. Let’s get back to it!
Advice for true yoga beginner?
I am reluctant to give advice and would rather encourage humans to listen in… nearly everything we need to know is already inside. What is in the way? What are you holding? Can you acknowledge that you are more than enough just as you are? Maybe the idea that our yoga does not need to look like anything, it does not need to be like anything, and you don’t need to be good at it. Perhaps this could help open us to that radical self acceptance piece. I would tell these “beginners” that I’m still a beginner, even after 20 years, and welcome them into themself! The beginner’s mind is one of the sparkliest, most beautiful, bravest places you can be. Just showing up, especially in the beginning, is a brave act.
Advice for seasoned yogis?
I would ask – Is the practice you’re engaging still serving you? Why are you exploring the shapes that you do? How are you actually feeling in your body if you are honest with yourself? What would it feel like to do less? To do more? How do you feel as you walk about in the wide world? And, I would hug them (with consent), because I miss hugs and I love yogis.
Do you have anything else to add?
Yoga is a lifelong practice. What would it feel like to celebrate the way your body shifts and changes, it can be whatever it needs to be? Thanks for showing up for yourselves and Eugene Yoga! LOVE!!!!
Brie teaches at Eugene Yoga on Mondays at 9am (Hatha Basics) and Wednesdays at 1:30 (Chair Yoga). Learn more about Brie, and her other offerings around town, here: yogawithbriezer.com