teacher feature – melissa van orman

1. what is your favorite yoga pose and why?
my favorite yoga pose is easily warrior 2. i love it in part because it’s so iconic- i feel connected to a larger tradition every time i step into this pose. i also love the sensation of being grounded and steady while feeling expansive and open. it’s graceful and bad ass at the same time.

2. what is your least favorite yoga pose and why?
surprisingly, warrior 1 is my least favorite pose. i really struggle to square my hips in this pose and have really tight calves so it’s hard to keep my foot down. in my home practice i usually skip it, and work in high lunge instead. this is why it’s good to go to class— working in a group invites you to practice poses that are otherwise tempting to skip!

3. give an example of how you bring yoga philosophy into your daily life.
the yogic ethical principles known as the yamas and niyamas are an important part of my daily practice. they’re a moral gut check—am i being honest in this situation (satya)? Taking more than I need (aparigraha)? Causing harm to others as the result of my actions (ahimsa)? the most tangible way i consider these questions is the choices i make about what i buy or consume, specially when it comes to food. i wrote an article for the humane society of the united states (hsus) that explores this topic in more detail. working with hsus has been a wonderful way to practice yoga off my mat.

4. give one example of how you struggle to bring yoga into your daily life.
i recently made the choice to leave my full time job to devote more time to studying, practicing, and teaching yoga. this move was a huge leap of faith for me, as i was terrified to leave the security of full time work. practicing svadhyaya or self-study was critical in making this transition. by slowing down and really paying attention to how i felt physically and emotionally, it became clear that change—even a hard one—was needed.

One thought on “teacher feature – melissa van orman

  1. colleen

    October 29, 2009 at 11:38pm

    Glad to read that you made the leap! Good for you, Melissa!

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