Yogi of the month: Natalie Hanson

I can still picture my first class at Tranquil Space very distinctly — 2002, in the church on 16th Street, with Siobhan. I am forever thankful to my friend, Geneva (former yogi of the month herself), for encouraging me to join her that evening. Since that day some 9 years ago, I’ve followed the studio over to P Street, to 17th Street (where the church can be seen from the Sky Studio windows), and the Arlington studios. I’ve actually never been to any other yoga studio.
Having always been active as a child and young adult — ballet, tennis, running, basketball (i.e. a sport for every season + dance), I found I had slipped into a very sedentary lifestyle consumed by the daily grind and work, work, work. Truthfully, my goal for that first class was simply to touch my toes again. The physical flexibility was relatively easy to recapture; turning off the ever-present to-do lists continues to be a challenge, but I’ve learned just how important it is to take a break from time to time and do what you can to find some enjoyment in your day. TS is an important part of my personal “circle of wellness.”
For the many warm, wonderful TS teachers whose classes I have enjoyed — Siobhan, Kimberly, Anne, Kevin, Dibora, Carol, Alison, Colleen, Mary Catherine, Todd, Jodi, Jen, Dave, Pari, and the now departed Gina and Peg — thank you! I am particularly fond of yin classes and want to give a particular shout out to Danielle for her fantastic ability to talk us all through the pain of those 5 minutes holds.
After many years of watching them go by, this year I was thrilled to find my schedule allowed me to join two TS retreats, Puerto Rico in February and Costa Rica last month. I had an awesome time! The relaxation that comes from truly getting away, not planning the day (there is not really time when you have yoga twice a day, and 3 fantastic meals that you do not have to any menu planning, prep or cooking for), being good and physically tired, and getting back to nature (Costa Rica was a tent for me) cannot be overrated. I bit of sunshine and poolside lounging was thrown in just for good measure. I was fortunate that the 21-day challenge was timed just before Costa Rica to help me be ready.
Maybe one day I’ll try out that teacher training… or maybe I should try out a few more retreats :)

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