September Teacher Feature: Jane Bahneman

J Bahneman baby pic

Favorite part of teaching yoga?
I love talking with students, hearing their stories, and hopefully sharing a laugh! For me, it’s simply about connection. I’m a people person and in yoga, you usually encounter great people!

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Western New York outside of Buffalo in suburb called Grand Island. It is in fact an island in the middle of the powerful Niagara River. And it is chilly up there!

Favorite book?
I think the better question is “Favorite Book Right Now.” I adore “Worth Fighting For” and “The Time of My Life” written by Patrick Swayze (and/with) Lisa Niemi Swayze. Emotional well-told stories of real (not storybook) love, commitment, and the uncertainty that life brings – with a tough but inspiring “ending.”

What inspires you?
I lead a lucky life that takes me all over the country to work/teach, meeting people in places I might have otherwise never gone. I embrace this good fortune and rarely rush past the chance to get to know a “stranger.” There are amazing people all over this planet! It’s the fuel that keeps my engine revving!

Favorite quote?
“To love what you do and feel that it matters – how could anything be more fun?” Katharine Graham

Favorite restaurant in DC/VA/MD?
Busboys and Poets.

Favorite yoga pose and why?
Dancers Pose. Some days I feel amazingly graceful, bendy, and beautiful in the pose! Other days it hands me quite the opposite: feeling clunky, off balance, and squirrelly at best. It is a very telling pose, in my opinion, possessing secrets of past and present ones that I may have not even have explored to date. During a recent photo shoot, I climbed atop an old tree stump as the sun went down and struck this pose – powerful, uplifting yet grounding all the same. I actually cannot say I even physically “love” the pose very much and I certainly am challenged by it! I think that is exactly why I like it: it keeps me interested and it seems “real” to me as I step into it and watch what unfolds.

If you could take a yoga class from any teacher in the world (living or dead), who would it be?
I think I will stay in the “present” times for practicality! And I am attracted to all kinds of teachers for all kinds of reasons.
So to me, it isn’t about “one” teacher per se. It is about the many teachers we encounter along the way and how the experience lands on/in us. Recently, I took classes with Tiffany Cruikshank (she was great) and will attend topics with Jason Crandell and Eoin Finn this Fall. Elena Brower catches my interest too. For me, I take whatever concept strikes me in the moment and I work with it when I leave the teacher.

If you could be one animal, what would you be and why?
A Cheetah. Fastest animal on the planet – 0-60mph in 3 secs. How amazing is that?! Could you imagine the ground you could cover?! I think about a nice morning run at 60mph out on the open African landscape…cats in general intrigue me, and the cheetah is one big beautiful cat!

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