When and how did you become interested in yoga?
About eight months before my mom passed. I was NOT interested. I was on a diet. I weighed 335 pounds. I set a goal to lose 135 pounds. My mom asked that I give yoga a legitimate try. She gave me her mat and sold me her car for $1, and I’ve been practicing ever since.
Tell us about your yoga teacher training and certification.
My 200-hour teacher training was by CircAsana Yoga. I won the training by Instagram doing headstand tricks at the YMCA. I had applied to Kirpalu, as well, because I couldn’t afford it. I had been volunteering teaching yoga at the Y and been down taking care of my dad in Virginia, when I won the training. The two training teachers taught us about ethics, Acroyoga, journaling, planning, and gave hands on guidance with poses. 22 days in Morocco with ten other people from all over the world. It was intense! I have a Masters in English, so I was a good student.
What inspires you as a yoga teacher?
I need movement. For me, personally, it helps me deal with PTSD. What inspires me as a teacher is that I’ve been able to find a way from being 335 pounds and mental mess to being able to live a normal life and go back to school. I can help people find what I’ve found in yoga. I learned to listen to my own body It’s not just the asana work- the yoga philosophy is really important, and, also, breathing and meditation. All that builds a yogi.
What is your favorite pose and why?
Sirsasana/ headstand is by far my favorite pose. My first teacher gave me the book, Light on Yoga, by BKS Iyengar. The books says that by doing inversions you can increase spiritual awareness. I like to hold the pose for as long as I can. I do headstands everywhere: boats, rocks, airplane, mountains, tables, anywhere I can find. I like to do the headstand as homage to my mom. I wholly believe that this pose helps with the slowing of the breath and resetting of the mind. Check out my Instagram: StevenWBeck11 and you’ll see headstands from around the world.