We are super excited to kick off our new initiative, ‘In conversation with Yogis” – a new series of interviews with Yoga instructors from around the world. And we begin with a conversation with Hannah Harpole, a trained yoga instructor and co-founder of Makara Studio, Brooklyn! We have written previously about all the awesome stuff going on at Makara Studio, including Yoga for Foodies Friday and donation classes.
Hannah has travelled to India to study Yoga, its traditions and practices both the Iyengar and Ashtanga styles. Besides starting Makara Studio and being an instructor, she is also a great dancer, a vegetarian cook and a film-maker !!
So let’s get to know more about her…
YogaAnywhere: Hannah, tell our readers something about yourself
Hannah Harpole: I am a vegetarian cook and artist who found Yoga when I was young. I hated it at first; moving to New York about nine years ago really made me go deep into the practice and now I can not imagine what it would be like without the practice.
YogaAnywhere: Since when, you have been practicing yoga and what was your source of motivation?
Hannah Harpole:The practice keeps me grounded in the super choatic city that I live in. I have practiced for about 12 years, but seriously for 9.
YogaAnywhere: How has yoga helped you in your personal life?
Hannah Harpole: I am much calmer than I use to be. I can see things that I should not waste my energy on.
YogaAnywhere: From where did you get trained for yoga and what was the thought behind teaching yoga to others?
Hannah Harpole: I got my official teacher training from a studio in Brooklyn called Greenhouse Holistic, but I have studied with teachers all over the world. I was teaching Public High School to low income students who were under credited for their age. Many had been in prison or had children. Their lives were very stressful and I wanted to share Yoga with them.
YogaAnywhere: Any experiences you would like to share on being a yoga teacher?
Hannah Harpole: Last year at this time I was traveling in India and was invited to teach classes in both Gujarat and Karnataka. It was really fun teaching in the birthplace of the practice.
YogaAnywhere: We all are living in fast paced world. What asana you would suggest to our readers that are must do (may be if one has 20 minutes in hand)?
Hannah Harpole: Surya Namaskara. It will get you in your breathe and you will feel your body.
YogaAnywhere: How do you motivate your students for doing Yoga in daily lives?
Hannah Harpole: I remind them that it is a practice, that it deepens the more you come back to your mat.
YogaAnywhere: Which is your favorite yoga posture and why?
Hannah Harpole: It is always changing. I practice based on the season and fullness of the moon. Since the moon was just full my practice is very restorative and with props, legs up the wall with a block under my pelvis has been great. in two weeks with the new moon it will probably be something more like handstand or virabrasana three.
YogaAnywhere: Share any memorable yoga experience.
Hannah Harpole: Getting to travel in India and practice things like pranayama which are not as popular in the west was amazing. In Pushkar I had a teacher who taught for free in the temple each morning at 4 30 am. I was the only one not from the community practicing and the sun would come up through the temple, warming us up. The best was to start the day.
YogaAnywhere: A few words to our readers on yoga which are straight from your heart-
Hannah Harpole : Keep up the practice!
YogaAnywhere:Thanks Hannah for taking the time out for this conversation! It’s been a pleasure!
Folks, we are really excited about this series and weill be bringing more such conversations. Next up is Iyengar Yoga Instructor Marcela Clavijo!
- YogaAnywhere Studio Initiative Kicks off with Partnership with Makara Studio
- Makara Studio on YogaCity !! Woo Hoo!
- Makara Studio in Full Flow – Official Press Release of the Studio with a Conscience
- Yoga and Delicious Mole this Friday March 23 at Makara Studio
- Second Yoga for Foodies Meetup – Fri, Feb 10th starting with Makara Studio, Williamsburg
About Hema DhawanHema Dhawan is a writer, a new mother and a yoga practitioner. She lives in Bangalore
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