Every yoga instructor is different from one another and brings their unique perspective to the yoga practice that they teach. My first yoga teacher Rudy Mettia emphasized the importance of finding a unique “voice” for a yoga instructor instead of copying someone else’s style.
So what is my unique voice?
I think it all comes down to my personal history of getting into yoga practice as a student and then becoming a teacher.
My background is psychology and fitness, that I studied back in Russia 2005-2010. Soon after I moved to Santa Monica from Moscow, I took my first yoga class with Rudy in a donation-based studio founded by Bryan Kest. The style that I practiced with Rudy was a 90-minute vinyasa yoga that felt like a workout to me, but also an emotional detox. Classes were challenging and fun, but most importantly, they kept me in the zone. I always felt “high” after those classes and felt the shift of energy in my body. It felt really good! Yoga worked like magic every time!!! I knew this was something special that I wanted to not only master as a student, but also to deliver to my clients as a fitness professional. At that moment in time, I worked at a pilates studio teaching small groups and private pilates lessons. I knew that yoga and pilates had things in common, and that Joseph Pilates actually studied yoga and adapted a lot of foundational yoga poses to the pilates apparatus.
Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) was a logical step in my career, so I joined Rudy Mettia’s tribe in summer 2013. If only I knew that the training was just a BEGINNING of my journey as a yoga teacher!!!
7 years later, I can say that I found my yoga voice through abundant experience of working with so many different people. One thing I realized early on was that I wanted to teach private yoga sessions, not group classes. As a psychologist and a very meticulous alignment-based instructor, I did not consider group classes effective enough in getting deep into the core of my clients’ emotional issues and physical barriers. I have worked closely with physical therapists and helped clients with limitations who would not be able to do a “standard” vinyasa flow with all those sun salutations, arm balances, and wheel poses. They needed their own special yoga routine that would address their low back pain , or their frozen shoulder symptoms, or they were pregnant, or they had a fused ankle, etc. etc. Some people had a lot of emotional baggage that came up during our sessions, and that is hardly addressed in group class settings. I personally believe that I can do the most good when sessions are specifically tailored to a person and a situation they are in, and for that reason I feel compelled to only teach students privately.
My clients receive a holistic approach to their health by working with me. I truly care about improving my clients’ lifestyle and well-being, and sometimes it actually requires me referring them to other specialists like chiropractors, doctors, psychotherapists, acupuncturists, or other personal trainers. My goals for each client is making them healthier, stronger physically and emotionally, improving their self-confidence and expanding their horizons by safely pushing them beyond their limits. Teaching them something new about themselves and the world around them. Believe me or not, they do exactly the same for me!!! And that’s why I love what I do so much!
I am currently available for in person (Los Angeles area) and online yoga sessions, and I would love to help you on your yoga journey! I offer a free trial session, flexible payment plans, and I am here to answer any questions you might have. Don’t hesitate to reach out!