YOGI OF THE MONTH

February 2015 - Corey Hassman (with her family)

What first brought you to yoga and how long have you been practicing?

I spent ten years in an incredibly loud, fetid, overly-testosteroned boxing gym doing muay thai, and I used to dream – as I hung off the ropes gasping for air – of a sport that was less offensive to my nose, ears, and sensibilities.  I also thought fewer blows to the head would be a plus. So when I met Susan at the Chesapeake Academy picnic a month after I moved to the NNK, I called her up. That was a year ago.

What is/are your intention(s) for your yoga practice?

My intention is to maintain strength, gain flexibility, and learn how to calm my ‘monkey mind.’ My goal is to be serene, like my yoga teacher.  My husband assures me I have a long way to go.

What is your favorite pose and why?

Half moon.  Something about the combination of balance and turn out and extension pleases me in a completely ridiculous way. I get very whiny and bratty if Susan doesn’t let me half moon on demand.  Also, I’m super good at savasana, but only for about thirty seconds.  Then I think of something I want to tell Susan, and ruin the mellow vibe.

What is your favorite class at InsideOut Yoga?

Early on in muay thai, I blew out my knee springing into a roundhouse kick with my ground foot in the wrong position.  From then on, it was very important to me to know exactly how things were supposed to be done. So, I started with private yoga lessons, to make sure I’d know proper technique. Now I’m addicted to them! That being said, I do want to add group lessons to my practice, and Susan says I can if I behave.

How has the practice of yoga influenced your life?

It has made me more flexible, and stronger. Also, it has opened up new avenues of being cool.  For instance, if we had a Starbucks, I could put my mat in a pricey batik carrier, sling it jauntily over my arm, and order a half-soy decaf mocha latte flat white chai pumpkin spice frappucino with confidence, radiating yoga coolness.  I couldn’t do that before.

What advice would you have for a beginning yoga student?

I’d suggest starting with two or three private lessons, just to get the basics of alignment and positioning down before joining a group.  I’d also suggest purchasing a pricey batik carrier, if you live near a Starbucks.

What is your occupation?

I’m a speechwriter. I wrote a novel this year, too, and am currently looking for a literary agent.  That’s an unpleasant process that feels a lot like being judged and found wanting, so luckily I have yoga to keep me sane and remind me how competent I am at savasana.

What activities do you enjoy?

Tennis is the bad boyfriend in my life: I’m totally devoted to it, but some days it’s downright cruel.  Books are a bit kinder.  The rest of my time is spent cleaning up whatever my dogs have dragged inside.  They like to relax in perfect Uttana Shishosana while I clean. 

What is your favorite thing about living in the Northern Neck?

The phenomenal people, definitely. Also the water. It’s like my home state of Florida, minus the snakes, gators, oppressive heat, crocs, Canadians and cockroaches.  I’m part Canadian, so I can say that about cockroaches.

Is there anything you want to add?

Do you know any literary agents?