July 2016 - Margot Angstrom

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

I was first exposed to yoga in college, but I wasn't able to appreciate it until after college while living in Jackson, WY. We had access to many great studios and teachers with different styles. I saw the benefit received by all my uber-athletic friends who practiced, and the balance it brought them, therefore I began to take it more seriously. That was over 15 years ago. 

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

Almost always my intention is presence, to stop my brain and focus on the moment. If I'm feeling present at that moment, then I focus on compassion or acceptance. Finally, I listen to the intention offered by the instructor, which is always illuminating. 

What is your favorite pose and why?

Hmmm. This is an impossible question. I will answer it this way: The first thing I do when practicing is cat-cow. I also tend towards twists. I like to challenge myself with strength and balance poses, slow flow, and inversions. Savasana is always a treat at the end of practice. 

What is your favorite class at InsideOut Yoga?

The 9:30 class :) Truly, I benefit and enjoy all classes, though I gravitate towards slow, steady flow or strength classes. 

How has the practice of yoga influenced your life?

I love the "off the mat" philosophy. Your mind and body practice balance, breathing, strength, awareness, acceptance, etc. in class, then take those lessons/habits off the mat as you move through the day. 

What advice would you have for a beginning yoga student?

We are all new students. We arrive at each class in a different state (physical, emotional, and mental), and each class presents new experiences, new challenges, new gifts, new learning. 

My advice for a new to yoga student: commit to a series/foundational class, over 6-8 weeks. There is so much to absorb when new to yoga. Multiple classes provide an opportunity to get a sense for the whole practice and what it offers (impossible in one class), as well as an introduction to proper alignment, key for not hurting yourself. 

What is your occupation?

I am a teacher, currently raising my pre-school age children, consulting and developing project-based, place-based integrated online curriculum, which promotes the skills and values of a global 21st century citizen. 

What activities do you enjoy?

If the activity is outside, I'll enjoy it, in particular running, paddle boarding, camping, horseback riding and skiing. I journal, read, and follow my kid's lead. My latest project is co-authoring a book, Let the Kid Guide, an approach to exploring outside with your family. 

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

I love the access to water, the peace it brings, and that the big bay makes me feel small. Additionally, we are new to the area, and appreciate how welcoming the community is. 

Is there anything you want to add?

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts.