How lucky are we to have such a dedicated group of instructors?  Valarie consistently wows us and her students which is why she is our Teacher of the Month for January!

When/how did you discover yoga?

I came to yoga in 2010 looking for relief from injuries as a result of running and triathlons. I knew I needed to gain more flexibility to help prevent injury and improve my performance for races.

What do you love about teaching yoga?

I love so many aspects of teaching yoga. From the planning and thought behind what I want to teach to the feeling and experience of being in the room with the flow of student’s breath, movement and energy. Most of all, I love the impact you can have on a student when they need it most. For example, a message that a student needed to hear, a mental release from a stressor in life or even something as simple as the excitement when a student is able to do a challenging pose for the first time.

How has yoga and meditation changed your life?

As with many people, yoga started to change my life on a physical level and I felt the relief I needed as I gained flexibility. Then, I started to come back to my mat more and more because there was something about the practice that was soothing and healing on a deeper level. Eight years into my practice, I still love the asana but meditation has made the biggest impact in my life. With a consistent meditation practice, all aspects of my life flow a bit easier. I am less reactive, my mind is calmer and I have greater focus.

Why do you teach at Bella Prana?

Simple- the students. I LOVE my students and have such a connection with them. I love to hear about their goals for yoga, what’s going on in their lives and how they are doing day to day. You form a relationship with them the builds week after week.