August 2013: Valerie Culkin

Check out our August teacher of the month, Valerie Culkin. Join Valerie Mondays and Wednesdays for a Level 1-2 class at 4:30 pm. Your first class with Valerie is free in August!

1. How long have you practiced yoga? Studied to be a teacher? Taught?
My personal yoga practice began approximately eight years ago in Atlanta, Ga. A close group of friends banded together to open one of the first yoga studios in the area. It was a small community and the studio introduced many of us to a world we never knew before…YOGA. From that moment forward I knew I had found something that had potential to change my life, I just hadn’t figured out exactly how until years later. When I enrolled in teacher training in 2011, studying under the same teacher who ultimately introduced me to yoga, I had finally begun my deepest practice and tapped into that magic of yoga.

2. What is your style of teaching? What motivates you?
I am motivated by helping people to find that part of their practice which enlightens them to the magic of yoga, that which I found in my practice. I would say my style of yoga is to focus on bringing your awareness to your body and taking slow movements. I believe, from my own experiences, that in time and with patience you can find those sweet spots. I like to help my students to feel comfortable in class, like it’s time for them to step outside of their stressful lives and step into a place of warmth and non-judgment. Don’t be surprised if I bust out the essential oils (and maybe an eye pillow) during your Savasana!

3. What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about life! I am passionate about learning and exploring. I am inquisitive in a quiet way. I am passionate about nature and inviting notice to things that I never noticed before. I love sharing thoughts and feelings with others who have the same appreciation for life.

4. What attracted you to Yoga Nirvana Studio?
When I moved to Phoenix 1 year ago, I entered a mission to find a new yoga community that would welcome me. I tried out a few other studios in town, which were great studios, but when I walked into Yoga Nirvana immediately I sensed that feeling of warmth which I was seeking. The warm colors, wood paneling, and dim lights off the bat helped me to feel at home, and upon meeting everyone involved it drew me in. The studio, all the instructors, and students have helped me so much to feel settled in a town where I knew no one. So many of the instructors here have helped me in my own practice, they are so informed and so knowledgeable, and have pushed me to new levels in my practice.

I’d like to add that I just enjoy meeting new people and learning about their lives and what THEY are passionate about. I believe that the more you know about a person, the more you can help them to cultivate little things in their practice that will help them achieve what they need. Everyone is so different, which means every body requires different things. No body is exactly the same, and I try to pay attention to that.