Q&A: Megan Miller

Where you are teaching: Arlington Heights, Lake Zurich, or both studios?

I teach in the Arlington Heights studio. Mondays from 9:30-10:45 a.m. (Level 2), Fridays from 9:30-10:45 a.m.(Level 1-2) and Fridays 12 noon – 1 p.m. (Level 1-2).

How long have you been teaching yoga? 

Seven years. My first teacher’s training was with Ana Forrest. I also completed a teacher training in  Anusara Yoga with Kathy Simonik  in 2012 and I am just wrapping up my Advanced Teacher’s training certification with Lori Gaspar through Prairie Yoga, which is influenced by Iyengar yoga.

Why did you become a yoga teacher? Who and/or what are your biggest influences?

I became a yoga teacher because I find yoga endlessly fascinating and I wanted to keep learning more and more about it. Yoga is so life changing and amazing and I feel gifted to be able to share it with others. I have been influenced and inspired by the ancient teachings of yoga and by my teachers Ana Forrest, Kathy Simonik and Lori Gaspar. I am especially grateful to Kathy Simonik for her wisdom, guidance, and inspiration.

How has yoga helped you to be a better person?

Yoga has given me more freedom in body and mind. A runner and athlete all of my life, I did not appreciate or understand the importance of opening, releasing, and lengthening muscles in addition to working them for strength and endurance. Yoga makes me feel amazing…strong, flexible, balanced, peaceful, and focused.

What is your personal mission statement as a yoga teacher?

To help students personalize their practices by modifying poses and mindfully progress to deeper and more challenging poses when they are ready. Trained in Forrest, Anusara, and Iyengar yoga styles, all rooted in alignment principles, I strive to help students develop wise, knowledgeable, instinctual practices.  I hope to guide students to find balance, harmony, and peace on and off of the mat.

What do you think constitutes an excellent yoga instructor?

Teachers who are curious and passionate about learning and growing are excellent because this enthusiasm infuses everything they do especially the yoga classes they teach. Incredible teachers commit to their own practice and continually work to expand themselves and then inspire others to do the same.

What was your most challenging teaching experience? [Frustrating, funniest, or most enlightening teaching experience]

Early on, keeping right and left straight. Who knew what seems so simple can be difficult and takes time to master…

What do you recommend to the beginner student? To the seasoned student?

To all students, we can always change. At its essence yoga is transformation. Anybody, at any age can be healthier, happier, and less stressed by learning and practicing yoga.

How do you take your yoga off the mat?

I seek to be grounded. Grounded in the present, rooted physically and emotionally to the earth and to myself. Staying centered and calm and maybe even embracing change and challenges. Many things are grounding- family, friends, being in nature, gratitude, and, of course, yoga because through the practice we cultivate a deep connection to our self.

What is the one pose you are most proud of getting into? Why? [it can be the first yoga pose you ever did, or a super challenging one, for example]

Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand). It’s a powerful, playful, and fun!!!

What is your favorite time of day to practice yoga? Why?

Any time of day and as often as possible.

Where is the best place you have ever practiced yoga? [maybe you did a yoga pose while on vacation in Europe or took a class on the beach somewhere—that sort of thing]

Surrounded by the rainforest in an open air, bamboo covered yoga space at a yoga/health retreat in Costa Rica. Bliss.

What is your favorite [band or album or music genre] to listen to while practicing yoga?

I love music…all different kinds of music. My playlists are an eclectic mix of all different genres and artists.  I like to weave classic, timeless songs and artists with acoustic covers, soul, blues, indie, alternative, and new music with instrumentals, yoga artists and chants, yet always have meditative, reflective, restful music moments as well.

What else do you want students to know about you?

I’m passionate about eating and living to thrive. Always reading and learning about optimal wellness.

Why do you love teaching at Pulsation Yoga in particular? 

Pulsation Yoga is a really, really special yoga studio. The energy, the space, the owners Kathy and Jim, the teachers, and, of course, the students are amazing. It feels like “home”.

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