Asana and Answers is a weekly feature highlighting the yoga instructors who teach during the week at the gondola. Today, Tanya Skok Hobbs provides inspiration to practice yoga and describes her yoga style.
What inspired you to become a yoga instructor?
I had just finished my Masters and gotten a great job in my field working overseas. I had been in the job about 2 years and I started feeling isolated and lonely. In addition, I began suffering from some severe low back pain due to an old injury I had sustained playing a varsity sport in University. I had started practicing yoga about 5 years prior, however, I saw yoga more as a “stretching” system to counter all the running and cycling I was doing.
Due to my low back issue, I was told not to run or cycle and running was one of my only outlets. So, I made a commitment to practice yoga every day. I only had access to online classes so I started doing online classes daily and I was absolutely astounded when my entire perspective shifted after a relatively short period of time just from doing yoga. Everything else had remained the same. So, I made the decision, to do my teacher training, quit my job and start leading a more passion filled life. I just wanted to share what yoga had given me with others and the practice just continues to expand. It’s truly phenomenal.
How would you describe your style of yoga?
I teach a vinyasa (flow) style of yoga. I am very much interested in the linking of breath with movement and how that feels and what that can elicit. I am also very drawn to the practices of chanting and mantra, which I never thought that I would be, however, they offer such a beautiful way to drop into the body and the heart.
What advice would you give to someone who is wanting to start practicing yoga?
Just start. I am not a naturally “flexible” person. Yoga is not for flexible people. It is for humans. If you feel drawn to take a class to it. Find a teacher you like and practice.
How do the surroundings influence your classes when you practice yoga at the gondola?
Being able to teach at the toe of the gondola I think really presents a unique opportunity to be surrounded by nature, which we are a part of. It helps everyone ground and connect more to their breath, as well as providing an incredible atmosphere to teach in. We live in such a spectacular part of the world and it’s a pleasure to share that with others.
Describe your perfect day in Squamish.
Coffee at home with a tasty breakfast, seeing friends, connecting to community at the studio, a bike ride, lake swim and of course a yoga practice.