Featured Teacher and Owner: Anna Koenig (A conversation)

What’s your favorite pose and why? Arm balances because physically they require so much core and arm strength, but mentally it feels like you are somehow defying gravity. 

Where did you do your training? Yoga Garden SF

What got you hooked? I love how you never fully "arrive" at a particular outcome with yoga. I'm constantly broadening my horizons and learning new things. It connects me to so many traditions throughout history, and unifies with me with close and global communities. The most amazing part is yoga always seems to guide you to exactly where you need to be and the lessons you need to learn.

What obstacles has yoga helped you overcome? If I could only use only one word to describe yoga to someone who was unfamiliar, I would use "grounded." For me, it was overcoming anxiety, grief, and loss. Some of yoga’s most profound effects on health have to do with its ability to alter behavior. The modern understanding of the brain is the phenomenon of neuroplasticity (rather than being a static structure, this organ is constantly remodeling itself). I've used yoga to deepen my connection of mind, body, and soul. It has helped me stand on more solid footing, and use that as an anchor to take on risks.

Who was your great mentor/teacher? So many including all the AYL teachers! I've found my personal style through a combination of mentors. Ariel Howland, Jen Hecht, and Laurie Sleep to name a few.  

Tell us your practice style and how did you choose your yoga method? I mostly teach and practice Vinyasa, although there is a place for all different styles. For me, I love the flow and build up of a Vinyasa class as being a continuous movement. It helps me connect pranayama (breath) to the movement, and apply tapas (physical and mental heat). There's a lot of room for creativity in the sequencing (and error!), which is why it's important to study intelligent sequencing. 

What is the most rewarding part of being a yoga teacher? Helping others feel good and at home in their own bodies. It's really that simple.

Your favorite quote? I have a lot. Here's a favorite "Had I not created my whole world, I would certainly have died in other people’s. ”― Anaïs Nin

Favorite food? Ethnic, spicy, and flavorful. I love to cook. Indian food, sushi nigiri, Thai food, Russian food (my heritage), a creative salad. 

Favorite place to travel to? I'm a warm weather person. I love being in water.