Teacher Essentials: Sarah Canfield on Yoga

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

The following interview was conducted with Mahasukha resident yoga teacher and director Sarah Canfield, who has been teaching since 2000. In 2001, she received her 200-hour certification in Hatha Yoga from Yoga Kingdom Sanctuary in Pasadena. Sarah was trained to teach Vinyasa Yoga at Life in Motion in New York City. She has been certified by the Yoga Studies Institute to teach Tibetan Heart Yoga. In her spare time, Sarah also teaches at Santa Monica’s Hot 8 Yoga. Her classes are empowering for all levels of students.

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Ivy Dally: Thank you so much Sarah for taking the time to tell us about the yoga programs at Mahasukha. I personally am very interested in your yoga philosophy and how you’re bringing your experiences and beliefs to the yoga students in LA. Living out in the middle of rural America, I have limited access to authentic yoga practice and philosophy…unfortunately many people think of yoga as nothing more than a low-impact way to exercise! You know first-hand there’s a so much more going on. I thought maybe you could begin by telling us what drew you to yoga and kept you interested initially.

Sarah Canfield: Well my mother was my first yoga teacher. We used to do yoga together when she was pregnant with my little brother. Then when I was in college I took my very first group yoga class. It was so amazing how much peace the practice brought me. It was this teacher that inspired me to become a teacher myself. I though if I could only give others this same deep sense of peace in there lives, then my life will be worth living.

ID: Can you say that your yoga practice over the years has contributed to an increased quality of life?

SC: Yes! In freeing up my inner channels my life runs smother. I have become more flexible in both my body and my mind. Things come very easy for me. I can see more clearly how to achieve certain goals and then achieve them quickly.

ID: Not everyone may know that you are currently serving as the Yoga Director as Mahasukha. As Director, what are your goals for the students taking yoga classes? What do you hope they gain from this experience?

SC: Peace and Happiness!

ID: Well said and to the point! What advice do you have for those that are looking to start a yoga practice in order to gain peace and happiness? What qualities should they look for in a teacher or a studio?

SC: Find the style of yoga that works for you. There are so many different ways to practice physical yoga. I think it’s good before you even walk into a studio to figure out what style you would already drawn to practice. Some like it HOT, some like it technical, some want to move fast, some want to chill out; there’s a style for everyone. Do some research online to find a studio or class that offers a good style of yoga for you. As far as finding the right teacher, this becomes more personal. My basic advice is your teacher should be happy, that means there doing good yoga. Pick a teacher that has admirable qualities, because that’s what their practice has brought them. If they are practicing what they preach and you practice what they preach, it will bring you those same wonderful qualities.

ID: What is your favorite aspect of teaching yoga currently? Where would you like to see your teaching take you?

SC: My favorite part of teaching yoga is seeing others waking up to they’re potential. As far as where I’ll like my teachings to taking me…enlightenment for all beings everywhere.

ID: Thank you so much! For those of you that would like to take a class with Sarah or any of the other wonderful yoga teachers at Mahasukha, please click here for a link to the current teaching schedule. Namaste!

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