John van Drie

RYT 200

How do you balance your yoga practice and life? I practice yoga daily (I must practice daily or my body complains).  There are many yogic elements I incorporate into daily routines: breathing, mindfulness, meditation, etc.  I'll often be seen waiting in lines, like at Starbucks for example, practicing balance poses.  Actually, layovers at airports are a great time to slip in a full yoga practice.  Find a quiet corner, and just do it.  It's a constant surprise that, except for little kids, everyone pretends not to notice.  I'm still waiting for the day when someone spontaneously starts following me in an impromptu class.

How has yoga changed your day-to-day life? Physically, I'm in better shape with more flexibility, range of motion, and body awareness.  Mentally, I feel much calmer; my anxieties are kept at bay, letting me sleep better.  At the deepest level, I'd like to think that I'm becoming a more authentic person.

What do you love most about Buddhaful Souls Yoga Studio? It's more than a studio.  It has a wonderful ‘vibe’, invoking some of the feelings I feel while at Kripalu.  Many things contribute to this: the teachers, the students, and the physical space.

What's your biggest fear? Reaching the end of my life, and looking back, and seeing that I've missed too many opportunities to live life fully.

What is your favorite quote? "A definition of happiness:  the daily experience of a meaningful life" (Max Strom, A Life Worth Breathing).

What is your favorite part about your practice?
The centering and breathing, which brings about such a pervasive calm.

What is your favorite asana (posture)?
Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II).  This pose engages much of the body, and uses both strength and stretching, and requires balance.  Many variations are available, and there are many transitions to and from other poses.  Also, the Sanskrit name comes from the root word 'vira' meaning courage, or heart.
When did you start practicing yoga and why?
Eight years ago, while enjoying a sunrise walk on Lighthouse Beach on Cape Cod, I watched a yoga-on-the-beach class.  I thought "I wish I could do that!". I joined in the next day, and daily for the rest of the week.  I felt fantastic at the end of that week, and decided I needed to take up yoga regularly.  Over time, I felt like someone had turned the clock back 10 or 15 years - yoga as the fountain of youth!  To deepen my practice, a couple of years ago I started taking classes at Kripalu, the yoga retreat center in western Massachusetts.  This eventually led to to the 200-hr teaching training, without any intention toteach.  From my time at Kripalu, I really became more aware of the impact of yoga on the mind, especially from the breathing and centering parts of the practice.  Now having learned all this, I realized I must share all this, as a yoga teacher.