Erica Magill | Sebastopol, CA

Sankalpa: When I step on to the mat my intention is to find a little more peace and balance within myself, so that I can then bring a little more equanimity and love to the world when I step off the mat. When I teach, my intention is to create a safe space within which students can find softness and ease, a place of comfortability within which they can surrender and find exactly what they need, bringing them a little closer to harmony within – and without.

Favorite Pose: I’ll never forget bursting into tears one day during kapotasana, pigeon pose (which in Ashtanga looks a little different from the hatha version of pigeon). I didn’t understand why I wasn’t moving past this pose (in Ashtanga we can only go so far in the series as the teacher allows), why I had to practice so many darn poses before it, and why my heart clenched every time it came to the point in my practice where I had to put myself into it…Through my tears I cried to my teacher, “I’m just so frustrated.” She remarked, “the frustration is the practice.” That moment made me see well beyond the physical form of the practice, and it opened my eyes to the idea that the asana part of yoga is really just a ruse to bring us deeper into our own consciousness. I’ll be forever grateful to kapotasana for its lessons.

Biography:
Over the last 10 years yoga has been a close companion, a healing elixir, an empowering tool, and occasionally an unconquerable opponent. When I look back on my life, yoga is the thread that has tied it all together, carrying me through the toughest of times, and allowing me to appreciate the brightest days with clarity and zeal. Yoga taught me to love the body that I am in, and to reside in this home with pride and joy; it continues to take me to places within myself that I didn’t know existed; it shines a light on the dark places and makes me SEE. Yoga continues to humble me. In these settings, yoga allows me to love these girls until they can love themselves. Whether I am practicing or teaching, I feel as though I am both surrendering and giving - yoga is undoubtedly the most authentic and best way I have found to serve the world, and make it, one breath at a time, a better place.

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