Meet Natalie! You can find Natalie on her mat often at STY in all different classes. She just loves to practice (and run) and we love her!
Thanks to Alexandria for conducting the interwiew and taking the photos.
How did you first begin to practice yoga?
My mom did yoga as I was growing up so she would do kind of power yoga videos and I would do them with her, and then we started going to a Kundalini yoga studio near our house when I was in high school. It was a really fun thing for the two of us to do together and when I think of how I started doing yoga, I think of Kundalini.
Tell us your Southtown Yoga story.
When I moved to St. Louis — I moved for college — I started doing whatever kind of free yoga I could find in the city but later on I wanted to find a more regular practice [and] more consistency to really grow my practice but I was a college student so I didn’t really have any money. I applied for a YogaBuzz scholarship and I got one with Southtown. This was when there was availability for a scholarship with Southtown. Also I had a friend who went to Southtown and highly recommended it, and I’m so glad that she did!
What’re some of your favorite Southtown classes and why?
I like them all for different reasons. Any of Glenna’s classes I really like coming to because they’re alway so challenging and new in different ways and they’re all so different. You’re always exploring a different side of something. I also really love Erin’s Expanding class, I really love her attitude and teaching style, her approach to class. And then you can’t really get any better than Candace’s yogahour!
What is the area of greatest impact that yoga has had on your life?
When I was in college, I ran cross-country and track at SLU and I got an injury that put me out of running and most types of exercise for 10 months. Given that I kind of identified myself pretty solely as a runner, there was a lot of identity shifting during that time and I did rely on yoga to keep my body moving and my mind together. That really brought me through that time of such an identity shift, so I always come back to how [yoga has] shifted and changed how I think about how my body works, and also the decompressing nature of it in all things, when you just need to come back to yourself a little bit.
What do you like to do in your free time besides yoga?
Run. That’s still a part of my identity. I also like to cook for and eat with friends and family. I’m a dietician, so [I’m interested in] mostly food-centric things.