Meet Leanne. One of the many loyal MLPC members turned yoga teachers. She joined the very first group of the Soul Aligned 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training with Alex back in April 2021. She joined the team this Late Fall Season with a Mindful Flow 1 class. Her style of teaching is so inviting and accessible to all levels. You can read more about Leanne, the student, in her pervious interview with us. Here’s more about your new yoga teacher…
Where in the world are you? Tell us more about yourself?
Leanne: Hi, my name is Leanne and I live in the Cayman Islands. Originally from Canada, I have called Cayman my home for 25 years. My husband and I have have two wonderful daughters and two cuddly pugs who regularly show up on the mat [Unfortunately, by the time this interview was conducted Leanne lost one of her lovely pugs. We’re so sorry for your loss Leanne].
How was the Soul Aligned 200 Hour YTT with Alex and what pushed you to become an instructor?
Leanne: I absolutely loved the YTT experience. Back in 2020 when I started practicing regularly with the MLPC I never thought I'd become a yoga teacher. The more I practiced and was exposed to everything beyond the just the postures (Asanas) I came to appreciate the huge impact it was all having on my life. When Alex announced she was offering YTT I signed up almost immediately. I never intended to actually teach, I was just interested in learning more and expanding my knowledge. And doing something that had nothing to do with my regular 9 to 5 life.
When did you start practicing yoga (before you started teaching) and how did yoga change your life?
Leanne: I have practiced off and on for the last 10 years but didn't develop a regular practice until I found the MLPC during lockdown in 2020. After just a few weeks, my back pain was gone and was I realized I was developing a whole tool kit of ways to handle stress and anxiety.
If you had to describe your teaching style, how would you?
Leanne: I hope people find it welcoming, accessible, relaxing and hopefully fun too! I've loved learning the basics of pranayama so I intend to open and close each of my classes with some breathwork. I am no expert yogi and want to show others that you don't have to be flexible or able to do handstands to develop a yoga practice that works for you.
What is the intention you try to instill in your students?
Leanne: Give it a try and if a pose doesn't work for you, let's try something else. When you show up for a class you are giving yourself an hour just for you. Use that hour however you want and if that means you try some of the flow and spend a lot of time in child's pose that's just fine! And of course, the famous MLPC line, if you fall you are still a good person.
What is your favorite posture? Your least favorite posture?
Leanne: I have a few favorites. For a standing posture, I love half moon and all of the warriors. For a seated posture I could do reclined butterfly for hours! I am not a fan of side plank and I think it's going to take a while for me to do both crow and wheel. Someday when my body is ready it will tell me!
What is your favorite Mat? And why?
Leanne: I have three mats that I use regularly. For my at home practice, I have a GAIAM cork mat and I then add a sticky GAIM mat overtop. I like the cushion of the cork mat, but find it a bit slippery. For the times I practice yoga at a studio here in Cayman, I have a thick Lululemon one that is great. And it has a custom carry strap that doubles as my now favourite yoga strap. I'm a big fan of straps to help me get into poses that are a bit tricky for me.
Set the scene for your perfect practice - paint us a picture!
Leanne: Some day, I will have my own yoga pavilion in the outdoors, set somewhere with a nice prevailing breeze. For now, my living room is pretty nice as I have the tropical view out of my windows and my snoring dogs nearby. My fellow YTT's love my snoring dogs!!
What’s the biggest myth about yoga instructors? Set the record straight!
Leanne: That we are experts and can do all of the poses. That is definitely not me. And I'm not chill and zen all of the time, although my regular practice has helped me be more chill more often than before! We are just regular people that want to share what we have learned. And especially with the MLPC we are people who want to introduce others to the amazing community Alex has created.
What will you be teaching next?
Leanne: I'm going to get through my initial 8 week (Finding your Balance) classes and then figure it out. I think I will always be a gentle flow kind of teacher, but who knows.
Any advice to newbies teachers/students? (And oldies?)
Leanne: Give it a go, don't worry about whether you think you are good enough to join a class. The nice thing about the MLPC is you can try it all out from the comfort of you home and even keep your camera off. It's all about what is good for you, not what others think of you. You don't have to have the latest outfit or fancy mat or yoga props. The most important thing to bring to the mat is time, the time you have carved out just for you.
Where do you see yoga in the next five years?
Leanne: I hope yoga continues to become even more accessible to everyone, regardless of background or age. It should always be welcoming and not intimidating. If I can help spread that vibe to my friends and family I will be happy.
Thank you Leanne for this amazing interview. We appreciate and love you! Thank you for being an integral part of the MLPC. Make sure you join the Free Mindful Flow 1 (Finding your Balance) with Leanne every Monday this season.
Thank you for stopping by! Leave a comment or question in the comments section below. See you soon.
Until next time, may you all be safe, happy, healthy, and free.