Tiffany is a dedicated yoga teacher based in New York City. As a former rhythmic gymnast, Tiffany discovered yoga as a young college student after years of feeling disconnected from her body and quitting sports. She found yoga to be a transformative practice of self study and community that helped her map her inner landscape to live a more joyful and present life. Seeking to understand the inner workings of this practice, she went on to complete her first teacher training at Sky Ting Yoga in 2019 and eventually an advanced mentorship under Francesca Valarezo.
Hi, I am Tiffany and I’m a teacher at One Yoga house
Tiffany, what was your first yoga class like? Tell me about that experience.
So my first yoga class, it was definitely a bit of a nerve wracking experience. My first yoga class ever was actually a Bikram yoga, yoga class, a hot yoga class. And I thought the entire purpose was to get a good workout, get abs sweat. Definitely did all of those things except forget the abs part. I found that when I really kind of let go of any expectations that I had for the class or thinking about how I looked into pose, I was really able to move out of a state of like thinking and trying to become and perform and really just move into a state of stillness and observing with my own body and breath.
Tell me a little about your specific yoga journey and any hardships that you faced.
Definitely. So I feel like I’ve had a lot of ups and downs and waves and oscillations within my yoga journey. So I started out my yoga journey, you know, coming from a place of really wanting like a powerful practice, especially physically and really committing to hot yoga and a really disciplined ana practice. When I then did my first yoga teacher training, I really made a shift and kind of did a 180 and moved into a more restorative practice and found myself really wanting to just be in a place of almost not doing anything and really more receptive to myself and to my practice.
I think since then I’ve done a lot more trainings and find myself in more of a balanced place now, really kind of bringing a lot of synergy between a more powerful Asana practice in a more restorative, restorative one. And really love we weaving both components, both into my home practice as well as my classes.
The moment that I really started letting that go and moved into place of showing up exactly how I was, I realized that I created a much safer space for my students to do the same, which to me is really the entire point of this practice and the entire point of life is being able to show up as yourself and come back to yourself time and time again.
Anything specifically that you’re working on in your yoga practice, meaning not just physically, but just in life? Anything coming up for you that your yoga practice is helping you with or anything that it has helped you with?
Definitely. So something that has really been a point of challenge for me within my practice, but is also reflective of a lot of things in my journey of life and yoga has really supported I think is vulnerability. I think for me, I’ve always been someone who’s really struggled to show emotion, especially in a very public place. To me, it always felt like a point of like weakness that I didn’t want to show others. And I actually found myself coming up against this a lot within my yoga practice, and especially as a teacher teaching in a very public space. I felt like I had to be really performative at first or look a certain way or say certain things, but the more I found myself doing that, the more distance I found myself, not just between me and my students and my classes, but even between me and myself as a teacher.
The moment that I really started letting that go and moved into place of showing up exactly how I was, I realized that I created a much safer space for my students to do the same, which to me is really the entire point of this practice and the entire point of life is being able to show up as yourself and come back to yourself time and time again. And so to me, my practice on the mat is about doing just that. And the more I do that in my practices, in my and in my class, the more I can do that in my own life and in my own relationships and with my interactions with everybody that I come into contact with.
Anything else that you’d like to share?
Something that I think is really important to keep in mind about this practice is that the, is that everything is yoga. And that sounds really meta at first, but the entire practice of yoga and it’s, and it’s most kind of simplest form is just to connect the mind, breath and body. And you can do that anywhere at any time. It doesn’t have to be in a classroom or on a mat. It can be when you’re walking to the subway. It can be when you’re in a car ride. It can be when you’re eating your food. And so to me, how you want, how you do one thing is how you do everything. And the more we tap into our practices, the more we can tap into ourselves when we’re just living life every day.