Yogahour, Alignment & Sweat: Katie’s Journey
In November 2015 I was in a crowded room and I could taste my sweat. It was dripping off my hair as I moved from side plank pose to plank. My arms trembled as I held my leg against my inner thigh like tree. Teagan tiptoed expertly around the congested mats. I was absorbing her cues for each pose as much as I could while simultaneously working my butt off. She was offering so many things to think about – turning my arms out, pushing my inner thighs back, stretching out through the top of my skull – and it was overwhelming and exhilarating. We moved quickly from pose to pose and yet I was able to fully and precisely experience each shape and work my very hardest. This was yoga that appealed to both my perfectionism and my desire for an athletic challenge. “This is so freaking hard,” I thought. “I love it.”
The next week I went to an alignment-based class at a gym outside of the city. It had many of the elements that made yogahour feel great: a focus on strong shapes and breakdowns of each pose. However, the pacing was completely different. The teacher spent about five minutes demonstrating downward facing dog while we were standing around on our mats. I missed the sweat. I missed the pacing that is the pulse of yogahour. I realized that precise and expert cuing is not the same as perfectionism and I knew I was meant to be a yogahour teacher.
I went home from that second class and signed up for Maha’s 200 Hour Yogahour Teacher Training. It was transformative for me in sparking an enduring passion to continue learning and deepening my knowledge of the physical practice of yoga. I enjoyed it so much I told people I would do it again if I had the money.
The very next year, I was called on my bluff. Teagan invited me to assist with the next Yogahour Teacher Training at Maha. I am thankful that I accepted this new challenge, which gave me a fresh perspective on how well the curriculum prepares students to teach expertly, and the opportunity to appreciate how my own knowledge was evolving by using the yogahour methodology. It has inspired me to continue my yoga education in the future.
I have been teaching yogahour classes at Maha since 2016 and I love how the structure of yogahour allows me to teach creative classes while still providing a consistent experience with expert alignment cues for students. The style allows me to balance strength and stretch in a way that feels just right for me. The variety of the poses keeps my mind engaged and my body challenged.
Some days, when I am teaching, I see my students sweating and I think, “Maybe I should slow it down and make it easier.” But then I remember back to that first class with Teagan and how I was sweating into my smile: yogahour is precisely the challenge I crave for my active lifestyle. I hope you agree. See you on the mat!
This article was provided by Katie Pizziketti. Join Katie for practice on Sundays at 12:30pm.
Yoga is a treasured part of Katie’s fitness lifestyle. She uses it to build strength, flexibility, and body awareness which complement her interests in running, weight training, and interval exercise. Katie is using yoga to improve her range of motion and wellbeing in ways which were missing from her other exercise routines.
Katie developed an appreciation for accessibility – creating things that can be used by people of any ability level – after several years of working with adults living with serious mental illnesses and other limitations. Her belief is that almost anything can be achieved with the right attitude (and modifications). She loves helping people find their own doable pose that is just the right amount of difficult. Her high-energy classes focus on becoming stronger and stretchier with a smile!
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