MEET AHNU'S INSPIRATIONAL YOGA AMBASSADORS

Each month we feature an ambassador who inspires us, their students, and the community.

 

Stephanie Birch, Ahnu Yoga Ambassador

Stephanie was hooked from her very first class and loved to sweat. As a longtime athlete, yoga was the perfect dose of physical exertion she longed for going into adult-hood. It wasn’t until after having her son that she began to understand yoga as a way of life. It became her breath on and off the mat, her connection to the universe and continues to teach her to live in the present. She took a step into the unknown and completed her first yoga teacher training at Yoga Shala in Sacramento, CA. Through this training of self-discovery is where she found herself and her calling; she wanted to teach and give back through yoga. Everyday is a practice. A practice to love, a practice to be kind, a practice to be human.

What inspired you to become a yoga teacher?
I had been practicing yoga for nearly five years when I first started cultivating thoughts into becoming a teacher. It was after having my son that my yoga practice began to light this flame of the journey. As a new mom, I was facing serious bouts of depression. My time spent on the mat was a way for me to connect with myself; to trust the journey as a new parent and accept that I am human in every moment. A light bulb went off one day when my teacher asked, “when are you going to start teaching?” This question prompted me to dive deeper into why I wanted to teach. It was through this practice I began to work through my dark times and understand that healing is an everyday practice. I have found that understanding my darkness paves the path for the light. It was a community of teachers and the yoga teachings that inspired me to want to provide a safe space and guided breath into the human experience.

What are your future goals?
Being whole; accepting the darkness as much as the light.

What food could you eat every day and never get bored of?
I love peanut-butter-banana sandwiches and dark chocolate.

What’s on your “studio playlist” right now?
Nicholas Jaar, Massive Attack, Jeff Buckley, Stateless, Chet Faker, Phaeleh, Flume. Breath is my favorite tune.

What advice would you give to someone just beginning to practice yoga?
It’s okay to be nervous. If you’re joining a class at a studio, tell the teacher that you’re new and welcome the modifications to postures. Child’s pose is your friend.