Q&A: Lois Barta


How long have you been teaching yoga?

Twelve years.

Why did you become a yoga teacher? Who and/or what are your biggest influences?lois-2

To help people heal themselves. The biggest influence has been my friend, Kathy Simonik. She has the biggest heart of anyone I know. Watching her interact with people is amazing. She always smiles, and always sees the good in things.

How has yoga helped you to be a better person?

It has helped me to be more compassionate and understanding of people.

What do you think constitutes an excellent yoga instructor?

A teacher who can listen and watch, along with guiding the students to do poses they never thought they could do.

What was your most challenging teaching experience?

I teach students to be non-competitive with others, to be the best they can be, to push themselves. I get frustrated when someone comes to class that has a BIG ego and decides to show off and distract others. I find that very challenging because on the one hand, you don’t want to bring down the energy of the room by saying something to the student in the middle of class, but that same student is bringing the energy down by showing off so it’s a tough call on what to do. If a student feels the need to show off, I would prefer they go to another class. What it actually does do is diminish the spirit of a struggling student who will get discouraged because they “will never do what that person is doing” due to their own physical /emotional limitations.

What do you recommend to the beginner student? To the seasoned student?

To the beginner: I want them to have patience. It truly is a journey and you have the rest of your life to do it. To the seasoned: Same thing; have patience, enjoy the journey.

What is the one pose you are most proud of getting into?

Side crow! Because it looks cool and I am just now learning how to do arm balances.

What is your favorite time of day to practice yoga?

No favorite time, though I am not too fond of the morning. My muscles are too stiff.

What is your favorite music to listen to while practicing yoga?

U2, of course!

What else do you want students to know about you?

I can relate to them. I know what it’s like to be new; I know what it’s like to be humbled every time you come to the mat.

Why do you love teaching at Pulsation Yoga?

The owners, Jim and Kathy!

Lois Barta teaches at the Pulsation Yoga studio in Lake Zurich. Check out the class schedule to attend her classes.