I’ve been teaching yoga for about a year now. I finished Kathy’s teacher training in 2013.
Why did you become a yoga teacher? Who and/or what are your biggest influences?
I struggled with major anxiety for years and after overcoming it through yoga, I wanted to help others—especially teens that struggle with it—find techniques to overcome it as well. Kathy and Jim are my biggest influences, as they are amazing teachers and have always pushed me to do more. I can’t thank them enough for that!
How has yoga helped you to be a better person?
Yoga has given me a lot more patience and understanding. I’ve become a much calmer person.
What is your personal mission statement as a yoga teacher?
To find a happy medium within ourselves.
What do you think constitutes an excellent yoga instructor?
An excellent yoga instructor is one who goes above and beyond to help their students both on and off the mat.
What was your most challenging teaching experience?
The most challenging experience I had was the first day I taught. I had no idea what to say to the students—a small group of teenagers. My mind went blank and I couldn’t get the words out. I kind of just stared. I think I scared them.
What do you recommend to the beginner student? To the seasoned student?
For beginners, I recommend they start off with the most basic class and don’t be afraid to try a pose that they think they can’t do. If we let our fears stop us from trying something new, we’ll never progress. Seasoned students should always try to challenge themselves. They’ve overcome the frightening basics, so why not try an arm balance or inversion?
How do you take your yoga off the mat?
I’m much more aware off the mat; I feel grounded in everyday situations.
What is the one pose you are most proud of getting into?
Headstand. Being able to get into and hold it by myself without the wall was such a liberating experience, and opened me up to trying other poses I didn’t think I was capable of doing! Next up: Scorpion.
What is your favorite time of day to practice yoga?
Nighttime. I’m a night owl and the world is so peaceful and quiet. It helps me focus more.
Where is the best place you have ever practiced yoga?
Yoga on the beach in Door County. Being in my favorite place and practicing yoga was amazing and so relaxing!
What is your favorite music to listen to while practicing yoga?
I have an album off iTunes that is literally called “Relaxation,” and it has the sounds of rain, the ocean, and thunderstorms. It makes me so relaxed and clears my head. It also makes me want to take a nap.
What else do you want students to know about you?
I’m very goofy. I love writing and reading—especially about yoga! I love watching comedy shows and I’m studying at Second City Chicago! I always like to have a good laugh during my classes. It’s good to finish class with a smile on your face.
Why do you love teaching at Pulsation Yoga?
Pulsation Yoga has become a second home for me. I’m so comfortable and happy here and I want everyone to feel this way, too!
Maggie Rountree teaches at the Pulsation Yoga studio in Lake Zurich and works the front desk in Arlington Heights. Check out the class schedule to attend her teen yoga class.