Rebecca W. Wheeler — author, counselor, yoga teacher

Mind, body, spirit — did one element or another first draw you to yoga? That is, were you seeking to settle your mind? Have greater physical flexibility? Explore your spiritual nature?

improve flexibility and concentration

How about now: does yoga feed your mind or your body or your spirit more, or are those elements more in balance than when you started?

a balance of both — I’ve been practicing for more than 20 years so it’s hard to stay where one stops and the other begins!

How long have you been practicing yoga, and how frequently do you practice now?

for over 20 years — what I attempt to practice on a daily basis are the Yamas and Niyamas, for instance, Aparigraha (non-attachment), Ahimsa (non-harming)

How long did you practice yoga before you started teaching it?

about 8 years

Do you have a preferred yoga style?

I prefer Hatha and Iyengar

When you first took up yoga, what came easiest and what was more challenging?

the strength postures

From your experience sharing yoga with children, can you generalize about what comes easiest for young people and what is more challenging?

what comes easily: not taking themselves too seriously! and being non-judgmental about their bodies

what is most challenging: body awareness in terms of what is happening on the inside (breath, muscle activation)

What have been the greatest benefits of yoga for you?

physically: less joint pain

mentally: improved concentration & body awareness

Apart from yoga, do you practice other techniques of mindfulness or meditation?

yes, many — my particular favorite is a guided meditation I used with the loving-kindness mantra

Outside of a yoga session, do you ever just strike a pose and stretch? If so, which pose(s) and where?

I have a preschooler, and he loves to strike a yoga pose either in my office or on the bathroom floor, and I’ll get right there with him!

You have a choice: lead a yoga class (1) outdoors on a beautiful day, overlooking the ocean, or (2) in a well-designed, very comfortable minimalist indoor space. Which do you pick?

outside requirements: low humidity and no biting insects

inside: dimly lit room, and if I can call up a rainshower, even better!

If I gave you an expenses-paid yoga retreat, where would you go?

at a lodge with big windows and a fireplace, where you can see the snow outside

—interview © Marshal Zeringue