Meet Andrea, Teacher of the Month!

Andrea TOTMThis November, we salute Andrea as our YBD Teacher of the Month! Andrea is young in her teaching career with Yoga by Degrees but has already made such an impact on our community. We are so inspired by Andrea’s passion for Yoga Sculpt and her drive to build confidence. She is a team-player–always eager to help out at every chance possible. Thank you, Andrea, for being consistently early, enthusiastic, energetic, and excited to be at Yoga by Degrees!

Sundays, 8:30am Sculpt Fusion in Downers Grove

Sundays, 10:15am Yoga Sculpt in Downers Grove

Mondays, 6pm Yoga Sculpt in Downers Grove

Wednesdays, 12pm Yoga Sculpt in Western Springs

Wednesdays, 7:15pm Yoga Sculpt in Western Springs

Thursdays, 6am Sculpt Fusion in Downers Grove

Fridays, 12pm Yoga Sculpt in Western Springs

Saturdays, 9am Yoga Sculpt in Wheaton

Get to know Andrea more:

When and how did you come to yoga?

I first came to yoga March 2nd 2014 (I looked it up in our computer system because I was curious of what the exact date was).  I started like many people do; I did the free week, bought the groupon, and then I was hooked and signed up for the unlimited membership. Yoga By Degrees was my very first experience with yoga.  I was so burnt out on my current exercise routine, I needed a break, and I needed a change.  Never in a million years would I have thought that yoga would be for me, but it turned out to be exactly what my body and soul needed.

Why did you start teaching yoga?

I started teaching yoga because I became addicted to the way I felt after a class.  That raw, blissful, anxiety-free “yoga high” is REAL and I wanted to make other people feel how I felt.

What is your favorite pose, and why?

My favorite pose is half-moon.  When I first began yoga I was that person that refused to use props.  I would twist and force myself into positions that my body really didn’t want to be in just to “get into a pose.” Funny thing was, forcing my hand to the floor or my arm around my back was doing the exact opposite of what I thought it was.  My alignment was all off, my postures were a disaster, but I thought they were great because “Wow! My foot is so high, or my hand is all the way to the ground!” It wasn’t until a teacher at YBD brought me a block in half-moon that I really felt the pose for the first time.  My chest was open, my hips were open; I needed that block, and still use a block in half-moon (and a variety of other poses) to this day.  Learning not to force my body into postures, and that it’s ok to be where I’m at has taken my yoga practice to a whole new level, and I learned that in half-moon.

Who inspires your teaching?

My mom inspires me daily, on and off my mat.  She is an amazing mother, woman and role model.  She is also the most supportive person in my entire life.  She has been there to celebrate with me at the highest of highest and also there to help me pick up the pieces at the lowest of lows.  I would not be where I am today without her continuous love and support.  And while she cannot take any of my classes (she has been in a wheelchair since she was 13) I dedicate almost every practice to her so she’s always there in my heart.

Tips for beginners…

My best recommendation for beginners is to try every class.  It was nearly 6 months until I tried a restorative class because “that just wasn’t for me.” Wow was I wrong! You really don’t know what’s going to resonate with your body and soul until you try it.  So use that free week to try as many styles as possible.  Also know that you are perfect exactly where you are.  Your downward dog might not look like your neighbor’s downward dog, but who cares!? A very wise YBD teacher once told me, “what happens when your heels touch the ground in that pose? Absolutely nothing.” That really resonated with me.  Made me realize that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, and that’s perfect.  My hope would be that every beginner could learn that a lot sooner than I did.

What is your favorite quote?

“Get your fire back, its not over until God says its over. Start believing again, start dreaming again, start pursuing what God puts in your heart.” I absolutely love that quote! You don’t need to be religious for that to resonate with you.  Its basically saying, you may be down, but you’re not out.  As long as your heart is beating and there is air in your lungs, you are still in this!  Get out there and be the “you” you’ve always dreamed about being.  It’s never too late!

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