Have You Fallen Out of a Forward Fold?

Deven Sisler did—and it reminds us that that’s OK. It’s yoga PRACTICE, not yoga PERFECT.

Deven Sisler is a Hatha Vinyasa Yoga, AcroYoga and CircusYoga teacher, who is known for her joyful, playful approach to partnerships, collaboration, and her articulate teaching. As an outdoor enthusiast, she weaves her experience on and off the mat into creative, relaxing and inspiring classes. She offers a holistic approach to exploring biomechanics and the subtle body through movement.

Deven also knows how important it is to laugh at herself—and to keep practice light. We sat down with Deven to figure out just what that means.

Wanderlust: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Deven Sisler: A writer and a yoga teacher!

WL: What did your child self want to be when you grew up?

DS: A marine biologist!

WL: What is your favorite funny video?

WL: What is your personal theme song?

WL: What is your biggest fear?

DS: Falling in handstands and failing professionally.

WL: What is your favorite yoga pose?

DS: King Pigeon (Raja Kapotasana), either on the ground, on the beach or with a partner. I used to be so tight that this pose was miserable, but now it feels wonderful. It is my personal testament that daily practice changes things, just show up and move and let the breath do its work.

WL: What is your least favorite yoga?

DS: Splits pose (hanumanasana). I often forget everything about gratitude and acceptance and my frustrations rise up to face me.

WL: What has been your most embarrassing moment as yoga student?

DS: One day, I fell out of forward bend (uttanasana)—just fell. But I thought this was pretty funny so I laughed at myself.

WL:  What has been your most embarrassing moment as a yoga teacher?

DS: I used to make a living as a clown—yes, a professional clown. Not the full face one, but more of the Lucille Ball/Charlie Chaplin/Buster Keaton style. In that world, you highlight that which is embarrassing about the human experience and put it on display. You practice tripping and falling all for a laugh and the delight of the audience. I am not easily embarrassed because any of those moments highlight my vulnerability—my most human qualities—and they are usually an opportunity for us all to laugh.

WL: What do you love about what you do?

DS: Can I say everything? Is that a cop out? I love showing someone something and watching them believe that they can accomplish it. I love giving people the tools to do it and seeing the smile of success when they nail it. If the impossible can become possible in the course of five minutes on your yoga mat, what else can we transform in the rest of our lives?

WL: What challenges you about what you do?

DS: Asking for my worth as a teacher. Sometimes I feel guilty about making a living doing what I love. But if a colleague told me that same thing, I would tell them that the world needs more people who make a living doing what they love and I would advocate for them. I am working on telling myself this.

To bring Deven’s style of fun back into your yoga, practice with her and other luminaries at a Wanderlust event this season. We can’t wait to see you there.