Get to know the fresh faces on the Wanderlust TV platform, like Denise Hopkins, an extraordinary teacher who has been named a Guardian Teacher in the Forrest Yoga tradition. Find her classes on Wanderlust TV here.
When was the first time you tried the practice?
The first time I practiced was a month after 911 occurred in NYC. A friend recruited me to check out a teacher at Sal Anthony’s Movement Salon (a pilates, gyrotonic studio with a smattering of yoga classes). This was before the days of countless studios opening all over the city. At the time, I did not have the skills to process the devastation of the tragedy and was in the midst of mending a broken heart and feeling dispassionate about my career in fashion. From the first class, I was hooked. The poses were foreign but yet familiar to my body. It was like I had practiced them before. It felt right and natural. Before long, I became a regular to many of the stellar teachers at that studio and eventually followed my heart and left my fashion job for a life of teaching yoga.
What changes have you noticed in yourself since you began a steady practice?
What is the intention you carry as you share these sessions online with Wanderlust TV? What essence are you hoping is transmitted through the practice that goes beyond just watching someone on a screen?
My intention is to truly hold space for who ever shows up on the other end. We are navigating a whole new level of stress- juggling work, home schooling, jobs, and strained conversations with family. At this point in our long pandemic journey, “screen fatigue” is a real thing. People deserve a moment to unplug and feel like they are coming home to themselves. My hope is to cue poses in a clear and direct way so students can take a step back, get into their bodies and relax into the space that is being held for them. Through this, my wish is that they find skills for moving through fear, uncertainty and see clearly the behavior patterns that need to change.
Denise (E-RYT500) is a Forrest Yoga Guardian teacher and certified Yoga Tune Up® teacher and has taught since 2005. She is based in New York City and more recently the Hudson Valley. She has taught at New York University and teaches annually at Omega Institute. Denise travels nationally to teach Forrest Yoga workshops, teacher trainings and hands-on assisting.
She is known for her clear and direct teaching style and is passionate about working with students with specific injuries, both physical and emotional. She encourages students to become more empowered so they can heal themselves. Through yoga, Denise worked to shed old belief patterns that kept her a “small people pleaser”.