Emily Barro — science teacher, yoga enthusiast

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 true, spiritual nature?

the physical element is what originally drew me to yoga — I simply needed to work on myself

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?

yoga feeds my spirit and quiets my mind — the physical benefits to my body are a side effect

How long have you been practicing yoga?

seven years

How frequently do you practice yoga?

as often as my schedule permits — if I’m lucky: 3-5 days / week

Do you have a preferred yoga style?


When you were starting out, what came easiest and what was more challenging?

at first my mind would go nuts focusing on the outside world, comparing poses to other students and judging myself — over time, I learned how to use the breath to drop in and focus within, to discover the real magical part of the yoga practice: the moving meditation and the discovery of Self

What have been the greatest benefits of yoga for you?

better sleep, better attitude, more loving connection with others, more patience with my family, eliminated “stress” back pain, improved my self-confidence and appreciation for my own body — body image insecurities are gone! I exude a more loving and kind energy as I move throughout the world and my day

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

I practice about 20 minutes of seated meditation daily, and pranayama as part of my yoga practice

You have a lot of experience leading yoga classes of teens. What aspects of that are more challenging–or easier–than teaching adults?

aside from very tight hamstrings, teens are much less familiar with their bodies and very concerned with what others think — poses can be embarrassing or weird for them so some are less apt to fully try their best — they always giggle when first practicing cat / cow (just because they have to stick their booties up) — I organize their mats in a circle in the room so everyone’s booty faces a wall and not a pair of eyes — teens can also be “softies” when it comes to enduring uncomfortability (holding a chair pose or plank will have them collapsing on the floor in exasperation) — all these lessons are precisely what they need to work through — they are an incredible gift to work with

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

Ragdoll all the time — not uncommon to bust out a dancer’s pose or a reverse warrior in the kitchen or waiting in line in public

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

expenses paid and yoga: I’d go anywhere! Costa Rica would be fantastic though!

—interview © Marshal Zeringue