Carolyn Boucher — yoga Instructor, sound healer

Mind, body, spirit — yoga is a holistic experience for many. But did one element or another first draw you to the practice? That is, were you seeking to settle your mind? Have greater physical flexibility? Explore your true, spiritual nature?

I initially came to yoga through the theatre (there’s a fascinating history here!) — the focus for me at first was on body and breath, relaxation — fun fact: the first time I tried a long meditation practice in my yoga teacher training I don’t think I had ever sat still that long — I ran around and made lots of noise immediately after

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?

definitely a balanced mix of all three — mind, body, and spirit — my practice has helped my relationship with myself in a holistic sense

How long have you been practicing yoga?

since 2009 — so just about 14 years now

How frequently do you practice now?

daily, although my practice doesn’t look the same each day

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

five years

Do you have a preferred yoga style?

when I first started, I preferred Vinyasa and Ashtanga — I now welcome a mix of styles and am currently exploring Kundalini

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

I’ve always been a bit naturally flexible, so a lot of the postures came easily for me — focus on settling my mind and the breath work came a bit later

From your experience as a teacher, can you generalize about what comes easiest for beginners and what is more challenging?

I hesitate to generalize or assume what any of my students’ experiences might be, whether they are beginners or seasoned practitioners — we are all different and dynamic people

What have been the greatest benefits of yoga for you?

yoga has benefitted me in so many ways — less pain and anxiety — more joy and peace

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

yes! — I love walking meditations, creative movement, butoh dance, body-scan meditations, forest bathing, and embodiment practices

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

I love to do tree pose when I’m waiting in a particularly long line

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?

ooo tough choice — outdoors overlooking the ocean! — I find nature incredibly beautiful and healing

—interview © Marshal Zeringue