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Why Anjali Teacher Leader Training: Katie Marie Powell

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Why Anjali Teacher Leader Training: Katie Marie Powell

Katie Marie is a certified yoga teacher, an Aquarius who LOVES savasana, laughing until her belly hurts with family and friends, and vacationing anywhere with sunshine. She is a 2015 graduate of Anjali Power Yoga’s Teacher Training program. 


Q: When did you start practicing yoga and why?

A: I started practicing yoga one year ago. I am always looking for something new and usually open to try almost anything when it comes to fitness. It was Yoga's turn! I wanted to try this because I had lost almost all flexibility. I was a gymnast for 11 years and my body made shapes I could not even get back if I tried and this was hard to grasp. I wanted to not only try something new but gain my body and my mind.  


Q: What is your favorite pose and why?

A: My favorite pose is savasana. It sounds funny at first but it's the truth! I think it is amazing that this is a necessity in every single class. It is something to always look forward to (although that's not being fully present). I like that you can push your limits and then get the well deserved 5 minute complete relaxation to conclude. It's a feeling of relief and accomplishment. 


Q: Why did you sign up for Anjali Power Yoga’s Teacher Training program and did you want to teach when you signed up?

A: Every New Years my resolution is to become a better person, or be a better me. I signed up for Anjali Teacher Training for that reason. It fit perfect with my winter schedule and felt so right. After signing up about two weeks before the first training weekend, I met with Cheryl to go over everything. Once we got to talking, she couldn't believe I had never even practiced at Anjali once! I trusted that this was the place to be... and it is. 


Q: What inspired you to become a yoga teacher? If you never planned to be a teacher, what during the training inspired you to be a teacher?

A: I was inspired to become a yoga teacher by someone (now a fellow co-worker) who taught with so much passion and good energy. I remember thinking during one of her packed classes "I want this. I want to make an impact on people's lives. I could do this." When I told her I was thinking about signing up for teacher training and explained I was a little nervous because of how inexperienced I was, she told me that even if that class was my very first yoga class I had ever taken, she would still tell me to do the training (which she did a few years back). That was all I needed to know. 


Q: What do you find rewarding about being a yoga teacher?

A: I find the connection to my students one of the most rewarding parts of being a yoga teacher. I love every "namaste" at the end of class because we are honoring ourselves and each other. I am happy for myself that I lead a group of people, but I am also happy for my students that they brought themselves and put in the work. My goal is to become the best yoga teacher I can be and make a positive impact on people's lives. 


Q: What advice would you give to people interested in the Anjali Power Yoga Teacher Training program?

A: Advice I would give to anyone with even the slightest interest in teacher training is DO IT! "Even if you've only practiced yoga once I would still tell you to go through with it." :) Yoga is for every body. Be an open book and learn all that you can about yourselves and each other. 


Q: What do you like about teaching at Anjali Power Yoga and the Anjali community?

A: Teaching at Anjali doesn't feel like a typical job. It is fun, inviting and warm (literally). In a lot of my classes I urge the students to smile, play around, try something new... and they do. The community is amazing and genuine. Seeing almost all of my friends from teacher training warms my heart and I always seem to have the best practices when they are teaching. Good vibes, man! 


Students can take Katie Marie’s classes every Monday and Wednesdays at 4pm in the Westmont Studio. Have you been thinking about signing up for Anjali’s Yoga Teacher Training? We are having a complimentary question and answer session on Tuesday, November 10 from 8:30-9:30pm. Come by and find out more and meet the Empowerment Team. Light refreshments will be served. 

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Find You

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Find You

Written by Kelly Hennigan

Yoga. What does it mean to me? We get asked that question a lot in class and it’s interesting to answer it each time it’s asked (to yourself, of course). Because, to be honest, most days it means something a little different. 


I’ve written on my own blog about what yoga has meant to me, both personally as a student and professionally as a photographer. Its effects are unpredictable, but vast and impactful. And if I’m going to stick with being honest, the practice of yoga can sometimes lead to some personal confusion. I guess it’s what all those teachers mean when they say you’re “doing the work.” 


Regardless of your reasons, you come to yoga for something. You’re searching. Be it for physical change, a spiritual lift or a mental check. You come for something. And like most of us, you get in there, you get stretched out and you sweat. And eventually you start to listen. And listening is good. Because when we’re looking for something, we often want someone to tell us what it is, how to get it and how to behave in order to get it. Enter the yoga teacher. The studio owner. The teacher trainee. Somebody to tell me what I need and how to get it. “I’ll listen to them. They must know. They’re a yoga teacher.”


So you listen. Intently. And here’s where things can get confusing. If you’re like me, you practice with lots of different teachers and you like to visit other studios. Keeps it interesting. Expands your horizons (as they say). And what you’ll find is teachers saying a lot of similar things. But you’ll also find different things. And each one can have you nodding in agreement. Perhaps one contradicts another in the physical manifestation of yoga or, maybe even in the spiritual. So the seeker of wisdom in you cannot figure out which end is up. So you’re listening turns to questioning. Who’s the wiser teacher? Who seems to know better? Who should I follow?


Confusion. Having been through some of this, I’ve come to realize that the whole point is to find your journey, your truths and the screaming or the quiet that is YOU. You cannot look to someone else to take you there. But that’s one of the other great gifts of yoga. It has taught me that I am both the seeker and the finder. It cannot come from anywhere or anyone else. The confidence and strength I’ve gained over these last 5 years of practice have come from inside me. I’m just grateful there are so many amazing guides along the way. To help me look closer at me and not just at them. So a big thanks to all of you teachers, owners and students for pointing me back to me. Because then I get to share it back with you.



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There's no place like home...


There's no place like home...

Anjali Power Yoga had the pleasure of hosting Africa Yoga Project teachers Jacob and Dennis on their Handstands, Hugs and Highways 2015 tour.  They taught eight sweaty, joyous, silly, powerful classes at the Westmont, Philly and Avalon studios.   The teens at Urban Promise in Camden had a blast, rocking out backbends  and even learning  Swahili!   Funds were raised, t-shirts and Maasai jewelry were bought and every person left the studio, smiling, light hearted and dripping with sweat and love.  A  donation of almost $4,000 was donated to Africa Yoga Project!!

On the social side, in Westmont, we had a barbecue at Lisa’s house and lots of teachers and their kids visited with different American style dishes, hamburgers, hot dogs and Philly pretzels included.  It was fun speaking to Jacob and Dennis and learning of their culture and yoga stories.  While in Avalon, we had fun doing relaxing things like hanging at the beach (handstands were involved!),  visiting with students and swimming in their pool, hanging on my deck with yogi friends and being treated to two firework displays.   We decided that the fireworks were a celebration of AYP’s visit to Anjali!  Of course, we also tasted lots of new foods!   We decided that Dennis had some Irish in his background because he loved Anthony’s mushy peas and Jacob loved the mint chocolate chip ice cream.   New discoveries in America!   

I had told Jacob and Dennis that before they left, I would take them on a tour of Philadelphia on the way to the train at 30th Street Station.  They were so interested in the history of our city and they knew a lot of the places they wanted to see.  I told them the last stop on our tour would be the Rocky statue and we could run the Art Museum steps just like Rocky did.  To my surprise……Dennis had never seen Rocky. (I thought Jacob might not have!)   I thought the movie would be a perfect introduction to our city, so in our down time, we stayed up late and watched Rocky and Rocky 2.   I hadn’t seen the movie in so long and now that I live in Philly, it was fun seeing the movie again….a perfect blend of a guy movie, chick flick and a tour of the city that I call home.  

I have been blessed with the ability to travel quite a lot.   On my last trip abroad, visiting the many sites and historic places of London and the Bordeaux region, I was struck with the thought…”there’s no place like home.”   Everyday on my way to work,  I drive past Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.   Everyday I drive by the many museums, historic spots, Philly murals, and statues.   I can get a cheese steak 24 hours a day!   

When I took Jacob and Dennis on an hour whirlwind tour, I was surprised that I really knew where so many fun, historic things were in our City of Brother Love.   We started our tour from the shore, crossing into the city via the Walt Whitman Bridge.   The skyline of the city, the Delaware River and the Stadiums are easily visible and are awe-inspiring.   YO!  Of course I’m a Philly sports fan so I think the stadiums are amazing!  Unfortunately there was no “real” Football Stadium to point out to them.   Driving up Broad Street, through South Philly and stopping to take yoga pictures in front of City Hall with Billy Penn in the background are not to be forgotten, iconic moments for them.   Along the drive, I explained all the history and culture that I could remember!  A circle around the brownstones of Spruce Street in tree lined Rittenhouse and down South Street to The Magic Garden.   Again…fun pictures and awe of the art work and creativity of something I see everyday!   Handstands and warrior pose pictures added to their memories!  

As we drove fast around the Oval, past the Franklin Institute  and up JFK Parkway, Dennis was trying to find the Kenyan flag!   To our surprise, just past the Barnes and the Rodin is the Kenyan flag.   Luckily, I’m a good driver and can stop quickly, as Dennis hopped out of the car for a pic!    Finally, the piece de resistance…….The Art Museum!   First stop the Rocky statue!    I think the Rocky statue is a symbol for Philadelphians…Anything is possible if you are a yes!   Rocky fought his way and won…love, hard work  and a strong commitment put him at the top!   Not without a little controversy and some not so good things along the way.   Rocky let go of what was behind him and triumphed!  Now to the hard part…..running those steps!   Both Jacob and Dennis ran, and as they disappeared beyond the lens of my video…I smiled, laughed and cried.    Yes…cried!   I knew in a few minutes I would be saying good by and this was such a happy moment!   I actually felt the sweat they they were experiencing!   As you watch the video, know that I turned it off before the best part.   Dennis jumping up and down, pumping his fists, yelling “I love America!”.    Then the hugs!   There’s still no place like home!

Cheryl Cucinotta Hargaden