Astrid has been practicing yoga since 2002, with an emphasis on Vinyasa and Hatha Yoga and a strong influence from Ashtanga, Iyengar and Acro-Yoga. As a 200 Hour Vinyasa and 500 Hour RYT Hatha Yoga Instructor, she’s been teaching for a number of years to diverse groups of people emphasizing alignment of the poses, breathwork, a meditative flow and philosophical teachings. She’s deeply committed to social and environmental justice and has participated in the Off the Mat, Into the World Trainings which strive to combine yoga and activism. She’s co-organized many 108 Sun Salutation fundraising events over the years that have benefited individuals and organizations in the Ithaca area. She also a bit of a yogi artist as she’s discovered the beautiful imagery of yoga inspired yantras which she’s been drawing and teaching. She has a business called Vahana Yoga & Eco-Tours that encompasses these and other interests.
We asked Astrid:
Why do you practice yoga? I practice yoga to calm my mind, to keep my body strong and flexible, to challenge myself to learn new poses and ideas, to feel connected and strengthen my compassion for others, and to enjoy the company of others seeking to find a positive source of joy and meaning in life.
What fuels you? Good friends, good conversation, learning just about anything new, a good view, sunshine, figuring out a challenge that has a worthy cause, music with a good beat and beautiful melody, dancing, and banana milkshakes with honey and extra vanilla.
What can people expect in your Mighty classes? I like to teach a well-rounded flow of poses that focuses on all areas of the body, though I might highlight one type of pose for a specific class. I place great emphasis on keeping the focus of our attention on our breath and attention to our alignment. Usually I incorporate a theme into class that inspires us to think about an aspect of our lives that can give us meaning or that is thought provoking and challenges us to think in new ways about how we go about our lives off the mat. I offer beautiful music, calming and/or uplifting – and don’t be surprised if you hear a reggae beat.
Astrid’s favorite piece of wisdom:
I recently heard this one and thought it quite awesome: Whatever the moment, take the time to find the God in it.