We’re super excited to be introducing our newest Ithaca teacher Ilana Berman. Meet Ilana in person at our Wednesday – 7:30pm Mighty Flow class. Without further adieu, here is a little about Ilana!
Mighty Yoga Teacher Q&A: Ilana Berman
How did you come to yoga? I was involved in dance and theater growing up and fell in love with that combination of movement and community. Being in an environment and job that was stressful and dis-empowering to me, I came to yoga hoping to reconnect with a strong healthy body and to sooth my monkey mind. Now, I’m grateful every day for the challenging time that lead me to find my bliss.
What do you like about Power Yoga? Power yoga gives me the opportunity to really connect with my ability to move between Will and Surrender; to open up to my personal power and to also trust myself enough to let go.
How has your yoga changed since the first time you practiced? I started off with a competitive mindset; I wanted to be “good” at the poses, which forced me to learn a lot of patience and embrace softness. Today, what I look for in my yoga is an opportunity to experience what it feels like to practice on my mat the way I’d like to be in the rest of my life; deeply self aware, compassionate and powerfully open. Now, when I feel that inclination to judge myself, I work on letting go of “should”s and holding loving space for the practice (life!) to take it’s own shape.
Why did you decide to teach yoga? I’ve always been an enthusiastic communicator, people pleaser, and somewhat of a performer. I love the safe and supportive environment that yoga creates, and teaching, for me, is a way to integrate that more deeply into my life. I learn best from teaching; witnessing others on their yoga journey enriches my life in a unique and wonderful way that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Any tips for someone new to yoga? Let it be play. A beginner’s mind is an incredible opportunity to see with fresh, curious eyes. When you let go of expectations amazing things can happen!
What is your favorite pose or poses? Why? I’ve always had a soft spot for Baddha Konasana. It reminds me of sitting on the floor during story time as a kid. In the forward fold version there is so much room for variations, exploratory movement and internal focus. In the restorative version, I relish the opportunity to surrender and let my heart melt open.
What do you like to do off the yoga mat? I’m a sucker for food, nature, movement and art… pretty much in that order. One of the reasons a I’m so in love with Ithaca is because of the amazing access to these things, in abundance. I get particular enjoyment from cooking and taking in beauty of all forms. I can also get un-reasonably excited when discussing philosophy, quantum physics, or human anatomy.
What fuels you? Peanut Butter and Burning Man.
What makes you Mighty? My mantra: I will not operate from a place of fear.