This is interview thirteen of my traveling yoga teacher interview series.
Each month, I will post a new interview of a traveling yoga teacher I meet along my travels.
If you know someone who you think would be a great fit to this series, send me an Email!
I would LOVE to hear from you!
This month features:
You are a therapist, how do you bring your yoga teachings into your sessions and classes?
I have learned that I don’t have to be either/or. When I’m in a therapy session with a client, I bring my yoga teaching skills by noticing their body holding patterns: where are they holding tension? When do I sense a release when they’re talking? The body sometimes speaks more clearly than our words ever can. When I’m teaching yoga, I use my skills as a therapist to be emotionally attuned to my yoga students. I think most students who take my class can feel that I am also holding space to release emotional tension, and I make that a point to mention in my classes.
How does this make you a better therapist/yoga teacher?
As I developed my skills as a yoga teacher I became a better therapist, and vice versa. My biggest lesson thus far has been to slow down and allow silence.
Tell me more about working with students who have experienced trauma. What made you want to work in this field?
Working in the mental health field, I quickly noticed how much trauma people have experienced that later leads to emotional issues such as depression and anxiety. I chose to do this work because once I learned that, there was no ignoring that. When I use the word “trauma”, I’m not referring to some huge disaster; it can be unmet needs, or any situation where a person perceives that their outer world is unsafe. Once I saw how much this affects people and their ability to be happy, I tried to learn as much as I could about it. My clients have taught me how resilient the human spirit is even in the face of trauma.
How do you find your yoga jobs?
Working as a mental health therapist, I’ve had coworkers refer their clients for private yoga sessions with me. I also get a lot of clientele from Facebook.
You have SO MANY affirmations on your blog! How do positive affirmations help you grow and succeed? Why do you use them in your teachings?
Words are SO powerful and hold so much energy. I’m a huge fan of Louise Haye, and even have some of her affirmations taped on my mirror which has helped me so much with confidence and self love. I use affirmations in my teachings because I believe what we think and say out loud sends out a message about the life we want to create for ourselves. I believe it is so necessary to be intentional about the words we choose to exude, so that we are also being intentional about the life we create.
Current favorite yoga pose?
Oh my goodness camel. Camel, camel, camel. I don’t think I’ve ever taught a class where I don’t somehow put camel in there. It represents vulnerability and opening up to me, and I just love how it feels after you’re done.
What meditation or mantra are you currently living by?
“Everything is as it should be”
What does your dream yoga career look like?
I’m working on it now! My dream career is a private practice where I incorporate yoga, meditation, and therapy with my clients full time. In my dream career, I’m travelling and doing retreat workshops on wellness and healing through trauma, facilitating community groups for women to empower and uplift each other (particularly women of color), and am writing books and doing wellness consultations.
Is there anything else you want to share with the Xanadu Yoga community?
I want to share to anyone that’s reading (and to remind myself) that we’re all here just trying to figure it out. And I don’t think that anyone really does; I think we’re here to experience the richness and diversity of the process. Basically, nobody’s got their shit together, and every moment is another chance to work towards owning our shit and being the best we can be!
If anyone is looking to balance their shit (something I have to do often), I just wrote a book using the chakras to break down positive affirmations, yoga poses, journaling prompts, and self care activities for balancing out our energy called:
Chelle is originally from Schenectady, NY. She works with clients on how to heal holistically using yoga, getting in touch with the soul of who they are with meditation and breathwork, and their mind/emotional health with talk therapy. To flow with Chelle, check out her Namaslay Sunday class at Yoga Bliss on the Blvd. every Sunday at 12pm! To learn more about holistic healing and workshops with Chelle Marie Wellness, you can do that HERE.
*Feature photo by Mel eMedia