Monday, January 14, 2008

Q & A with Anna Dubrovsky

I met Anna in September 2006 at KYM, and liked her instantly. She is one of those warm, kind people you feel you can trust, and in fact you can! She is also a really inspiring woman; she has changed her life completely in the last few years - which is why I asked her to do this Q & A. Read on to find out more. Did I mention she is also funnnee? She is.

1. How long have you been practicing yoga, and how did you start?

I took my first yoga class in 2001. It was at a day spa in a New Jersey town I'd just moved to. The ladies in the class were a gorgeous, glowing lot, and most of them were considerably older than I was. I stuck with yoga because I figured it had something to do with their fabulousness. (It's also possible that chemical peels and tummy tucks had something to do with their fabulousness...)

2. How has yoga changed your life?

I wear Lycra instead of rayon to work.

In 2006 I quit my corporate journalism job and moved to India to study yoga. Pretty big change. I came back to the States seven months later and enrolled in a yoga teacher-training program. Now I'm teaching, and I make my living writing about yoga and other topics that interest me. I get paid to go to yoga conferences and gab with the world's most prominent teachers. I won't bore you with the details of my previous career. Suffice it to say that I worked in a cubicle and had five computer monitors on my desk. That change enough for ya?

3. You are currently training to teach yoga. Which teachers have you found most influential and why?

I graduated from my teacher-training program last month.*

I've had quite a few wonderful teachers because I've moved several times since starting yoga. My first steady teacher, Jo Carter, was deeply influential. Her enthusiasm and knowledge hooked me on the practice. She had an Iyengar background, and I left her studio in New Jersey with a great foundation. My next home was in Los Angeles, dubbed "the yoga capital of the West," and I had the opportunity to take regular classes from the sort of teachers who give workshops around the world. Erich Schiffmann was one of them. It was through him that I glimpsed the world of yoga that's beyond the physical. I dove into that world in India, at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, which is where I met you! My teachers there ranged from founder TKV Desikachar to my roommate and friend Ben. I soaked up so much information during my time there. I studied the Yoga Sutra. I learned Vedic chanting. It was truly transformative. Then I came back to the States, moved to Pittsburgh, and began my teacher training with Robert and Cindi Barton. They taught me how to teach. I know that's a lot of "most influential" nominees, but I've been shaped by a lot of hands.

4. What kind of a teacher would you like to be?

I want to be the kind of teacher who lives the teachings.

5. And lastly, tell us about your new blog...

In November I started a "diet blog" for Fitness magazine. I don't like calling it a diet blog because of what that suggests. I'm not chronicling my efforts to slim down or squeeze into an old pair of jeans or anything like that. I'm trying to change my eating habits because for many, many years I've done the reduced-cal, non-fat, lite thing. In the process, I've ingested so many unnatural ingredients that it's a wonder I haven't grown a sixth toe. I'm trying to purge my diet of highly processed foods. I have a lot to learn about healthful eating, and I'm hoping the readers will learn along with me -- and teach me.

Find Anna at her website and her blog - worth a visit for anyone who has ever cracked open a diet soda.

* Yay Anna - if you are in her area, you should try to get some teacher time with her. Trust me on this.


rand(om) bites said...

What a gem and thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! Thank you.

Everyday Yogini said...

What a fun interview! Thank you for sharing her blog... must go now and check it out!

olivia said...

I feel so lucky to have Anna as my teacher. She is the only yoga instructor who has had the patience to correct my posture, work with my hilarious inflexibility and teach me poses that are actually memorable enough for me to do them on my own.

I can now do half an hour of yoga positions that move fluidly from one to the other on my own... and for a beginner that is more than I ever dreamed of. Since doing yoga with Anna my lower back problems are virtually gone and I no longer need to go to the chiropractor. She's amazing!

nathan said...

When I first read Anna's blog the first thing that struck me was how she wasn't sort of "preachy" about how to lose weight or why you shouldn't be consuming this chemical or that, and that it was more like you were part of the experience.

Not being talked down to goes such a long way. :)