Meet Vibe’s newest Hot Fusion instructor, Vic Roe! As an IU student and former football player, Vic turns to yoga for relaxation as much as for a physical challenge. A fan of Honey Flow, crowded coffee shops, and hip hop, he also stresses that yoga is, in fact, fun! Vic’s yoga journey began at a studio in his hometown of Carmel, Indiana. Since then, his people-centered nature has fostered his desire to help others on their paths towards a greater sense of wellbeing. In addition to majoring in Psychology and Sociology, he’s currently taking our 200-hour teacher training. Vic shared with us in the following interview his experience with the practice over the years, as well as his developing yoga philosophy.
What brought you to yoga?
Originally, my mom. I did yoga along with football during high school. Then, I just continued with yoga because I found it to be a good way to get physical activity during college. I liked that it was a way to exercise where you listen to your body instead of force yourself to do things. With football, I’d always been in that other aspect of pushing through things, but then yoga was like “No, listen!”
Does your background as an athlete inform your yoga practice?
Yes! I originally came to yoga because of injury. After tearing my ACL, I couldn’t sit on my heels until two years ago. The yoga practice helped me get there. Coming to yoga also made me realize that I should have focused on core engagement much sooner. Yoga takes out the competitive part but maintains the challenge. And I didn’t know how to slow down in physical activity before yoga. It took a lot of yoga to help me physically embody that. I understand now why we let our muscles settle in savasana.
What inspired you to teach yoga?
I feel like I get a strong sense of wellbeing from yoga, and I want to pass that on via teaching so that others can experience the benefits. As a major in Psychology and Sociology, I enjoy studying people. I’m a people person. Yoga is about connecting with yourself, but as a teacher you get to connect with others too. Having listened to coaching in a physical setting for years, I’m acutely attuned to listening to yoga teachers and recognizing when they’re watching me because of a cue they’ll give. I think, “Wow, they’re good!” That’s a connection I want to foster.
Where did your yoga teacher training begin, and where is it headed?
I began by taking the Hot Fusion teacher training here at Vibe, and I started teaching Fusion in May. Now I’m doing the 200-hour slow-track teacher training at Vibe. In the future, I’d like to lead a version of Vibe’s Hot Hip Hop yoga class geared towards athletes.
How has teacher training impacted your yoga practice? What’s the most exciting thing you’ve learned thus far?
I would say that teaching isn’t as scary as it seemed at the onset. I was nervous at the beginning, but once I started actually teaching, it was more comfortable than it seemed at first. It’s a new experience speaking to a group that isn’t speaking back. You have to be confident but also know when to stay quiet and leave space. In terms of what I’ve learned, I didn’t realize how much sequencing and structure goes into a class until I saw it from a teaching lens. I couldn’t do yoga at home prior to teacher training, but now that I have a sequence or an idea of something that I can do, I’m better at moving through a practice on my own.
How does your practice relate to your everyday life?
I structure my days around when I can go to yoga. That leads to a lot of hydration, especially if I know I’m going to a hot or ninety-minute class. Vibe is normally the place I come when I’m starting my evening. It helps me have something to go do after classes or work.
What would you say to people new to yoga, those who may be a little nervous or even skeptical?
Don’t compare how any posture looks in your body versus someone else’s. Stay away from self-judgment. I’d encourage them to allow themselves to find ease and relaxation not only in poses meant for that, but also in the harder poses. For the skeptical, I’d challenge them to come and see if it is just stretching. You might be surprised by how you feel after, but you can’t know until you give it a shot.
Do you have a favorite mantra or focus?
Yes, self-compassion and compassion in general. I think at least from my own experience, I can be critical of myself sometimes. Yoga allowed me to see that when I am compassionate with myself, I can find more improvements. Opening up to the actual experience allows me to see it with more fullness, rather than being critical of one aspect.
What do you want people to take away from your classes?
I hope students will leave class in a calmer, more relaxed state. Or more energized, if that’s what they need. More centered in their day.
Ready for a sweaty, strengthening, and music-themed practice? Flow through your weekend with Vic’s Hot Fusion classes:
Fridays at 5:30-6:30
Saturdays at 4:30-5:30
Sundays at 5:30-6:30