What brought you to yoga?
My more recent arrival at yoga was the physical activity, so Power Vinyasa and Sculpts to compliment the rest of my workouts. Yoga really got me out of my head so that all I could focus on was my physical body. It let me stop thinking for an hour while I focused on breathing and not dying in Sculpt classes. After a couple years of doing nothing but Sculpts and Power Vinyasas, I realized I liked the stuff at the beginning and the end of class so much better. Then I moved into Slow Flow and Yin. That’s the more recent iteration of my yoga life.
What do you see as a purpose of yoga?
Getting out of your head is my purpose of yoga. My brain is going all the time, worrying and wondering and planning and doing all the things that your brain is supposed to do. Yoga classes let me stop that for an hour, either by letting me focus on my breath in a Power class or giving me permission to really zone out and go to that happy place in a more mellow class.
How do you view the connection between the physical and the mind or mindfulness?
I think any kind of exercise can get you to that place where you’re only thinking about one thing. But yoga is somehow different. It lets you really tap in and focus on nothing but what you’re doing so that you’re really in your physical body and not in your head. Whereas other types of exercise can get you in “the zone” when you’re on the elliptical or whatever, there’s something special about yoga. Sometimes you can get there, and when you do, it’s magical.
What made you want to teach yoga?
I didn’t. I didn’t want to teach yoga. I wanted to be badass at Sculpt, so I went through the Sculpt Teacher Training and discovered that I sucked at teaching, so much so that now when Laura comes to my classes she says “oh! you’ve improved so much.” So yeah, I didn’t want to teach. I just wanted to learn more about it and get better at it. That’s why I did the training. Then I started teaching spin at a gym in town. I’d been teaching there for a week when their yoga instructor quit, and they asked me to jump in. I had only had the Sculpt training, and they wanted a yoga class for beginners. Teaching people of all ages with all different body types a relaxing, mellow yoga class. I gave it a try. I had been teaching there for about three or four months when the 200-hour training came up, and I was like “alright I guess I better get my 200- hour.”
How has your own teaching or practice changed over the last few years?
During the teacher training, I was still taking Power and Sculpt all the time and was like “this sucks!” As I said before, I was liking the stuff at the beginning and ending of practices way more than the stuff in the middle. And I stopped practicing. I bailed for a long time. Then I slowly came back and started taking Kristin’s Slow Flow and Yin classes. That’s all I practiced for about a year after training ended. I was still teaching Sculpt only, which is not the best idea because you can’t be creative in teaching if you aren’t actually taking classes. In the past six months or so, I’ve started getting back into taking Power and Sculpt. I’m trying to do a range.
What was it about Kristin’s style that inspired you?
I always felt like her class was a warm hug. It was just so yummy and warm and enveloping. She always played this one song during which I would think about a woman walking through a cave and finding all these people chanting. Her classes were meditative. And I want my classes to be that, so that you feel completely safe and warm. I just want people to feel yummy, like a treat or your favorite comfort food. Something like that.
What do you want students to take away from your classes?
I want students to feel comfortable to be themselves and to learn more about themselves and their bodies. I want people to feel supported in all of my classes. I like my slow classes to be yummy. For my ass-kicker classes, I want them to be do-able, appropriate for everybody. I like to think that basically everyone can walk into one of my hot classes and get something fun out of it. Everyone can work at their level and get what they need out of it.
How does yoga connect with your life off the mat?
It’s taught me how to let things go, that things don’t matter quite as much as they seem to in the moment. It’s taught me to take a breath and realize it doesn’t really matter in the scheme of things. Not a big deal. You can take a breath and reassess, especially when someone cuts me off in traffic or someone at work upsets me, or all those times I want to react like “Ah!” I can remember that in the scheme of things, this doesn’t matter.
When I started practicing, I was going to 6 a.m. Power Vinyasa every day before work. I noticed as soon as I did that, I was a happier person when I was at work. On days when I didn’t get to do that for whatever reason, I was not the same person. It made my day so much better knowing I had gotten up and done my thing. Everything was happy and good. I’m stuck to a desk for about eight or nine hours a day, so having a creative outlet where I’m doing something physical is wonderful. Even when I’ve had a crappy day at work, and I’m tired, and the last thing I want to do is teach. As soon as I’m in the room, I’m happy.
What’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had so far as a yoga teacher?
Just knowing people show up and feel safe or happy or energized. For whatever reason people show up, that’s the best thing ever. I’m facilitating this present for them. I love my 6 a.m. Sculpt crew that comes every Tuesday and Thursday. They’re the best, and they have such energy together. I love helping them all and facilitating that. We have a good time, and then new people come in, and they embrace them. It’s fun
What’s your favorite moment in every class you teach?
I like it when everyone is settled into savasana, and I specifically like it when people take non-traditional savasana poses like rolling over on their side or finding a position where they normally sleep. It makes me feel like everyone is settled in and comfortable. In contrast to that, a twitchy savasana is my least favorite part of class. At the end of Sculpt somedays everyone is down and holding still, and there’s other days when everyone is moving around and adjusting. I like a nice quiet savasana. When people are satisfied that they did all the work, they can hold still for five minutes. Sometimes at the end, I don’t want to bring people back. That’s the best when you can tell that everyone in the room is just dropped in.
If you were to make a yoga bloopers reel, what would be on it?
I fell on my ass once in ardha chandrasana, like completely fell backwards and made a loud whomp as I hit the floor. Every time I’m in half moon, I think about that now. I’m a hot mess, so there’s tons of bloopers. The other day I lost my balance transitioning from crescent to warrior two. It was a big ole wobble. The teacher saw me, and we had a little giggle. That stuff happens all the time. It’s not a big deal, and it happens to everybody. Don’t be afraid
Would you share a fun Lexi fact with us?
I have six cats. Reubin, Eddie, Bela, Chaz, the Beetlebug, and Joe. They’re all rescues or strays that my partner and I found. I’m so goofy about animals. I would love someday to have a little shelter for cats. We thought one of the cats had Leukemia, and so my dream was to have a shelter for Leukemia cats. A lot of Leukemia cats are put down because they can give it to other kitties. But in some cases, they can grow out of it and be perfectly fine. Hopefully someday, with millions of dollars, I can start a shelter.