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Interview with Dawn Hinshaw about our newest workshop!

K: This is such an exciting workshop! I feel that so many people miss out on the importance

of using props in their practice. Why do you think learning how to use props in your yoga practice is so important? When we give ourselves a little support, our body can unfold gently into the pose therefore allowing the pose to help us get deeper into our body. More prop usage=less struggle. Props help practitioners of all levels practice yoga more effectively, efficiently and with ease.

Backbends/bows can be one of those things that are really scary for people to try for the first time. What are some of the biggest benefits of learning how to do these safely? It is natural to not want to do backbends. Backbends are counterintuitive to how we spend the majority of our days (sitting, walking, driving etc) we are a “forward functioning” society. Unless we can start to stretch and move our spine in the opposite direction, our bodies begin to fold forward as we get older, we develop a sense of rigidity in our bodies and our mind. Backbends can be scary because we don’t know what’s going on behind us, we can’t see where we’re going and we’re not sure how far back we can go. Backbends and bows help us stretch the front of the body, which stimulates the nervous system which then energizes us. I always like to say if backbends scare you, think of them as heart openers, the benefit being that we begin to open our heart, embrace vulnerability and offer up more love and compassion.

What would you tell someone who is new to yoga to expect from this workshop? Is this workshop for newbies or just for seasoned yogis? This workshop is for all levels. It is a great foundational practice, in that you will learn how to transition in and out of your postures while standing still and flowing through sequences.

What is the importance of trying new asanas/postures? Yoga asanas, through the practice of flow and balancers, will tone your muscles, help develop flexibility, improve your posture and spinal alignment. Trying new postures with props and alignment adjustments will allow you to take your body to a new place. The yoga practice is like taking aspirin for a headache, at first you only need one, over time your body craves/needs more. Implementing small physical challenges such as backbends and bows will allow better circulation of blood and oxygen for a healthier body, mind and soul.

What is the importance of trying these new asanas in a workshop like this with a live instructor leading them as opposed to just trying these poses on their own or while following a video or text tutorial? I truly believe that "hands on” assist help the body create muscle and cellular memory. Most of us learn by doing and watching (think of small children in swim lessons) once you look around and see that others are trying and experimenting with the poses, you feel a sense of comfort in the community. I always like to say that we practice as a group because it is better than being alone.

What is the biggest takeaway you want clients to leave with after this workshop? I want students to walk away confident that they can step into any yoga class, anywhere and benefit from the practice. I want students to feel comfortable using blocks and straps and feel how these props will continually help their flexibility and range of motion. I want students to walk away wanting MORE…..

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