For those of you who love yoga, and for those of you who may not know anything about it, Skinny Ms. decided we’d like to break into the mind of an experienced yoga instructor and find out a little bit about what it takes to be a pro. Sometimes, to get started with a new class or physical and mental discipline it takes someone who knows what they’re talking about to get the motivation going. Will Glass has been teaching yoga classes at LifePower Yoga and recently got together with Luluemon Athletica’s Tristan Gandolfi, Jaqlyn Collier (The Madison Improvement Club), Max Cohen (Camelback Village Health Club), and DJ Joshua Quintero to host Shake Your Asana, a unique class called a Yoga Rave in Phoenix, Arizona.
Yoga raves offer a new alternative to conventional yoga classes that combine the fun of a dance party with traditional yoga. Watch this short video for more information on the Shake your Asana Yoga Rave:
We wanted to ask Will a few questions about Yoga, his dietary habits, healthy lifestyle and what motivates him and his participants. Read on for an exclusive interview with Will.
What type of yoga class do you normally teach? I primarily teach “hot vinyasa” but I call my class “hard core flow.” It’s a very strength oriented flow class with lots of emphasis on the mid-section. I try to hit most of the standard poses with a little time for yin stretches at the end.
What motivates you as an instructor? I think I actually “NEED” to be teaching. It is a total escape. No cell phones, no emails, no distractions. Just me, the students and some sweet tunes. I can only practice yoga so much, so this gives me even more “practice” with none of the strain on the body. It’s nice to have a packed class with both advanced practitioners as well as people I can help improve.
How did you get into yoga? I was exposed to it fairly early in life. I liked what it did for my body and mind. I didn’t get into it full blown until I found At One Yoga studio in Phoenix 3 years ago. They mixed upload hip hop and a fast paced flow class. It was amazing to see how these teachers made yoga loud, fun, sexy and cool all at the same time. I think since then I have done yoga 5-7 times a week. Still hooked. LOVE IT!
How do you motivate participants? It’s not really like I tell people to PUSH IT or YOU CAN DO IT. I make it their practice. If you can’t do it, rest, if it’s too easy, go further, if you want to do a different pose, it’s all good! It’s about creating space for them and not forcing them to do something. Participants are there because they want to be, so I make it fun!
What is your diet like? I am probably 90% raw vegan. I will eat cooked foods about 1 time a week. I like to have smoothies and salads primarily. I have gotten into making my dressings from scratch so I can monitor exactly what goes into my body. Nothing from a can or box.
Do you have any struggles in maintaining your healthy lifestyle? Not really. I have always been on this path. I just keep getting further along. I know most of our symptoms come from what we put in our bodies. I don’t want any of those symptoms. I like the life I get out of living foods along with the body my yoga practice helps me get. I am lean and flexible. Not too much strain on the skeleton, or any of my organs. I am trying to preserve my home and vehicle, my body.
Do you have any tips for those who struggle with weight, body issues or have never tried a group fitness class? I believe exercise is a reward for a healthy body. If you are severely overweight I don’t recommend trying to lose weight through exercise. You can’t out work a bad diet. The first step is getting your food selections right. The first step is cutting out soda. Soda has way too much sugar and is also a stimulant. It causes you reach for foods that will counteract its effects. It takes your body on a roller coaster of highs and lows. Once the soda is cut out then start looking at foods. Dairy is extremely bad on the human organism. It clogs us up. Milk is the perfect food, for a baby cow. We have been so brainwashed by the media to think we need all this protein. All the fat on your body is unprocessed protein. All the protein we ever need is in fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. I gotta go with nature. Anything man made in a factory or laboratory is not for me. Once the soda and dairy intake is down to a minimum then we cut out the red meat. I am not totally against meat, I just don’t think it contributes to optimal health. You get life from life, not dead cooked animals. The more you can wean yourself off of the SAD (Standard American Diet) and the more raw vegan diet you can adopt. the cleaner, leaner and more vibrant you will become.
Then you can adopt an exercise routine. Walking, jogging, biking are all good activities. I like going to parks with little fitness courses and playing around. That is all you really need. Nobody needs to bench 3 times their body weight. No one needs a huge chest. It’s nice to be able to rest the sides of your arms. Most of the totally buffed/ripped people taking tons of supplements and proteins are not necessarily “healthy” although they may have beautiful bodies. As we age its harder to maintain that physique and it eventually turns to flab. Why put all the stress on the heart for that?
As for group fitness classes, they are not for everyone. You can always youtube some yoga classes and see if it’s for you. Learn a few poses and get comfortable then try out a class. Start out at a gym and if you get really into it take it to a specialized yoga studio. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t do what some of the other people in class are doing, some of them have been at it 10+ years… it takes time! Nobody cares how good or bad you are, let the ego go!
Do you have anything you’d like to share with those who currently do not live a healthy lifestyle, but would like to? If you want to, ask yourself what is stopping you. A lot of it is social. Like what will my friends think if I don’t go to the movies and eat a tub of popcorn and go to a yoga class and have a smoothie instead?? Who cares?! Those are people who will bring you down. Find a new community and support group. That’s what is so cool about yoga. It’s like a religion we all can agree on.
Interested in trying a Yoga workout? Check out these SkinnyMs Yoga Workouts here. Let us know what challenges you experience with Yoga, whether you are a beginner or have an advanced yoga practice by leaving a comment below.