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A blog post by Mary Moscarello. To read all of Mary’s blog posts, click here.

Photo credit: Mary Moscarello. Banner image by Joseph Greve on Unsplash

In my zest for teaching yoga when I first started, I jumped at every chance to teach. I got caught up in the idea of getting good at teaching and thought I was helping myself. Not so. I taught so often in those first few months that I didn’t leave time for my own practice. This was a mistake. Thankfully, t didn’t take long for me to realize that this method of honing my teaching skills was not sustainable. I had to slow down abruptly and reassess.

It seems I had forgotten the wisdom behind the idea that an empty cup cannot quench thirst. It is so important to take time to fill your own cup so you can pour out to others.

All forms of caring for others (for an elderly person, for an ill spouse, for a friend in need) DEMAND putting others first – putting off one’s own needs – which is super draining. Care givers do not always act out of love, the love develops as the act of caring continues. It is as if you care for the person because you have to and in so doing, you develop more love for them.

The advice to “refill your own cup” goes beyond the yoga mat and beyond the yoga studio. It most obviously applies to parenting. Newborn babies have needs that must be met, whether the parent is hungry, tired, frustrated or just plain worn out. The common understanding is that dedicated parents respond to their baby’s cries out of love. But the love comes second. The parent simply must respond in the moment no matter what else is going on and as the parent/child bond grows, the love grows too.

In a new Netflix series called “Babies” – one learns about how levels of the so-called “love hormone” oxytocin increase in pregnant mothers. But what was news to me is that these hormones also increase in involved fathers who play with, bathe, hold, change and cuddle their newborns. While females have the advantage of anatomy and the ability to host lift, it isn’t the act of gestation and giving birth that causes the oxytocin increase alone – since the boost in the hormone is seen in males who do none of that part of procreating. The dad’s hormone boost comes from interacting with his child – and there the love grows even at four months postpartum.

But the love cannot be nurtured without refiling or refueling the caregiver – so must the yoga teacher have her or his own practice to refill and refuel.

The term “self-care” has become pretty worn out (enough to need its own self-care) – yet I submit that it is extremely valuable to care for yourself SO THAT you can care for others. If it is true that in the act of caring for others, we build stronger bonds of love for those others, why not develop stronger bonds of love yourself as you treat yourself well?

Refill your cup so that you may first drink and then pour out to others.

Jennifer Miranda

Jenn took her very first yoga class in 2012 while searching for a fitness
routine that would improve her strength and flexibility. After that first class,
she got hooked. Yoga changed her life not only because of the physical
benefits of doing yoga but she also discovered that yoga has greatly improved
her mental focus and self-awareness. Because of this, she decided to share
her practice with others. Jenn completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training
in April 2017 and is a registered yoga instructor (RYT-200) with the Yoga
Alliance.

Jenn’s ultimate goal as a yoga teacher is to lead students towards a deeper
level of physical fitness and healthy lifestyle along with mental peace. She
loves to help beginners feel comfortable in their practice and learn essential
postures while motivating and challenging the more experienced yogis and
ensuring a safe practice for everyone. Maintaining her own personal practice
while learning and gaining inspiration from other yogis enables her to design
innovative, energetic, and fun sequences that are fit for all levels.

Jenn is also a professional portrait photographer and her love of both yoga
and photography paved the way for Yoga Photography. The skills she has
acquired over the years allow her to best capture yogis demonstrating beauty,
strength, and grace through movement.

Carrie DelP

Carrie has had a consistent, daily, at-home yoga and meditation practice for many years and was finally inspired to take her love of yoga to the next level and embark on teacher training in 2022. She enjoys teaching a more powerful yoga flow with a strong focus on breathing. Carrie firmly believes that a little self-love goes a long way, and she feels extremely grateful to be able to share her practice with people.

Camille Alonso

Camille is a Holistic Health Coach, 235RYT (235 hour Registered Yoga Teacher),
Mindfulness Meditation Teacher, and former Pastry Chef. She received her 200RYT at Indigo Yoga in 2018 and studied meditation at Kripalu in 2019. She then earned her Integrate Nutrition Health Coach Certification at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

She is also a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America with a Bachelors in Baking Pastry Arts and Business Administration. Camille began her yoga and meditation practice in 2009 when she was dealing with chronic panic attacks. She found that through mindfulness practices she could feel like herself again. She is now inspired to guide clients through a relaxing and peaceful practice and leave them with tools to help manage stress and anxiety.

Theresa Conlon

Theresa is a Yoga Alliance certified instructor (200-hour RYT) who has been teaching since 2013. She is skilled in various yoga styles including Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow, Restorative, and Meditation. Theresa also brings an extensive dance background to her yoga practice, which includes teaching both modern dance and ballet. She has over 40 years of dance/theater performing experience and currently showcases her choreography as part of Bergen Dance Makers, a dance collective in northern New Jersey. Theresa’s yoga classes offer a calming mix of traditional asana postures and creative movement flows, supported by energy-moving breath. Students of all skill levels are invited to find ease and peace in their bodies/minds/spirits through the joyful bliss of yoga movement.

Carrie Parker Gastelu

Carrie Parker Gastelu, E-500 RYT, has been teaching yoga since 1993. Carrie began her journey when Yogi Raj Mani Finger initiated Carrie into the ISHTA Yoga lineage after training with Mani’s son, Yogi Raj Alan Finger. In addition, she has studied many other yoga traditions as well as anatomy, physiology, movement, and awareness practices to create an eclectic style all her own. She is known for her honest, non-dogmatic yet passionate approach.

Carrie is a regular speaker and contributor at conferences, websites, and print publications and has been featured in Fit Magazine, the Yoga Zone Book, and in the Yoga Zone Video, “Flexibility and Stress Release.”

Lisa Podesta-Coombs

When Lisa found yoga in 2008, she started to find herself again and it set her on a path of health and healing. She received her 200HR RYT certification from Raji Thron of Yoga Synthesis, and her 30HR Chakra Yoga Teacher Training certificate with Anodea Judith and holds a Y12SR (Yoga of 12 Step Recovery) certification. She is also a Holistic Health Coach (certified through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition). Lisa believes we’re all on a journey of learning how to trust ourselves; she helps her clients build that trust by supporting them in creating better habits for a better life through various functional movement modalities like yoga, barre, Pilates & strength training, mindset, and whole food nutrition.

Forever a student with a passion for people, holistic health, and self-actualization, Lisa is always embracing opportunities to advance her education to better serve; Ayurveda workshops & immersions have been of particular interest as she continues to deepen her knowledge of and experience with food as medicine and she recently completed Unleash Her Power Within, a transformational program of rediscovering our truest selves, powered by Tony Robbins.  

As she continues to give herself space and grace to nourish her natural self and actualize her potential, Lisa continues to share the gift of movement as medicine to inspire authenticity & health in body, mind, and spirit. You can expect mindful, accessible, dynamic, playful, and uplifting classes from Lisa.

Tanisha Sutton

Tanisha’s yoga journey began when she was an undergraduate student studying at university. Changes in her health coupled with anxiety over grades, relationships, and life in general, forced her to search for healthy lifestyle choices she could implement to help manage the stress that she was experiencing as a new adult. A friend of hers suggested that she attend some community yoga classes to help with the anxiety and increase her daily physical activity. Initially, she was reluctant and filled with all these false ideas about yoga and the people who practiced yoga. Like many others, she was concerned that her body type and lack of flexibility automatically excluded her from being a student. Curiously yet hesitantly, she journeyed on to her first class and began laying the foundation for a home and public practice that has supported her over the years.

On this journey, she has discovered that yoga has nothing to do with appearances nor is there anything, but an open mind needed to begin. She intends to provide you with a gentle yoga session that is safe, inclusive, and accessible. Her classes are an expression of self-love and are a deliberate choice to tend to ALL the parts of our being that are neglected, ignored, or disregarded during the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Through meditation, deep breathing, and gentle movement we will collectively share space to observe, rest and re-set. Tanisha is honored to share her practice with you and looks forward to seeing you on the mat!