Teacher Tuesday Talk: Angela Centers

This Tuesday we sat down with our amazing teacher, Angela Centers, to get her take on yoga, teaching, and life.

When did you start teaching with Yoga 4 Change?

I started teaching with Yoga 4 Change in August 2014 at Hastings Comprehensive Mental Health Treatment Facility.   I love teaching there!

What inspired you to become a yoga teacher?

What yoga did for me is what inspired me to teach.  After 3 months of doing a physical yoga practice I felt lighter like a weight was lifted off my shoulders, clearer in my mind, more flexible, calm, & strength in a new way.  To be able to feel like a new person in such a short time was incredible!  I was sceptic at first, but wanted a change. I know there are others out there that may feel the same. To share something that has changed my life, with others and to see them have similar experiences is the best!

Why did you choose to teach with yoga 4 change?

I wanted change and I always felt I was meant for more, for something great.  Fear & an unhealthy lifestyle kept that suppressed in me.  I believe that everyone is meant for greatness, there’s just junk in the way.  Yoga 4 Change is allowing individuals who are at their lowest, to feel their bodies in a new way, to breath in a new way, to feel confident, clear headed, strong and at peace.  I teach with yoga 4 change because all it takes is one class to see & feel a difference, I got that chance and I want to show others that they can experience that too.

Share with us a funny, sad, interesting or memorable story about your teaching.

Oh man, this is a good question.  Every class is so different and always a great experience!
It’s so inspiring to me when the boys come in and feel all kinds of emotions, by the end they feel totally different, calm & relaxed.  I learn a lot from them, especially thinking on my feet!
The most memorable would have to be the first time I went there! Oh my goodness I was a bottle of nerves.  How would they respond to yoga?  How would they respond to me?  The list of scenarios could’ve gotten large and then I remembered, it’s not about me it’s about them & what they can get from yoga.  They came in with arms crossed and stood against the wall. I remembered how nervous I was the first time I took a class, so I could only imagine how they felt.  I asked them to choose a mat and sit down, none of them wanted to take theirs shoes off.   I shared about my yoga experience, what it’s done for my life and to share it with them in hopes they could get a similar experience.  At the end when they were in their final resting pose, it was a magical feeling to see the boys soften their hands & feet, and for a moment let their gaurs down and just breath. They knew nothing of yoga, did the practice & felt a sense of peace, in just an hour.

What is your favorite drink?

A glass of delicious H2O with lemon!

Can you name one thing yoga has helped you get through?

Yoga has & continues to help me get through the toughest of times!  Mostly to not give up when times get tough.

What’s your favorite yoga pose and why?

My favorite pose is waterfall/legs-up-the-wall/viparita karani.  I love this pose because I feel peaceful and clear headed, it helps me calm down.  There are many great health benefits & reliefs from this pose such as, anxiety, high/low blood pressure, insomnia, PMS, and more!  Go ahead, you know you want to do it now!

Cat or Cow?

Well owning a cat seems less expensive.. I eat more like a cow though… I love animals so much, so both!  Plus, cat & cow poses together feel delicious!

How can yoga help people change their lives?

Yoga helps because it gives individuals a space to be themselves, not the person they think they should be or the person they think others want them to be.  For me It’s a place to get real with, “I’m perfect just as I am”, “I can’t control everything”, “I am going to mess up & it will be ok”.   There’s no technology or distractions, just my mind, my body, my breath.  When I get on my mat & feel sad or happy or angry or whatever feeling, I am able to not get taken out or caught up in it, instead be calm and still with them, feel them and not react.  The more I get on my mat & practice that, the more I’m able to, Be That, off my mat.  I can be non-reactive in traffic, at work, at home, in line at the grocery, etc… It’s the kind of work that makes me a better person, as well as the people around me.   That & more is available to anyone that takes part in a daily yoga practice.  Imagine what’s possible if you were non-reactive, in each moment of your life… Imagine if a whole city practiced yoga daily…

Why should people support yoga 4 change??

I mean seriously, how many people out there are tense, anxious, stressed, etc… And want to feel something different, want change, or not feel trapped? How many people have hit rock bottom?  Imagine feeling at your lowest & being in a facility &/ have nothing…
We are giving this practice to people that may be at their lowest point, that have constantly reacted to what they feel and have suppressed, they may never get the chance to experience yoga and feel that there’s no way out.  They are able to release what they’ve been hiding or scared of, on their mat. They can be ok with feelings, thoughts, and their past by movement with breath, trusting their body and knowing they are good enough just as they are, right now.  They gain the courage to make a change and stand by it.  They get to experience, something else from what they’ve known and choose to take a different road.  If you want more happiness, less crime, more peace, less substance abuse, more support, less destruction in your community, support Yoga 4 Change and be apart of something big!  You matter!

Hi my name is Angela. I am a 200 hour RYT, on my way to being 500 hour RYT. Along with Yoga 4 Change, I teach at MBody Yoga where I did my teacher training. I have also completed Baron Baptiste’s Level 1 and Art of Assisting. I started a yoga practice in February 2013 and quickly fell in love. The happiness, confidence, awareness & connection it brought to my life was unlike anything I had yet to experience. To be able to teach & share that with people brings joy to my life. I know through this practice people will get what I and so many have gained, a chance to stop self sabotage, going down a path that’s not working and choose to create a healthier life. I look forward to continuing my growth as a teacher & person because in order to create change I’ve got to be it.