Before we became yoga teachers, we were once and still are students of yoga.
Every week I am sharing some insight from some inspirational yoga teachers I meet over the years. I hope their stories will inspire and motivate you in your yoga practice.
This week I am highlighting ……. Malea Hooper
SFCY: Tell us a little bit about yourself:
Malea: I am a small-town gal with big dreams. I’ve always enjoyed helping others and being more sensitive and therapeutic people to talk to, to confide in. I think that spills over to my need to teach people. I found being a yoga teacher helps me reach the community in just the right way. I am married to my best friend and my biggest supporter, Nicholas Hooper. We have three beautiful children together, Allison(6), Abraham(4), and Avaleigh(1). They are my reason that I strive to help others. I aspire to travel and connect with others through workshops and retreats one day. Until then I will continue to connect with others through local classes and through my online platform, @malea_yogia.
SFCY: How did you get introduced to yoga and when did yoga get serious?
Malea: I was introduced through Instagram when I saw a local friend posting pictures of yoga postures. I read somewhere that a person who is interested in teaching yoga should be interested in one year. If after that you still strive to teach, then pursue. That is what I did. I host yoga challenges online and that is what truly got me serious on wanting to teach.
SFCY: Can you share the biggest challenges you face as a yoga teacher?
Malea: My biggest challenge would be intimidation. When students look on, especially the online students, and see you performing advanced asana, they believe they aren’t capable of yoga. When in reality yoga is more mental than physical. If the most advanced asana you practice is downward dog, so be it. How you feel about yourself and how you treat others is much more important than anything physical you can do.
SFCY: Where do you find your motivation to keep teaching?
Malea: My students. If one person can tell me that what I taught them mattered, that’s enough for me. That’s what it is all about.
SFCY: What was your most embarrassing moment teaching a yoga class?
Malea: Nothing much comes to mind. Possibly using wrong grammar or wording. But really, you have to learn to be yourself and not care too much if something goes wrong.
SFCY: How did yoga influence your life beyond teaching?
Malea: Yoga taught me to love me, always. I love myself through the good and bad, I love others more as well. I see the good in situations even when it seems only ugly. Yoga has taught me to see the light in the darkness, always.
SFCY: What does your typical day look like?
Malea: My typical day is started by clothing, feeding and running my little ones to school. I am not currently teaching in a studio because of how little my babies are. But when the opportunity arises I will gladly teach. I then do the house duties and catch up on my online duties. Each day in this household is different, but I am mainly focused on my children at the time. I am the calm within the storm.
SFCY: What is your favorite style to teach?
Malea: I am a Hatha yoga instructor and I truly believe this is the style I was meant to teach.
SFCY: What type of yoga classes do you offer?
Malea: Strictly Hatha Beginner Basics, but I, of course, would offer the more advanced asana if my students were ready.
SFCY: What are your future plans/goals/dreams for your yoga teaching business?
Malea: I look to having a studio in my own home town. Then from there possibly more studios in the surrounding cities. I would like to travel to teaching workshops and retreats.
SFCY: Any tips for passionate people who interested in becoming a yoga teacher?
Malea: Be patient and kind. With yourself and your students.
SFCY: How can people get in touch with you? Website? Social Media?
SFCY: Anything else you want to add?
Malea: 'Always remember who and what you want to be.
Don’t let anyone take that away."
Related Reading: Yoga Teacher Highlight: Tiesha
Well, that sums up this Week's Yogi Spotlight. If you want to be featured send an email to Info@Simplyfitandcurvyyoga.com Namaste!
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About the Author:
Kenya Marsh is the founder of SimplyFitandCurvyYoga (SFCY) and Author of several books including Your Yoga Journey: A Great Way to Start. As a wife, stay-at-home mom of two, and yoga teacher. Kenya knows how challenging and beneficial a steady yoga practice can be. She understands it can be hard to start a new yoga journey alone. She created this website, along with courses, books, and more materials to help provide support to busy yogis elevate their yoga practice.