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Trainer Spotlight: Hannah

What inspires you to teach fitness or yoga and how did you get started?

It was during the recovery from my first knee surgery that I was introduced to yoga and Pilates. I used these practices to strengthen myself physically and spiritually/emotionally. I stuck to a personal practice, as I often found that classes at yoga studios left me feeling negatively towards my body because I had physical limitations that were not appropriately addressed by most teachers. This, among other things, has inspired me to teach. I am passionate about creating a space for people to have positive experiences in their bodies. As a teacher, I am mindful of the language I use and the options I provide, in hopes that my students can enjoy their bodies and not struggle against them.

Favorite classes to teach/specialty:

Presently, I most enjoy teaching vinyasa/flow yoga classes. The music, the breath work, the movement of challenging sequencing, the arm balancing- there’s a lot to experience as a student! As a teacher, it is deeply rewarding to hold space for my students as they challenge themselves to try new things or old things in new ways.

Favorite exercise or pose:

Side plank/ Vasisthasana

Favorite healthy snack:

Berries…ras, blue, straw.. you name it.

Favorite cheat food:

Chicken and waffles.

Favorite fitness product:

Grouting sponge. Huh? Yes! This is something I learned from my Pilates master, Zayna Gold. You place the sponge underneath your low back while doing supine abdominal work. It provides an encouraging cushion to release your low back without straining. This helps support you in accessing your lower abdominal muscles, as oppose to engaging your low back.

What are your interests and passions when not teaching fitness/yoga?

Biking everywhere, running, salsa dancing, and baking pies.

What are your hopes for your class participants?

I want them to learn to speak kindly to their bodies. That’s the first step. When we learn to adjust our mentality towards ourselves first, this can then extend into a kinder mentality towards the world around us.

What is unique or special about teaching in a workplace environment?

Being able to bring yoga to those who might not seek it otherwise AND they’re people who sit in desks all day and deserve a good spinal twist!

Do you think fitness or yoga can change someone’s life for the better? Have you witnessed it?

Absolutely! For so many reasons, yoga and Pilates can drastically alter someone’s experience of themselves, and thus their life. Forgetting about the more obvious physical benefits of strength and flexibility, the breath work is so deeply life changing and life affirming! Learning to understand how breath influences your body and mind is a game changer. You can learn to calm your emotional state through slowing the breath down, you can heat your system up through rapid fire breathing, or cool it down with long open mouth exhales. I have witnessed these tools completely alter my student’s emotional wellbeing, not to mention, my own.

Do you think fitness or yoga can help foster community and communication in an organization? Have you witnessed it?

Yoga enables people to have a deeper understanding of themselves. When we move from a place of understanding of ourselves, we can gain a better understanding of our environment, and things like communication become clearer and often kinder. More logistically, if people are sharing space in a work environment and then take time to share that space differently by practicing yoga or doing some other form of group activity, then their understanding of one another broadens. It can allow for a more respectful relationship among employees. I have seen this at some of the offices I have taught at. The employees gradually gain more comfort in sharing space with each other in new ways.

For more information about Hannah visit http://hannahadams.fit/