Liz (Raven) has been practicing yoga for over 20 years and teaching for over 15. She received her teaching certification from Integral Yoga in 2003. Over the years Liz has been honing her skills through studies with numerous senior teachers around the US and internationally, with her greatest teachers being her own students.
What inspired you to become a yoga teacher?
I took my first class in 1995, and still remember the calm I felt when guided to imagine my thoughts like passing clouds. The practice gave me a renewed sense of hope and possibility that I could be comfortable in my own skin. Then in 2003, after about 6 years of regular study, I decided to sign up for teacher training to deepen my practice. I did this for myself, but ended up bursting with the desire to share the gift.
What inspires your teaching now?
In a word, Neuroscience, and more specifically the neuroscience of pain. Yoga has always been a refuge for my students and me. But increasingly I have become aware of how many folks (including MANY yoga teaching colleagues!) still show up to class with back pain or knee pain or any number of other chronic pains even with regular practice. Incorporating brain science education and techniques into the practice has been transformational for me, and I'm seeing the transformations in my students as well.
How would you describe your class?
The intersection of Neuroscience, Bio-mechanics, and Yoga - A slow-paced exploration of the bodymind, in which we use postures, breathing, and meditation to build strength, mobility, balance, and physical and emotional ease. Space is given for each individual to find their own right action, to bring awareness to one's habitual physical and thought patterns, with a focus on cultivating greater well being.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to dance to live music, preferably while camping under some redwood trees! I love to hike in the hills with my 25lb terrier mix pooch. And I spend many of my free hours shopping at farmer's markets and cooking delicious, seasonal foods.
What is something your yoga students may not know about you?
When we fold our hands and bow to one another at the end of class, I silently say "thank you for this gift" to acknowledge the blessing yoga has been on my life. Oh, and my favorite band growing up was Led Zeppelin, and I still like to rock out when the mood strikes!