INTERVIEW WITH: BROOKE WILHELMSON
Can you tell us about your background?
I started practicing in early 2011, and soon after decided to follow my love of yoga as a career path. I began my teacher training in 2014 at the Vancouver School of Yoga, studying with some of my most favourite skilled teachers. There at VSY I completed my 200hr certification and continued on to receive my 500hr advanced teacher diploma. I have been teaching part time since October 2014 and full time since January 2015. I am extremely happy to of have found my home at Vayusha and have been so thrilled to be a part of the community there since May 2015.
What brought you to yoga?
Since my early teens I had struggled with knee issues and originally came to yoga for a low impact weight loss exercise. Yoga was the only physical exercise that didn’t cause more pain to my body. Little did I know that I would not only be able to rehabilitate my knee issues, but also discover the practice to be so much more for me than just exercise. I fell in love with yoga right away as I discovered that the asana (poses) and pranayama (breathwork) also helped me cope with stress in my daily life and diminish my struggles with depression and anxiety. In many ways yoga has helped me become a better version of myself.
Why did you decide to become a teacher?
I have always been extremely fascinated in the human body, its movements and natural abilities to heal/rehabilitate. I also have always known that I needed to teach and help people in some way too. Then one day it hit me during one of my yoga classes. Teaching yoga was a way that I could combine all of the things I wanted to do as a career in such a positive and rewarding way.
What do you love most about teaching?
I love that I get to share something I am passionate about as a job. For me, the best part is the moments I see amazement in a student’s face when they accomplish something they never thought they could. There is nothing better than helping people work towards a goal or through and injury and truly grow into who they are.
What is your favorite pose?
Eka Pada Rajakopatasana – One leg king pigeon pose. There are so many prep variations and stops along the way to reach the full pose. My favourite part is that I haven’t been able to reach the full variation as of yet and I love learning about my body each day working towards it. Plus there is nothing like a good backbend and hip opener at the same time!!
What should students expect from you?
Lots of alignment cues and a playful light heartedness. I believe that yoga is supposed to be safe, fun and enjoyable so I like to bring some of this to each of my classes.
What do you want your students to take away from your teachings?
I always hope that my students can take some tips or tools away from class and somehow integrate them into their yoga practice and maybe even daily life of the mat.
Proudest yoga moment?
The day I did my first headstand in my yoga teacher training. It was so empowering and revolutionary.
Most embarrassing yoga moment?
I had a student ask me a question in class about what the benefits were of a pose we were doing. For some reason I drew a blank and couldn’t explain. For me I know that I knew the answer otherwise we wouldn’t be doing the pose, but I just couldn’t come up with it on the spot. It caught me totally off guard that I didn’t have an answer for him at the time. I was completely embarrassed by my total brain fart, mostly because I knew that I did know the answer.
“How you do anything, is how you do everything” – T. Harv Ekers
One of my favourite teachers spoke about this in one of her classes and it truly resonated with me to live and breathe with full intention. It is now one of my daily mantras.
My students, they continue to amaze and inspire me every day.
What is your advice for new yoga students?
Whatever you do don’t beat yourself up mentally/emotionally as everything comes with practice. Never be afraid to try, you may not get it right away, but don’t stop trying. Know that any limitations are only a chance to learn more about yourself. We are all on our own journey and are right where we need to be