Aurora completed her yoga certification in 2016 and has taught at The Yoga Room since 2018. An important part of Aurora’s life is music. Aurora was a public school orchestra director for several years, and now conducts the New Leaf Orchestra (A Learning Orchestra for Adults) in addition to teaching orchestra and private violin/viola lessons in schools and at home.
Aurora first tried yoga in 2001 and became a regular practitioner in 2004. She enjoyed yoga because it improved her flexibility, and also because of the calmness and clarity that resulted from her consistent practice.
When Aurora moved to Texas in 2008, she experienced a music-related neck and shoulder injury that would require her to stop practicing yoga for awhile. As she slowly built up her regular practice again, she gained a different outlook on her yoga practice and her yoga teaching.
Aurora explains, “I went through a lot of body work (mostly physical therapy, massage, and Feldenkrais) because of my shoulder injury, and the way I think about the body now is different and the way I think about movement is different. The way I teach yoga and the way I teach violin are influenced by that. I look more at the big picture and think about whether the body is ready for certain kinds of movement. What kind of preparation does the person need to do to be able to try a certain posture? If a student is driving a car all the time time and has developed hunching and tension in their back, I like to think about what kind of movement they to do to compensate for that.”
Aurora aims to help her yoga students build a safe practice including yoga knowledge they can use in their everyday life to feel more comfortable, mindful, and content. She explains her teaching philosophy:
“Everything I say in class is a suggestion. If you want to do something different, or if you want to skip something, or if you want a different suggestion, it’s totally fine. We don’t all have to do the same thing. I try to give options - try it like this, try it like that, see which one feels better for you. No one should come in and feel like they have to do a bunch of uncomfortable things. If they feel either physically uncomfortable or mentally not ready, they can lie on the floor to rest or feel free to do something different.”
In her personal practice, Aurora sometimes practices at home, and sometimes in classes. She works on flexibility and building strength, as well as cultivating mental calm so that she can manage the responsibilities of life without feeling overly stressed. She often does little bits of practice throughout the day. For example, on the days she teaches kids’ orchestra, Aurora tries to sneak in five minutes of yoga before her class to help her prepare her mind before receiving her energetic students.
When not teaching yoga or orchestra, Aurora enjoys spending time with her 3 cats and riding tandem bicycles with her boyfriend.