Teacher Feature: Liz Crawford

If you haven’t already met Liz, join her Sunday mornings!

what brought you to yoga?

I attended my very first yoga class at a fitness center when I was 14. At the time, I was trying to stay in shape during the off-season for track and was intrigued by the fitness class that didn’t require shoes or lights.  I also secretly wanted to be a famous dancer at the time, but wasn’t having my luck with my dance classes. Yoga gave me a way to “dance” without so many rules and critiquing! My more consistent practice began at the age of 17 when my family embarked on a crazy journey of living between 2 new locations: Greensboro, North Carolina & Shanghai. I yoga-hopped around Shanghai and during some dwell time in NC, I met Cheryl Andres, my “yoga momma.” I was lost and confused between high school and college and Cheryl’s studio & teachings allowed me dive deeper into yoga.

what drew you to teach?

The desire to simply share the joy and peace I was beginning to discover with yoga is what initially sparked the teaching flame within me. I started teaching while I pursued my degree in Health Promotion! As life has ebbed and flowed since then, I’ve noticed I never go more than a month or two without a yoga class finding me to teach it (after work between cubicles, in a basement, or of course at a yoga studio!) I’ve commented that when I’m not teaching yoga it feels like I’m keeping a secret!

favorite posture?

Tadasana! You can do it all day, everyday…  standing in line at the grocery store, ½ mile long airport security line, while cooking, in the shower, oh and during yoga class   mmm, uphearted rootedness.

what are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of trusting and believing in myself. We’re all a never-ending work in progress. This “work” tends to flow easier when we listen to our gut. I’m proud of myself for hanging on, even by a thread at times to trusting the knowing within.

what do you love about breathing room?

OMG, the PEOPLE! (teachers and students!) I moved to Maine for graduate school all the way from North Carolina in May and did not know a soul.  I woke up my 3rd morning here, freezing cold in what Maine calls “spring,” and decided to send myself to a morning yoga class, somewhere. I didn’t care where, I just needed a hit of yoga ASAP. I googled yoga, clicked on Breathing Room, saw Lily’s 9:30class listed and the rest is history. I’m constantly overwhelmed with gratitude that I somehow found Breathing Room my first week here! It’s become my feeling of “home” in Maine. Thank you thank you.

what inspires you?

The resiliency of the human’s body, mind and spirit to heal, adapt, improvise, overcome not give up hope keeps me pretty inspired .

favorite playlist?

Whew. My yoga playlists can range from silence to Krishna Das, to Madonna & Common. Generally though, I enjoy mixture of Wah!, Jai Uttal, Loreena McKennitt, instrumental Moby,  Thievery Corporation, Deva Premal (Gayatri Mantra!) and Aphex Twins.

how do you fill your time outside of teaching/yoga?

I’m in graduate school full-time at UNE (Portland) for Occupational Therapy. It’s a pretty intense program that consumes the majority of my time and energy while not yoga-ing.  I also enjoy running, hiking, staying in touch with friends and family who live all over the country and pondering ways to combine yoga, occupational therapy and public health.

do you have a personal mantra?

Yes! When I first began meditation practice during my RYT200 program, we were advised to pick from a large list of some suggested mantras. I immediately chose Om Shanti (aka, peace), because to me… it seemed to be the cure-all for what ails ya. I have found it to be a very useful tool for facilitating stillness and of course peace within.