Tonya joined the Little Lotus Team and recently responded to a few questions for us so that you can get to know her better!
Tell us how you fell in love with yoga?
I started practicing Ashtanga and Bikram Yoga over 15 years ago. I fell in love with the physical intensity of the postures and the mental focus and stillness they required. I stopped practicing for 10 years and then rediscovered yoga when I became a fitness instructor 4 years ago. It has allowed me to stay active and strong while nurturing some injuries from higher impact classes and has been the perfect space to reconnect with myself when life gets too crazy. It truly grounds me.
What can someone expect when they join your yoga class?
I like my classes to be accessible to everyone and I want everyone to feel comfortable to bring their own practice to a class. Our abilities are so unique, and I hope people find their individual strength and peace within my class. I play with more challenging sequences, with options, to build strength and power in the body at the beginning of a class and transition to yin style stretches and stillness towards the end. I think it is important for us to find strength in our body to help us power through the roller coaster ride of parenthood, but also to slow down and recalibrate; remind our bodies and minds to be present and in the moment.
What sort of things do you love to do outside of yoga?
Life with 3 kids is busy, but I make the time to find a balance. I love to cook, take long walks on my own or with a friend. I am a big fan of almost any type of music, dance, and I am a news junkie.
Did you find that the way your yoga practice changed at all after having a child?
Most definitely. Yoga has been a lot more restorative for me since having children. I really do cherish my mat time when I get it. As my body has changed a lot since having children, yoga has allowed me to build my strength from the inside out. I have gained a lot of inner confidence through exploring my postures. So although my clothing size has gone up, I can do a headstand, which I had never accomplished before having kids!
What is one thing that people may not know about you?
I moved 27 times before finally settling in Ottawa 11 years ago!
I have had a range of pregnancy and birthing experiences! Emergency C-section, VBAC, planned c-section, births with a midwife, births with an OB-Gyn, a few miscarriages, fertility treatment. Life is full of surprises!
Want to take a class with Tonya? Check out our schedule here.