Meet Your Yoga Teacher, Marcia
Meet Marcia! She’s one of your wonderful Runa Yoga teachers who encourages options and individuality in her classes. You can catch Marcia teaching everything from Vinyasa flows, yoga for runners, and Yin.
Q: How did you first discover yoga?
A: Groupon. I loved all the options with yoga. You can have heat, sculpt with weights, barre, yin, and so much more. When I first moved to Duluth in 2018 I went to the yurt classes (Yoga In The Yurt) with Michelle (Michelle Cartier, Runa Yoga co-owner). I thought it was amazing! We got to talking afterward and she realized I was a teacher, so I got in [with Runa]. Also at the time, I was working a corporate job and thought yoga would take a back seat, but that didn’t happen. Luckily Michelle talked me into that.
Q: Why do you like yoga? Why have you stuck with it?
A: I’ve had a lot of great experiences with yoga. I enjoy connecting with other people, that’s the big thing. I’ve made a lot of friends through yoga. Also, being calmer. Taking a step back, a breath, going inward, and listening to your body.
Q: How have your yoga practices changed over time?
A: At first, I was the person who couldn’t miss a twist. I have a good memory and knew all the flows and poses. Now I like to make it creative and more of my own. For example, incorporating twisting came to me in the shower one night. I like to mix it up, unlike structured yoga.
Q: What messages do you hope students get from your classes?
A: That yoga is a good time. I try to make it playful and not too serious. As a teacher, I give plenty of suggestions, but you know your body. Maybe you’re like ‘hey, I just need Child's Pose.’ Go for it if that’s what your body needs, and be okay with that. It’s your practice. Every yogi is different, so hopefully they found what they needed.
Q: What advice would you give to someone aspiring to start practicing yoga?
A: Don’t be scared! Yoga is all about non judgement. Nobody is looking at you and thinking you need to do something different. It’s about discovering your body and how it changes day to day. One day I can do Pigeon Pose and the next it’s tight. There’s no competition or judgement.
Q: How has the COVID-19 Pandemic impacted yoga for you?
A: I enjoy connecting with other people, and online has been a savior. I was stuck at home at first [during the pandemic] and losing my mind. Yes, online yoga sounds weird, but I needed to talk to people. Just doing a DVD or having a subscription doesn’t work for me.
As a teacher, technology is the first thing. Make sure WiFi is working, the camera can see you, and your room is quiet. I have a huge DVD collection in the background and have to make sure my pants don’t blend in to the rug on my screen. It’s not going to be perfect, but people don’t really care.
Q: How would someone change their judgments about yoga?
A: Getting people to try it. It’s not about standing on your head, and anyone can actually do it [yoga]. It doesn’t take anything, really, but breaths. There’s extreme versions on Instagram, but yeah, I’ve never seen that in real life. You don’t have to do the most extreme thing, and sometimes your body just won’t do that. My arms are just not long enough for King Pigeon. You’re working with your instrument and it does what it does.
Q: What do you think the future of yoga will look like?
A: I think online will stick around. I’m anxious to be back in a studio with as many people as we can have, and be able to assist with hands on yoga. In 10 years, I think there’ll be more fusion-type classes. There’s always that evolution.
You can sign up for Marcia's classes here.
Photos courtesy Marcia Rienhardt.