8 Limbs is pleased to publish Teacher Profiles to help you to know and learn from the amazing group of 8 Limbs Yoga Teachers. This month we profile Biola (pronounced Bee-ah-la), who teaches at 8 Limbs West Seattle on Tuesdays at noon, Wednesdays at 4:00pm, and Thursdays at 6:30am.

Teacher Name: Biola Akanni

Practicing Yoga Since: 2008

Tell us about the first yoga class you took: The first class I took was a Bikram yoga class. I remember sweating my life out and feeling so incredibly exhilarated afterwards. When I got into my car I knew I was hooked!

Teaching Yoga Since: 2015

What do you remember of the first yoga class you taught: The first class I taught I had a horrible anxiety attack. I stammered over my words, didn’t know what to do with my hands, demo’d the entire sequence and forgot a good chunk of what I originally laid out.

Who/what are your teachers? Why? I have yet to practice with, or under, any world-renowned teachers. That’s not very important to me. Most of my main influences have been from well-known local practitioners including Terilyn Wyre, Adrienne Kimberley, and Tim Sullivan. What I enjoy about their teaching styles are that they’re creative and authentic to who they are. It’s not so “by the book” which I find boring. I enjoy experiencing how teachers interpret the meaning of yoga. I’ve done some of my best shadow work or self-examination from uniquely and intelligently sequenced classes from teachers who think outside the box.

Currently inspired by: Expression! I’m all about expression and liberty right now.

Tell us about a time in your life that yoga really supported/helped you: When I was recovering from drug abuse. I had extremely low self-esteem and yoga not only reacquainted me with discipline, it guided me through a process of self awareness which developed self love.

What is your current yoga practice include/involve and why? Is there a practice you do daily? If so, explain why. Like most students, my yoga practice has changed since starting several years ago. I find myself practicing the physical asanas less and engaging in a yogic lifestyle off of my mat more. I do believe in Christ and have never found conflict within my yoga practice and that belief. To the contrary I identify as a Bhakti yogi and view my practice as an extension of praise. I don’t practice too many rituals aside from using my thoughts to create my perfect reality with the understanding that I am the authority of my life. Instead of stagnant traditions I prefer to exercise intentionality in all of my efforts in order to manifest what I want and measure my spiritual maturity. Although if I discern that it is the season to commit to a specific practice and/or ritual for my ascension I will flow that way. I will always keep step with the spirit within me.

Hobbies/interests: Dancing gives me life and I do it often! I’m also a stylist and writer and am obsessed with antiquing and storytelling.

What book(s) are you currently reading/did you recently read? The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles. Despite the title, this book is about transitioning from a lack to an abundance mindset with the understanding that creation is constantly looking for full expression. With that being said even if there were a shortage of something, creation would naturally resource more of what it needs. As living souls having a human experience with the presence of the Divine within us we have this power as well.

One secret that helps you stay healthy: Mindfulness and feeling the present moment.

Favorite recipe? Homemade coconut curry. It’s my go-to meal because it’s so easy to make! I’m also currently obsessed with zucchini spaghetti.

Anything you want to share with our community? Yes! I just partnered with the Seattle Capoeira Center to bring culturally expressive and community-driven yoga classes to the Southend. In addition to empowering yoga classes, I’ll be hosting African and contemporary dance workshops as well as drum circles. Click the link HERE to check out our schedule.

Learn more about Biola and her offerings on her beautiful website.

Posted by: 8 Limbs

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