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 Rebekah Papé who teaches prenatal and postnatal yoga at 8 Limbs Capitol Hill and will offer a Partner Prenatal Workshop on Saturday, April 22.

Practicing Yoga Since: 2003

Tell us about the first yoga class you took. At a gym. It was a long time ago, but if I had to guess, I’d say it was Hatha-focused. I was very fortunate that the teacher was atypical for a gym yoga class – she put emphasis on breath and mindfulness. Coming from pilates classes and a family obsessed with athletic achievement, I remember being so surprised by the balance of effort and ease. I fell in love with Savasana and was utterly taken in by the experience of a mini-nap at the end of class. It’s still my favorite pose.

Teaching Yoga Since: 2012

What do you remember of the first yoga class you taught. The first class I taught was at the end of my teacher training on a retreat at Breitenbush Hot Springs. Over three days, all the program participants taught a full length class for each other. I remember the thrill of weaving together all of my favorite elements of yoga and also the dreamlike, heady sensation of the experience. The first class I taught to the public was a month later. My longtime teacher and mentor had become very sick and various teachers at our studio took over her classes on a temporary basis. I taught the two Level I classes I had regularly attended for several years. I remember a strong desire to honor my teacher while proving my worth, and humility at the opportunity to guide the practice.

Who/what are your teachers? My teachers and their teachers and their teachers teachers. I don’t know the name of my first teacher at the gym, but I am forever grateful to her. My first studio-based teacher was Nicole (Farmer) Neal. She led me to Lisa Steele who led me to Jo Leffingwell (who was also Nicole’s teacher), who led me to Jenny Hayo and 8 Limbs, who led me to Douglas Ridings. In every day life my constant teacher is my son.

Currently inspired by: The practice of three conscious breaths. This is a life-saver as a mother of an 18-month old. My life rarely feels like my own, but I am able to stop throughout my day and take 3 breaths in full awareness. This never fails to calm my nervous system and ground my body.

Tell us about a time in your life that yoga really supported/helped you. I came back to yoga at the end of 2008, after rarely practicing for a few years. Once I started regularly being present in my body, my life shifted quite dramatically. I walked away from an unhealthy marriage and most of my community walked away from me because of that choice. Yoga brought me through that time, and my studio was a safe space for me to explore immense emotional and physical pain and then healing.

What is your current yoga practice include/involve and why? My current practice is in flux and has been scaled way back to accommodate the ever-shifting time my son wakes up. On a spacious morning, when I get up before him and anticipate 20-30 minutes of quiet time, I scrape my tongue, make a cup of warm lemon water, sit for 5 minutes, then start an asana practice. My asana practice starts with joint rotations head to toe, then moves through three sun salutations with kapala bhati, followed by malasana, apanasana, reclined twists and navasana. I end with sukasana for three conscious breaths. On chaotic days when we all wake up together, I fit pieces of this practice in throughout my day.

Hobbies/interests: Cooking, dinner parties, sustainable food systems, writing, urban walks, swimming, biodynamic wine, reading, European travel, summers in McCall, Idaho at our family cabin.

What book(s) are you currently reading/did you recently read? The Third Plate by Dan Barbor. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

One secret that helps you stay healthy: Seasonal ayurvedic cleanse with kitchari

Posted by: 8 Limbs

Rebekah will bring her knowledge of prenatal yoga to the upcoming workshop Partner Prenatal Yoga, April 22, 1-3pm.

Neighborhood Studios