8 Limbs is pleased to publish monthly Teacher Profiles to help you to know and learn from the amazing group of 8 Limbs Yoga Teachers. This month we profile Lance Westendarp, who teaches at 8 Limbs Capitol Hill and Wedgwood. Lance will add a Back Care Series to 8 Limbs Phinney Ridge and Wedgwood, and will offer a Shoulderstand Workshop on February 7 (read Lance’s blog about Shoulderstand).
Teacher Name: Lance Westendarp
Practicing Yoga Since: 2000
Teaching Yoga Since: 2003
Where do you teach? I teach at the Capitol Hill location; The class is a level II non-flow class, though it’s open to all levels of students interested in exploring a deeper practice. As of the New Year, I will also begin teaching a 6-week back care series classes at the Wedgwood and Phinney Ridge locations.
Hobbies/interests: Some of my biggest hobbies are music and cooking. When I was younger I actually wanted to be a chef and worked as a line-cook in multiple restaurants. Somehow that eventually led to me studying classical piano as an undergraduate. Both are still a huge part of my life, whether working on a new piece of music, going to the symphony, or cooking good food for friends and family. I’ve also recently gotten into rock climbing, which I’ve found to be a liberating way of exploring my body’s physical potential.
What non-yoga book are you reading/did you recently read? I just finished reading “Wild”, which was really moving and beautiful. I highly recommend it. I may even find myself on the Pacific Crest Trail one day, who knows…
Yoga book you recommend: In terms of a really good introduction to the deeper aspects of yoga practice, I think that “Yoga Beneath the Surface” by Srivatsa Ramaswami is an incredibly rich resource. The book is basically a documentation of Ramaswami’s students asking him questions about the yoga sutras, other texts, and the more challenging or esoteric aspects of yoga practice and philosophy. It’s a really good introduction to what’s beyond the surface of physical practice, and I think it’s laid out in a more beginner-friendly way. Though it’s still somewhat dense, so be forewarned. Regardless, Ramaswami is an incredibly unadulterated and authentic authority on the way Krishnamacharya interpreted yoga philosophy, so it’s a good reference if you’re interested in exploring Krishnamacharya’s perspective on yoga philosophy in a more in-depth fashion.
Favorite yoga practice/pose and why: Right now, meditation has been a big and important part of my practice. Being in medical school is challenging, time consuming and fast-paced. Devoting time to being still has allowed me to take some time out of my busy days to observe my holding patterns and the way I show up in the world. I feel like that awareness is where positive change stems from in my life. Posture-wise, I’ve been doing a LOT of long stays in shoulderstand and seated forward bending
One secret that helps you stay healthy: I make sure that I devote one day a week entirely to me and my needs, and spend a little time every day trying to be still. Beyond that, I make sure to move and explore my body daily and to constantly continue learning to cultivate humility and levity in my life.
Currently inspired by: Nature. I know it’s cliché, but nature recharges me and inspires me to live a more harmonious life. It keeps me humble, and also serves as a constant reminder of the reality of life and death.
Anything you want to share with our community? I might as well take this as an opportunity to tell you a little more about myself. I’m actually here in Seattle attending Bastyr University to get my doctorate and Naturopathic Medicine (ND) and a Masters degree in acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (MSAOM). I have a passion for helping people to grow, heal and learn, and I hope that I can use my work in teaching yoga to inspire people to live more full, healthy and harmonious lives.
Favorite recipe? Oh man, this is really difficult. But lately, one of my favorites has been this:
ROASTED SWEET POTATOES WITH GREEN ONIONS, CHILIS, AND POMEGRANATE MOLASSESS
- 4-5 medium sized sweet potatoes, skin on and cut in half, each half into small wedges
- 1 cup green onions, halved and cut into ¾ inch pieces (green and white parts)
- 2-3 red jalepeños, finely sliced
- Pomegranate molasses
- Goat cheese (optional)
- Grape seed oil
- Preheat oven to 425*F
- Dress the sweet potatoes with oil to coat, and sprinkle liberally with coarse salt and pepper
- Place the sweet potatoes in the oven and let them cook for 30-40 minutes, until they start to crisp and turn golden brown
- WHILE THE POTATOES ARE COOKING: heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat and add 1-2 tbsp. of grape seed oil
- Sauté the green onions and jalapenos until wilted and lightly browned (2-4 minutes).
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Once the potatoes are finished, place them on a serving dish, and top with the green onions and jalapenos. If necessary, season with a little more salt and pepper
- Drizzle the potatoes with pomegranate molasses and scatter fresh goat cheese over if you’d like
Posted by: 8 Limbs