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 Megan Sloan who teaches at 8 Limbs Wedgwood. Megan will offer her the workshop Cycles and Rhythms this Saturday at 8 Limbs Wedgwood.
Practicing Yoga Since: 2001
Tell us about the first yoga class you took. One of the first yoga classes I ever took, in a studio, was in Berkeley, CA. In hindsight, I can recognize that the teacher was most likely a very new teacher and not yet feeling confident in their own teaching and practice. I remember going up to her after class and asking her about my downward dog. I hadn’t been able to get my heels to the ground and showed her how I looked. Her response? “Oh, you’ll probably never be able to do that.” It was an experience that profoundly shaped me as a teacher years later. I think about that moment and realize that if I haven’t been so tenacious about pursuing yoga (and other teachers!) that I might have given up after that class. It made me realize the impact, both positive and negative, I can have as a teacher and how that can truly affect someone’s path through yoga and in accepting their own bodies.
Teaching Yoga Since: 2008
What do you remember of the first yoga class you taught. Honestly, I remember nothing. Those first few months of teaching were nerve racking for me. I remember being really nervous each and every time I taught, but the only way to get through that nervousness was to keep on teaching!
Who/what are your teachers? Why? Tias Little is a big teacher of mine. I love his ability to work into the most subtle parts of the body through very simple movements. His dharma talks are always inspiring and I have always had great appreciation for his humor. For me, I’ve found I have to have a teacher that can laugh…at themselves, at life. Its inspiring.
I also had the pleasure of studying with Gary Krafstow for the first time this year and absolutely loved the Viniyoga approach to practice. I look forward to studying with him again when he returns.
Currently inspired by: I have been so inspired recently by the social justice and political work being done in our community by organizations like Yoga Behind Bars and Street Yoga. I’ve also been inspired by the work within or 8 Limbs community around cultural inclusivity and responsiveness. Its inspiring, enlightening and empowering as a teacher to see our community taking risks and growing together.
Tell us about a time in your life that yoga really supported/helped you. It would probably take up less space to tell you when it hasn’t, which is never. Yoga has been of great support to me in some of the biggest life changes. My yoga mat has been a refuge for tears and heartache, and also joy and excitement. But I am also grateful for the subtlety of daily practice, as I very much notice who I start to become when I begin missing my daily practice, and I am not a big fan of her.
What is your current yoga practice include/involve and why? Is there a practice you do daily? If so, explain why. In my 200hr YTT we did daily cleansing practices, every morning at 4am. It was a great introduction to the Ayurvedic practices that could support throughout my life. Daily I always do abhyanga, self-massage with oil, and I always do a neti pot. These two daily rituals help keep my healthy, but also help ground me in daily practice (not all yoga is asana!). I also have a daily meditation practice, first thing every morning. I have recently made it a priority to make sure I have absolutely no screen time before I sit, its made a big difference in my practice.
My asana practice really changes based on the season and what is going on in my body. I have had times where I practice five days a week at least an hour every day, other times where I might do daily practice, but its only 5 minutes. I have really learned to adapt yoga to where I’m at, rather than forcing a certain idea of practice on myself. Right now, at 7 months pregnant, my practice is evolving on a daily basis. I am constantly learning what feels good and what doesn’t and it requires a great deal of attention and self-inquiry.
Hobbies/interests: I spend as much time hiking as I can. Any weekend we’re free my wife and I are out in the mountains seeking out new trails or hiking our favorites. I can also be somewhat of a homebody and love to stay home and cook delicious meals and snuggle in with a good book (especially as the weather becomes less conducive to hiking!).
What book(s) are you currently reading/did you recently read? I rarely have just one book going at a time, so here’s what’s on my Kindle and my bedside table right now:
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Stiff by Mary Roach
- Yoga Mama Yoga Baby by Maggie Shapiro Bachman
One secret that helps you stay healthy: Making time for myself, especially when I’m feeling burned out. It doesn’t mean I need to do anything special, its just a matter of taking time alone to replenish.
Favorite recipe? I am currently obsessed with the cookbook, Plenty More, it is also fantastically tasty vegetarian cooking that looks super complicated but can be quite easy to put together. The chef has some recipes posted online, I haven’t made one bad thing from the cookbook, so I imagine all of these are divine: www.ottolenghi.co/uk/recipes.
Posted by: 8 Limbs
Join Megan every month for her Monthly Sound Baths at the Wedgwood studio. Sound baths generally take place the first Friday of the month 7-8:15pm but will slow down while Megan is on maternity leave. Check the website to ensure the date for the next event!
Also, join Megan in January for Cycles & Rhythms, a new workshop offering bridging the wisdom of seasonal and lunar cycles with cycles of the female body. We will explore how yoga can be a support through different cycles from menstruation to pregnancy to menopause. There will be something for everyone in this workshop on Saturday, January 28th at 12:30pm at Wedgwood.