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Community Highlights: Meet Emma Pigeon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emma Pigeon.

Hi Emma, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I began practicing yoga six years ago, slightly by accident. A friend, one of my best friends still, brought me to a hot yoga class, and I wouldn’t say I liked it. A few months passed, and I gave a new studio a two-week trial. I was instantly hooked. I think I went to class every day for those two weeks. That was the start of my regular yoga practice, which has stuck with me ever since. I became addicted to how I felt physically and mentally after practicing yoga and noticed a gradual shift in my life off the mat. I was handling school & work stress better, forming more meaningful friendships and relationships, and incorporating healthier habits into my life. I practiced religiously for two years before I started craving more information than solely studio classes. I decided to enroll in a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program locally and began the journey to becoming a yoga teacher. With each new thing I learned, I became more engulfed and fascinated by the practice. Since graduating from that training in March 2018, I have taught almost 1,000 hours of classes, completed another 300-hour training in northern India, led workshops and events, and assisted in retreats. I’ve learned from so many knowledgeable teachers around the globe and am eternally grateful for each one of them sharing their wisdom with me in some form or another. Fast-forward to now, and I have leaped to teach full yoga time. I have registered my own LLC, created a website, marketed myself, and am leading my first two retreats this year. My goal is to share the life-changing practice of yoga with as many people as possible. Eventually, I’d love to share yoga at mental health clinics like eating disorder recovery centers. I didn’t realize the profound impact yoga had on my relationship with my body until I reflected on my life years ago. For as long as I can remember, I was concerned about looking a certain way, not eating a certain amount of food, and maintaining a distorted idea of “perfection.” Yoga has helped bring acceptance, self-love, and compassion into my life in more ways than one, and I hope to share this with others who might be struggling. I work with people of all backgrounds, from studio settings to private lessons. I am a dedicated practitioner, always a student first, and strive to share my knowledge of asana (poses), pranayama (breath), and yoga philosophy with my students. When I’m not teaching, you can find me hiking Piestewa Peak, working at a local coffee shop, or traveling with my boyfriend of seven years!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been fairly smooth?
The road has been mostly smooth for me, which I’m grateful for. I worked hard to attend my first YTT while finishing my last semester of college, completing an honors thesis, and working part-time. I set my mind to a goal and wouldn’t stop until I got there, even if it meant sacrificing some of my social life and regular sleep. When you want something wrong enough, there is always a way. I’d have to say most of my obstacles are in my head. I think most of us are like this, though, doubting ourselves more than we would doubt our friends or family. Whenever I’m struggling, wondering if I’m doing enough, or will be successful, I try to get on my mat even for just ten minutes. Something as simple as moving your body and breathing with intention can ground me back to reality. It’s wonderful.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
My business is just me (for now). I teach yoga full time – from studio classes, workshops, private lessons, and events, I do it all. I have 500 hours of training and almost 1,000 hours of teaching experience. I’m known for my creative sequencing, fun transitions, and upbeat playlists when teaching for YouTube or at studios. I want to make sure my students learn something new each time they practice and have a good time while doing it, which keeps them coming back to their mat. I don’t want yoga to be a big, scary thing that seems too intimidating to try. It should be approachable, enjoyable, and a little bit challenging! The practice should take you out of your head and into your body, and my style assists you in doing that. I’m proud of how I keep things light-hearted and fun while still honoring the roots of yoga and maintaining a disciplined practice myself. I think it’s easy to forget the roots of the practice, especially in the West, and I never aim to make the practice something it’s not. Although you might find my classes physically challenging, yoga is not a workout. It is a moving meditation that links your breath, body, and mind. My offerings include but are not limited to studio classes, online (YouTube) classes, private lessons, private events (birthdays, bachelorettes, corporate, etc.), workshops, and retreats. I hope to serve you somehow when you are ready to begin or advance your practice!

Are there any books, apps, podcasts, or blogs that help you do your best?
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz changed how I think about and interact with the world. I could read it 100 times and get something out of it each time. I also enjoy the “Yoga Meets Movement Science” podcast by Jenni Rawlings and Travis Pollen. They discuss various topics in the yoga/movement world and challenge popular beliefs and misconceptions.

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Image Credits
Tristan Schmoldt Media

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