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Conversations with the Inspiring Hanan Palz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hanan Palz.

Hanan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I worked in corporate legal and real estate for 20 years and while I was good at my job and made a comfortable living, I didn’t enjoy it and always thought that someday “when I’m all grown up” I’m going to do something I love; but, I honestly didn’t have any idea what that was. In 2014, I was downsized out of my job and found myself caring for my bedridden mother in law. During my few hours of reprieve each day, I found myself getting on my beloved yoga mat where I had been practicing for the last nine years and I saw a flyer for LifePower’s 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training. I felt like it was a lifeline to practice yoga and be around a community of healthy like mindedpeople, so I signed up without any intention of ever teaching. For my seva (selfless service) class project, I decided to bring yoga to the foster group home of the children I mentored through CASA of DuPage. Seeing how the yoga class affected them really ignited a spark in me and a teacher was bornI continued volunteering to teach them once a week and began teaching at Lifetime Fitness in Bloomingdale, Illinois and before I knew it, I had become their yoga coordinator.

In 2015, we moved to Phoenix and I began teaching yoga full time. In 2017, I enrolled in Authentic Yoga’s 300 hr Yoga Teacher Training. This is where I was introduced to Thai Yoga Bodywork. I fell in love with this centuries-old practice of acupressure, trigger point release and assisted stretching based on Metta (loving-kindness through touch) that brought healing and lightness to the body so I decided to specialize in it. I took many more hours of anatomy and fascia training and started practicing on all kinds of bodies to gain experience. I eventually incorporated, created a website and brand for my burgeoning business. In 2018, I became partners with one of my soul sisters, Heather Wiest of Loveserveinspire and we started offering yoga retreats to amazing places around the world. That same year, I became an ambassador for Streetlight USA (a group home in Glendale, Arizona) that rescues girls who have been or are at risk for being sex trafficked. As an ambassador, I host yoga events to raise awareness and funding to support the girl’s needs as they move from trauma to triumph.

As I look back, I can see many doors that were closed to me which was disappointing at the time but now know that it was God’s divine plan to guide me to the doors He had opened which would utilize my gifts and talents. I am humbled and amazed that I get to do something that I love while impacting people in what I hope to be a trickle-down effect of encouragement, peace and love.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I had never considered myself a teacher and found it terrifying to speak in front of people. I would get cotton mouth and feel physically ill in my stomach at the beginning of every class. So, I prayed and did the yoga…. breathing along with my students until the peace that surpasses all understanding would fall over me. There were also many people that tried to discourage me from following this path. My advice to others is to inquire about God’s plan for your life, seek top quality education and deepen your own practice. I took 100s of classes and workshops from all kinds of teachers (from the very seasoned to the brand new teacher) because I believe that everyone has something to teach you as long as you are open to receive. I also had many great teachers like Eva Shaw of Ignite Yoga and Cheryl Oliver of Authentic Yoga as well as the many recipients of my Thai Bodywork who’s bodies are living anatomy books.

Please tell us more about what you do, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I teach active and restorative yoga classes and hold specialty workshops at various places in the valley. I also teach seniors chair yoga at an assisted living facility and volunteer teaching the girls at Streetlight. I lead yoga retreats to amazing places all around the world where the participants can step out of their comfort zone, unplug from their routine and become a part of new tribe of like minded people.
My favorite is providing private Thai Yoga Bodywork sessions where the recipient is fully clothed and lays on a soft floor mat and receives a customized treatment of accupressure trigger point and myofascial release as well as passive stretching to relieve pain and stress.

What I believe is different about me is that I truly have a love for the people that come across my path because I believe they have been uniquely placed there for a purpose. I feel their burdens and truly desire to give them comfort and ease in their bodies so that they can live to their full potential.

Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
Know that it truly takes a village and success is not created in a vacuum. Find your tribe that wholeheartedly loves you and who they trust will give you honest feedback even if it is not something they want to hear.There were many people that impacted my life so I am always willing to reach out to support, inspire and encourage others to be their very best too.

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