Corrie started practicing yoga in 2002, completed 200hr vinyasa yoga teacher training in 2010, and an additional Original Hot Yoga training in 2014. She also completed a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program in 2011 as well as additional focused teacher trainings on therapeutic yoga and meditation for special populations including Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis (including chair yoga), and Yoga for Veterans with PTSD.
In 2015 she co-created and subsequently led a Yoga Alliance Certified 500hr teacher training module on how to sequence Dynamic/Athletic Vinyasa Flow classes. Through the years she has taught multiple levels and styles of group yoga classes including Bikram, Ashtanga primary and modified primary series, heated yoga sculpt/yoga-pilates, and various levels of heated and non-heated vinyasa from intro/basic to advanced. She has also taught for many corporate and private clients. Eventually through her years of practicing and teaching yoga, Corrie made her way to The Hot Room. We are truly grateful for Corrie’s leadership through The Original Hot Yoga teacher training program. We also can’t forget to acknowledge her playfulness and empowerment to teach us all that what might feel impossible is possible.
When did your yoga journey begin?
One of my best friends and I were very much interested in all forms of fitness and exercise when we were younger. We were up for trying anything fun and new and one day back in 2002 she gave me a VHS video by David Swenson on the Ashtanga primary series. My first thought was that it was very strange (yoga was not as well known back then!) but it felt good and although it wasn’t easy it left me feeling better than my other more high impact forms of exercise. So I did it for a while on and off and some months later that same friend took me to my first studio yoga class. For the first couple years, I sprinkled yoga into the mix of other forms of fitness I committed to until it eventually became the only form of exercise I do (other than leisure bike rides).
Any profound transformations through your practice? Mental, physical, emotional?
Yes! In my very first studio class that my friend took me to, the teacher got us into Savasana and starting talking about our body being a temple and being mindful of how we treat ourselves. Unexpectedly, tears started rolling down my cheeks because I didn’t have a good relationship with my body back then. That was the start of what became many years of a slow process towards healing many emotional wounds and unhealthy thought patterns that caused me to have some anxiety and self-doubt in my younger years. I can confidently say the practice is one of the bigger variables that has contributed to me being a generally happy, confident, and positive person over all. Physically, the practice raised my awareness to how my body felt doing some of the things I did on a regular basis such as high impact exercise or eating unhealthy foods so that I made conscious changes to my overall routines so I would physically feel better every day.
Why did you decide to teach?
I originally decided to teach yoga to be able to run a research study on the effects of yoga on veterans with PTSD back when I was working in psychiatric research at the VA. I didn’t actually have any plans on teaching regular classes or on a regular basis. But, once I started the training I fell in love with teaching because it made me feel like I was paying forward all of the benefits that I had received. So it felt like teaching was the element I needed to complete the circle, so to speak.
What do you love about the modalities you teach?
I love being able to teach multiple styles of yoga because I think they have such unique benefits. Original hot yoga is not only challenging and restorative at the same time, but there is a whole other list of mental benefits including cultivating determination and mental resilience as well as learning compassion and patience for the person you are staring at in the mirror for 60 or 90 minutes.
I love Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga because of the tie between movement and breath. I feel like that add elements of grace and creativity to a moving meditation which really gets me out of my head. I also love the upper body strengthening of vinyasa to build and prepare for arm balances and inversions.
What’s your favorite posture? Least favorite?
I actually try my hardest not to label or categorize postures as most or least favorite. I think doing so sets the stage for an expectation and I believe one of the primary principles of practicing yoga is to let go of expectations, both on the mat and in every day life. Without labels and expectations we can really be in the moment and stay open to new experiences and changes in perception.
What keeps you coming back to The Hot Roon as student? As a teacher?
The things that I love the most about The Hot Room are consistency in temperature and humidity of the room, consistency in the quality of the classes (never have to guess what I will be walking into), and the general positive energy coming from everyone, staff and students alike. No other studio compares!
What about your new endeavor as a lead teacher for the OHY training?
There is so much more to the original hot yoga than meets the eye and I wanted to be a part of ensuring all of this is passed on so that future teachers of the method can help more students maximize the benefits they can receive from the practice. I also feel like this is the next step for me along my yoga journey to continually grow as a teacher and as a student of this yoga.
Clearly you love arm balances and inversions. Why?
I love arm balances because they are playful and empowering at the same time. It is so exciting to see someone do something that seems impossible and then feel yourself figuring out how to do it! I like to teach how to get into different arm balances and inversions because I think that although it takes practice, there are often times little tricks or changes in alignment that make something possible that once felt impossible.
What’s your focus in your continuing yoga studies?
At this stage of my practice as a student, I am looking at how to engage new parts of the body in each of the OHY postures. Ultimately, every part of the body is involved in every posture but most of us do not have the capacity to expand our awareness and proprioception to the entire body through the entire posture. So that is where I am continuing to learn as a student. As a teacher, I always want to learn how I can help students who are struggling in a certain posture. I like to figure out what aspect of the posture or what part of our physiology makes it challenging and how I can translate it to make the journey more fun.
Why should someone practice The Original Hot yoga series?
With consistent practice OHY can prevent and relieve common aches and pains because it is designed to help get the body back to full functioning. It compliments other forms of fitness or other styles of yoga by restoring the joints and muscles that are commonly overworked in these other modalities. And, because it is one of the few modalities that is both accessible to everyone while never ceasing to be a good challenge. It truly is designed for everyone.
Anything fun, interesting or something we don’t know about you!?
I am relatively new at gardening and love watching it grow and the rewarding feeling that I am growing my own food. I love that it makes me get outside and it keeps me mindful of all the work that goes into producing food so that I am less wasteful. But my problem is that I don’t like to cook very much. So, I will have all of this produce at harvest time and don’t always know what to do with it all!