Trailblazer: Hilly Flora
Hilly Flora finds the yoga all movements of life and believes it is the dance of nature and reflection of our humanity. She has studied with many wonderful teachers all over the world, from the US to India. Each time she steps onto her mat, she is reminded of the power of breath and intention in action. She has been teaching since 2006 and is so grateful to be given the opportunity to do what she loves every day. From teaching classes around Austin to co-creating and running Nadi Yogi Trainings and blogging about her vegan lifestyle she is in awe of this wonderful life and all the learning opportunities it provides. Take a class with her at Wanderlust Austin and check out our interview with Hilly below:
WJ: What aspects of yoga / meditation / spirituality do you bring into your work?
HF: I believe that yoga offers us a holistic path to unity and release from the suffering of disconnection. It gives us tools that we can use as embodied beings to bring ourselves back to clarity and peace with insight of what our obstacles are.
WJ: As a teacher and massage therapist (LMT) I work diligently and very specifically with the tissues and alignment of the body, but always the undercurrent of my work is how I can aide the student in finding release and peace for themselves.
HF: These days what is constantly on my mind as a teacher is that yoga is so much more than trying to get your body into a shape. I see the effects of lack of awareness and samaskaras and how trapped we can become in trying to mold our unique and complicated bodies to be what we perceive as right for everyone.
Opening the body with awareness, intelligence and detailed focus can help us to find and release trauma and habit that live in our tissues and continues to keep us in our patterns of suffering. and just as we are all complex and complete agents with our own twisty karma to navigate, so to will our practices and healing look different so that it may serve us at a deeper level.
WJ: How did you get involved with yoga?
HF: I started practicing my first semester in college as a way to get a better understanding of some of the philosophy courses I was taking. I specialized in eastern philosophy which of course involved extensive hours of writing and study. Asana practice helped me understand and see benefit and changes in my psyche and life that I was dissecting academically.
I found that while practicing yoga for those first four years that I was infinitely more patient and kind in my relationships and existence as a result of the inner work that was happening on the mat. The quiet and ease that comes from intense practice and focus hooked me and when I graduated I had accumulated many, many hours of yoga that i was told would not "count toward anything' in my academic trajectory.
I decided to go through my first training after I graduated and have been learning and teaching the practice for the last seven years.
WJ: What's your favorite pose?
HF: Oh gosh! This is a difficult choice disguised as a simple question! For healing my body right now supported supta virasana (reclined hero pose) with some self massage of the diaphragm for an extended time is feeling wonderful and doing a lot for me.
WJ: What's feeding your wanderlust today?
HF: The incredible richness of all the lessons I find on this path and through the practice.
WJ: If you could leave one legacy for your community what would it be?
HF: A life long practice that is anatomically sound, healing and informed by self inquiry, awareness and the unwavering peace of connection.