Teacher Spotlight: Wendy Rusk

Meet Wendy Rusk!

Why do you teach Yoga?  
I teach yoga because it makes me feel very happy and connected to something greater than myself.  
I really enjoy working with kids, and love to share something that brings me so much pleasure with others.

What style/type of yoga do you teach?
I have studied all types of yoga and my style is a vinyasa / flow / ashtanga / goofy-ish thing.  
The students really guide what happens in the class - I am just there to try and read the room and act accordingly.
With the "family" class I have had a 4 year old and a 70 year old in the same class.  Making class fun and getting people moving, stretching and breathing is the goal!  

What is your biggest hope for your students?
To find a moment of peace and self acceptance in class that they can take out into their lives, and to find a love being active and trying new things.
I love the feeling of acceptance in a yoga class - where we are all pulling for one another and not competing - and I want people to feel that community.

Who have been your most influential teachers?
Sondra Loring, Raghunath, Paramananda, Constanza Roldan, Melanie Green.

How has your own practice and teaching evolved?
I started doing yoga at a gym by my office in San Francisco in 1994 and was hooked. It was an era of step-aerobics, mirrors, loud music and spandex and I thought fitness was something to be endured.  Yoga was gentle and warm and acrobatic and spoke to me right away.  I have a squirrel-like disposition so yoga has been crucial for helping me to slow down, breathe and find a way to still my mind.  As I got stronger I enjoyed trying harder poses and loved loosing myself in the class. Yoga is a huge part of my life and I will be doing it as long as I possibly can.  It has brought me many gifts - strength, health, focus, calm, stillness and a wonderful community of like-minded-super-cool people.

How do you stay inspired?
I teach a class to some wonderful teens in Valatie, NY who are in a transitional housing situation.  They are either waiting for foster care, to go back to their homes, or to turn 18 and be on their own.  They have all been though so much, and I find it very rewarding to get to spend time with them and help them find some balance in their chaotic, stressful lives.  The feeling of giving is so overwhelmingly fulfilling and inspiring - it has been the true lesson of yoga in my life.