19 Aug Have you met The Yoga Teacher’s Teacher: Annie Carpenter?
How often do we get to study with teachers who have been actively practicing yoga virtually every single day of their life for more than 40 years, and continue to have a dedicated daily yoga practice to date?
How many of these teachers allow themselves and their techniques to develop and modify by remaining current with science and research, yet still honour past tradition?
Annie Carpenter is one of these special and rare teachers.
Whenever I have attended Annie’s classes or trainings, the room is always packed full of yoga teachers, and for good reason, in Annie, you can sense someone who has dedicated their entire life to yoga and lives the practice with enthusiasm, intelligence and love.
Annie has worn and continues to wear many hats in her life as a: former dancer and teacher for the Martha Graham Dance Company of NYC, therapist with a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, devoted meditation practitioner, dedicated student of anatomy, dedicated Iyengar yoga student, and committed Ashtanga yogi who practiced primary, second and third series. She was an influential teacher in Los Angeles and many of the world’s respected and well-known contemporary yoga teachers have been trained and continue to practice with Annie. Annie’s love of vinyasa, mindfulness and compassionate alignment inspired her to create SmartFlow yoga which she continues to teach from San Francisco, and across the world.
Being a student of Annie’s for the last six years, there are five big things that stand out about Annie Carpenter:
1. Yoga ‘Nerd-ism’.
Annie is an absolute yoga nerd (I obviously mean this is in the most awesome way possible). It is so uplifting to see someone who is so interested in all the facets of yoga: the physical, the energetic, the philosophical and scientific. I have yet to meet another yoga teacher, who is so passionate and committed to learning about all the aspects of yoga: philosophy, anatomy, biomechanics, alignment, therapeutics, pranayama, meditation and asana.
2. Grace and Strength.
To watch Annie move, at the age of sixty, with such power, strength, precision, stability and flexibility is inspiring! Her grace and strength translate from her asana practice into her relationship with her students, she is deeply loving, curious and present.
3. Intelligence and Practical Knowledge.
Everything Annie teaches has been considered, researched and experienced personally over decades of practice. In my years of studying with her, I have always had many questions, and Annie always has an articulate and well-explained answer to each and every one of my questions. She is very skilled at bridging the gap between theory and practice. Annie is a true academic, yet also very grounded in the practical application of knowledge. She makes learning new and big ideas accessible, fun and highly applicable to life and practice.
4. Excellence as a Teacher.
Annie is not afraid to share her shortcomings and the lessons she’s learned over her life so that her students can better understand certain concepts. She teaches in a way that inspires you to work hard, while always being respectful of where you are. She is direct and intense as well as deeply compassionate, loving and playful. She knows when to be dynamic and engaging and when to slow things down. Every class I have been to of hers, I have always felt seen and safely challenged.
5. Love and Dedication.
One of the biggest things I hear teachers say after training with Annie is that they have a renewed love and dedication for yoga. That not only through Annie’s compassionate teachings but her embodied dedication to the practice, they take home a feeling which keeps them inspired to continue their path and expression of yoga.
I am so excited that Annie is coming to Australia, and teaching at Power Living in Sydney and Melbourne, teaching classes open to the public and two teachers immersions for yoga teachers. I will be at them all and hope to see you there. Spots will fill up fast, as this is not to be missed yogis.
Written by Duncan Parviainen, Master Facilitator, Power Living.