Seattle Yoga News is on a mission to find and highlight all of the hidden, and maybe not so hidden, gems in our yoga community and beyond. We want you to learn about their experiences and perspectives, but also a bit more about their personalities, so we have a few fun questions for them. This week’s spotlight is turned towards Tina Templeman.
We asked Tina to share a word with our community and this is what she had to say:
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH YOGA?
Back in early 1997 I was rehabbing from a serious low back injury that left me incapable of walking on my own without crutches. Doctors had told me surgery to fuse my spine was the best option to stabilize my pain and regain life back to my accustomed activities of daily living (I’ve always been an active, outdoorsy kind of person). As I shared this depressing news with the physical therapist he highly recommended that I AVOID surgery; it most likely would perpetuate more pain throughout my spine. I lamented to him at the time, “I don’t know what else to do! I can’t continue to live this way!”. It was then he said, “have you tried yoga?” My yoga journey began that very week and I have never looked back. Since that fateful conversation there never has been a time in 22 years where I did not have an ongoing yoga practice. Yoga helped heal my body and my life.
WHAT KIND OF TRAININGS HAVE YOU PURSUED?
My first yoga training began in a gym, studying under Veet Vivarto with a focus on the 8 Limbs of Yoga, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the physical practice of the 5 Tibetan Rites and Hatha Yoga plus dynamic meditation practices from OSHO. In 2006 I was introduced to Baptiste Power Yoga and felt as if I found “My Home” in Baptiste yoga. I have since over 1200 hours in teacher trainings with Baptiste Yoga. I’ve also been influenced by Ana Forrest, Shiva Rhea and Desiree Rumbaugh.
HOW HAS YOGA INFLUENCED YOUR LIFE & WHO YOU ARE AS A PERSON?
As I mentioned above, yoga helped heal my body and my life. I have suffered from body dysmorphia which led to the eating disorder bulimia, which contributed boughts of depression and alcoholism (I have 15 of sobriety today). The healing journey is a continual practice I believe and yoga has given me tools in which I continue down a healthy path both physically and mentally. I believe the human journey is a gift of finding your way back to freedom. There are blissful moments where I feel free of my hinderances and I am at peace knowing that those moments aren’t sustainable in my human condition. Yoga has taught me to stay alert and use the tools I’ve learned, through ALL the practices of yoga, to return to the path of freedom. And some days are easier than others for me, that’s for sure.
WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU ALWAYS GIVE YOUR STUDENTS?
To be in the moment and the moment is felt through the physical, meaning the physical body. The mind can take you places in the past or the future, the only way to truly be present is to feel it through the tangible experience of the body. And I can take you down a plethora of ways to be present in your physical body, far too many to write here… you’ll have to come and take my class.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON MISTAKES YOU SEE PEOPLE MAKE IN YOGA WHEN IT COMES TO ANATOMIC AWARENESS?
That most people continue to exist in their minds when in their physical yoga practice. They may think their front hip is in external rotation when in Trikonasana (Triangle pose) however physically it is not. The external rotation of the front hip will allow for freedom in the pelvis/sacral and lumbar spine. The mind also will limit what the body is capable of simply by saying in the mind, “I can’t do that”. So shall it be done, you won’t be able to do that. If people where physically present with what is actually happening in the moment in their bodies, so many things are possible; i.e. they’d feel when it’s safe to continue forward to a deeper variation of the pose or when it’s time to back off to avoid injury.
WHAT CAN ONE EXPECT TO LEARN WHEN TAKING THE ANATOMY MODULE YOU OFFER IN TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAMS?
Students who take my anatomy training program will get the experience of feeling what is physically/tangibly happening in their bodies when certain muscles are engaged and how it impacts their body in the poses. They gain a deeper awareness of the physical body which ultimately leads to a deeper awareness of what their body is capable of. I also show the impact of how every human body is built differently, like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike. By this they gain empowerment to create the best expression of themselves in their poses and relieve themselves of the pain of comparison thinking that their body may somehow be “not as good as another’s”. When in actuality another yogi’s body may simply be built (anatomically) in way that allows for greater range of motion or stability is all. They gain the knowledge that their body is impeccable as it is, in the moment, as nature (or God if you will) intended it to be.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE YOGA RELATED BOOK?
OTHER THAN PRACTICING YOGA, CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SOME OF YOUR WELLNESS & SELF-CARE HABITS?
I am an active hiker and have climbed several of the local volcanos around the Puget Sound. Getting outdoors returns me to a centered state of being and a feeling of being complete and one with All. Daily meditation and devotionals start each day out with a positive perspective (my currently daily devotional is The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo, I highly recommend it!). I also am a conscious eater avoiding extra sugars and carbohydrates where I can.
WHAT IS ONE THING MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
That I’m actually quite a shy person. I call myself an extraverted introvert… lol.
WHO IS THE YOGI WE SHOULD FEATURE NEXT & WHY?
Michel Spruance, because she’s up to some pretty powerful things with taking over sole proprietorship of Be Luminous Yoga in South Lake Union. She also started the non-profit Space Between which brings mindfulness into Seattle schools. She’s a badass!
Tina Templeman’s Bio: Tina’s knowledge of anatomy and physiology, her extensive yoga training (since 1997), and her own lived experience of yoga’s power to heal and transform, helps to make her the powerful and evolving teacher that she is. Her intelligence – both learned and intuited – shows up in every class she teaches. Tina encourages her students to pay close and constant attention to the philosophies, practices, and poses that most resonate with them because she believes such inquiry will help them discover the best teacher of all – themselves.
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