How did you begin practicing and teaching yoga?
I’ve been practicing yoga for over 20 years. I took my first class in a Bally Total Fitness gym, I was the only person in class. I fell in love with the way it made me feel, and it came fairly easy to me. I was never a “sporty” girl, so being able to “do yoga” made me feel like I was good at something physical. I’ve been teaching a long time! I started teaching step aerobics in my twenties, pilates in my 30’s and I’ve been teaching yoga for 5 years, I think :)
How has yoga been transformational in your life?
Yoga has showed me what I’m capable of. It’s funny, for some time, yoga was something I “did”. It was like a task I checked off my list, doing it, but not really IN it. My practice has evolved as I have evolved. I have a lot more peace inside my practice than I did even 5 years ago. There’s way less ego in what poses I “can do” in my practice and a lot more presence in how I show up inside the poses on my mat. Much like in life, when I came to yoga from a place of wanting to nail a pose, I was in my head, competing with myself. Yoga continues to teach me to be in my spirit, heart, and body. I’m not always successful, but my home practice really does ground me into my BEING, and I hope that translates into how I teach.
What’s your favorite part about teaching yoga?
The energy of the room, I love a full room of yogis, it makes the vibe high and the movement more fun. I love to bring my personality to class, I think it’s more fun :) and helps students take themselves less seriously.
What do you do to prepare for class?
Honestly, not much. I used to labor over playlists and sequences, but I am just a better teacher when I show up open to what the students need. Sometimes I have a pose in mind, or a new way to teach something, recently I came back from a yoga festival with a lot of good nuggets, and a few have been put to use in classes, but I don’t ever plan a class from top to bottom. Teaching yoga taps into my creativity, and I’m really good at knowing how to flow from one thing to the next in the moment, that’s why I love it so much. When I get to find the flow through what the class needs, those are the best classes.
Do you have a favorite pose or movement?
I LOVE backbends, give ‘em to me all day long :) Anjaneyasana, or low lunge is a staple in my home practice. And I love to “dance my yoga” :) at home, and sometimes in class :)
This is a little different...If you were a yoga pose what would you be and why?
Hmmm my intuition says, GATE POSE. WHY? Physically it stretches the side body so open and makes room for deep breathing. Symbolically, I like the idea of being part of bridging something together.
What’s your favorite type of music to play while practicing?
Gosh! At home it varies, I once led myself through an all backbend practice while listening to John Mayer! (love him) but it depends on what my energy is, most mornings my practice is light and either nature is my music, or songs I can sing along with Kirtan style. I’m highly influenced by music choice, and it definitely takes the class up a notch if the music is more energized, so I’m pretty cautious about what I play so I don’t turn the class on their heads! My heavy rotation includes: My 2018 faves made for me by Spotify, a couple playlists that I LOVE are my friend, Michael’s, they have a good balance. And a new one I made for the summer solstice inspired by all the kirtan sang at the Yoga festival in Boulder.
Do you have a playlist you’d like to share? This is one of my friend’s, love it - https://open.spotify.com/user/palumbeau/playlist/78lL5ZqIAUEkDBGLrdYirb?si=iEUKb0oVTHGOiIKF4sTbXw
And this is my summer solstice playlist
Does your personal practice differ from how you teach?
Some days my body is all good with linear movement, and other days I add in more dance, more free flowing movement. I am mindful that how I move isn’t how everyone else wants, or is comfortable moving, so I sprinkle in what I feel is a good offering for most humans in classes.
Recommended reading (yoga and/or non-yoga)
Non yoga reading I recommend ANYTHING by Brene Brown, but specifically I recommend, Braving the Wilderness and The Gifts of Imperfection. PHENOMENAL books. Braving the Wilderness has the capacity to change lives if you put what she teaches into practice.
Yoga books I recommend: Living Your Yoga by Judith Lasater, and for anyone studying to be a teacher Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar, is a MUST HAVE. It’s like an encyclopedia for yoga, a reference book for life.
How would you describe yourself?
I describe myself as inspiring, graceful, determined, dedicated, soft, real, honest, raw, and truthful. Introverted extrovert. I love food. Like really love it, it’s more than just eating for me, it’s an experience.
What do you want people to know about you?
I’m not perfect. I’m real sensitive. I can cry easily at both things that are tragic and things that are inspiring and uplifting. I left my FT corporate gig 6 months ago to pursue my true work in the world. I’m not originally from STL, and it’s NOT easy not being from here. I’m destined to live in CO. Who wants to help me get there :)?
Outside of yoga what is your passion/Where can you be found?
Ya know, I am REAL good at helping women get clear on their next steps. As a successful, driven woman myself, I knew I had a passion and a desire for something more, but for many reasons, I stayed where I was, until the Universe handed me what I KNEW was the catalyst for me to make a change for myself. My passion, and purpose is helping women, specifically women like me, driven, successful women feel calm, centered, and confident to take their next step. I’m a Clarity Coach, and I help you break free from the soul sucking grind and discover the confidence and courage to trust yourself enough to move forward without fearing failure.
You can find me online at https://www.lenadolter.com/
IG @lenadolter https://www.instagram.com/lenadolter/?hl=en
FB lena dolter https://www.facebook.com/lena.dolter
FB BIZ https://www.facebook.com/Womaninflow/?modal=admin_todo_tour
Physically you can find me in my house or yard :), PuraVegan, Fridas, Seedz, at Forest Park on a nice day, or Clementine’s cuz I LOVE their vegan chocolate ice cream!
Tell us a fun fact about yourself!
My guilty pleasure is stuffing dates with peanut butter. I love MARA NATHA PB and Trader Joe’s Chia Flax seed PB. I pretty much could live on PB :)
My favorite # is 13 and I love teaching at Blue Sky.