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Meet James! Our September Instructor Highlight

His classes are creative, energetic, fun and fresh. He teaches a fantastic Power and Mindful class on Wednesdays and you do not want to miss out on the opportunity to grow and challenge your practice under his guidance. We are so lucky to have an incredible instructor like James on our team and he is this month’s Instructor Spotlight. Here is your chance to get to know one of our long-term, here-since-the-beginning, inspiring teachers. Read on to learn more…

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?

Something positive, yet still self deprecating and a little witty. "The steps, stumbles and bumbles of a humble yoga guy."

How long have you been practicing yoga?

I have been imitating my mom sense I was a kid, more seriously for the last 20 years.

What made you want to become a yoga instructor?

I was a martial arts and acrobatics instructor. I wanted to teach kids in the school system and looked to yoga for certification but found a whole new vocation.

Soooo, we heard you are a Professor in Parkour! Can you tell us more about that?

Parkour is a French word for a global culture of acrobats who primarily "Free Run" or run and do flips off of urban architecture and park equipment. I have tried Parkour once and was not very successful. I am a Professor (Portuguese for Teacher) of Capoeira. Capoeira is a Brazilian art form of African Roots, where participants play native instruments in a circle while a pair duels primarily without contact in "close call" kicks and dynamic acrobatic movements, all to the singing and music of the circle. It is a unique art form, often taught like a martial art, practiced like a social dance with different games within it's different communities. It is often called the "Dance Fight Game" because it embodies elements of all three concepts without being fully violent or graceful or having the clear conclusions of a game.

What yoga pose(s) makes you happy?

I love pigeon pose in all of it's varieties. From King Pigeon to sleeping swan to Double Pigeon. I love some floor bound birds.

What is a key element that you always try to infuse into your yoga classes?

I like my classes to be predictably challenging. I see the hour class as a primarily physical thing that prepares us for a better/meditative state after. So, I put in lots of shapes, simpler transitions and ask you to take your own breaks so we can all find challenge where we meet them.

If you were to DJ your own life, what song or songs would you play in the background as you made your way through the day?

I AM the DJ of my own life and I listen to a lot of great music. You will see me rocking some Tycho sweatshirts on the street with some Odesza in my ears. Check out Helio Sequence, HAIM and Jungle for some samples of what I love to listen too.

How would you describe the way you dance?

Capoeira is a dance form all to its own that I am sure influences my dance moves. People often think I breakdance because of the overlap with music and acrobatics in the two arts.

If you could go anywhere in the world for an all-expenses paid vacation, where would you go and what would you do?

I would take my wife and pets to a private island somewhere with pleasant temperatures. My fantasies these days are low on adventure, high on comforts, I've become a bit like a hobbit.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

My superpower is compassion. I work at it everyday and it has the power to change the world.

What is the funniest place you have ever fallen asleep?

I used to sleep in the gymnastic mats before teaching the kids acrobatics classes when I lived in Portland.

What’s the best or worst dad joke you’ve ever heard?

Dad says). Did you hear about the actress that got stabbed? Reese..... Kid says) Witherspoon? Dad says) No, with a fork. Tee he he.

What's a pet peeve that you would make illegal if you could?

Public smoking or loud cars. I am limited in my understanding of these violent anti-social acts. I prefer clean air and peaceful sounds.

Anything else?

Is there a surprising fun fact you'd like to share? I am an aspiring cartoonist, too. I draw comics and cartoons in pen and ink. I love doing little doodles and drawing comical monsters.

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