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Meet Taylor! Our May Instructor Spotlight

We love our Manager, Taylor Hudson so very much. She is one of the most kind, thoughtful, caring, engaged and creative women you will ever meet. If you have ever taken one of Taylor’s classes and visited with her in the lobby, you know exactly what we are talking about. She is so motivated to help you achieve what you seek in your yoga practice and your experience here at Union Yoga Co that it is hard not to get swept up by her enthusiasm. And if you haven’t taken one of Taylor’s classes…what are you waiting for?! You will love her carefully-crafted classes, her specially-curated playlists and her sweet, yet strong instructor style. She is a powerful person on and off the mat and we are so grateful to have her as a member of our yoga family.

We asked her to be our Instructor Spotlight this month. Read on to learn more about the one and only, Taylor Hudson.

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

So many titles came to my mind, similar to when I am naming my paintings it is hard to pin down so many feelings and experiences in one word or sentence. Something along the lines of "Observations" or "I'm trying my best."

How long have you been practicing yoga? What made you want to become a yoga instructor?

I started practicing yoga around the age of 16, I was a moody teenager and my mother used to drag me 3 times a week to Donna Hutchinson's basement to practice yoga. I consider Donna Hutchinson to be my first teacher and a huge mentor in who I have become today through instruction and yoga practice. Dance was a large part of my life in my childhood, I danced for 11 years and left in my teens. After leaving dance I felt a piece of myself was missing and did not understand how deeply yoga would be the practice that completed me. After studying with Donna in semi private classes for a couple years, I joined a few studios in my neighbourhood. Around the age of 21, I had an opportunity to take a Yoga teacher training under my mentor Donna's teacher Kim Sheridan. This was her last teacher training she had intended to offer and I knew I had to pursue. I always wanted to be a teacher, I taught art classes to children as my first job when I was 14. I never realized that it would manifest into yoga instruction. When things are right they fall into place, I trusted in myself and my teachers and took my training.

In my childhood, movement and dance was my outlet for me to process my emotions. When I quit I felt a tremendous loss, yoga healed this. I admired how my mentors/teachers held space for me and I would observe how they did the same for others. We all approach our mats carrying so many weights, pain in our bodies, pain in our emotions and the constant constraints of our day to day life. I care very deeply for all beings, I always wanted to be the vessel to help and nurture others. As a student I am fascinated by anatomy and our body mechanics when we are within asana practice, It took me years to understand pranayama. I finally felt that ah ha moment! I am truly breathing! I can feel my body calming down! Through exploration of this powerful practice I knew I wanted to share and be a part of it. Through authenticity and compassion I hope to continue to create space for others to practice self acceptance, mindfulness, and above all gratitude.

Soooo, we heard you are an artist! Can you tell us about your art?

Yes I can! I am a multidisciplinary artist focused on the mediums of large scale oil painting. For the past few years my primary subject matter has been fragmenting the body; specifically images of surgery and viscera. I am fascinated by the balance between beauty and ugly. Often my work is abstracted to the point where subject matter is unrecognizable but transcends into a state where the aura of a body is represented. There is a dysphoric quality to my work, I used bright saturated colours to soften the dysphoria. My work intends to ask "What does it mean to be in my body? Does my soul connect to the physical vessel I reside in?" Formally these paintings repurpose physical trauma and suffering into something that is pleasing to the eye. Yoga has deeply influenced my artwork through body exploration during asana practice. Even more so movement as a meditation, I used my entire body in my paintings. I cut the lumber, build the canvas frames, stretch and gesso the "body" of the painting. Could we consider the frame of a canvas the bones and the canvas itself the skin? What is left is the artwork that rests on top, the image and colour is the soul of the piece. As I use and labour my body into these paintings, the message I hope to convey is the meditation of the entire creation process.