Between her busy class schedule and making preparations for a full 2017 calendar of advanced teaching events, we caught up with Anna Parker to ask her a few fun questions and discover how teaching yoga has become an integral part of her life story.
(YGSF) What is your favorite place to travel to?
“While I’m drawn to novelty and exotic locations, I always return home to Yosemite. For me, it embodies everything that is sacred, beautiful, and free in this world. For over a decade, I’ve gone there to hike, camp and unwind. I love the iconic views and human energy of Yosemite Valley, and enjoy the awe-inspiring isolation of the Eastern Sierra and high country.”
(YGSF) What activities do you like to do outside of yoga?
“I love reading, but otherwise I’m not particularly good at sitting still so trail-running complements my yoga practice, and provides a much needed escape into nature. I love traveling and exploring any and everywhere with my camera in hand. Lately I’ve discovered circus school and the joy of hanging from a trapeze in aerial class.”
(YGSF) What is your favorite food?
“Does dessert count? Anything involving chocolate, ice cream, or both! This time of year, pumpkin chocolate chip is a favorite treat.”
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin
(YGSF) How and when did you discover yoga?
“I accidentally discovered yoga through a gym pilates class in 2002 soon after moving from the South to the West Coast. I was looking for a way to meet people so began to search for new, California-esque activities. Thankfully, I was hooked on yoga from the start so it easily won out over belly-dancing and training for the San Diego Marathon.”
(YGSF) What inspired you to become a yoga instructor?
“The example set by my teacher continuously inspires me to teach. I’ve been following my mentor, Annie Carpenter, for over a decade–first in LA and now here in SF. Annie is the most knowledgeable and gifted teacher I’ve ever met. She is at once demanding and inspiring; her precise alignment cues and insistence on steady attention encourage growth on both the physical and spiritual planes. Most importantly, Annie exudes the spirit of yoga, exemplifying qualities developed over decades of sustained practice. She truly changes lives.”
(YGSF) What style(s) of yoga do you teach and why?
“I teach SmartFlow, the style of alignment-based vinyasa developed by my teacher. SmartFlow combines strong vinyasa with attention to detail, unwavering focus, and personal inquiry. After spending many years in this tradition personally experiencing the effects of the practice, I can teach no other way. This methodology resounds intuitively with me, and I deeply value the profound possibilities it engenders. I wish to pass this on to my students.”
Practice with Anna weekly and don’t miss her Hanumanasana Workshop coming up in January 2017 to leap into the new year with steadfast attention to gently open the hamstrings and hip flexors while maintaining deep support and healthy alignment.
Find her class schedule and more information about upcoming events here.