Each month we will be bringing a teacher into the #ODDlight and illuminating their interests, practices, and who they are. There is a real person behind those teachers and it’s their knowledge filtered through their own experiences that make them that person that pulls you into class. May’s teacher feature is Brianna Welke – she’s been our mudra momma all month long and now we have a little more to share with you about this sweet soul.
Brianna Welke Turpin
Issaquah, Washington (20 minutes outside of Seattle)
Malibu, Santa Barbara, secret beaches, hidden hot springs & the woods
White (the color that includes ALL colors!), gold, and purple
What’s your sign?
How do you define yoga?
Union & One-ness. The bringing together of things that have been separate. Body, awareness, breathe, life, presence! And the remembrance that we aren’t separate at all.
Fun Facts most wouldn’t know about you?
- I have dual citizenship since my mother was born in Montreal
- I swam competitively for 10 years
- Our adoption of our pitbull was filmed for the show “Pitbulls & Parolees” Somewhere you can watch us meet Phillip when he was the size of a burrito.
Most embarrassing moment?
One time, back before stand up paddle board yoga was a thing- I was on a stand up paddleboard doing yoga…. Unusual for sure at the time. I was in a quiet little bay, on the bay there is a rotary club tucked away that had a wedding going on in the garden, on the second story there was an outdoor bar. As I was down dogging, quietly and joyfully, a completely inebriated gentleman began yelling obscene comments at me, the wedding ceremony all looked out at me, I was so embarrassed – the worst thing was – THERE WAS NO WHERE TO HIDE! I just sat down on my board and tried to paddle away.
Most empowering moment?
Any moment when I stand up for myself
Share a story or anecdote with us – something magical, changing, funny, or adventurous. Something that you love to tell.
Recently in Yoni‘s class I had a pretty cosmic savasana in which I observed two energies of the universe: expansion & contraction. Think: universe is always expanding (it actually is) and that parts are contracting like black holes. It reminded me that we are, too, cosmic energy and we have a choice to make- will we choose to always be expanding out hearts and consciousness? Or will we choose to contract and collapse inward? I choose expansion.
Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you?
When I graduated college I wanted to join the peacecorp in the medical extension so as my “demonstrated interest” I did my EMT (Emergency Medicine Training) . I eventually decided the peacecorp was not for me, but you would be AMAZED at how often this training comes in handy.
Why do you teach?
I teach because I want to share this amazing practice that has changed my life! Teaching is a practice for me too. It’s a practice of being open, expressing myself creatively and honestly. And most important a practice of being present.
What brought you to become an instructor?
I wanted to understand what yoga was more deeply. I have a very strong curiosity about things and I knew attending yoga class and reading about yoga was just the tip of the iceberg! When I started teacher training I could barely speak in front of people, I couldn’t even speak up on conference calls we would have at work. Despite a lifetime of shyness, by the time I was done with my teacher training I just knew I had to share this with others. It really is an honor to share this wisdom.
What is your favorite pose or flow? Why?
The moment in flow when I am able to break out of what is familiar and truly find the divine flow within me. It’s super fun, give it a try! Move with breath and intention and make it up as you go. If you know me, you know I love to fly- these flows usually meander through arm balances and handstands.
What is your favorite yogi prop or piece to wear or use?
OM Essential Oil also, at my bachelorette party and as part of the welcome gifts given by the hostess we were given handmade malas, it’s super special and unique to me. I love wearing bindis (those 3rd eye decorations) and crystal jewelry made by my friend’s company Sweet Evie.
Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you?
I got married on November 8th in Sayulita, Mexico on a cliff overlooking the bay where I met my my husband 6 years ago. We honeymooned in Bali- it was the best month ever!
What is your favorite song to play in class?
My most commented song ever is still the melodic song from the “Little Miss Sunshine” movie. I play music that I love and that I practice with at home, I think that shines through and creates an authentic experience. I choose music that is introspective at times and ultimately uplifting.
When you aren’t at the studio where can you be found (favorite past time)?
Traveling, spending time with my family in Seattle, lounging with my husband on our couch or some far off place, snuggling my sweet dog, hanging out with girlfriends- laughing & talking. Drinking coffee, fresh juice, getting some awesome bodywork/acupuncture/massage. I LOVE relaxing, a spa, outdoor pool, beach, river, lakeside- clearly any body of water will do!
Memorable yoga moment?
When I first started getting into yoga about 9 years ago I remember attending my regular yoga class and being SUPER disappointed that there was a sub teaching (you know that feeling), but then towards the end of class she taught Sage’s pose which I had never done or heard of and did it on the first try. It taught me that everyone has something to offer. That there are no mistakes about where we end up.
facebook page: Brianna Welke Yoga