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.
This month, get to know the ambitious and adventurous Cindy Godell...
Name: Cindy Godell
Nick Name: My real name is Cynthia, so Cindy is technically my nickname! But I've gone by Cindy my whole life. It gets confusing, my IG name is CynthiaCher because when I initially signed up for it years ago - I didn't want anyone to find me. But then that name kinda stuck on social media and I like it there, so I never changed it.
Hometown: Houston, TX
Favorite Place: Bali
Favorite color: Indigo
What’s your sign? Aries
Most embarrassing moment? Hard to pick just one. I used to be a wine rep, and when I was going to meet a client I stood up to give him a handshake and fell flat on my ass..in a dress...legs above my head. I tried to stand up but fell right back down. Apparently, my legs had fallen asleep while waiting. As teachers we say get back up when you fall, but like maybe - take a minute.
Most empowering moment? A couple years back, a good friend and I contemplated bungee jumping while we were in Queenstsown, New Zealand (aka. the adventure capital of the world). We decided to watch people jump before committing to this crazy decision. What we noticed was how nervous we felt for the people who were the most scared to jump, those who took ten minutes to take the leap while clinging to the support rail for dear life. Naturally, after observing person after person throw themselves off a bridge, we decided to forgo jumping and make our way to the next city on our travel agenda. But when we went to rent a car for our excursion, we mentioned to the lady that we chickened out of bungee jumping and she told us that the Kawarau Bridge was where A.J. Hackett founded the recreational bungee chord. "Fuck!" we thought, "We have to do it now." So on our way out of town, we drove our rental car to the bridge. The good friend, Lily, went first and she screamed "I'm from fucking Brooklyn!" before she took her plunge towards the crystal blue river below - supported by a rope - of course! And me? Well, after observing the people who were too scared to take the leap, I thought, if I'm going to do this - I am not hesitating. So I told the sweet, soothing bungee chord strapper guy I was nervous and then I walked right on up to that ledge and didn't hold onto anything for support. Instead of looking down, I looked out towards the vast sky beyond and I jumped. And it was the most exhilarating, freeing moment of my life.
Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you? I named my first fish Bob because I loved the movie "What About Bob" with Bill Murray. Whenever I couldn't find Bob in his tank, queue the obvious question "What about Bob?!"
Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you? I used to sing, but I haven't in years and have no idea what my voice sounds like now.
Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you? Annie Hall is my favorite movie
Share a story or anecdote with us – something magical, changing, funny, or adventurous. Something that you love to tell. I'm an extrovert, but I love quiet, patient moments - like the time I was in the middle of the Java Sea on top of a boat staring at the full moon, or the first time I did a candle gazing meditation and got lost, or when I was lying on an abandoned stage in Joshua Tree looking up at the stars and contemplating life. If I'm not helping someone, I think those are the moments to live for.
When you aren’t at the studio where can you be found (favorite past time)? I'd rather be busy than bored, so you can find me traveling, trying new restaurants, and hanging with my ever growing crew of friends. If I'm being real real, you can probably find me at Jay's Bar.
How do you define yoga? Yoga is the practice of letting go and being present.
Why do you teach? I teach to pay it forward and empower my community, and I love it so. As humans, we all have our off days, but when I enter a class (no matter how bad I feel) I'm immediately filled with joy that I get to share the yoga love for a living.
What brought you to become an instructor? As a lot of people do, I found yoga when I was going through a tough time. Yoga and my teachers provided me with a sense freedom that nothing else had ever done before. I wanted to pay it forward and do for others what my teachers did for me.
What is your favorite song to play in class? I start my classes with core, and recently my staple core song has been "Gangsta Luv" by Snoop Dogg. But, in general, hip hop reigns my class. It's always been the best music for me personally to zone out to, and I love watching my students dancing along in their down dogs.
What is your favorite pose or flow? Why? Handstand, because I can't hold it in the middle of the room and I know I'll be able to once I commit to taking the leap. Just give me ten more minutes at the rail, I mean wall. :)
Had so much fun assisting @mollyoneillyoga In her inversion workshop @onedowndog yesterday. I used to be scared of going upside down (even at the wall) and well - now the fear has subsided a bit with practice and determination. Now I get to help people conquer the fear I once had. Is this life?! Teaching yoga is fucking great, y'all.
A photo posted by Cindy Godell (@cynthiacher) on
Memorable yoga moment? Any time I watch a student have an "aha" moment in a pose or when I, personally, have them in my own practice. Aha moments! Hell yeah.
What is your favorite yogi prop or piece to wear or use? (favorite mala etc) Blocks! When I started practicing, I didn't think they were necessary even though teachers always recommended them. I thought, 'I'm flexible enough, no blocks needed.' As soon as I really started to dig into alignment, I realized what a powerful tool they are. I use blocks every practice and will begin extended side angle pose, triangle pose, etc. with one underneath my hand, eventually moving it aside after a few breaths as I gently acclimate to the pose.
Are there any links, @names, and #hashtags you would you like us to use in promoting you and your happenings?
IG - @cynthiacher,. FB - Cindy Godell, cindygodellyoga.com will be coming....any day now. :) Stay tuned!