#ODDLight Teacher Feature: Hallie Anoff
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 Hallie Anoff, lover of cooking and country music!
Name: Hallie Anoff
Nick Name: Hal
Hometown: Bethesda, MD
Favorite Place: The east coast during the fall
Favorite color: Purple
What’s your sign? Capricorn
Most embarrassing moment?
Oh geeze, I’ve told this story out loud before but I’ve never written it out. Here we go. In middle school I had a crush on one of the baseball players. I was on the softball team and one day after school practice was cancelled last minute so I had to take the bus home. I grabbed an open seat and then my “crush” got on the bus too. He asked to sit with me and of course I said yes. We were friends and he probably heard through the grapevine (do people still say that?) that I had a crush on him. We shared awkward conversation, I don’t remember what we talked about specifically but I remember the group of boys who always sat in the back of the bus. They were a grade below me and I thought we were all friends, but then this happened. So my “crush” and I were talking, all of a sudden his eyes went to the top of my head and a look of disgust washed over his face. He gestured, “Umm, you have … something.” I thought maybe a gross bug landed on my hair. No, it was not a bug. I went to brush it off, and I felt a greasy sack on my head. “What the hell is this,” I thought before I saw what it was. The boys in the back of the bus had planted an unrolled, unused condom right on the top of my noggin. When I pulled it down and saw what it was, a huge rush of heat went through my body. I turned the color of a tomato and felt mortified. Luckily the bus ride from school to my house was less than a mile so I didn’t have to suffer much longer. The weirdest part of it all? My “crush” asked me out a few days later. I think our little relationship lasted 48 hours.
Most empowering moment?
I moved across the country at 22. Ever since I was little, I always wanted to live in Los Angeles. I was fascinated with the culture, palm trees and weather. I was obsessed with “Saved by the Bell” and “Clueless” … okay, I still am obsessed. As I was nearing college graduation, I came to the conclusion, “I can move to California, try it out and always move back, but I would rather that than never take the leap and wondering what could have been.” I had a job lined up, so I did it! This is one of the first photos of me and my pup Milo hiking (okay, walking) the Santa Monica Mountains.
Fun Facts most wouldn’t know about you?
- I’ve been a vegetarian for 12 years.
- I was a cast member at Walt Disney World in Orlando.
- I really like country music. It started with Shania Twain back in the nineties and I still listen today! I went to Stagecoach a couple years ago too. I’ve sneaked in a couple country songs in class, Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” and some tracks from “Nashville.” 😉
Share a story or anecdote with us.
In teacher training, we learned about goal setting, something I had always done, but at this point in my life I wasn’t chasing any career goals. Jessica asked us to take out a blank piece of paper and pen and set a bhavana – a vision that furthers one’s self. She said a bhavana should be positive, clear and specific. This scared me! If I write something down, then I really become accountable. What if it doesn’t happen? I wrote down what I really wanted to be doing for a living and what I dreamed of. A week before training ended, I landed the job I envisioned at the start of training. You could say it was a coincidence but I don’t think so. If it wasn’t for training and my new way of thinking, I never would have scored an interview for the position. If there is something you want to achieve, write it down and the key is to be specific!
#tbt to that time when our first ever teacher trainees graduated! Round 2 coming your way! Join is on Saturday for an info session at 12:30 – we will answer questions and talk about all that is in store! Teacher training changed our lives…are you down? #onedowndog #yoga #teachertraining #silverlake #yogaeveryday #beastudent #learn #teach #grow #beofservice
When you aren’t at the studio where can you be found (favorite past time)?
In a kitchen! Lately I really like cooking and find it really relaxing. I usually try to make something elaborate on the weekend so then I have kick ass leftovers for lunch! Recently when I visited my parents, I cooked them a few meals from scratch. Even though it was MY vacation! My parents cooked for this picky kid (that’s me) for 18 years so it’s the least I could do.
How do you define yoga?
Yoga is my happy place. It’s how I relax, unwind and come back down to Earth. The work week is incredibly stressful and it’s nice to focus on something else for an hour and come back out into the real world rejuvenated and refreshed.
Why do you teach?
I teach because yoga brings me joy! If I can spread a little joy to just one person after class, I would feel fulfilled. I spend a lot of time at work and coming to yoga is an escape for me. I love to help people relax because people (especially in L.A.) forget to do it! If everyone practiced yoga the world would be a happier place. That should be a bumper sticker. 😉
What brought you to become an instructor?
It never crossed my mind that I would want to be a yoga teacher until I went to One Down Dog. I met a few teachers and they all loved teaching, I had never “loved” any job! I signed up for teacher training as a way to further my practice. Once it ended, I wanted to learn more and becoming an instructor was the next step. It challenges me, makes me step out of my comfort zone and I get to make people laugh!
What is your favorite song to play in class?
I don’t like to play the same songs over and over again, but there are a few artists I like to include on every playlist – right now it’s Beach House, Troye Sivan, BØRNS and Bieber. A little indie mix with a splash of pop.
What is your favorite pose or flow? Why?
I really love spinal twists before savasana. You’ve done all the hard work and now it’s time to relax and soak it all in. Spinal twists are like a reset button, massaging your organs and detoxing your body. I love the visual of twisting like a washcloth, wringing out everything you don’t need with every breath.
Memorable yoga moment?
That moment when you try a pose you didn’t think you could do and you totally rock it. I went to a local studio in Florida and I ended up being the only person in the class, which meant it was really hands on. The instructor asked me what I wanted to focus on and I told her twists so our peak posture was side crow. I had never tried it or thought I could even get close but since it was just me and the teacher, I gave it a shot. With the teacher’s encouragement, I found side crow! If you are ever in Sarasota, let me know. I will give you the studio details 🙂
What is your favorite yogi prop or piece to wear or use?
I really like to light candles in class, especially lavender. It is soothing, calms people’s nerves, and smells good too!
Are there any links, @names, and #hashtags you would you like us to use in promoting you and your happenings?