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#ODDLight: Yoga Teacher Training Alums Edition 2

Hey ODDballs. We’re back this week with another round of #ODDLight Teacher Training alumni features. Keep reading to learn all the juicy details of their lives and as well as what they got out of doing teacher training at ODD! And if you’re really moved by what they have to say, the next round of ODDYTT starts in January!

Name: Shaharyar

Nickname: Shari
Hometown: Lahore, Pakistan but my heart is in LA, so it is home


What’s your ODD love story?

This could be the story of how you found One Down Dog. It could be about a connection that you’ve made through ODD (with a person or a creature). How ODD helped you fall in love with yourself. Any and all interpretations of love story are welcome!
My teacher training crew, aka oddyttdawgs, is quite the love story. It’s truly amazing to have the unconditional support of people who are always down to accompany each other on anything. You probably won’t find a group of 20 people that love each other more.

How do you define yoga?

In one word: devotion. It’s commitment to personal and spiritual growth. Basically, yoga is life.

What is one small fact that most wouldn’t know about you?

I usually overthink things but I am very impulsive, or should I say intuitive, when it comes to major life or financial decisions. I didn’t come to yoga or ODD through classpass or anyone I knew. One day I decided that I should practice yoga. I walked into ODD that evening, signed up for the new student special and took my first yoga class ever.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Ability to time travel!

What’s the biggest thing you’ve gained from doing teacher training at ODD?

Awesome teachers who are so knowledgeable and inspiring. They are mentors who continue to guide me through this journey.

What is your favorite asana pose and/or sequence and why?

These days I’m committed to pincha mayurasana. I love working towards a pose that seems impossible at first. Going from “I will never be able to do this pose” to “I will get there one day” is my favorite part of the asana practice.

Name: Meg Bradbury
Nickname:
Hometown: Pasadena, CA
What’s your ODD love story?
Initially, I first came to ODD in 2014 for two reasons; one, I wanted a yoga studio that played music I loved and wasn’t stuffy or stuck. Two, at the time, I used yoga as cross training for all the running I did and I loved that ODD offered classes like SWEAT. While that second reason doesn’t exist anymore*, the first reason — contemporary relevance/perfect irreverence — continues to delight me, every time I unroll my mat.
*backstory: Several years ago I was dx’ed with an eating disorder that, among other behaviors, expressed itself in obsessive exercise. As I first approached recovery, I stopped running and then took a break from all forms of exercise, including yoga. As hard as this was, it was a vital part of my healing and gave me the insight into what my body really wanted and needed in terms of movement. I came back to ODD after just about a year away and it was coming home. I was welcomed back with such warm and open arms. Stepping into one of the ODD studios and unrolling my mat remains one of my most sacred and safest spaces.
How do you define yoga?
Yoga is remembering, with breath and with movement and with stillness, that I am whole, able to love and be loved, and connected to every living thing.
What is one small fact that most wouldn’t know about you?
I was a second gen Hollywood punk rocker circa late 70s (pre Henry Rollins, yo) and have so! many! stories! and got into so! much! trouble!
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I wish it were something magnanimous and in service to all humanity, but I seriously just really fucking want to fly.


What’s the biggest thing you’ve gained from doing teacher training at ODD?
Sangha. Totally. My YTT cohort and teachers have become not only friends but family, with all the messy, inevitable times of grief, self-reflection, doubt, fear, and vulnerability a close group goes through during yoga teacher training. We counseled and consoled and celebrated and cried and laughed and overshared and nicknamed and fell asleep during story hour and listened and heard and we became teachers. TOTALLY One Down Dog teachers. Together.  #bravespace
What is your favorite asana pose and/or sequence and why?
Right now it’s trikonasana. I find a lot of expression and openness there, and there’s a way my body just shines into it happily, like a belonging.  A slow, syrupy Sun A, too, feels full of love. The slower the better. Pleasure, grace, poetry.
Name: Hannah

Nickname: Banana, Banana Welder, Han, Han Solo, Hanzo
Hometown: San Antonio, TX

What’s your ODD love story?
I was a serial Groupon-er when it came to yoga until I realized a good chunk of my friends practiced at ODD. I fell in love with Cindy’s sweat class immediately but it was in one of Adam’s classes in November 2016 that I had what can only be described as a spiritual experience. I was so stressed and angry and confused and scared and when we were in savasana this wave came over me that just said, “You’re going to be alright. Everything is going to be alright.” I had never ever had an experience like that and I knew I was on to something special. Finding not only a practice that worked for me, but a community and a physical space has also been instrumental in my sobriety. I didn’t come to yoga to get sober but it’s definitely helped.
How do you define yoga? 
Self-study. Svadyaya is one of my favorite yogic ideas and it’s what I always come back to. I explore my body and my mind and a connection to a higher power and my mood and so many other things that I’ve only found access to through yoga (for now).
What is one small fact that most wouldn’t know about you?
I was born at home in the house my dad still lives in (bonus fact- the address is my IG handle)
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Flying! Or teleporting. But I think flying because then I could enjoy the ride and flying would be faster than driving anyway.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve gained from doing teacher training at ODD?
Community. It feels cheesy to say but it’s so dang true. We all brought such unique elements to the group and rely on each other for different reasons. It also pushed me to get more involved at ODD- introduce myself to front desk staff, go to more workshops, etc.
As I’ve also started to teach my own classes it’s been so helpful to be able to reach out to YTT friends and say, “Is this how it is for you? How do you handle this certain situation?” You learn it all in training but putting it into practice is a whole new ballgame.
What is your favorite asana pose and/or sequence and why?
Super into Warrior 2 right now. It’s a pose we do so often and I feel like it’s easily overlooked so I’m trying to be more aware in my home practice. In class lately it seems to be where I find the most gratitude. Sinking lower and stretching longer and trying to find new aspects of it and just so grateful I have a body that can do any of this.