The teachers at One Down Dog are all so talented and unique. This month, we’re putting the spotlight on Natalie Burtney, who has an ODD Adventure coming up in September! If you’ve been in the same room with Natalie for more than 30 seconds, then you already know that her warmth and playfulness are contagious, but we wanted to dig a little deeper so you can get to know her even better!
Hey, Natalie! What’s your sign?
Taurus Sun, Cancer Rising, Scorpio Moon. Venus and Mercury in Aries, Mars in Gemini. I know you didn’t ask, but these are all important in understanding me!!! Human Design is Generator in case you’re into that. 😉
Tell us about yourself!
So much to say! I am a busy bee and always thrive when I am working a lot. I am a friend, a daughter, a sister, an aunt. I like to cook, go to long dinners, dance and just chill. I am passionate about wellness in a way that feels attainable and lifestyle based vs strict and restricted. I feel like I am constantly trying to find a balance there. I am a yoga teacher and actor who dabbles in writing and improv. I create and tell stories and I think that is the common thread in everything that I do.
Where are you from?
“I grew up in Michigan with really hippie parents (they were macrobiotic before it Gwyneth Paltrow made it cool). They still go to a weekly meditation service.”
I was an artsy kid and not very athletic (which is funny to me because I teach fitness classes). I grew up dancing, singing, painting, and performing. I majored in Theatre Arts at Wayne State University in Detroit, and then lived in Chicago for a few years doing theatre and acting in local (and national!) commercials.
I came to LA about 7 years ago. Turns out, I love love love the west coast. I had no idea I would be a yoga teacher, but I found a love for the practice when I found One Down Dog and then got my teaching certificate shortly after. Right now I am super into creating new and innovative workshops for ODD – like The Lunar Ritual I hosted last month for the New Moon–and hosting a freaking yoga adventure ODD CAMP with Hallie in September in MAINE. You’re coming, yes? It is going to be the best and I cannot wait to go full camp counselor for the week- think bandana, wide-brim hats, hiking shoes, cozy socks, bonfires, arts and crafts, sing-alongs, oh yeah– and all the yoga.
What 5 words would your friends use to describe you?
“Sweet, Sassy, Sensitive, Funny, Lovable (can you say that about yourself?- I just did.) “
What’s an ODD fact about you?
I have never ever been to Europe (Just the UK!) I think it is time I go, don’t you?
How did you find ODD?
I lived in Silverlake about 5 years ago, and up to that point, had mostly done yoga in gyms or in college movement classes. I came across that intro special postcard for the “New Student Special” and wandered in only to find a mural on the wall of Jess doing a down dog in what looked like Detroit! I was like, “Hey, is that Detroit?” and she was like, “uh, yeah!” and it turns out we have like 160 mutual friends on Facebook. It was at ODD that I really learned what the heck I was doing in yoga and gained skills and confidence and trust in the practice and my body. I fell in love.
What kind of classes do you gravitate toward at One Down Dog?
I like everything! Depends on the mood. Overall, my body and brain need some sort of meditative movement. I love a good flow where the pacing is on point, the playlist is sick and I am getting sweaty and out of my head. I used to take Jess’s SWEAT on Saturdays. Sometimes a fun SWEAT class is THE BEST. OR -give me a yummy slow something with longer holds and releases (YIN or just a good slow CHILL class with some philosophy). There are so many amazing teachers at ODD and they all offer a different very special thing- which is what I adore about this place.
Which ODD studio can we find you at?
What’s the biggest reason you do yoga?
Yoga is my catch-all self love/self care that helps me mentally to be present, connected to myself and strong in my body. I come to yoga because I really need to have expression without the pressure and the space to practice without expectation. That is still a huge part of what I am working on. The journey is endless. It is just the journey. 🙂
Memorable yoga moment?
So so many. Here’s a biggie: I remember never attempting arm balances or going upside down at the beginning stages of my practice. I was taking ashtanga for a while with a teacher who really taught me how to engage my core for headstand (sirsasana). I didn’t want to go up in the middle of the room. I was terrified and sweaty. He stayed with me, talked me through it, and I found it my body. With his support of giving me space to practice, my own courage to try, I held it there middle of the room–to my surprise and delight. I had no idea my body was capable of this because I was so used to giving up without trying. I think this is a metaphor for my yoga practice and maybe my life. Yoga isn’t just about getting upside down, but just learning how to take small steps little by little towards things gives me a satisfying feeling of growth. It feels like a practice of staying with yourself and being present no matter what.
Get to know Natalie more by following her on Instagram or finding her on the schedule!