Live In Joy Teacher Spotlight
December - Veronica Carpenter
We have created this spotlight as a place for you to get to know our beautiful teachers that make up our amazing team! Learn more about Veronica's yoga Journey. You can find Veronica teaching via zoom on Tuesdays 9:30-10:45 am & Thursdays 1:00--2:15 pm
Photography by: Bradd Eeles
From the Beginning
Where are you from and/or where do you live?I was born and raised in Philadelphia. I moved to Collingswood NJ in 2015. I currently live in Audubon NJ.
When and/or how did you find yoga? I found yoga in 2008 when a friend and I drove past Twisted Monkey Yoga Studio in Rockledge PA and decided to check it out. I instantly became hooked on heated power hatha yoga.
Was there anything memorable about your first teacher? My first teacher was Bill Henry, at the time he was in his late 60’s and he was the embodiment of the benefits of yoga when practiced throughout one’s lifetime. He is still going strong and is currently in his 80’s.
When did you decide to become a yoga teacher yourself? I decided to become a yoga teacher when my teacher offered for me to teach in his studio after a few years of steady practice.
What level of training do you have? I am an E-200 RYT, 500 RYT. (E for experienced means I have taught over 1,000 hours of yoga). I will be a certified Comprehensive Yoga Therapist in June 2021through YogaLife Institute which will include over 1,000 hours of training. I also completed the Living Yoga Training at Yogaville Ashram in Virginia in 2017. Lastly, I’ve taken a few children’s yoga training weekends early in my yoga career.
What is your teaching style? My teaching style is lighthearted, playful and trauma sensitive. I invite students to carry a curiosity with them on the mat and remind them to leave judgement behind.
What are your classes at Live In Joy like? I typically theme my classes and sew in various tools for students to find their internal harmony which include- yoga philosophy, breathing practices, asana, chanting, mindfulness, meditation and relaxation. My 9:30am Tuesday Vinyasa class at Live In Joy is good for those looking for a slow start, physical challenge/heat building in the middle, followed by cool down and relaxation at the end. Currently this class leans towards being a strong mindful hatha style class with minimal “vinyasa” flows. My Thursday class is perfect for anyone looking for a well-rounded Vin/Yin practice creating space within the body/mind/spirit through half gentle heat building poses followed by half cooling yin postures. This class also has minimal “vinyasa” flows.
Have you found yourself drawn to a specific type of yoga? If so, what about this type of yoga draws you in? My first love was vinyasa. My physical practice has evolved over the years and has become more of a strong hatha with mixes of heat building poses, gentle movements and yin postures. Comprehensive Yoga therapy training has opened my eyes and assisted in taking my yoga practice into every aspect of my life- using yoga philosophy to guide my life. I believe I am a bit of a Bakti Yogi and am all bout connecting with Spirit.
What are your favorite go-to poses? The poses you could do every day, all day? I usually find myself naturally standing in a tree leg balance when just standing in my kitchen or talking on the phone. When needing to feel more open I do lengthened side sways, standing cat/cows, twists, forward folds, heart openers, and hip openers. To fire up I do sun salutations and warrior sequences. When I need to focus on taking a new perspective I get upside down.
What are some of the challenges you have faced? In training to become a yoga teacher. In being a yoga student. In teaching yoga. Challenges in becoming a yoga teacher included overcoming self doubt. In regards to being a yoga student- I will always be a student and am grateful for moments during my training when I realized that I know nothing in the grand scheme of things. At first that was hard to take but over time it became invigorating and pushed me to keep learning more. Challenges in teaching yoga included having patience and trusting the process as the journey unfolded and I found my authentic voice.
Do you have a favorite book that you have incorporated into your classes, or that has helped you expand your own personal practice? I did a 7-week chakra series in my classes recently based on Eastern Body Western Mind by Anodea Judith.
Why do you teach yoga? I teach yoga because the practice has shaped who I am as a person. Yoga has given me so much on my personal healing journey and I want to share the benefits of yoga with others. It just feels like I am supposed to teach yoga.
What do you like new students not only to your class, but to yoga in general, to know? I like new students to know that their pose doesn’t need to look like my pose. Each person’s body is different and so will look different from their neighbor’s. I invite new students to enter into practice without expectations, with a curious playful mind and an open heart. For those starting out- do your best, let go of the rest, have fun and keep going. Patience and persistence will yield results, just wait and see.
We Want to Know
What's your favorite holiday? The New Year.
What hobbies/likes do you have that are non-yoga related? I spend time in nature, time with children, draw, dance, take lots of pictures, write and attempt to laugh as much as possible.
Do you have a favorite quote/saying/ affirmation/mantra? Or one of each of those? Since the beginning of the pandemic I have been ending all of my yoga classes with the chant Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu- may all beings everywhere be happy and free. May my thoughts, words and actions contribute in some way to happiness and freedom for all.
What advice do you give to yourself that you try to follow in your everyday life? I always do my best to remember my connection to all that is, to stay in the moment, to take things as they come and to treat myself with loving kindness and compassion when I have my very human moments.
Name some of your favorite foods/drinks. Can be from a restaurant, or something you make at home. I enjoy making smoothies in the summer which include- spinach/kale, hemp milk, fresh fruit, chia seeds, hemp hearts, avocado, and flax seed.I also enjoy various teas along with GT’s Orange Peach Mango Water Kefir.
Where do you find your inspiration? I listen to Ram Dass lectures often. Time with children. Time in nature. Conversations with fellow yoga teachers. Books acquired through my yoga trainings. Documentaries. Poetry.
Has yoga taken you on a new path recently? Are you learning something new? Expanding in a certain direction? I am currently in my final year of Comprehensive Yoga Therapy Training. I am learning how to make yoga adaptable and accessible for all humans. This approach also focuses heavily on application of yoga philosophy within one’s life.
What is your guilty pleasure? Netflix.