Teacher Highlight: Gina Reynolds
Gina has been here for a few years now and has been a pleasure to work with and to have on the team. She is very responsible, reliable, and always willing to help out whenever and however she can, from subbing classes to working behind the desk! I get the sense that she understands the importance of her role on the team in supporting the community as a whole, no matter how small, and that is always highly appreciated. She is super-smart, fun, and very dedicated to her yoga practice. She teaches with sheer enjoyment and she has an ability to pass along that joy to her students - even when you are doing something especially challenging in class. Her energy and presence is always warm and comforting and I always feel like I am being supported in her classes (again, no matter what challenge she is offering you :)
I’m so happy to have Gina at TULA and I look forward to continuing to support her on her yoga journey, as she has always supported us.
Here’s some more about Gina:
Hometown: a very small town in Pennsylvania called Boswell. Which is not where the aliens crashed. That's Roswell, in New Mexico. (I've been asked that more than a few times.)
Favorite Color: All of them. I love bright colors.-
Favorite Yoga Pose: Inversions. Especially forearm balance with all the leg variations.
Least Favorite: (Why) Chair. It's always hard and I'm never comfortable. There are other poses that I've disliked in the past but grown to love such as double pigeon and gomukhasana, even though they're both still really intense for me. Other poses have grown on me over the years, even if "love" isn't quite the right word for them like dolphin and goddess. But I've disliked chair from day one, my relationship with it hasn't ever improved.
Sign: Aries. A fire sign.
Favorite Place: Home! With my husband and dogs and cat, and books and piano and wine, and brightly colored walls and rugs and a large dining room table to welcome guests.
Favorite Movie: The Princess Bride. A childhood favorite that I still enjoy revisiting from time to time. I've seen plenty of good movies as an adult, but nothing that I've seen as an adult has stuck with me like the movies from my childhood. Though I am aware that it doesn't pass the Bechdel test. And the last time I watched it, I was yelling at Princess Buttercup to at least pick up the sword and throw it to Westley while he wrestled the Rodent of Unusual Size in the Fire Swamp.
How do you define Yoga? The word "yoga" means union or yoked, and yoga is comprised of 8 limbs, one of which is the physical asana practice. The majority of my yoga practice is dedicated to asana practice. I love physical poses that can be restful or vigorous or thoughtfully challenging, depending on what I need. Through the practice of physical postures, I've grown in my exposure to the other limbs including pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation). Although the other limbs are not given as much attention in classes as the physical postures, I was nonetheless slowly exposed to the other branches over the years. I didn't learn about them in an organized way until I started reading about yoga philosophy and enrolled in yoga teacher training. In trying to explain how yoga has helped me and why I love it so much, I realized that a lot of the benefits I've taken from my practice fall under the other limbs. Yoga has helped me be present in the moment, without focusing on the "why did I...?" (the past) or "what if..." (the future). Difficult poses have helped me focus and concentrate. Achieving poses that I didn't think were possible for me has taught me that a lot of barriers are self-imposed. Holding uncomfortable poses has taught me to breathe calmly through mild discomfort. (Never pain; yoga poses should not be painful.) I've taken all of those lesson off the mat and out into the world. I apply them literally or figuratively to situations at work, in my relationships and in my personal life. There's more to yoga than just the postures. If you stick with the practice long enough, you'll gain a lot more than just the ability to stand on your hands. Those benefits will likely come even if you're not initially conscious of the ways in which the practice is changing you.
Why do you teach Yoga? I love practicing and want to share the practice with other people. I want everybody to discover and love this amazing thing that I love. I also enjoy the performative aspect of leading a public group class. It helps me satisfy that acting bug that I never quite shook even after my short-lived attempt at becoming a professional actor. I also love the creative and solitary aspect of putting together a sequence, crafting a class to prepare the body for whatever peak pose I have planned. In short, teaching is a lot of fun.
What would your last meal be? Sushi, red wine, vanilla ice cream with chocolate fudge.
The band you can't live without? I enjoy listening to music without really knowing a lot about it, so my favorite musicians are nostalgia based. I inherited my love of Barry Manilow from my mom and I discovered Billy Joel through my dad's cassette tapes.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would it be and what would you do? Hawaii has been on my bucket list for years. I'm finally going to Hawaii in 2019, not just once, but twice! My husband and I have been planning a trip for a while to Maui and Kawaii, and that's happening later in 2019. I was invited to speak at a legal conference in Honolulu about immigration consequences of criminal convictions. The conference is at a resort on the beach in Waikiki! I am very excited about my 2 upcoming trips to Hawaii.
When you aren't teaching yoga, what can you be found doing? I have a full time job as an immigration lawyer at Hernandez & Reynolds, LLC, where I'm also a partner. When I'm not at work or teaching yoga, I'm typically attending yoga class or at home reading, hanging out with my cat and dogs, playing piano, or watching Netflix.
Three fun facts we don't know about you? :)
1. I was a majorette in high school. I still have my batons somewhere. Every couple years, usually when I'm moving and stumble across my batons, I go into the yard and twirl for a bit to see how many of my old tricks I can still manage.
2. I love bright colors. You can probably tell that somewhat from my yoga clothes, but I also have bright colors painted on the wall in every room of my house, and have done so in every home that I've owned and even some rentals when I could get the landlord's permission. My office has one wall painted a warm deep gold. My childhood bedroom was painted pink at my request; it was the perfect girly 1980's bedroom, complete with brass headboard and homemade pink quilt and heart-shaped pillows. I've been surrounded by bright colors ever since.
3. I've been to 3 countries in the Americas, 3 countries in Europe and exactly 0 countries on any other continent. I aim to slowly change that. Though I really do love travelling within the US and Mexico.
You can find Gina at TULA on Mondays at 6:30pm and Tuesdays at 6:30am. You can also find her on Intsagram: @ginareyn