Veteran TNE faculty member, Andrea Dyer has her 4th Annual Mind | Body | Fitness Yoga Retreat coming up in early 2015. Andrea has a great community behind here that is on board for a little fun in the sun – and there is always room for one more! She has definitely found her “Costa Rica Legs” as she puts it and would be an amazing guide and teacher for anyone who is looking to experience “the happiest place on earth.”
1. What does it mean for you to “be something more” as part of your yoga practice, teaching, and your intentions for your retreat?
Being something more (to me) is about breaking out of the daily routine and taking the practice to a place with none of the excuses we make for ourselves that detract us from knowing where our “work” is. In my practice, I find it easier to venture into new things when I am “away” and it is my intention to lead folks on my retreats to an expanded world of their practice and experience and maybe help them push the edges out in a good way. For instance, I like to check in with those on my retreat to find out the direction their practice is going in and see what I can do to assist in getting them there – helping them with physical asana, making them more comfortable with meditation, with practices like Yin and the essential Flow practices (Ashtanga) that may open new perspectives for them – especially since meditation and Ashtanga have connotations that can be off putting and false. So my intention on our retreat is to offer avenues into a deeper practice with connected instruction and encouragement to “work and play” in an expansive way.
2. Who has been your greatest influence and why?
David Williams and Erich Schiffmann are my teachers and my guides on the yoga path. They both promote staying connected to the simplicity that is the path to comfort, happiness, bliss, longevity and being the best person you can be. They have their own ways of cutting through the fluffy, non-essential stuff and getting connected to what is real and real useful. They have helped me teach from an authentic place and to ignore the pressure to be concerned about the outward appearance of it all.
3. If there was a yoga pose or mediation practice that described you – what would it be and why?
Headstand – many years ago, I was told by a teacher that I wasn’t getting into my headstand because I wasn’t trying hard enough. I pushed and grunted and worked, but to no avail and ended up with neck pain that sent me to a neurologist. I was told to never do headstand again. I couldn’t accept that and found a compassionate teacher that showed me how to eliminate the risk to my neck and to work differently. It didn’t happen overnight, because I was so scared and hurt that I was told I wasn’t trying hard enough. I had to work on those deep inner things to let my core be strong and then I did it. Yoga happens on the inside, not the outside so much. Now I love to share how to get into a SAFE headstand and help people find empowerment and patience in their practice. If I had to choose a meditation, it would be the Lovingkindness Mettas. Same reasoning – we have to love ourselves and send love to others to be free of suffering.
4. Other than yoga, meditation, nutrition – what are some of your passions?
I am totally in love with Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga. It all started on my 2nd trip to Costa Rica on Lake Arenal. I love being in nature doing my practice, but on the water is so interesting – tests balance constantly – so many lessons in easing up and using strength in balance. After practicing yoga for so long, it has refreshed my outlook on poses. Having a busy schedule that keeps my inside teaching or running my studio, I look forward to getting on my board when ever I can. And lucky me, I get to teach SUP Yoga and share my love.
5. What is on your “Costa Rica Bucket List?”
I want to spend more time in the Pacific Ocean for sure – more SUP, snorkeling, MAYBE surf lessons. I spent a lot of my life intimidated by the sea and open water, so it is great to face that and have fun at the same time.
I plan of exploring more waterfalls and doing some more sloth meditations. Unlike many of my friends that have retreated with me, I plan on a nap in a shaded hammock by the sea.