In our Profiles of a Yogi column, we feature a student from The Yoga Centre. This month, we chose Andi Dunn, who is coming up on the one year anniversary of her first class with us. She is also the Grand Prize winner of our most recent 12 Days of Yoga Challenge. Andi might be new to our community, but she is also one of the most dedicated. She has spent 81 hours at The Yoga Centre since June of last year! We honor her commitment to the practice and her warm spirit. She is an inspiration for others. We are so pleased that she has joined our community!
TYC: How were you first introduced to yoga?
AD: I was first introduced to yoga more than 30 years ago when I was part of the expatriate community at the University of Dar-es-Salaam in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. A Tanzanian faculty member who had recently returned from Britain organized yoga classes in someone’s apartment.
TYC: Wow! That’s probably the most unique story we’ve heard yet. What brought you to Tanzania?
AD: I was doing my PhD research in Swahili linguistics and teaching linguistics at the University of Dar-es-Salaam! That’s also where I got my “Mrs. degree,” as they used to say. My husband was also teaching at the University of Dar-es-Salaam – that’s where we met and got married!
TYC: What made you curious enough about yoga to try it out? What was your motivation to practice yoga?
AD: Originally I took yoga as a way to meet people, but I found it relaxing and challenging at the same time. Over the years, I have had periods in which I practiced yoga on my own or taken classes, always for relaxation as well as for flexibility and strength.
TYC: What type of class have you been taking? What do you like about it?
AD: For the last year I’ve been taking Hatha 1-2 classes at The Yoga Centre. I love that no matter how I’m feeling on a given day when class begins I feel stronger, more whole, and more relaxed when I leave.
TYC: What benefits have you noticed from your yoga practice?
AD: I’m a chemotherapy patient with a grim diagnosis and yoga has helped me retain strength and emotional balance. Spiritually, I benefit from yoga because of its practice of acceptance regardless of what you bring to the mat each day.
TYC: We honor you for taking care of yourself and are so pleased that you feel your practice supports you in this way. We hold you in our hearts and send healing thoughts.
TYC: What advice would you have for someone who is thinking about starting a yoga practice?
AD: Focus on how you feel physically and emotionally. Everyone’s experience is different so there is no right or wrong. Yoga is very adaptable. The Yoga Centre offers a variety of approaches, so try several classes until you find what you like.
TYC: Tell us more about yourself. How do you spend your time when you’re not at the yoga studio?
AD: I love to cook so I spend a lot of time in the kitchen or researching recipes and planning menus.
TYC: OOOh, we’d love to hear more about that. What’s for dinner? 🙂
AD: Tonight for dinner we are having grilled lamb and sauteed grated zucchini, and orzo with sun-dried tomatoes and tarragon. Tomorrow night I’m thinking of making mapo tofu, stir-fried broccoli with mushrooms, and rice!
TYC: Delicious! Is there anything else you’d like for the community to know?
AD: The teachers at the Yoga Centre are well-trained and continue to train. They are supportive, enthusiastic, and safe!
TYC: Thank you, we appreciate the shout out! Namaste.