Phelan met yoga in 2005 when she was working as a bicycle messenger in Chicago. Yoga brought her the peace and presence that helped her balance the demands of her job. She was hooked. She moved to Athens in 2010 with her band, and her relationship with yoga deepened. Phelan was inspired to receive her 200 hour certification from Yogaful Day in 2013 and is currently seeking her 500 hour certification from Asheville Yoga Center.
On yoga, she says, “I love yoga, it is my best friend. It shows me how to love myself in the best way so I can love others in the best way. It teaches me that the content is in the transitions, the more difficult, the more important. Yoga gives me a very special way of expression which enables me to translate and enhance the rest of my reality. I feel so grateful to be able to give yoga to other people, it takes my experience next level and blows my mind every time.”
Where are you from? Omaha, Nebraska
How long have you lived in Athens? 9 years
What’s your passion? Family, yoga, music
Favorite book? Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
Favorite movie? Jurassic Park
Favorite restaurant? Ever? La Bouvette in Omaha. In Athens? Tlaloc
When did you start practicing yoga and why?
Let’s see… When I moved to Chicago in 2000, there was a studio down the street from me that had donation-based classes that I started going to every week. I got hooked! There were like a million Bikram studios in Chicago and so I got really into that for awhile, especially during those long Chicago winters. I was a bike messenger at the time, and yoga was so therapeutic for me. Also, the mental space yoga provided me was like nothing else I had known.
What’s your favorite yoga style?
I appreciate many styles and have taken a turn in many over the years, but I would have to say, all of my favorite teachers are ones who were trained in Anusara, so like hatha flow generally.
How long have you taught yoga? What inspired you to teach?
I’ve taught yoga for about 8 years. I had wanted to take my practice to another level by getting my 200 hour (from Bill Cottrell at Yogaful day) and then once I had that, I started teaching a regular free class at Flicker downtown in the little theater they have. This allowed me to get my chops up as an instructor while providing free yoga to the community.
What’s your advice to someone who is new to yoga?
Truly bringing yourself into the space of your body with a quality of curiosity and acceptance is whats important, not all the things you “can’t do.” Over time the things you “can do” start to accumulate, and you can rejoice in the space of your body, appreciating everything it does for you.
What is your favorite pose?
What’s your favorite class to teach at M3? Favorite to take?
Oof, that’s hard! I like teaching my flow class on Wednesdays at 5:30. And I like the signature M360; it’s fun to see different teachers’ takes on it.
What do you enjoy most about M3?
The community!!!!! I love M3 so much.