Kendra Peralta has been practicing yoga since 2000.
She discovered a renewed dedication to her practice through Ayurveda in 2011, and completed her 200 hour Aurafitness Flow-Based teacher training with Ashleigh Beyer and AuraGarver in 2014. Aside from her Yoga Practice (and teaching schedule), Kendra is also a teacher at Enos Garcia Elementary School.
As part of my ongoing series on Shree Yoga Taos Instructors, I invited Kendra to tell taoStyle readers a little about herself and her classes at Shree.
1) Can you tell us a little about how you came to discover and practice yoga?
Like many people, I began practicing yoga to keep my body in shape. I was attracted to power yoga and Ashtanga, and I still love the benefits these workouts provide. Over the years I have come to appreciate the both the physical and mental benefits of a restorative practice, as well as pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation. My practice depends on the season and what my body and mind desire, ranging anywhere from a ten-minute savasana or an hour and half vigorous flow.
2) I know you are also a follower of Ayurveda (having seen you at Tizia and Paul O’Connor’s gorgeous retreat on the Hondo Mesa), can you tell us a bit of your experience with that discipline?
Tizia O’Connor helped me a great deal seven years ago when I was very much out of balance, with digestive challenges, overextending myself and experiencing a lot of stress. Ayurveda guides and encourages balance and healthy choices in my life. At first, I viewed Ayurveda as a set of rules and lists to follow, but now I understand it as an invaluable offering of suggestions that help me feel my best. I try to eat seasonally and to follow dinacharya, daily routines that include regular sleeping, waking, and meal times, abhyanga, prayer, exercise, and meditation. My body is quick to send reminders when I stray too far for too long from following these practices.
3) You have been at Shree for a while now, can you tell us a little about the focus of your classes there?
For 5 seasons I taught a restorative class based on the teachings of Judith Hanson Lasater. Currently, I am beginning my 4th season of teaching the noon yoga hour class on Sundays. It begins with a warm-up, moves into a vinyasa flow (a series of connected postures that move through variations of sun salutations), and ends with restorative poses. It is a nice way to get a slight rise in your heart rate, focus on the breath, and feel refreshed with a restorative focused ending. Safe sequencing of yoga poses was a focus from my training from Aurafitness with Aura Garver and Ashleigh Beyer, and I continue to keep those guidelines in mind.
4) You’re a mother as well as a Yoga Instructor – how has Yoga helped you to balance motherhood and career?
It continues to be a balancing act, some days better than others. Yoga helps remind me to balance sukha, the sweetness, pleasure, and ease in life, with the stirha, the focus, effort, and seriousness. My personality, roles, and lifestyle choices tend to be more stirha in nature, so I strive to keep a sukha (“good space”) mindset as I move throughout each day. I’m very grateful for yoga and Ayurveda, and enjoy being a student of both.
For more information on Kendra and her classes at Shree Yoga, please visit their site linked below.