We are so excited to have added five brand new teachers to our regular schedule this spring, so we wanted to take a moment to introduce you to each of them.
Today, we’d like you to meet the marvelous Rebeccah Marsters. Rebeccah has incorporated yoga into her fitness regime since her college years, dabbling in the occasional yoga video or class at the gym or even on her own at home, but it wasn’t her main athletic go-to. “I used to be a pretty hard-core gym rat, doing Body Pump and Body Attack and all those terrible sounding things. I still love the gym but my body made it clear to me that if I continued in that vein I was going to burn out pretty quickly,” Rebeccah said.
Lucky for her, she discovered her neighborhood yoga studio, O2’s Somerville location. “When I established my practice at O2 it maintained the physical elements of working out that I loved, but in a much more sustainable way,” she said, adding, “On top of that the mental practice of being present and the spiritual aspects that are part of yoga as a whole are such important tools in continuing to decrease my stress and anxiety, and improve my peace of mind and sense of contentment. There are days when I get on the mat and begin to breathe with the teacher (or students) and realize I haven’t taken a deep breath all day!” She realized that her yoga practice offered both the physical and mental/emotional connections she craved.
Besides proximity to home, what drew Rebeccah to O2 was the strength of the teachers and their unique, challenging sequencing skills. “I never got bored — and still haven’t. Plus to find a style of yoga that my husband would do with me was a huge win. We’ve been going to the same class together almost every week since we first started practicing,” she said.
After practicing at O2 for about two years, Rebeccah’s curiosity about Mimi’s 200-Hour Teacher Training program started to percolate. She wondered what it might mean for her life to take this challenge on — what would the endgame be? Eventually, she decided to take the leap because she loves to learn, loves yoga and wanted the experience of combining those things. “I knew I wanted to deepen my practice, and I’ve always been sort of an all-or-nothing person, so I figured, full-immersion yoga learning!” Rebeccah recalled. And that’s certainly what O2’s TT is — a deep dive into the nerdiest possible depths of yoga sequencing, theory, the anatomy of the body in motion, hands-on adjusting, and so much more. Perfect for anyone who loves O2 and has a genuine curiosity about the how’s and why’s of our vinyasa style.
Like a fair amount of our TTs, Rebeccah figured she’d do the training for the love of yoga and not go on to teach. She never thought of herself as having the patience to be a great teacher…and public speaking went against her desire not to be the center of attention, characterizing herself as more of a “behind the scenes” person. “But part of this whole process, and my yoga/spirituality journey in general is being more open minded, so I never said ‘definitely not,'” she said.
And when Teacher Training came to a close and discussion about Karma tryouts became more centralized, it crystallized for Rebeccah that she did, indeed, want to give this iteration of the experience a chance. Or, at the very least, she listened to the inner voice asking her to take it one step at a time. “There was never really a moment where I decided to try out for Karma. The whole process just rolled on. I continued to ask myself ‘Is it a definite no?’ And it wasn’t, so I just kept taking the next step. Being able to say ‘no’ is an important skill, don’t get me wrong. But with the exception of expending too much energy and depleting myself, which I’m getting better at with age, I usually regret the ‘no’s more than I regret the ‘why nots?’ Nothing is permanent, so why not try something on and see how it fits?” she said, convincing herself. We here at O2 were already convinced and knew Rebeccah would be a fabulous teacher, so we were so thrilled to hear she wanted to keep going with the process. And it certainly is a process! As Rebeccah puts it, “Teaching Karma, and teaching in general, is pretty nerve wracking for me. It’s not like ‘oh I can do yoga, so I can teach yoga!’ There are so many components at play sometimes it feels like rubbing your stomach and patting your head while standing on one foot. But at the end of the day I learned that I have a lot to offer, even if I haven’t been teaching for years. I have my compassion, my energy, my voice, my acceptance of myself and my students. If I make that connection with even one student it’s worthwhile.”
Besides the empowerment — and humility — she gained through the Teacher Training process, she also realized quickly that, given the same set of tools, everyone is going to develop their own style of teaching. “And that’s ok — it’s desirable, in fact! We’re not supposed to all become Yoga Teacher Barbie. We’re supposed to figure out the specific skills and knowledge that we have in our arsenal, and how to disseminate that knowledge to our students in a way that fits in with O2’s ideology,” she said. She’s gotten some great advice, too: “Breathe and smile! And don’t try to be a DJ. Someday I might play music during my classes, but I’m still focusing on the basics, plus I have this fear that I’d make a very zen, yoga-appropriate playlist and then some technological glitch would cause hip-hop to blare halfway through savasana.”
And as a great receiver of advice, Rebeccah’s a great giver of advice, too! To anyone pondering Teacher Training, she has this to say: “If it’s not a definite no, then it’s worth doing. Yes, it’s a time and financial commitment, so be realistic about it, but no matter what the outcome is, the experience will be worth it. And practice your vegan baking for snack time.” Definitely that last part, for sure!! Ain’t no time like snack time during Teacher Training at O2 Yoga.
When she’s not teaching or practicing, Rebeccah is taking absolutely gorgeous professional-grade food photos for social media, sweating in spin class, baking or cooking at home, continuing to explore the food and wine scene with her husband, at the Gardner museum staring at the courtyard, reading, hanging out with her stepdaughter on the weekends, or cuddling her “four legged baby,” a French bulldog named Melba Toste, while doing a crossword and sipping a martini. She loves, loves, loves to travel and has an ever-growing list of places she wants to visit…and is in full-on planning mode for a trip back to one of her favorite places on Earth, Paris! We bet she’ll get some great food photos while she’s there… We’re already drooling.
Welcome to the team, Rebeccah! We are so looking forward to watching you grow as a teacher and practioner. Students, you can join Rebeccah for 7am Basics in Cambridge every Wednesday morning. For her full teaching schedule this week, click here.