Mimi has been living and breathing her dream of being a full-time yoga teacher since she created O2 Yoga in 1998. O2 is a system she believes is like no other for changing and improving body, mind, and spirit. She has a BS in nutrition, a BA in psychology, and an MS in exercise physiology. Feeling centered, grounded and peaceful involves all facets of the physical and energetic body. Yoga is a natural extension of this belief. “Yoga represents a way of harnessing all the good energy, focusing it on one point, to create a more harmonious individual and therefore a more peaceful world,” she says. Her infectious enthusiasm and love for teaching comes through in everything she does. She specializes in strong anatomical focus, adjusting the body to better align and strengthen the spine and therefore create better posture, better mood, better interactions with the world, and a more centered and quiet mind.
Mimi’s creation, O2 Yoga, is a unique system that draws from the philosophy of the eight-limbed path of Patanjali. O2 Yoga is athletic, empowering, energizing, and life-changing. O2 Yoga is a community of teachers and students who believe in the connection to all living beings and therefore our responsibility to be conscious of all of our actions, words, and intentions. O2 Yoga encourages a proactive interaction with the world.
Mimi has been thrilled to receive many “Best Of’s,” including both Somerville and Cambridge Scout’s Honored several years in a row, just to name a few! Most importantly, she is inspired every day by her husband, Steven, her two boys, Dylan and Deven, and her family’s ever-increasing number of animals, including their dog Mate and their pig Ender. Mimi runs teacher training and retreats locally and internationally. She is also incredibly joyful and passionate about vegan cooking, home schooling, animals, traveling with her family, and sailing on their family’s antique sailboat.
O2 Yoga allows students a place to grow in their practice, to be challenged, to work towards goals, and to be part of a community. Our Astanga-inspired, athletic, vinyasa classes are all building on a theme — every month, we have a specific focus that our teachers use to inspire their sequences — which gives students the chance to learn more about a posture or major tenet of the practice in a uniquely consistent way as each of our teachers approach that focus or theme in his or her own way. Every teacher at O2 has gone through Mimi’s 200-Hour Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher Training Program, so there will be a similarity in the way classes are constructed with the major difference from teacher to teacher being his or her perspective on the Pose of the Month.
WHERE TO BEGIN…
Students often ask where to begin on a first visit to the studio, and, regardless of any previous experience, we always suggest Basics is the best way to get started. Our Basics classes are not designed as “beginners,” but, instead, are designed to focus on the foundations of the kind of yoga students will experience in the progressive style that is O2. Basics will break down how to do a vinyasa (Sun A) and may move a little slower through a sequence with extra care and attention paid to other elements of the practice students will see frequently in an O2-style class. We recommend students stick with Basics until they have a strong understanding of many of the foundations covered in that class level, specifically in regards to the Sun A (push up, up dog, down dog), breath, locks, and even prop usage. Students wishing for a more in-depth opportunity to go over these foundational aspects should keep an eye out for our Intro to O2 Yoga workshop.
When Should I Try a More Advanced Class?
Students who have a solid understanding of “the basics” will feel right at home in our Rajas, Intermediate, and Power level classes. These classes are not intended to be harder than Basics — in fact, many experienced practioners frequently take Basics because they are not only a great reminder of the building blocks of the practice but are challenging, too! It’s the focus that differentiates our more “advanced” offerings from Basics. Teachers assume students are familiar with how to do a vinyasa and other “basics” and will, thus, move a little faster and will have time to incorporate a wider array of arm balances, inversions, and more advanced versions of postures. The essential difference between Rajas, Intermediate, and Power is class length — Rajas classes are sixty minutes, Intermediate classes are often seventy-five minutes (with a few daytime exceptions), and Power classes are ninety minutes.
Regardless of class level — Basics, Rajas, Intermediate, or Power — our classes are taught progressively, including offerings and modification for injury or limitation. Our teachers do hands-on adjusting that is not intended to be a “correction” but, rather, an assist in alignment or depth of the pose. If you prefer not to be adjusted or if you are pregnant or working with an injury or limitation, please be sure to let the teacher know before class begins.
What’s the Deal with Astanga?
Curious about the yoga that started it all for Mimi? We’ve got ya covered! We offer Astanga classes at both of our studio locations. Specifically, we offer Primary Series except for the last Astanga occurrence of the month, which we sub out Primary Series for Second (or Intermediate) Series. We recommend experienced students come to Astanga. While teachers will offer modifications and such for poses, the pacing is extremely quick and familiarity with Sanskrit and the postures they represent will be key for a student’s experience in the class.
In a nutshell…
O2 Yoga is the “jazz” version of Mimi’s first yoga love, Astanga — the classical music underpinning our long-form sequences. Where Astanga is “right side/left side,” O2 Yoga will incorporate much longer sequences on one side before tackling that sequence on the other side. O2 classes are “comfortably warm” with the studio around 80-degrees. Through breath and movement, students build an internal heat that allows safe execution of poses. Classes are taught progressively in all class levels and modifications are on offer for anyone working with injuries or limitations. Teachers do hands-on adjustments that are intended to help align and support students in postures and are not intended as “corrections.” If you prefer not to receive adjustments, please let the teacher know before class begins.
Still have questions? See other “New Student Frequently Asked Questions” here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.