Teacher Feature April 2017: Emily Leadholm

Posted By O2 Yoga on Mar 27, 2017 in O2 Yoga Blog |

Teaching at O2 Since: 2004

Emily’s thoughts on Second Series Month: “Second Series? Yeah, I think I’ve heard of that…”

Emily’s Current Teaching Schedule:


8am Saturdays – Basics


12pm Fridays – Basics

We’ve got more than one EO2-36mily on our fabulous teaching staff:  Emily L. and Emily R.  Both are fantastic, but today we are going to help you get to know Emily L. (herein referred to as simply “Emily”) just a little bit better…  As one of our most experienced teachers, Emily brings a quiet beauty to her classes but don’t let her calm, cool exterior fool you:  she will make you work.  But the great thing about Emily is she makes the work super fun!  After fifteen years of practicing and thirteen years of teaching, she’s discovered unlimited fresh & fabulous ways to craft creative sequences.

Like Elliott, Emily was one of O2 Yoga Somerville’s first students.  “I lived next door at the time it opened — it used to be a video store — and I was intrigued by the purple walls,” Emily recalled.  After being a regular at the studio for awhile, she decided to do Mimi’s 200-Hour Teacher Training because her “day job” as a social worker/therapist/university-instructor had obligations that always bumped up against O2’s annual trip to Maya Tulum, so she opted for TT as the next best option to deepen her practice.  “I honestly had no intention of teaching yoga, I just wanted a really big dose.  After the first week, I thought, ‘Why not keep at this?'” Emily said.

Boy, are we glad she made that decision!!

In addition to be an asana-kicking teacher, she is also one of the senior teachers involved with our Teacher Training Program, spending selected weekends with our TTs to help shepherd them on their way through our intense (but oh so wonderful… life-changing… magical… joyful… empowering) program.  And what kind of mentor-wisdom does she have to impart to new teachers? “Talk less,” she said, advice she picked up from Elliott…. who, you may recall from his Teacher Feature, picked up the same lesson from former O2 Teacher, Katherine Nelson… which also is a great illustrationO2-37 of the great collaboration of our teachers:  they know each other, they like each other, they take each other’s classes, they are each other’s teachers and students.  It really is a beautiful thing.

Also beautiful?  Emily’s favorite part of teaching is you, her students:  “It’s the BEST way to meet really great people.”  Maybe that has something to do with one of our favorite Mimi-isms: “Teaching yoga makes people nicer.”  No matter which way we look at it, we know that our days are just that much better when we take the time to roll out our mats in one of Emily’s classes.  We so appreciate her dedication to being a positive, warm, inviting presence in our community!

Emily’s favorite pose to teach:


Emily’s favorite pose to do:

“Downward facing dog.”

Do you have a mantra or a theme song?

“For mantras, definitely nothing inspirational.  I am more reassured by sayings like, ‘You can’t win ’em all!’  For theme song: ‘Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots’ by the Flaming Lips.”

We asked Emily about her thoughts on music while she’s teaching:

“I had some bad experiences playing music and having it come on too loudly or other technical errors so I haven’t played music in years.  At this point, I like it quiet.”

Any hobbies to share with the class?

“Sewing. Clothes. For me.”

Any final thoughts?

“Thank you for coming to my class and please tell me what you think.  I’ve been teaching long enough that I’m not wounded by critical feedback — I really just like to know what worked and didn’t work for people.”

And a note from Sarah, Cambridge’s Studio Manager:

Emily’s daughters Evie and Frances are two of my favorite humans — what smart, sweet, funny, creative young ladies they are! It always takes my great days at the studio and makes them extra special days when any of our teachers bring their children, partners, friends, and other family members to class or the cafe.  We’re so fortunate to have the chance to get to know each other’s “outside lives” as part of the culture at O2.  

Read about all of our fabulous teachers here!

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