Teacher Feature Mid-March 2017: Toby Chaiken

Posted By O2 Yoga on Mar 12, 2017 in O2 Yoga Blog |

O2 Yoga Teacher Training Class: 2015

Teaching at O2 Since: January 2016

Toby’s thoughts on Inversions Month: “I find inversions both humbling and really fun to work towards. Bring it on!”


Toby’s Current Teaching Schedule:

Cambridge Studio

6:30am-7:30am Basics on Thursdays

5:30pm-6:30pm Basics on Sundays


Cemile, Sarah, Toby, & Corinna, representin’ the TT Class of 2015

For Toby, like many of our dedicated yogis, it took finding a “yoga home” to make the practice integral in her life.  Lucky for us, we are the home she chose after she decided to check O2 out at the start of 2013.  “I found O2 at a time in my life when I felt a bit restless. The Cambridge studio is right across the street from my old office, so I wandered in a few years ago and basically never left,” she said.  And while she was hanging out getting plenty of time on her mat, she was also getting involved in the community as part of our workstudy program doing sign-ins primarily at our Somerville location before making the ever-important leap to do Teacher Training with Mimi in 2015.  After completing those 200-hours, Toby moved on to our Karma Program, the internship our new teachers do on their path to becoming a full-fledged O2 Teacher.  The Karma Program allows us to offer half price classes ($8 drop-in) to our students where 100% of the proceeds go to benefit Maple Farm Sanctuary — and our new teachers get a chance to practice teaching.  Now that’s some good Karma.

After being on the schedule for six months or so, Toby came to studio managers Elliott and Sarah with big news:  she had a job offer to work for Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign and would be re-locating to Florida as a result!  We couldn’t have been more proud of Toby as she took a leave of absence for this pursuit but are now so thrilled to have her back home!  “I kept up with self-practice and did a bit of teaching at work, but I literally daydreamed about the day I would be back at O2. I’m really happy to be back practicing and teaching,” Toby said.

And what was she daydreaming about most?  “My all time dream pose is chin stand! I am in awe when anyone can do it — it’s just so cool!” she told us, adding, “My dream pose of the moment is kundinyasana. I am super close to getting it so it’s my personal goal to get there soon.”  As a teacher, her favorite pose to incorporate into classes is shoulderstand at the wall.  “I like teaching it because I think it feels great and for me doing the pose with the support of the wall was one of the best ways to understand the alignment,” she explained.

In addition to her regular classes at 6:30am on Thursday mornings and 5:30pm on Sunday evenings (both in Cambridge), you will also see Toby helping her fellow teachers out by subbing frequently at both studios — if you have not had the pleasure of taking one of her classes yet, be sure to check her out!  “I think it’s amazing to have a place I can go to where I always leave calmer and happier. I love being a part of creating that atmosphere for others,” Toby said.  That’s the true magic of yoga: peace in perspective, joy in creation, a community that is the result of this commonality.

We’re so happy you’re back home, Toby!


What’s your favorite pose to do?

“I love bird of paradise. I like it because it requires balance, strength, and flexibility. It’s super challenging, but it feels so uplifting and makes me smile.”

Do you have a mantra or a theme song?

“My mantra is ‘allow, allow, allow,’ which is how I try to live. Staying positive and realizing I can’t control everything.”

Do you play music in class?  Why or why not?

“I typically play music. I personally enjoy music when I practice, so I thought I’d make an ever changing playlist. I sometimes worry that it is distracting, but no one seems to be complaining so far…”

Meet our entire fabulous teaching staff here.

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