Practice with Carrie
Carrie Owerko has been teaching yoga and exploring the relationship between body, breath, and mind for many years. She is a Senior Level Certified Iyengar teacher (CIYT), is a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT), and Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist (FRCms); she continues to deepen her exploration of yoga, movement and movement science by studying with fascinating movers and thinkers all over the world. Over the last two decades she has made multiple trips to study with the Iyengar family in India for extended periods.
Before studying yoga, Carrie earned a BFA in Dance and Theater, and graduated from the renowned Neighborhood Playhouse School for the Theater in NYC. Carrie then spent several years working for the Irondale Ensemble Project, a Movement/Educational/Experimental Theater Company. In addition to performing with Irondale she taught in the Alternative High Schools in NYC and at Riker’s Island Correctional Facility. After Irondale, Carrie continued her inquiry and became a Movement Analyst (CMA), having completed her studies at The Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in NYC. She has spent years enthusiastically exploring human movement with the intention of helping people develop clearer, more fully embodied communication and expression.
Curiosity, openness, and affection are of the utmost importance in her approach to Iyengar Yoga, as is the integration of science, yoga philosophy, and the poetic imagination in the yoga practice. Most importantly, she loves to explore the relationship of discipline and playfulness and is a firm believer in the power of controlled folly.
Interview with Carrie
What style, tradition, and/or lineage are you a part of (if any)?
I have been teaching Iyengar Yoga for 25 years now, yet am often described as a non-traditional Iyengar teacher. My background in Laban Movement Analysis, modern dance and movement theater, along with my in-depth and ongoing studies in movement science, greatly influences what I practice and teach. Sharing a mindful yet playful approach to learning and practice is my mission.
What can I expect from your classes?
My classes are infused with playful, novel movements that are designed to increase your body’s capacity to move and move well. There is an emphasis on active ranges of motion, strength work, active mobility, and dynamic stability. All of the practices are created with an intention to help increase resiliency in body and mind.
What’s on your mind these days yoga-wise?
I am a movement optimist. There has been a lot of fear-mongering language in yoga of late (around correct alignment, cueing, etc.). I think our bodies and brains are able to adapt and change, and that we are more robust and resilient than we give ourselves credit for. Yoga and movement can be wonderful tools for increasing our capacity to withstand the stressors of life. I am very much interested in the power of play: how (as adults) play helps us continue to learn, grow, and positively adapt. In fact, I am writing a book on this topic.
What do you like to do outside of yoga?
I love to engage in a variety of movement activities—dancing, hiking, swimming, you name it! I travel a lot for work, and walking for hours in new places is one of my greatest joys. I am a lover of life-long learning so I enjoy taking courses in anything related to movement science and/or dance. I also love to read—non-fiction mostly, but I have a soft spot for poetry. I find poetry, music, dance, and all the arts speak to me and move me in a way that yoga philosophy doesn't. Mary Oliver, Walt Whitman, and others are my Patanjali.