1417539107113

This week, we sit down with former ballet dancer and now  popular Boston yoga instructor, Renee LeBlanc.  Renee discovered yoga following a tip from a co-worker nearly sixteen years ago and has been practicing “without sabbatical” ever since.  These days in her personal practice, she’s finding her bliss in the transitions in and out poses.  For her, that’s where “the real juice is”.  Next month, Renee will lead an eight day retreat in Cabo San Lucas featuring her signature vinyasa yoga, great fun, rest, and of course good health – right on the beach at the Prana Del Mar Yoga Retreat Center. You can practice with her locally Monday through Friday at Back Bay YogaWorks and on Saturdays, check out her hot flow class at Bosse Sports in Sudbury.

“My classes are a powerful vinyasa flow that will challenge you to explore the edges of your physical and mental edge with loads of humor and joy. Always a student first, my teaching is informed by strength and integrity in alignment, curiosity and challenge. Yoga is more than a workout, and much more than a flow, it is a potent means of tending to the health and wellness of the entire body.”

 

wind up…  how do you wind up, prepare for the week ahead? 

For the first decade of teaching, I had almost no days off and I paid for it with my mental and physical health, relationships…  everything. I’m proud of all the work I’ve put in and the lessons I’ve learned, but my life is much better now with a couple of days completely OFF. Unless I’m teaching a teacher training or a workshop, I have Sundays to myself and the most important thing for me is to not think about teaching (which is hard when I practice, but I’m learning) and to get rid of anything that I know will be “baggage” during the week. I want my house clean, laundry done, but most important by far, food prepared! I love to cook, and it’s a great feeling to come home after a long Monday of teaching to home cooked food. Also important for me is to plan out when I’m going to practice and when I’m going to run so that taking care of myself is just as much on the schedule as any other commitments.

 

image2

and, when you need to exhale…  what’s your other direction? 

Spending time with friends and family, cooking, reading, traveling, dancing, binge watching Netflix…  Exhaling is great. Even going to Barry’s Boot Camp, as a teacher, getting yelled at and coached in something at which you’re totally horrible is so much fun and to me, peaceful.

 

favorite high powered snack?

Green Monster Smoothie from the juice bar at Equinox.

 

what three things are you never without?

Water bottle, lip gloss, and that (damn) iPhone.

 

the sound of music…   you have room for 5 tracks on your playlist, they are?

Only 5?  Then I guess a really eclectic mix… “All Eyez on Me”, by Tupac.  “Before I Every Met You”, by Banks.  “Alive”, by Pearl Jam.  “Una furtiva lagrima”,  by Enrico Caruso.“I’ll Be”, by Foxy Brown & Jay Z

 

your bible…  what one book do you turn to time and time again for inspiration?

Achilles, translated by Elizabeth Cook.

image4.PNG

finish the sentence.  i’d like to teach the world to…

put their phones down, look up, smile and, start listening to and looking at each other.

 

 

Interview compiled by Susan Currie.  Images by Lucie Wicker and Kevin Harkins.

Author Susan Currie is Managing Editor at BOSTON YOGA and an Associate Editor at LA YOGA magazine. Beyond her contributions to these publications, her words and images have been featured in the Boston Globe, Elephant Journal, Yogi Times, the Huffington Post, Spirit of St. Bart’s and on the cover of the book Moving into Meditation (Shambala) by Anne Cushman. 

Susan is also the creator of the Daily Inhale and an RYT 200 registered yoga instructor. She unpacks her various professional experiences through creative (and yoga) workshops she leads throughout the country. Her new book, Once Divided (Shanti Arts 2016), a blend of visual and verse, is now available in wide release. GRACENOTES, its follow-up, will be published in 2017.