Here’s Barbie on Cunningham Place Alley

Model: Barbie Levasseur

Photography: Faern

Interview: Erica Rodefer

1. Tell us about your sense of style. What do you use to express yourself? Clothes? Jewelry? Posture? Words? Music?  

I express myself through movement. My husband makes fun of me all the time for acting things out as I speak. Because of this, I dress in clothes that allow me to move. When I was 10, I told my mom I didn’t like wearing jeans because they cut off circulation to my brain, and I still kind of feel that way. Even if I need to wear a certain type of clothing for work, I try to find the least restrictive clothes possible. I’m drawn to certain colors and styles, but they have more to do with looking good than with expressing myself.

2. Has your yoga practiced changed how you see yourself?
Definitely. Before I started practicing yoga I had a very concrete sense of sense, but the more I got into the meditative side of yoga, the less concrete my sense of self became; I became more aware of how dynamic I was from day-to-day, hour-to-hour, and even minute-to-minute. This shift in perception allows me to be more aware of constant changes in my body and mind and to be compassionate toward them.
3. What made you decide to practice yoga for the first time? How is yoga different from what you expected?

When I was in my early teens, my friend Chrisann borrowed a yoga book from the library got me to try some poses with her. I think that was the first I’d heard of yoga, so I got a taste of it before I had a chance to form expectations. What I probably would have never expected was that yoga is very healing. When Chrisann was going through a tough break-up years later, I was giving her some tips on how to get through it, and one of the things I said was, “Do yoga. I don’t know why, but it helps. Just do it.”

4. Tell us about your first yoga teacher. How did he or she impact you? How do you share those lessons with others?

Debbie (Newport Yoga, Port Moody, BC, Canada) was the first teacher who made me really love yoga. I took a regular class called Yoga For Athletes with her, and I still use those classes as inspiration for my own teaching. Rather than being strongly rooted in tradition or adhering strictly to one style, she met her students where they were and offered a challenging, but very accessible practice. Her style of teaching communicated to us, “where you are right now is perfect.” In every yoga class I teach or assist, I try to convey that same message to my students.

5. What motivates you to practice on those days when you just don’t feel like it? Do you have any tips for the rest of us?

Planning to meet someone at my yoga studio always gets me out the door. My husband and I always meet at the gym after work so that we don’t get a chance to talk each other out of it at home. I attend a certain teacher’s class regularly, I get to know them and tell them when I’ll next be in class so they’ll be expecting to see me. For some reason it’s easier to let yourself down than to let other people down.

Erica Rodefer is a writer and yoga enthusiast in Charleston, SC. Visit her blog,, follow her on Twitter, or like her on Facebook.

Faern is an Artist, yoga practitioner and Photographer in San Francisco. Besides making as much time for tea as possible, you can find Faern in a yoga class, at her current art show or wandering the city via public transportation. You can visit her in various places online: FaernWorks website, Twitter, Facebook, Faern in the Works Blog.

Would you like to take part in this project as a model? Please be in touch by emailing this address and we’ll send more information. If you are not in the Bay Area or planning a visit, do not worry, there are travel plans afoot, subscribe to the blogs and to keep in touch and get updates on travel plans. **please note: replies are numerous, they take a long time

2 Responses to “Here’s Barbie on Cunningham Place Alley”
  1. Thais says:

    oh Faern how i love your pictures!!! you really know how to capture the essence of the yogi. just beautiful ❤

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