Untapped SF’s Editing Guru, Ann Lam

Model: Ann Lam

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?

Actions and words communicate a world of information. Some people are more attuned to one or the other (for example, tone of voice used versus meaning of a statement). I aim to be mindful of both when I interact with people, from friends to complete strangers.

2. Has your yoga practiced changed how you see yourself?

Yoga has enabled me to see my weaknesses as a pathway for growth. Rather than feel embarrassed about my insecurities, I am eager to see how I can accept them as a starting point from which to learn new things.

3. What made you decide to practice yoga for the first time? How is yoga different from what you expected?

During winter break of my freshman year in college, a friend from high school suggested that we meet up and take an “underground” yoga class together. I remember doing tree pose in a random person’s attic. The experience of “feeling” myself in shapes, some more comfortable than others, definitely intrigued me. When an opportunity came to practice yoga regularly, I took it. Over time I realized that the physical shapes were vast fertile grounds to be explored and cultivated, in realms physical, mental, and spiritual.

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

I went to a few studios before I settled on a lovely space in Rye, New York, called the Wainright House. Suzanne J. taught Astanga and Vinyasa Flow classes. She was a combination of seriousness and fun, and I attended her classes regularly, sometimes four or five times a week. One time, after taking two back-to-back rigorous classes, she sensed my weariness, looked me in the eye, and firmly said, “Take a bath tonight.” I found it funny at the time, but I listened to her and felt replenished afterward. In retrospect, I think she was telling me to take care of myself and to balance a “hard” practice with a “soft” one. I see so many people around me pushing themselves by working long hours, not sleeping enough, not congratulating themselves enough, and I want to tell them (and sometimes I do), “Take a bath tonight!”

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?

Child’s Pose. When I don’t feel like doing much at all, I can usually muster a decent Child’s Pose. I focus on my breath by simply listening. And from there I might try Table Top. Then back to Child’s Pose. Next I might try alternating between Cat and Cow poses, only to come right back into Child’s Pose. I just keep pushing the edge of my comfort zone, returning to Child’s Pose when I need to regroup. I let the practice unfold as easefully as possible, taking as much time as I need. The body follows the mind that follows the breath. So what evolves when I simply intend to breathe in Child’s Pose often surprises me.

You can find Ann here:
And, of course…

Erica Rodefer is a writer and yoga enthusiast in Charleston, SC. Visit her blog, Spoiledyogi.com, 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 sohum.selfexpression@gmail.com 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 http://www.faern-in-the-works.com and http://spoiledyogi.blogspot.com/ to keep in touch and get updates on travel plans. **please note: replies are numerous, they take a long time


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