We are very fortunate to be having Candice Hairston as our in-house teacher as we open doors again on December 1st. Candice comes from Virginia (USA) and will also be one of the leading instructors during our "Mindful Beginnins: NYE at Apoyo Lodge" short retreat to welcome 2017 with a clear mind, body and soul. Candice is also a fitness instructor and will be offering different types of fitness classes to our guests. Get to know Candice a little better during this short interview and send us a note here if you wish to participate in her classes during the month of December!
1. Can you remember the first yoga class you ever took? If so, describe the experience.
I don’t remember the first class I ever took, but the first memorable class I took was with J Miles… who later led my 200hr Yoga Teacher Training. The class was so memorable because he tried to get us into crow pose and turtle pose in that class, and I thought he was crazy to think we could do that. It shows you how much things can come full circle and how much we can grow mentally and physically.
2. What made you want to pursue the practice of teaching yoga to others?
The first time I considered teaching was at my regular Monday Power Yoga class. The teacher was Traysi Mohammad, and it was the first class I went to that offered hand balancing. The same students were there every class and we would offer each other tips to improve our physical practice. I was taking flight, balancing on my hands in no time. It made me feel good being in a class where yoga felt like a community. I then realized that yoga could be more than just postures and physical milestones. I mentioned to Traysi that I was interested in becoming a teacher myself and she suggested I take the teacher training with J at Om On Yoga. Best decision I’ve made in life thus far!! It has altered my life in countless positive ways.
3. What did you learn/take away from your first teacher training?
There was something special about the yoga teacher training group that brought it all together for me. We were told by more than one guest speaker that they wish their 200hr-training group had a connection like ours. I gained so much knowledge on the history of yoga, the poses, alignment and adjustments but in the end the connection is what made a mark on my mind and heart. The power of connection has since been such an important part of my life.
4. What motivates you and inspires your teaching practice?
Since I teach so many ages from babies to seniors I like to cater my classes to who is in the class. I will still teach based on the class name and description, but my class forms as I ask the students, how they feel, what needs to be stretch and what injuries they have. Yoga must be accessible to everyone in my eyes. I never want people to feel like they don’t have an option or that the class was too hard or too easy. I try my best to take all my students in consideration.
5. Describe your teaching style. What is your favourite style(s) to practice?
I practice vinyasa style the most. I have had phases of enjoying restorative and deep relaxation and then phases of thriving on hand balancing most of the practice. I am grateful that my body craves different types of yoga because it widens my range of teaching styles. Being able to feel different poses and styles gives me a great idea of what to do when presented with different scenarios from students. Staying open minded and listening to my body for clues on what to practice helps my teaching in many ways.
6. If you play music during your classes, what is your favourite song to play currently?
Get Free Major Lazor. It was a song that I listened to a lot as I was thinking of making a change from corporate world to yoga world. The song says “Look at me, I just can’t believe what they’ve done to me, we could never get free, I just want to be, I just want to dream”. It is reverse psychology for me in a way and telling me to chase my dream. The song was there during a huge and positive transition and will always have meaning to me.
Live Music has also been a huge part of my life, and at home in the USA, I have had a lot of friends play along to my yoga classes. Sharing music and yoga has been such an amazing experience for me because they both give me all the feels J
7. Are there any other trainings or courses you're passionate about pursuing in the future?
Yes, I would LOVE to take a kid’s yoga course soon. I’ve been lucky to fall into teaching yoga with toddlers and kids. Nannying, working in day cares and having a mom who is very much involved with children behaviour has easily led me to combing my love for children and yoga. It’s something I look forward to every week, I love the connection and relationships I have made with the toddlers and kids that I teach yoga to. Seeing them learn poses and get excited to do yoga is the biggest treat. It was cool coming into this with individual backgrounds in yoga and kids. I was able to explore creatively and I got a chance to see a different side of me that I truly enjoyed. Now I’m excited to see how a training can expand the practice with children even more.
8. List your 10 "must dos" on your Bucket list.
- My dad is a drag racer. I would love to drive his dragster one day.
- Sing on stage and do it good. I can sing, but every time I try it on stage I suck haha… One day.
- Be on a hip-hop dance team, or salsa team. I want to move and I love choreography.
- Bake a desert from scratch. Never done it, need to do it.
- Move somewhere I feel like I belong. I LOVE my home Richmond Virginia, USA, so whereever I move must be where I belong.
- This one is a little superficial, but it’s the only one I promise. I always wanted my picture to be one of the huge picture’s you see of athletes when you walk into DICK’S SPORTING GOODS.
- TRAVEL. TRAVEL. TRAVEL AND MORE TRAVEL. I’m hoping coming to Nicaragua is just the beginning.
- Live alone. I’ve always wanted to see how I would live without the influence of others.
- Take an astrology class or two. I gaze at the few stars we have in the city at home and I’m filled with wonder. I want to learn more.
- Spread accessible yoga as far and wide as I can make it!
(Note from Apoyo Lodge: She will be baking a desert during her stay here, we will make sure that happens!)
9. Where do you envision yourself in 5 years?
Still learning, still asking questions, still spreading love except hopefully on a wider scale. In different countries, different continents. Right now, my purpose seems like it’s to make others feel happy around me. I’ve been blessed to spread happiness through yoga in so many places in the last year, and I never would have expected this 5 years ago. It’s hard to envision anything in the next 5 years when I’m just a few days shy of my year anniversary out of the business world. I just know in 5 years; I want to be making people happy.
10. Favorite quote?
What if our religion was each other, if our practice was our life, if prayer our words?
What if the temple was the earth, if forests were our church, if holy waters the rivers, lakes and oceans.
What if meditation was our relationships, if the teacher was life, if wisdom was self-knowledge, if love was the center of our being?
- Ganga White
To get to know Candice even further you can follow her on Instagram