Hillary WrightY7 Studios
Director of Continuing EducationNew York City, NY
Tell us about yourself, where you are from, currently reside, practice, etc.
I’m originally from a small town in Oklahoma but I currently live in New York City. As the Director of Continuing Education at Y7 Studio I take most of my yoga classes at Y7 with all of our incredible teachers.
How and why did you start yoga?
I started going to yoga when I was in college at the University of Oklahoma as a way to switch up my workout from running. I took classes at our college gym and little did I know that it would change my life in the best way.
Who was your great mentor/teacher?
I have been lucky to have many amazing teachers over the years. But the three that have made the most lasting impact on me have been David Swenson, Seane Corn, and Tiffany Cruikshank. They have all made such a lasting impression on me and on my teaching. I have been beyond lucky to get to study in-depth with all of them.
Tell us your practice style and how did you choose your yoga method?
I spent years primarily practicing Ashtanga which really solidified my foundation as both a practitioner and a teacher. However, I now teach and practice hot vinyasa.
What obstacles has yoga helped you overcome?
I know without a doubt that I would not have been able to overcome the challenges that I have faced the last few years without yoga. Five years ago I was diagnosed with endometriosis and underwent two major surgeries in a year to treat it. Not long after my second surgery my husband was diagnosed with Lyme disease and has spent the past three years fighting it. At times it was completely debilitating to him, and just coming off of being sick myself, it was extremely challenging for us to deal with all we had been handed physically, emotionally, and financially. I know without my steady yoga practice and my ability to access my breath through pranayama and to observe my mind through meditation that I would not have been able to handle all of these challenges.
What is your mind set when you step onto the mat?
For the past two years I have been in graduate school at Columbia and working full time at Y7 Studio, so any time I get onto my mat my mindset is just to be present with myself and to take the time to refuel so that I can keep going with my insanely busy schedule.
When did you understand you wanted to be a yoga teacher?
I had been practicing about two years when I graduated with my undergraduate degree, and all I knew was that I didn’t want to go get a “real job” - I really loved yoga, so I thought that I would just take a teacher training and see what would happen next!
What is the most rewarding part of being a yoga teacher?
Without a doubt the most rewarding part of being a teacher has been working with students that come through Y7’s teacher training. It has been the true honor of my life to help guide future yoga teachers and to work with them to find their authentic offerings as teachers. I have been lucky enough to have been asked to create Y7’s 200-hour training, which has now been hosted 11 times, and has over 200 graduates. The teachers that have come out of this training have made the biggest impact on me and have cracked my heart wide open in the best way.
Why is yoga so important for the times we’re living in?
Yoga is a tool for growth, equality, and change. There is nothing more important than that at this point in time. With the present fight for racial and gender equality yoga is a tool for social justice, for those who have not had a voice to begin to be heard, and for the forward progression of our society towards true and lasting equality. Yoga teaches us that we are not separate, and we can use this in the current fight for the change that we seek.
Your favorite quote?
“Don’t compromise yourself, you’re all you’ve got.” - Janis Joplin
Where we can we find you? Instagram, website, etc