What’s in a name? Here’s the fact of the matter: Unless your yoga practice is solely dedicated to meditation, heightening your consciousness, or raising your body’s vital energy sources, it’s a branch of classical hatha yoga. Basically, almost every popular style of yoga taught in the United States is hatha yoga with a new label. From Bikram to Baptiste, Yin to Iyengar, Vinyasa to whatever, it’s some modern spin on the lineage of hatha yoga. So, what is my spin? Start with this: I began practicing yoga in 2002, at the age of 50, after a mostly slothful adult life and twice suffering seriously herniated disks in my lower back — first when I was 30 and again 10 years later. (I’m also a photographer and member of the Fort Worth Art Collective, a Pulitzer-prize-nominated former journalist, an Army veteran, and since 2009, a strategist and content practice leader for a global marketing agency right here in Fort Worth.)
Now, back to my spin on hatha yoga. It’s very much influenced by my life experiences and my years studying and becoming certified in Anusara Yoga, a rich and wisdom-filled style of hatha yoga that starts with a fundamental belief that life is meant to be enjoyed and enriched, that it’s not a trial or something you need to overcome. My take on hatha yoga, like Anusara’s, starts with a premise that you’re OK right where you — that the potential is already inside of you, and you can move forward from there. To get there, we apply an elegant system of biomechanical principles, alignment, and proper action that not only enhance and optimize your yoga practice, but are highly therapeutic and have an impact (positive, I hope!) on every aspect of life on and off the mat. All of my classes are led with an open-heartedness, an intention to connect with life off the mat, and with an unshakeable belief that every class I teach at Urban Yoga should be suitable for anyone who walks through the door. (My oldest private student, by the way, began with me when he was 90 years old and practiced regularly until four days before he passed, just shy of 94.)
My classes derive from my rich knowledge of yoga, my dedication to my work, my sense of humor, and a powerful teaching style that I hope all combines to open students to offering each pose with an intention to connect to yoga’s larger purpose, while always staying aware of their body alignment and finding the balance between steadfastness and freedom. It’s a joyful and fun teaching style that is uplifting and inspires students of any level to live fully from their hearts and celebrate life.
~ Lou Chapman, RYT-500