Our Namaste Tribe is a powerhouse of wise, talented, and experienced teachers who have dedicated their lives to sharing the gift of yoga with others. We are constantly in awe of the incredible offerings our teachers bring to this community. We are excited to share a new blog series focused on celebrating our teachers and hopefully giving you all a glimpse into the talented team that makes up Namaste Yoga + Wellness.
Meet Tara Sullivan
How long have you been at Namaste?
Just about a year.
What inspired you to become a yoga instructor?
I was conscripted. I was perfectly happy to be a Jivamukti student in New York, soaking in the teachings amidst the pack of artists, activists, performers, celebrities, and oddballs that frequent the Jivamukti Mothership there. When I found myself living in isolated New Zealand and going through a very difficult time, I was starved for yoga. I needed to take a teacher training so I could teach myself. Even before I finished, a local teacher who had just started up her own studio asked me to sub sometimes, then to teach all her classes while she went on holiday, there was really no one else around who could do it – I think it was ten or twelve classes a week for a month. Bam. I had already been teaching the Alexander Technique for 10 years so it was a bit of a natural progression, but it also wasn’t something I set out to do.
Your favorite literature on yoga or meditation?
Autobiography of a Yogi is a mind-blowing read.
Best advice you have ever received relating to your practice?
If you practice Yoga for small, selfish reasons, you will remain the same, bound by your beliefs about what you can and cannot do. Let go and offer your effort to limitless potential. Dedicate yourself to the happiness of all beings. (Sharon Gannon and David Life)
Absolute favorite asana?
Probably pincha mayurasana – both because it’s the exquisite peacock feather and because I *never* thought I’d be able to do it.
What is your favorite thing about yoga?
Years of breathing through rigorous asana practice has probably been the best thing to prepare me to be a solo parent.
What is something you wish all of our students understood better?
In this world of endless choices, I wish more students understood the profound benefits of a daily practice. Rather than hopping around from place to place, thing to thing, interest to interest, as my teacher Sharon Gannon says, through repetition the magic is forced to rise.
What is your favorite part of the Namaste community?
I was struggling to find childcare for my toddler so I could sub a class for a colleague at Namaste and Kimberly Leo offered to take him to the playground with her little one. People supporting people supporting people: yes.
Tara Sullivan has been pursuing heightened experiences outside mundane life for as long as she can remember. She is a Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique, a Certified Jivamukti Yoga teacher and holds a B.A. in Music from Sarah Lawrence College. Her first love and her introduction to discipline was opera singing, and she sang professionally in New York City in the 1990′s. This led her to the Alexander Technique which unraveled habits of tension and reactivity, but most importantly demonstrated that profound change is possible. A New Yorker, she stumbled upon Jivamukti Yoga at her gym in September, 2001, and has been engaged with it ever since. Tara loves rigor, clarity, music, depth, mojo, and yoga philosophy and endeavors to weave all these into her classes. She has extensive knowledge of anatomy and how the body works from over 15 years of teaching the Alexander Technique and enjoys the art of giving hands-on assists in class. Tara has worked extensively with her Alexander colleague Peter Grunwald, a pioneer in the field of natural vision improvement, for over a decade. She has traveled widely both internally and externally, is an avid if unsophisticated harmonium player, and has an intimate relationship with language and writing.
She relocated to the Bay Area in 2010 after three years in New Zealand and currently lives in Berkeley with her son. With deepest gratitude she bows to her many extraordinary teachers, without whom she would have far less light in her life, including Sharon Gannon, David Life, Sandhi Ferreira, Katie Manitsas, and Daniel Singer, to name a few.