Sharing the light series: Meet CAROLINE DOBUZINSKIS!

Headshot of Caroline D.I stumbled into Caroline’s Power Yoga class, completely freaked and embarrassed that I was late. I HATE being late. Caroline smiled warmly at me and kindly made space for me in her class. My relief was short-lived, however, when she gently but firmly reminded her students of the strength and attention needed in a POWER yoga class by guiding us through a flowing series of postures designed to generate a lot of heat. Instead of fretting over being late, I was now desperately wishing I had grabbed a towel on my way in. But I also noticed that despite all the work, Caroline never lost the feeling of effortlessness within the poses – reminding me that my job was to find ease amidst the difficult poses. She was encouraging without being pushy. It was no surprise that despite the sweating and fatigue all of her students walked out of her class with a smile on their faces. Savasana had never felt so good!

Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a beginner, I highly recommend a class with Caroline. She teaches several different classes from Yoga 1/2 to Power Yoga – whatever your body may be needing at the time.

Online, you can find Caroline on Twitter (@CarolineDinDC) and learn more about her on her blog. But if you would like to take one of her wonderful classes, you can find her at Yoga District!

1. How did you find your way to yoga?

I actually love thinking about my first introduction to practicing yoga because it was before yoga studios were as common as they are today (Gosh, I must be old). When I was in high school, I had a friend who was curious about trying yoga. I figured it would be good for me too because I was doing a lot of dance training at the time. We took classes at the local recreation center in my hometown of North Vancouver. The teacher must have been in her late 70s and taught hatha yoga. The kicker is that her name was Om.

It was a lot of legs up the wall and basic poses, and was really enjoyable and relaxing (we were definitely the youngest ones in there). The biggest challenge that I found was to not to have my feet and knees turned out because I was so used to doing that in ballet. I enjoyed working those different muscles and just being still. The atmosphere was also very different from what I had experienced in dance classes which I found refreshing.

2. How would you describe your teaching style?

I am a very welcoming and open teacher. If you have a question, ask and I will Picture of Caroline D.take the time to answer. I like to be tuned into my students to see if they are getting what they like out of the class. But I also like to provide an experience that goes beyond what a student might expect. I teach flow and power style classes with a short meditation at the end. Usually, there is a theme that I have been thinking about in my own practice and meditation (such as self-acceptance, compassion, mindfulness) that will run through the class.

Also, sometimes I try to be funny. It’s hit or miss on that one.

3. What is your go-to stress fighting technique?

A hot bath, some tea, and Saturday Night Live on Hulu. Love me some SNL!

4. Describe your perfect day.

It would have to happen back home in Vancouver: a morning hike up a mountain, a bit of yoga, then hanging with friends and family (maybe even a glass of wine at the beach).

5. Your last meal would be?

Thai food. Lots and lots of Thai food–rolls, curries, and Thai iced coffee. Then sticky mango rice at the end. Mmmmmmm….

6. Best advice you can give someone would be?

Love yourself. Plain and simple.

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Review: What makes Willow Street Yoga wonderful

Five things that make Willow Street Yoga Center an awesome studio:

1. They have two Maryland locations (Silver Spring and Takoma Park) that are Metro-accessible and have plenty of parking nearby.

2. At both locations, the classrooms are well-kept, clean and spacious. The second you walk in to the studio you immediately sense that it is a space where you can set aside your anxieties and immerse yourself in your practice.

3. They have friendly and informed staff members and teachers who will make any new (or old!) person feel welcome. They can also provide guidance for the budding yogi who may have any concerns or special needs.

4. Their classes are run by sessions (like a semester) so that a student commits to a class (same yoga style, same teacher and same time every week) which encourages progressive learning. Each class builds on the skills learned from the week before. But don’t worry – make-up sessions are allowed if you happen to miss a class.

5. Before the start of any session, they offer a week of free classes so that you can “try out” a class before committing to it.

Have you been to Willow Street Yoga? What was your experience with them? Do you have a teacher you would recommend to others? Let us know!

Disclaimer: I am not an employee of Willow Street Yoga and did not receive any payments for this post.