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Meet Our Team: Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Erica

Written by Emily

We’re excited to welcome Erica to our AGY community! For Erica, Yoga is an infinite path of self-discovery. Inspired by the Dalai Lama, Erica posits a simple tenet for that path: Don’t try to use what you learn from Yoga to be a great Yogi; use it to be a better whatever-you-already-are. By challenging the physical and mental body, asking deep questions about our own misunderstandings, and welcoming how we may better serve in compassion and love, we can harness the power of yoga to bring a brighter, more fulfilled existence to this life.

Erica aims to create a space that harnesses the unique growth of many different individuals into one supportive Sangha (spiritual community) so that Yoga becomes something universal that you carry with you between classes and serves you in your daily life.  You can now catch Erica’s Vinyasa yoga classes here a AGY every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.  To learn more about her check out her interview below…

Erica Ibsen Vinyasa Yoga Astro Gong Yoga

AGY: What is your Astrology Sign and how do you relate to it?

Erica: I am a Taurus born in the year of the Ox. While I’m not someone who knows a lot about astrology, my personal sign has always been a source of inspiration for me. The visual of having the humble strength, loyalty, steadiness and gentle tenacity of both beasts of burden in my corner have always brought me joy and somehow made my load feel lighter. I’m also particularly drawn to any Govinda chants and feel they spark deep in my heart.

AGY: What is your favorite mantra?

Erica: Satchitananda – I have it tattooed on my wrist

AGY: Favorite asana and why?

Erica: I love Eka Pada Koundinyasana II. I remember trying this pose in a class early in my yoga practice and being flabbergasted. What? How is that even possible?? It seemed to defy the laws of physics. Cut to me in another class five years later in my practice and without drills or intense focused effort (obsession) over the pose… it just happened. It was like magic.

AGY: What is random fact about you?

Erica: I was born on a small hobby farm in rural Montana. We raised sheep. I know how to groom and show a sheep at the fair. That hasn’t really served me much in my adult life in LA.

AGY: What is your favorite inspirational quote?

Erica: Let whatever must come, come. Given, be given. Taken, be taken. For me to realize my existence.

AGY: Describe yourself in three words?

Erica: sat chit ananda  (see what I did there??) 😉

AGY: What brings you most joy and why?

Erica: Making a meaningful contribution, whether that’s in a conversation with a stranger, in my personal home life or in the broad scope of the world. I hope people feel even a tiny amount brighter or more at ease because I was there. I hope the work I do in yoga class or on-screen helps ease suffering in the world by even one ounce. I’m probably not going win a Nobel prize or anything, but I hope my colleagues and friends feel supported, better able to do their work because I’m over here doing mine to the best of my ability too.

AGY: What’s your biggest fear and why?

Erica: In all honesty, my biggest fear is that I’ll never get over the fears that put me in my own way. But then I try to remember the three definitions of Ganesha… Most yogis understand that Ganesha is known as the remover of obstacles, but deeper in yogic tradition he’s also the one who places the obstacle in your path in the first place. Take another step deeper into yoga… Ganesha is the obstacle itself. …Smoke that in your pipe for a bit.

AGY: If you live in LA, when and why did you move here?

AGY: Like many, I moved to Los Angeles to be an actor over a decade ago. While I’ve had some success, the extreme highs and lows of that career path are ultimately what lead me to discover yoga, without which I probably would have headed back to Montana long ago. Like any pursuit in life, yoga is the calming counterbalance for all the other stuff that happens on this road of life.

AGY: What is your favorite hobby, aside from yoga?

Erica: Outside of yoga, I love to cook and play in the kitchen while listening to audiobooks. I devour audiobooks faster than popcorn at the movie theatre. Like, for real… you got any recommendations??

AGY: What is your favorite food?

AGY: Pick a favorite? I love all different types of food! If you forced me to settle on one thing, I’d cheat and say anything cooked with whole, high-quality ingredients. I love how delicious and nutritious high-quality, locally grown food tastes, and more importantly, how well it serves my body. I feel it on my yoga mat, at work all day and even when I sleep. Perhaps more importantly, I definitely feel it when I don’t feed my body well. But as Oscar Wilde said, “Everything in moderation, especially moderation,” so I’d also have to admit… I love ice cream.

You can pre-book Erica’s Vinyasa yoga classes on a Tuesday and Thursday at 9:00 a.m. here or by calling the studio on (323) 433-7108.