The [Epic] Team
I’m the Operations Manager for Drunk Yoga™. I wasn’t sure what to think about this class when I first heard about it, but when I went, I realized it was the only yoga class I’d taken where I was focused on me, my movement, and my energy/emotions rather than wondering if I looked stupid to everyone else. Though I’m not a yoga teacher myself, I’m really good at the behind-the-scenes-keep-things-going stuff!
Favorite yoga pose: I have two. Warrior II (because it makes me feel strong and powerful), and Reclining Goddess (because I like to imagine people describing me that way).
What brings you joy?: Puppies. Cheese. Travelling. If I could pet puppies in a foreign country while eating a cheese plate I think my heart might explode.
What do you wish people knew about yoga?: The only way to “do it wrong” is to worry about doing it wrong. Yoga is personal, and unique to everyone. Even though some (cough cough never Drunk Yoga) classes can make it feel like a competition, whatever you’re doing in the moment is absolutely perfect—even if it is just laying there taking deep breaths.
hails from San Antonio, Texas (with a pit stop in St. Louis, MO to get a BFA in Acting). This hatha-vinyasa power flow yogi enjoys empowering others, and helping people find the beauty and peace within themselves. I'm 200hr yoga certified through ANYA, 50hr Aerial yoga, Schwinn cycling, and Lyra certified with Cirqfit. Sharing my passion for fitness came after struggling with body issues and dreading workouts. Through yoga, I found a safe place to work not only on my body but my soul, too! Being able to find my own personal way to make my workouts exciting, dynamic and connecting them back to self love is what drives my classes.
Drunk Yoga ties in nicely to my workout philosophy, finding what makes you come back to yoga, what makes you look forward to self practice and what will allow you to be the best version of yourself on the mat. If I had a dollar for every time I encouraged a friend, coworker or family member to come take my class and was met with "well, I'm not flexible enough" or "I won't be any good!" I'd be able to live luxuriously in NYC. Coming to Drunk Yoga breaks the barriers of being "good" or "perfect" and let's yogis be silly, find release of expectation of how their practice should be and open themselves up to a side they'd never tapped into.
When I'm not doing that all of this on a mat, you can catch me hanging from aerial silks, auditioning for films/theatre, snappin' photos with my camera and baking cookies.
After being forced to take a power vinyasa yoga class, as a friend's final wish before going away for college, I found myself laying in a pool of my own sweat feeling relieved. Of what? I still don't know, but that feeling kept me returning to class several times a week for 5 years before embarking on a 200hr Vinyasa training in the summer of 2016. Since my certification I've found pleasure in dissolving western media's perspective on yoga for friends and strangers so that they can embark on their own yogic journeys.
I am passionate about teaching drunk yoga because adding a glass of wine to a vinyasa practice lifts the burden of trying to conceptualize a focus for the class. Without getting too philosophical I can provide a point of connection for a student to step onto their mat where the only foci are their breath and not spilling the wine. And if they spill their glass, that's okay, too;)
Being born and raised in New York, it may come as no surprise to you that for most of my life, the concept of "me time" was entirely foreign. I was always on to the next thing, next place, next goal. If you asked me about stillness, I would have told you I don't speak the language. In a city that never sleeps, our minds don't either.
*In entered yoga*
I won't tell you I suddenly developed a deep affection for sitting in one place for hours on end. I'd be lying if I told you my list of goals died out. But what did happen? I found that in an hour of breathing and dynamic movement I could become a million times closer to all those things I was so desperately (but somewhat subconsciously) chasing after. I gained an hour of "this is who I am." Even more than that, I learned to embrace it.
From this spark, I went for the fire. I got certified to teach yoga in August 2016 at Yoga to the People. After a year of teaching, I went on to teach Beer Yoga. Not long after, I made my way to my first Drunk Yoga class. It was love at first sip. Now, here we are :)
Drunk Yoga is an opportunity for people who might never have considered taking a yoga class to look past all the stereotypes and misconceptions of what yoga "should" be. If you enjoy happiness, this is the class for you! (And I'm thrilled to share that with others.)
Gina Marie Russell
has been practicing yoga for over ten(!) years, and teaching for nearly three. She took her very first yoga class in a gym, and had absolutely no idea what she was doing. She also couldn't touch her toes. Gina is a true testament to the saying "yoga is for everybody!" Plus who doesn't love wine? (Make mine a Cab, please!) Add a juicy spinal twist to that equation and she's legitimately in heaven!