The 216 community of yogis is rich and diverse. Each month, we invite a different yogi to share their yoga journey and demo our month’s focus. This month, we checked in with Anna von Bertrab Echevarria, who rediscovered her love of yoga by listening to her individual yogi needs!
Namaste, Anna! We love that your journey brought you into our community!
Back in 2007, I went to my first yoga class thinking it was the perfect compliment to my ballet training. Little did I know that it would change me so much and so fast. I would leave class with a sense of serenity and joy.
The compassion that I learned and received was something I was missing from my ballet training, where the focus was on performing and perfecting. Yoga allowed me to arrive and be present in every movement, through breath and guided meditation. There were no expectations. Some days I was able to do a pose in its full expression, and other days I would just listen to my body and do what felt right.
I found myself looking forward to each yoga class because of the kindness and accepting atmosphere I encountered.
I continued with yoga in college and expanded my practice through different styles. When I moved to New York, I pursued hot yoga classes. However, the first ones I found were large classes and the teachers never seemed to know my name even though I was a regular student. I had lost the space that gave me peace and started to lose interest because the classes became all too similar and repetitive.
Until one day I stopped practicing. Trapped in the city rush, I never took the time to explore the possibility of finding a new space.
Until one day I decided to drastically change my life and open my heart through my practice.
At the beginning of 2017, I found a small place in Chelsea hidden under the Highline. The space was small but full of warm people.
I began with the intro month and continued to go almost daily after. At Yoga 216, I found again the atmosphere and peace I was looking for. I enjoy the small classes, the familiarity with the teachers, and the fact that every day I learned something knew about a pose or about my body. I am constantly receiving knowledge and feedback from amazing teachers.
In the seven months I’ve been part of this community, I have developed my practice more than I could have ever imagined. Yoga 216 extends beyond the physical practice and in turn it has helped me take yoga beyond the mat.