Mental health & wellness are a focus of her teaching at Anahata Yoga From The Heart
This enthusiastic certified yoga teacher, public speaker and singer-songwriter is passionate about self-love and self-care and makes it her mission to share this with her students daily. Through her own experience with anxiety and depression she leaned on yoga to get her through tough times. Now mental health and wellness are a focus of her teaching.
She is known for using humour in her teaching, creating an inclusive space for all. An accomplished songstress, she uses her voice as a calming, soothing instrument. She’s a great motivator when her students need extra encouragement singing “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” after each session.
I took my first yoga class about eight years ago at my local recreation centre and, at the time, I had no idea that this practice would become part of my daily life. I never planned to teach yoga, it was just to help me manage my own stress and anxiety.
Every time I went through a loss I leaned on my yoga practice. It wasn’t until my third break up that I realized I needed to just reset. I took a trip out to Costa Rica just to get away.
I was suffering severely from depression and thought the change of scenery and sunshine might help. But here’s the thing with mental health, it doesn’t just go away, it lingers with you. But I learned that yoga helped.
It’s meaning to you?
To me yoga is my lifestyle. How I treat others and treat myself through my own positive self-talk is all yoga. I’ve learned to treat myself with kindness and, yes, move my body through the practice of yoga but really instilling that kindness off my mat.
Let’s talk music
I started music professionally in high school at the age of 14. Its always been a huge part of my life. It was a big part of my journey. I got to see part of the world through music and by age 15, I was playing Canadian Music Week, by 16 I was speaking at the United Nations and by age 17, I released my full length album Side Two and went to college at Harris Institute for Music Business where I graduated with honours. By age 18 I had a music video on Much Music and so much more.
What makes Sarah happy?
There is no better high than performing on stage but really what gets me up in the morning is helping others through teaching yoga. I actually feel like I can give back through my passion. I’m so grateful I can do something I love for a living.
It’s not always easy, it meant taking a huge cut in my income but honestly I’ve never been happier. Mondays used to be dreadful for me, like most manic Mondays but now I wake up excited to get to the studio and share my practice.
How does Sarah relax?
That’s a hard one. I’m trying to spend more time “practicing what I preach” and trying to make more time for self-care because teaching yoga you do spend a lot of time putting others before yourself.
I love spending time with my pup going for long forest walks, or picking up a book or honestly dancing in the middle of my living room where no one is watching, well, except for Ella my pup!
What is your passion?
Wow, so many …music, yoga, animals, the environment. I always say music was my first love but yoga is my passion. I love helping people feel good about themselves. There’s no better feeling than helping others!
Human rights is another passion of mine. I was a spokesperson for several causes as a teen. Equality and doing what’s right always lights me up.
Life lessons so far?
A couple of those too! Believe in yourself and the rest will fall into place. That’s kind of my motto. Really start to love yourself first and take care of you, in order to take care of others.
Anahata Yoga from the Heart, is a Barrie yoga studio and community space making yoga affordable for all through our “Pay it Forward” classes. It is a safe and inclusive space focusing on mental health and wellness through the practice of yoga.
Our mission is to support those who struggle with life obstacles and mental illness by sharing their practice. Yoga is more than a physical practice, mentally it allows us to clear the mind, focus on our breath work (pranayama) and emotionally “let go” and reset in a non-judgmental space.
Our “Pay it Forward” program was created specifically for those who, for the moment, can’t afford the full class fee. Through local sponsorship we can give back to the community in a mindful way.
Our “Pay It Forward” class is a community class offered to all. Anahata Yoga grew from a place of wanting yoga to be accessible to EVERYONE no matter gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity or income. Everyone can use yoga in their life. Pay what you can. If you can afford a cup of coffee then you can afford a yoga class. And hey, if you can’t afford a class this week then it’s on us! “Pay It Forward” is a Hatha based class with meditation and offered most weekdays at 3:00 pm.