Every now and then, there are people that I meet in this city and think “boy, I’m sure glad they live here”. Trisha Durham is certainly one of them. She’s a Ballerina. A clinical nutritionist. A bartender. A scuba diving instructor. A yoga student. Has her masters in international affairs, and women’s gender and sexuality. But above all else, and for the sake of this article, she is a yoga instructor with a deep passion for movement.
Trisha turned to yoga in 2001 after experiencing burnout from dancing and searching for spiritual growth after 9/11. Her practice began at the Yoga Garage (now known as It's Yoga) in Clifton, and soon after finishing her masters, she sought her 200 hour certification at The Yoga Bar downtown.
She went on to receive her 300 hour certification under the world renowned Jason Crandell, and continues to study under him to this day. When asked what style her classes are, she replied “mindful, unrushed, sneaky hard, modern vinyasa flow yoga”.
Sure, you can find her teaching at local spots like Modo Yoga, The Yoga Bar, and Mint Yoga Studio. She teaches 7 classes a week between these three studios. But what makes what Trisha does extra special are the unique events that she hosts. Such as her Summer and Winter Solstice events, where in the past she literally rented the Purple People Bridge and invited hundreds down to practice above the water, to her Sunrise Riverboat Yoga signature series, held twice a year at the start and end of summer. She specializes in bringing unique Yoga experiences to Cincinnati in places one would consider obscure to do a down dog.
Said best on her website, “Her mission is to widen circles of access so everyone can enjoy the best of what yoga has to offer the mind and body.” Despite being a well rounded career yogi, it is clear to me that Trisha is passionate about not just helping her students deepen their practice, but more so about making yoga inviting and accessible to newcomers. Because of this, I asked her expert advice on how to start practicing yoga even if you have no idea what a chaturanga is.
1. Her first response made me LOL, but was something that I have been guilty of doing. Before you jump onto Mind Body and book a class, do some research on the studio and class options in your area. Needless to say, there are so many different levels of practice. When you schedule your first class, make sure it is a beginner, level one, restorative or gentle yoga class. The last thing you need is to sign up for an advanced class (because maybe the class time was optimal) and be stuck trying to go from crow to a handstand in a 105 degree room. Speaking from experience… not me, but a gal I know...
2. Which brought us to point #2. Don’t start with power or hot yoga. Just don’t. You will be overwhelmed, feel lost, and will most likely never return back to a yoga class again.
3. Not sure about what class to take after doing your research? Call the studio, talk to the owner or instructor, and ask their opinion about a good class to start, as well as find out more about the vibe of the studio and if you think it’d be a good fit for what you are looking for.
4. January 1st is coming up. Which means…. The dreaded new year's resolution time. But wait! This is actually a great time to start practicing yoga because studios offer so many new to yoga workshops, series, offers and discounts. Be on the lookout!
5. Lastly, look into private sessions. I know, sounds like $$$$, but many studios will offer it even if it isn't on the schedule, and just one or two private sessions will help you develop your own practice and ensure that you have proper form and movement. In group classes, it’s really hard for the instructor to get around to every person to adjust. Invest in yourself and your practice, and it will pay off in the long run.
Trisha’s offerings are vast. She teaches private lessons, where she travels to clients’ homes to help them with functional movement and their yoga practice. She also teaches Bridal Yoga, Aerial Yoga, Workplace Yoga, Cincinnati Queer Yoga, Yoga with Cats (OMG YES!) , and Yoga For Runners. There’s very little this lady doesn’t do, and she is constantly innovating.
If you are looking to learn from a well seasoned professional yogi, want to deepen your practice, want to start a yoga practice and don’t know where to begin, or want a unique, out of the box yoga experience, check out Trisha’s class schedule and upcoming events here, or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org .