Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May Teacher of the Month: Dayle Pivetta

By Rebecca Merritt

Dayle Pivetta really had to think about it when I asked her what makes her class unique. I, on the other hand, can tell you easily that it is Dayle’s warmth, playfulness and awareness that keep her students smiling through their hot vinyasa flow. She teaches alignment-based classes that encourage you to focus on how a pose feels in your body today, because you may not be in the same place tomorrow.

Dayle teaches with grace and ease, while cracking jokes and getting you to go a little deeper. Her sense of humor and rocking playlist may keep things moving and light but she believes yoga is a spiritual practice too. So check your ego at the door and be open to every experience this radiant teacher has to offer. You can check out Dayle at New York Yoga Hot for 90 minute Hot Vinyasa on Wednesdays at 9:30am and for 75 minute Hot Vinyasa on Sundays at 6:30pm.

When did you first discover yoga?
I first discovered yoga in college because I wanted to do it as a credit, but I hated it because the class was really early in the morning. So I rediscovered yoga after moving to NYC in 2007. My first actual yoga class was a naked yoga class. I was so nervous – I just figured that in naked yoga there could be totally no ego, nothing to fear or hide. I only did it once. I learned I liked yoga but that I like clothes too.

How long have you been teaching?
I got my certification at Sonic Yoga in 2008, and have been teaching ever since. I just added on little by little. And I’ve been at New York Yoga for almost a year now. I feel like this is really where I found my niche.

What makes your class unique?
I guess me. I don’t take myself too seriously and I try not to take yoga too seriously either. I just try to bring my experience and my practice to my students. My interpretations of the poses and flow focus on alignment but its more feeling based than anatomy based. Everyone can experience what it feels like to open the back of your leg or to open your heart and it’s a little less technical.

What is your favorite pose to teach?
Pyramid pose because there are so many things to teach about it, you can always add on and it’s so opening. Once you’ve done that pose everything feels a little easier after. There is a great balance between effort and ease in the pose. You have to use your muscles from the ground up and then you can surrender your torso over the thigh. There is always that combo of effort and ease in the poses but this is a great one to feel it.

What is you favorite pose to practice?
I always think of my least favorite poses first – they always open something up in me. Like malasana, I hate it, but I do it because I know I need it. For my favorite, it may be triangle pose. It’s come a long way and become a totally different pose for me; it always feels expansive.

Best advice for beginners?
Let go of your ego. Always listen to your body, learning how to listen to your self – that’s yoga. Don’t come in with expectations. Don’t judge yourself, don’t judge the practice, and don’t judge your body. Just let it happen and be open to the experience. Yoga is a very spiritual practice and that’s what will keep you coming back to it again and again.

Best advice for more advanced yogis?
Same. Let go of your expectations and your ego. Just because you can do a certain pose one day doesn’t mean you will always be able to do it. Every day is different. Keep a beginners mind; keep your mind open.

What is your biggest yoga pet peeve?
When people have yoga pet peeves, or people judging other people in yoga. I don’t want to judge people. They can do what they want, and what they need to do.

The only thing that sometimes bothers me is when people disturb each others’ practice. Like if you’re going to leave class early, for example, leave before savasana. Or just stay the last five minutes. It is worth it.

Reader questions…

What are your passions besides yoga?
For the last two years I have been finding my niche. I’ve been teaching kids yoga and love that. I also love art and music is a huge thing for me. I used to be a performer so music is a very big deal. Let’s see… life, love, and the pursuit of happiness? People for sure – making them smile, making people feel and helping them on their path.

What are the top three songs on your yoga playlist right now?
Mumford and Sons – “Awake My Soul”
Eddie Vedder – “Hard Sun”
Mat Kearney – “Breathe In, Breathe Out”

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