Wednesday, April 2, 2014

At the front of the room: Agustin McCarthy

From film to yoga, Agustin McCarthy keeps himself inspired and on the move. Students love the vibrancy of his challenging physical class matched with his enthusiasm. If you haven't taken a class with him yet... what are you waiting for?

Why did you decide to become a yoga teacher? 
-Yoga helped me to heal my back after experiencing back pain for many years. I decided to become a yoga teacher in order to share these healing techniques that have helped me to live with more balance and without the need for a chiropractor.

Did you ever imagine yourself doing something else?
-I graduated from Columbia Film School and still am pursuing a career as a filmmaker. I teach college film history and screenwriting courses and find that teaching yoga classes is similar in many ways. A screenwriter and a yoga teacher are both offering a personal journey that can help to bring insight and decrease stress in our lives.

What is the most challenging aspect of teaching?
-I aim to offer juicy, satisfying sequences that will challenge and engage the more experienced practitioners while, at the same time, my top priority is always to retain a safe environment for all my students regardless of their level. Striking this balance in an Open-Level class is the biggest challenge I face as a yoga teacher. 

What is your favorite pose? 
-Anjaneyasana (low lunge): This is a simple pose with many benefits. I love how it opens up my hips and helps me to release tension in my psoas muscles. But it engages me on more than just the physical level. This pose is a wonderful place to find the qualities of Shtira-Sukha (strength and softness). My upper body lifts up and lengthens while my lower body softens and lets go. Practicing these in the asanas helps me to bring these qualities in to the rest of my life – holding on to what is important and letting go of everything else.

What is the most important thing you have learned from your practice?
-My practice has helped me cultivate a relationship to my body and mind in a way I’d never experienced before. I can observe and listen without getting caught up in the drama of it all. This makes my rest of my life easier to manage.

Who inspires you most? 
-My students inspire me to go deeper into my understanding of yoga and to become a more insightful and sensitive teacher. When I see students with physical limitations, due to injury or pregnancy, these are particularly inspiring to me since I see a concrete example of yogis working with their discomfort without allowing it to take away the opportunity to breathe deeply and open up to the present moment.

Catch a class with Agustin:
Tuesdays, NYY York: 4:35-5:50pm
Thursdays, NYY York: 7:35-9:05pm

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