Charleston Yoga’s ‘Yogi Spotlight’ is now shining upon Yogi Steven Willard. Willard is a 200 Hour Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher who teaches at Holy Cow Yoga. A practice lead by Steven is both fun-filled and intense. As he puts it “I teach the asanas that I love and that have helped me.”
The following is a Q&A with Steven.
William Hunnell: Where were you born and raised? Married? Kids?
Steven Willard: I was born in rural Virginia, but raised in Charleston since age of 6. Though not a born Charlestonian, definitely a bred one! I’m not married, but thanks to the Supreme Court that could change!
WH: How long have you been practicing? What style?
SW: My very first attempt was age 13, with Richard Hittelman’s book. My actual practice didn’t take root until 1995 when I discovered Ashtanga and Power Yoga.
WH: In your own words, what brought you to practicing Yoga? In other words, what is your backstory?
SW: I was drawn by this mysterious collection of poses and all the pictures. I saw the people had this look on their faces that looked like they knew ‘the answers’ and they were cool with it.
WH: What lead you to teach Yoga?
SW: Yoga is one of the things that makes my soul sing and makes me feel fully alive. I typically don’t teach a lot of ‘party poses’; I teach the asanas that I love and that have helped me.
WH: Where did you receive your Teacher Training and under whose guidance?
SW: I earned my 200 hour certification at Holy Cow Yoga under Trace Sahaja Bonner
WH: Who has had the most influence in your Yoga practice?
SW: My biggest influence comes from people watching. I love to sit at a coffee shop or even the mall and watch people walking around in their day-to-day existence. I’m fascinated by how people carry themselves and physically move. The gait of their stride, how they hold their shoulders and head; the ease or difficulty in which they carry themselves.
WH: What would you like folks to know about you?
SW: Over the years I’ve grown less interested in students perfecting a headstand or a split. I’m more focused in encouraging people to be who they are in this moment in this skin. Watching their breath, or lack of, in a pose. Letting go of an image of what they think they should be. Being kinder to themselves. Laughing more.
Steven leads the Yoga Hour class and several others at Holy Cow Yoga. Stop by and “bust your Asana” and be prepared to laugh at yourself.