The People of People’s :: Sami

Q: Tell us about yourself!

A: I grew up in Rhode Island and moved to Portland in September 2008. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. I love being so close to the mountains, rivers, ocean, and all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. I ride my bike everywhere and spend most of my free time practicing yoga, bouldering, reading, writing, and cooking. For an income, I work in marketing as a proposal writer. My relationships are the most important part of my life; I have made some really great friends here.


Q: How long have you been practicing yoga?

A: I took my first yoga class my senior year of college—so about five years ago now. I did not start practicing yoga regularly until 2013.


Q: Why did you start?

A: To be completely honest, I signed up for the semester-long yoga class as a way to relieve stress while still earning college credit.


Q: How has your practice changed over time?

A: At first, I thought of yoga as a way to get physical exercise. My college course did not really focus on mindfulness or breathing, which are now my favorite parts of my practice. I never would have guessed yoga would become as important to me as it has. These days, I am happiest when on my mat.


Q: What brings you back to your mat day after day?

A: Sometimes I let my mind convince myself I do not need to practice today, and I always regret that decision afterward. Yoga is such a stress reliever for me. So, when I skip practice, I feel really wound up. I also remind myself regularly that, when I practice often, I am in much better shape to keep practicing. If I skip a week, downward dog is going to hurt. If I go several times a week, it will feel like a resting pose.


Q: How long have you been coming to The People’s Yoga?

A: I moved to the Concordia neighborhood in October 2014 and signed up for TPY soon afterward. I was looking for an affordable yoga spot for awhile before that, so I feel very lucky to have found one so close to home.


Q: What is your favorite thing about People’s?

A: The teachers at TPY are amazing. There is no other way I would rather spend my Friday nights than chanting with Matt Nelson. Nancy Giardini makes me laugh on Wednesday evenings, which is usually the point in the week that I have to remind myself not to take life so seriously. And, do not even get me started on Alison Alstrom. What a woman! I enjoyed her class on Sunday mornings so much that I signed up for her 100-hour teacher training. She is such an inspiration to me.


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