Artist of many mediums.
Child of the world.
Tess started practicing in high school and officially teaching after a decade of devoted study. Her teaching is largely informed from the Prajna Yoga teachings of Tias and Surya Little which weave together the classical Ashtanga Vinyasa and Iyengar Yoga traditions with more contemporary, somatic-based modalities.
As a teacher, Tess tasks herself with inspiring and lovingly challenging her students. She curates a dynamic yet restorative practice and tailors the experience for each individual—beginner to advanced. She has learned from her own practice that the more she pays attention to her physical form, the more she deepens her awareness of the subtle bodies. Thus, she focuses on detailed alignment as well as the actions within the asana that draw the student deep within.
Having immersed herself in a variety of professions, from printmaking to painting conservation to engineering, Tess sees the root of inspiration as the courage to change. She grows through her exchange with the world—by inviting the external inwards and her internal landscape outwards on each breath. She hopes her students will use the practice as a way to practice life.
Yoga cannot be practiced blindly—it must be continually adapted. Like the moon, women are cyclical in nature and thus need to change their practices to support physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Tess devotes much of her study to how yoga can bolster women’s health and thus adapts her teaching accordingly, both in the classroom and in private sessions.
Much of Geeta’s work was dedicated to the field of women’s yoga—she was a pioneer in adapting the yogic practice for women. While Tess did not have the opportunity to study with Geeta directly, her studies stem largely from the resources she and her students created:
TIAS AND SURYA LITTLE—PRAJNA YOGA
The word prajna in Sanskrit means insight, deep understanding, and mindfulness. It suggests a dynamic, embodied wisdom that permeates every cell and every tissue in the body. Tess discovered Tias Little’s teachings from his book Yoga of the Subtle Body and was immediately captivated by the interweave of metaphor, science, myth, and felt experience. Rather spontaneously, Tess signed up for the full 200-Hr program and shortly thereafter moved to Santa Fe for a year of study. Tess is currently completing her 500-Hr with Tias and Surya.
Eunice is a yoga teacher based in London, largely informed by the Ashtanga Vinyasa lineage. Tess was blessed to study with her at Pineapple Dance Studios during my years abroad. Her lived experience as a female, a mother, a minority, and a survivor have formed her firm belief that yoga should be an inclusive discipline that transcends barriers of physical ability, economics, religion, and cultural and gender identity. Her program, Movement for Healing, is a grass roots program dedicated to supporting female survivors of gender-based violence through a yoga framework that is sensitive to a woman’s lived reality.
April is the founder of THE MOON IS MY CALENDAR and creatress of the New Moon Calendar Journal, a beautifully simple tool for women to connect with their physical, emotional, and creative selves within the context of the phases of the moon. Tess stumbled upon April’s journal while she was leading a women’s circle in Portland—her format made daily journaling accessible to an over-scheduled life and helped her see monthly patterns with clarity and relief.