Intimate interview with the renowned international yoga teacher Annie Carpenter
Meet our international guest teacher of Expo Yoga 2019!
Annie Carpenter, creator of SmartFLOW Yoga, is an international Yoga teacher based in Northern California. Known as a “teacher’s teacher” she leads strong and mindful, intelligent and compassionate workshops and Teacher Trainings, and mentors young teachers globally and at YogaGlo.com.
– How did your yoga practice began?
Truthfully, in high school I had a bit of a drug use problem and went to day rehab. There was yoga as part of the program. I was transformed !! I felt open, safe and absolutely present after the very first class, and can tell you it was so much better than getting high. Yoga healed me.
– Can you talk about an important moment that occurred in your personal practice?
There are so many… after a fall about 16 years ago I had a knee surgery and could not weight-bear for a month. So without asana, I had to figure out how to be a yogini! I turned deeper into pranayama and meditation, and read and re-read the old texts. Asana is after all just one limb.
– Who inspired you the most in your career?
So many yoga teachers have inspired me. But I have to say my dance mentor, martha graham, really is the one: she insisted on daily practice (though it was dance not yoga), and relentless self-inquiry. Authenticity and honesty were the tools, and time was the ultimate teacher in her world.
– What book did change your life?
A biography of Gandhi; and Siddhartha by Hesse, both of which I read in 9th grade. They introduced me to eastern thinking and the ideas of the eternal spirit and the ever-changing nature of the material world. I saw that suffering really is a choice… still working on that suffering part! But I know I can choose how to live and that compassion and patience are the path.
– Can you talk about a life changing yoga trip that you made?
First trip to India in the 90s: I went to study with Patthabhi Jois for 2 months. First time I had ever not worked for that long and the act of just practicing and truly surrendering to the practice and my teacher put everything into perspective. It was ego-busting at its best!