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!