Lili Farrar is a welcome face around Elevate. Whether members are looking to shake off the stress of the work week, achieve greater flexibility, or round out their exercise regimen, Lili is there to lead them through their yoga practice
You’re relatively new to teaching yoga, about 5 years into your practice. What motivated you to get certified?
After retiring from sports in high school (both cheerleading & swimming), I needed something to keep me active. I turned to yoga as a way to keep myself limber. It was also a great learning tool for me as I transitioned into the stressful time period of college. I got certified, as I wanted to share the benefits of yoga with others.
What do you like most about teaching?
I love the variety of people I encounter in my classes – there are always different age levels, skill levels and interests represented. Everyone is looking to get something different out of their practice, which keeps it interesting. No two classes are the same.
Why should people incorporate yoga into their regular exercise regimen?
It’s the piece that people typically miss in their workouts. Everyone knows that cardio and strength work are important, but yoga can play an important role in an exercise routine as well – it’s great for increasing flexibility and focus.
There are many different types of yoga – how should one choose which one type to practice? And is there any value in mixing it up?
I recommend doing what feels right for you. When I teach, I show students the poses, but I always tell them, ‘If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.’ It’s important to listen to your body. I also recommend taking classes in a few different styles – explore and find what you like!
As for mixing it up, for example doing Gentle Yoga classes some days and Ashtanga on others, it really depends on the person. The most important thing is to find a style that works for you, and that can be different at different points in one’s life. There are many different styles of yoga out there and there’s a studio for every style. Elevate is very accommodating and a great place for people at all stages of their yoga practice.
What are some of the benefits that people can expect to realize from a regular yoga practice?
I’ve noticed that people usually discover a better mind/body connection. Yoga teaches you to slow down and breathe, which is great for helping you to de-stress.
Yoga also increases flexibility, which is really something that you need to use or lose. Women tend to develop tightness in their shoulders and hips, while men develop a lack of flexibility in their backs and legs. Everyone can benefit from practicing yoga.
How frequently do you recommend that people practice yoga to realize the benefits?
A daily practice is what I’d like to see, but I know that’s not always possible. Honestly, 5-10 minutes of practice once a week can make a difference. My classes at Elevate take place primarily on Fridays and I’ve noticed that people come in stressed from a long work week and leave feeling calm and refreshed.
What’s your favorite benefit from a regular yoga practice?
Yoga has taught me to breathe correctly. I tend to be anxious – I think it’s my age, the prevalence of technology, the demands on our time, etc. Learning to breathe properly and thus be able to relax has been hugely helpful.