This month, HYA hosts a very special workshop, which combines the skills of our Flow teacher Tania Laveck with physical therapist and strength coach Dr. Sieara Hinshaw. It’s called Safe and Strong Arm Balances & Inversions, a three-part series February 10, 17 and 24 that will give hands-on, personalized instruction to students on how to build strength for and progress in these fun and challenging postures.
Tania calls it, “I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now.”
Tania has been teaching since she graduated from her 200-hour Vinyasa training at HYA in 2021. She has since added a 300-hour Advanced Vinyasa training and works to continuously improve her practice as well as strengthen her teaching. She is a Western Carolina native, enjoys hiking and mountain biking in these beloved mountains with her husband, three adult kids and dog Sunny! She is also an electrical engineer who works at Eaton.
HYA: How did you get started in yoga?
Tania: I found yoga when I was in my early 40’s (it’s more like yoga found me!) I was a physical and
emotional wreck and spent the first few years of my yoga practice in savasana with tears
streaming down my face. I’ve had a long list of physical injuries: ACL reconstruction on both
knees, herniated disks in my lumbar and cervical spine, and a torn labrum in my right
shoulder. Needless to say, yoga has been an amazing healing journey — physically, emotionally,
mentally and spiritually — and a path for self-realization.
HYA: When did you begin to incorporate strength training?
Tania: As I began to get stronger and my yoga practice advanced, I began to experience more
injuries again. I became disheartened and found myself at a plateau in my asana practice.
During this same time, which was about two and a half years ago, I met Dr. Sieara Hinshaw and began strength training a few times a week with her.
Almost immediately I noticed significant physical and emotional improvements. With Sieara’s expertise in anatomy and programming, I began to build strength which meant I had a lot less pain in my body! Simultaneously she was helping me to work through some old injuries with specific treatments and modifications, so I never had to stop training.
HYA: What did you discover about yourself?
Tania: One of the biggest epiphanies for me during my journey is becoming aware that I am hyper-mobile, especially in my shoulders and knees. Sieara has helped me to understand the importance of building strength in the muscles to protect the joints, especially crucial for people who are hyper-mobile.
HYA: How did you come up with the idea for this workshop?
Tania: Recently we have had a lot of fun playing with and analyzing strength components and body
awareness for some specific yoga postures. Sieara will evaluate me in the posture and then
prescribe for me the best drills to increase my strength and mobility needed to reach my goals, which became my “why” for doing this workshop.
HYA: What are your goals for students in this workshop?
Tania: My hope is that we can share some ideas and important concepts that I’ve learned and that
have helped me so much in my journey (I wish I knew then what I know now!). Most importantly, I want to create awareness for about how to keep the body safe and strong for a sustainable lifetime of yoga practice.
It’s an “all levels” workshop designed to meet you where you are in your arm balancing/inversion yoga journey, please join us in this collaboration for some hard work, learning and lots of fun!