A lover of nature, mythology, dance, and poetry, Lydia Russell has been practicing yoga since 1996 and teaching since 2005. From 2001-2012 she was immersed in the study of Anusara Yoga, a practice that continues to inform her teaching today, along with many other diverse influences, including Authentic Movement, yoga injuries, birch trees, and her toddler.
Rooted in the rhythms and cycles of the earth, Lydia's asana instruction is alignment-based, yet flowing, and builds strength, flexibility, and mindfulness. Her classes leave lots of room for modifications, use of props, compassionate self-care, and spontaneous movement as she encourages each student to continually attune and attend to what feels safe, helpful, and good in their body in that particular moment. Lydia also offers classes in meditation and yogic philosophy. She weaves into all her teaching an awareness of social and environmental justice, recognizing that the yoga we practice on the mat is merely preparation for the much more "advanced" yoga that we practice every day out in the world. As a non-Indian yoga teacher, Lydia is acutely aware of issues of cultural appropriation and strives to bring respect, humility, and continued learning to her own practice, as well as a commitment to portray all she has been taught accurately and with gratitude to her teachers and their teachers.
Lydia has been deeply influenced by Tantric philosophy, especially as she has learned it from Douglas Brooks, as well as by the shamanic traditions of her own European ancestors. She gives thanks to all her yoga teachers, including John Friend, Sara Rose, Todd Norian, Darren Rhodes, Sianna Sherman, Elena Brower, Deb Neubauer, Lynne Patterson, and her very first Anusara yoga teacher, Ami Jayaprada Hirschstein. She is also grateful to her teacher and friend, Prem Prakash of Kailash Ashram, who has helped to nourish and inspire her practice and understanding of ritual, kirtan, and yogic philosophy and mythology.
Currently pursuing a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Lydia is a graduate of Hampshire College, The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and Sage Mountain Herb School. Lydia delights in creating opportunities for people to connect with nature, themselves, and each other through community ritual, seasonal celebration, story-telling, dance, herbs and food, and, of course, yoga.