She started studying violin at the age of 5, received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Royal Conservatory of Music, a Master of Music degree from the Paris Conservatory andhas performed in various countries throughout the world. One might say Charlene Yeh had the discipline of yoga from a very early age. She took up the practice seriously and became a certified Jivamukti teacher, with its rigorous 800 hour training, back in 2007. Her classes range from restorative to vigorous and she combines the two in a style called Honey Flow, which is the creation of one of her teachers, Schuyler Grant.
Charlene was kind enough to give some thoughtful responses to her yoga teaching and the role her musical background plays in her practice.
Would the younger Charlene Yeh have believed that she would be a yoga teacher?
Probably not. The younger version of me didnt think that she would be getting up in front of people every day and teaching them about their bodies. My own body was a mystery to me!
That has certainly changed.
Its been a long process. But once I stepped into the Jivamukti centre, I knew that I wanted to learn about the body, myself, moving, and meditation. I had been going to different yoga studios until I found Jivamukti. I fell in love with the practice there and it was my home for many years.
Tell us about the first class that you taught.
The first class I taught was at the Jivamukti centre and it was a 45 minute community class, designed to not overwhelm new teachers with 90 minutes of teaching. I was prepared: I had my playlist and had practiced with other people, so I felt reasonably confident.
The playlist is an important part of Jivamukti, and music is obviously a big part of your life as a musician.
I used to try to pick songs that would give a good vibe, but now Im more concerned with breath, so that affects my playlist choices. I like music that helps the students get into the pulse of their breath, so I try to play songs that put them in the space to flow. For me, its important that the music has a purpose – it should serve the practice, not distract from it.
At times, music is a service, but sometimes silence is a service. It really depends on the type of class, time of day and who is in the room.
From past Charlene to future Charlene what teacher do you see yourself becoming?
I hope that my capacity and ability to serve my students grows as I gain experience and knowledge. My wish is to be able to serve a wider range of people, such as those with limitations that dont enable them to attend a regular class. I see myself teaching more therapeutically in the future, with a refinement that can only come with deep study and time.
Music to our ears.
For Charlenes schedule, workshops and retreats head over towww.charleneyeh.com.