Teacher's Survey: Lily Cushman

Meet Lily Cushman


How long have you been practicing yoga? 15 years

Current happy pose? Thunderbolt Pose for it's stillness and quiet. Upward bow for its transformative effects & power, and always Natarajasana.
Current nemesis pose? Lately, I've been spending a lot of time with very mild Down Dog and Easy Leg Grasps, looking into some murky hamstring/hip/psoas connections.
What is your favorite food? Kale/Watermelon
Why do you teach yoga? I teach because we have a lot more options than we realize. Because we all have the capacity to be really happy, even if the circumstances in our lives are not perfect, or not even close to perfect. I take teaching very seriously, and don't know that I would have ever felt ready to start doing it if my own teacher hadn't told me to do so. But these practices have been so central to my life for so long that it feels important to share them with others.
Elvis Presley or Frank Sinatra? The King, obviously.

Lily Cushman

One thing you do every day? Hanuman Chalisa
Brown Rice or Quinoa? I love the brown rice. Not so much a fan of the keen-wah.
What is your favorite bad habit?
Binge watching Netflix (currently working my way through Friday Night Lights).
Good book recommendation? Currently on my nightstand is "Lovingkindness" by Sharon Salzberg and "The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies" by Vasant Lad.
What is your best asana tip?
Suffering is optional

What is your favorite yama/niyama? For me, the core of these is always Ahimsa (non-violence or compassion). You find it at the root of all the other virtues. It's the best secret weapon to have with you at all times: both a great protector and guide in life.

Anything Else? I've had a lot of students ask me if I used to be a dancer, which is pretty hysterical to me because I've never been a fan of exercise. Yoga was first recommended to me because I was looking for a way to take care of my body without becoming obsessed with how I looked. When I first started, I couldn't even touch my toes (or ankles for that matter) and even though it was really difficult for me, I loved the private victory each time I would finish practicing. I say this because nowadays it seems that the reality of the practice has become somewhat adulterated with slick advertising and stretchy pants. We suddenly need to be flexible, thin and healthy to practice yoga (let alone be happy). But the truth is that anyone who wants to expand themselves can do just that. We start from where we are. Whether it's healing the body, working with the mind or simply coming to terms with what life has dealt us, anyone can benefit from these practices. So, I hope you'll join me. I'm looking forward to being back on the schedule this fall and spending some time together on this big adventure!