Margi Young: yogi, teacher, explorer

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Margi Young was recently named one of the 100 most influential yoga teachers by Sonima. She currently lives in Oakland and teaches public classes and workshops in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her classes emphasize correct alignment, hard work, and intense relaxation so that the benefits of yoga reveal themselves. She roots her alignment-based vinyasa classes both in Buddhist philosophy and in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali to invite the physical practice to result in a calm mental state. Taking a cue from the Buddha, Margi's classes are light-hearted as she is a strong believer in finding as much joy as possible in every moment on the roller coaster of life.  

After receiving an MFA from New York University 's Tisch School of the arts, Margi was a professional dancer and choreographer in New York.  But, her yoga mat and teaching called her name loudly and in 2001 she became certified from Cyndi Lee's OM Yoga Center, where she taught for 10 years, was a primary teacher on the teacher training staff, and headed the restorative department of the studio. 

She has lead numerous workshops and retreats in the USA and around the world, and is Senior Faculty for Awakened Life School of yoga. (here is a When not on the road, she teaches weekly classes in the San Francisco Bay Area.

What do you do best?

I take my practice off the mat. My whole life is practice. I breathe when life feels like a tornado. I ground my mind when it races unnecessarily. I feel my feet on the floor when I get nervous. I attempt to be kind to everyone. 

What makes you the best?

I’m not the best.  But what makes me good is that I have learned to see everyone for who they are. Not from my notions of who they may be. 

What are your aspirations?

To get through each day with as much joy as possible. And then sprinkle that joy here and there. 

Biggest Success?

My biggest success is running my yoga & teaching career while being fully immersed in my 7 year old and my dear partner. 

Most Challenging Moment?

Living in downtown Manhattan on 9/11. My heart was broken and hasn’t healed.

Favorite Motto?

It was a tattoo of a quote from Rilke on a student’s arm at the Toronto Yoga Conference:  May my life flow from me like a river, not forcing and not holding back, the way it is with children.

Favorite People?

My mom, my mother-in-law, my husband and my son, a few obscure singer/songwriters who curse a lot, Dan Bern & Hammell on Trial. Then the many spiritual guides and yoga teachers who have held my hand on the path. To name a few: Genny Kapuler, Pema Chodrin, Kevin Gardiner, Jennifer Brilliant, Cyndi Lee, Tara Brach, Eugene Cash & Carrie Owerko.  And my slew of girlfriends. Oh how I love my girlfriends.

Favorite Places?

Buckle your seatbelt… I love this world! Japan (Kyoto & Naoshima especially), Barcelona (lived there when I was 15), Bali (lead teacher trainings there with Recharge Retreats), Oakland (home), New York City (my other home), all of Asia (I tingle seeing 6 people and 2 chickens piled on a scooter). I will stop, but call me and I will go on.

Favorite Products?

I adore my Argon Oil because it is a little bottle which I use it on my face and hair. I am low maintenance!

Current Passions?

Traveling, if by current you mean life-long. Guitar, if by current you mean an on-again, off-again relationship that is very much on right now. Food & drink, if by current you mean taking up a good portion of everyday’s planning energy. Yoga, if by current you mean spiritually fulfilling and necessary. Motherhood, if by current you mean from 2/3/09 - infinity. Cranial Sacral Therapy, if by current you mean something I am studying.