Hillary Wright is a yoga and meditation teacher and has been for almost a decade. Hillary is the Director of Continuing Education at Y7 Studio in New York City and holds a 500 E-RYT with the Yoga Alliance. She has created and led both 200 and 300-hour teacher trainings for Y7 Studio as well as teaching public classes in Manhattan. Hillary is also currently pursuing her Master's Degree in Applied Physiology at Columbia University. She has an extensive training background studying with many world renowned teachers in the lineages of Ashtanga, Sivananda and Vinyasa, and has taught thousands of hours in these lineages. Her extensive background studying the Ashtanga Vinyasa system brings a solid foundation to her trainings while her deep understanding of Vinyasa Yoga makes her trainings accessible and well-rounded. Hillary has spent the past decade studying all aspects of yoga and teaching. She has spent time living in an ashram in India, teaching in packed studios across New York City, and everything in-between. Hillary is a direct and compassionate teacher who loves to share the art of practicing and teaching yoga.
What do I do best?
I make yoga and meditation accessible to anyone who wants to learn it. I truly believe that yoga isn’t some kind of “elite fitness program” for only people of a certain wealth stature or physical ability. Yoga should be available to everyone. As someone who trains yoga teachers, my goal, and what I feel I do very well, is to spread this idea to as many future yoga teachers as possible. If I can keep sharing that mindset then more and more people will hopefully have access to the practices of yoga and meditation.
What makes me the best version of myself?
What makes me the best version of myself is my genuine belief that you can do anything that you set your mind to. People like to tell you that you can’t, but I promise you, you can. It might take more work than you can ever imagine, and it might take getting up after getting knocked down more times than you can think of, but you can’t ever let anyone tell you that your dreams aren’t valid or that they can’t be achieved. Because they can. I know that this mindset has gotten me to the point that I am at today.
What are my aspirations?
I am currently getting my Masters at Columbia in Applied Physiology and am continually evaluating how we can bring more science and more knowledge of the body into yoga teacher trainings and into yoga rooms around the world. Yoga is such a powerful tool, but there is (generally) such a gap in the anatomy and physiology knowledge of yoga teachers versus others that work with the body, such as acupuncturists and massage therapists. I want to bridge this gap. The more we know about the body, the more we can utilize yoga as a tool in the most effective and life-changing way possible.
My Biggest Success?
It’s hard to pinpoint my biggest “success” but the thing that really sticks out in my mind that I am the most proud of is the creation of Y7 Studio’s 200-Hour Teacher Training program. I have poured thousands of hours of work into creating a program that I truly believe in and stand by, as well as building a team alongside me who believes in it as much as I do. We have had so many successful graduates from the program and I feel that, thanks to the amazing teachers that have come out of it, that it has truly made my tiny corner of the world a little bit better of a place to be. And I know that those graduates are out making people’s lives better, and just knowing that makes me so incredibly proud.
My Most Challenging Moment
The last few years of my life have been incredibly challenging. In 2014 I was diagnosed with endometriosis that was caused me to live in chronic pain for years. I had two major surgeries to deal with this, and in March 2016 I had the surgery that finally allowed me to take a turn toward health that has lasted me up to this day (I still feel amazing!). Four months after my surgery, however, my husband was diagnosed with Lyme disease and quickly became almost completely disabled. His journey with Lyme disease is still going, although he is finally showing signs of immense progress. These last few years have been insanely challenging but have also brought us immeasurable amounts of gifts. We have never been more grateful for our closest friends and family that have carried us through this time, for each other, and for health, which without that, we have realized that nothing else matters.
“You got this.” Whatever it is, whatever is happening, no matter how scary, or hard, or seemingly impossible to overcome, I just continually tell myself, You Got This. Keep going, you got this.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
My parents. My mom went back to get her Masters degree when she was 53 years old. She has always shown me that it’s never too late to be exactly who you want to be, and you’re never too old (or too young) to learn more. My dad has always taught me resilience, to get up when you’re knocked down, to keep going. He taught me that even if you feel like things are too hard and that you can’t take one more step, you better take that step anyways. You might get knocked down, but you have to get up and keep going.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
My favorite place in the world is Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. I could spend a lifetime there and never tire of it. However, I love to travel, so I could also add in Paris, Rome, Tokyo, Barcelona, Peru and anywhere that pushes me out of my comfort zone. Those are the best places.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
Currently my favorite ‘product’ is the meditation app Headspace. I have an insanely busy schedule and Headspace has given me the ability, and discipline, to keep up with my daily meditation practice.
My Current Passions?
I really love learning anything and everything that I can. I’m currently getting a graduate degree in Applied Physiology and could not be any more of a nerd when it comes to the body and how it works.