Marie Belle – DC, Virginia, Florida, Puerto Rico
Who You Are:
I am an Ashtanga Yoga teacher and certified Rocket Yoga Teacher in Washington DC, Virginia, Puerto Rico, and Florida. I offer yoga classes, retreats, workshops, private sessions, and teacher trainings in the United States as well as the Caribbean including Mexico and Puerto Rico. All of my teachings are grounded in a daily Ashtanga Mysore Advanced practice, tantric philosophy, and personal experiences with great teachers who have shared their philosophies along the way.
Additionally, I have extensive training as a Psychologist in Social Emotional Development (Ph.D. from Virginia Tech; I teach psychology at The George Washington University) and Women’s Studies (Graduate Certificate). I utilize this keen awareness of the intellectual and emotional body to empower those who practice consistently, for a long period of time, with devotion. My classes are highly influenced by the athleticism, strength, and balance from Ashtanga and Rocket yoga, the gracefulness from Anusara’s life-affirming alignment principles, and the therapeutic and calming benefits of Hot yoga. I am a devoted student and mindful teacher of yoga who provides an environment for both an invigorating practice and an empowering experience.
How You Became An Instructor:
I established a regular yoga practice while completing graduate school at Virginia Tech. After the shootings in 2007, I became much more open and willing to explore alternative healing modalities for anxiety. My friend invited me to participate in an Ashtanga yoga teacher training with her. At the time, I had no interest in becoming a yoga teacher, but I was very curious about the philosophy, anatomy, and origins of this practice and why it was working for me so I chose to enroll. Throughout the process of establishing a personal practice, my practice grew, my emotional ups and downs stabilized, I became more grounded and centered, and overall, I felt lighter in myself. These experiences totally transcended anything I had previously learned.
Before I knew it, I was teaching donation only classes to fellow students until I felt comfortable with the teaching role. I slowly began to pick up more classes, teaching at local gyms, studios, and at home. Slowly but surely, yoga began to take over my life in a very enriching way. Once I graduated from Virginia Tech, I moved to DC and stumbled upon Yoga District. I fell in love with the community and the low key vibe of the space- it has a mission to be sustainable, eco-friendly, and affordable for all. I was offered several classes in the studio on H St. which was about to open in several weeks. The stars lined up perfectly. The more I taught, the more I fell in love with the practice, and the more I was inspired to practice and seek out more and more inspiration from amazing teachers. I now teach yoga 13 times a week along with several private sessions and am extremely happy serving our community in this way.
What You Teach:
“Mysore style” refers to the city of Mysore, India where Sri K. Pattabhi Jois taught Ashtanga Yoga. In a Mysore style class, each practitioner is taught individually within a group setting. This self-paced class is appropriate for both experienced practitioners and those newer to yoga. Each student is encouraged to work at his or her own pace and progress through the Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga series one posture at a time. Focus is on slowly acquiring full variations of poses. It is recommended that students practice daily and make a monthly commitment in order to memorize the traditional sequence and develop a personal practice. Practice time is flexible, students may begin practicing anytime within the posted class time as long as they finish by the end of class. In order to get the most out of this practice, we highly encourage students to attend led Ashtanga classes as well.
An intermediate/ advanced series including variations of poses from the primary, second, and third series of Ashtanga Yoga. This class is full of upper body strengthening with inversions and tons of back bending and spinal twists to invigorate and awaken the nervous system. The Rocket is accessible to those with previous experience in Ashtanga Yoga, an intermediate/advanced vinyasa practice, or people who want a challenge in their practice.
Where You Teach:
My personal goals are to expand my capacity to feel, love, understand, and articulate what I am learning in order to share these insights through the practice of yoga. Yoga has maximized my potential to express myself not just in the physical realm through asana (yoga postures), but also through the energetic and intellectual realms using philosophy and trusting deep intuition. Professionally, I would like to continue to teach and practice as much as I can. Specifically, I will continue to teach Mysore style sessions 6 times a week along with led Ashtanga based classes in the afternoons or evenings. I also will continue to teach across United States and the Caribbean and will be leading Yoga Immersions, workshops, retreats, and trainings. My mission is to share this transformative practice with as many individuals who are willing and able to actively shift and work on, through, and with their bodies, minds, and paradigms.
I am truly passionate about travel, study, and teaching. My mission in life is to continue to learn, expand, and manifest while serving others. As I travel along my path discovering new and insightful ways to practice, love, and serve, my goal is to empower others to re-pattern the body and mind to move into a place of well being and harmony. In the process of expanding my horizons through travel, practice, and service, I wish to continue inspiring others through teaching as well as documenting the progress of what it is to transform the body, mind, and spirit through immersing oneself fully in Yoga.
My vision is to document my progress in skillful and artistic videos several times a year in various locations. So far, I have filmed a video in Mysore, India. In May, I plan on creating another video in my home base, Washington DC; in September, I will demonstrate gracefully strong asana and beautiful scenery in Bali where I will train extensively in Ashtanga Yoga,Ayurveda, and Tantric philosophy for 2 months; in December I will finish the year off in my roots, Puerto Rico. I am very interested in embodying, empowering, and sharing what true femininity is: divine strength, beauty, and grace.
“In order for your practice to be grounded and of the earth, it must be done consistently, for a long period of time, with devotion” – Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 1:14
What Inspires You:
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga keeps me inspired, honest, humble, and empowered. This practice has taught me to inspire myself. That is, every morning I have an appointment with myself (Mysore practice) to work on myself, listen to myself, learn from myself, and I show up. I motivate myself and I show up. I am present. I do not wait for the moment to come from above and present itself to me, I seek it out. Additionally, I am a total bookworm and am constantly reading texts on philosophy, alternative healing, physics, and romantic mysticism.
Who Inspires You:
The Sufi mystic and poet Rumi; the medical intuitive, energy healer, and author, Carolyn Myss; my mentor and friend, David C. Kyle from Ashtanga Yoga Puerto Rico; my amazing yoga teachers Faith Scimecca from Woodley Park Yoga, Tim Feldmann from Miami Life Center, and Lila Rasa Brown.
Why You Practice:
I practice so that I reside in a calm, awake, and balanced state. This practice has gradually stripped away the layers of accumulated baggage that weigh on my mind, body, and spirit. Through Ashtanga Mysore practice, I have learned to consciously build myself up with energy and reduce the fluctuations of the mind. If my mind is calm, I see more clearly. The self-led aspect of Ashtanga encourages me to manually put myself in meditation. I am aware that when I practice, I am in a harmonic and poised state which influences how consciously I respond to what life offers me. By regularly accessing this unlimited and integrated state of being, when things happen, I am predisposed to experience them from a perspective that will expand and heal me. If I do not consciously fill up with energy, I will be in a disharmonic, chaotic state and may tend to feel victimized, contained, reactive, and vulnerable.
For me, this self-led practice continues to be about healing, expansion, and developing a larger arena of receptivity, grace, and safety. It is the pursuit of illumination, it is the pursuit of love and the investigation of myself. It is a true spiritual practice in which you gradually learn how to access and listen to the deepest part of your guidance and surrender to that and trust that guidance. Ashtanga Mysore practice is devoted to deep listening, deep breathing, and deep contemplation. I’m someone who is still exploring this healing and I want more people to talk about and share it with.
Why You Teach:
My classes encourage students to grow into their inner consciousness to facilitate ease of movement, steadiness of breath, and balanced growth on and off the mat. I challenge students physically while teaching about life- affirming, tantric philosophies that support emotional healing.
My way of building a community is through encouraging and teaching this practice of deep inner awareness, physical integrity, and mental tenacity. The way that I teach and practice Ashtanga, this practice is ultimately about the sincere and committed maximization of our potential and self-actualization. I teach, in a sequenced form, the art of awareness, the art of focused strength, the art of acceptance and of being in touch with our breath and body. Each breath brings the opportunity to improve ourselves physically, mentally, and energetically. My life and teaching philosophy emphasize truth, harmony, and integrity. I encourage all students to become scientists of their own reality. By allowing ourselves to connect with how we feel, we learn how to control and how to create.
Where To Connect:
You can find Marie Belle online at her site, on Facebook and Instagram. We absolutely love her facebook page!! Stay tuned with her and watch as she accomplishes incredible things in the yoga community!