Teacher Spotlight: Liz Kovarsky!
Welcome to week five of our Hustle and Flow Teacher Spotlights! If you haven’t checked out our posts featuring Carla, Tiffanie, Sam or Naomi yet, swing through and find out a little bit more about what makes these movement instructors so special.
This week we’re spending time with our resident free-spirited, west coast Aquarian Liz, who brings us her Vinyasa-influenced Power Flow class every Sunday (and a special Bubbles and Flow every first Sunday of the month)! Liz will also be one of the lovely ladies putting her hands on you at this weekend’s Handle With Care workshop, offering gentle hands-on enhancements to students during this heart and hip-opening flow class offered in love to help our friend Grace as she recovers from surgery. You can also often find Liz enjoying classes among the students at Hustle and Flow, in every type of class from Hustlercise to Slow Grind.
Find out more about Liz’s teaching style and influences, and check out Power Flow on Sundays at 10:30am!
Teacher Spotlight: Liz Kovarsky
Teaches: Power Flow, Bubbles and Flow
How did you come to teach at Hustle and Flow?
I had just moved from California to Maine in 2015 and had been trying out all the yoga studios in town. Hustle and Flow was the first place where I was encouraged to be myself and felt comfortable to move my body in new ways that weren’t traditional yoga poses. At the time, I was deep into Power Yoga because of my love for the intense, sweaty movement followed by that blissful moment of stillness. As I became more familiar with the unique movement styles at Hustle and Flow, I found myself looking at my body in a different way and feeling more open to moving it more sensually. These *aha* moments happened during Hustlercise and Slow Grind, where I would see myself moving in the mirror and physically feel good, but also love the way my body looked, although its shape hadn’t changed at all. It was a huge shift for me. This is when I asked Steph if I could start to teach yoga at Hustle and Flow. I had taught yoga for years, and for the first time felt like I really wanted to be a part of THIS studio culture. These were my people! These women were not afraid to swear in class, twerk, wear whatever they want, dance however they want, play super loud “inappropriate” music, and welcome all students. Since then I’ve had the best time teaching yoga, and beginning to teach Hustlercise at H&F!
What informs your movement practice, what influences do you consider key to your practice?
My movement practice is in constant flux. I’m always trying to balance between intense sweaty movement, restorative stretching, and stillness. What really informs my daily practice, is checking in with how my body and mind are doing. Do I need to go to Hustercise? Do I need to go to yoga? Do I need to take a nap? Do I need coffee? Maybe all of the above… Some of the biggest influences on my practices are my fellow teachers. I take lots of classes with the teachers and Hustle and Flow and love all the different styles. I also try to take a couple classes per month at different studios to see how other teachers teach and learn techniques from other types of movement. Another big influence on my practice and teaching style has been learning about trauma-informed yoga, which I also teach outside of H&F. I consider movement to be a sacred and therapeutic way to heal body, mind, and spirit- knowing that this can look different for each person, day to day.
What do you do to prepare for class?
I ALWAYS create a bumpin’ playlist! I don’t prepare a flow ahead of time, but I do read the room before we start. I do my best to give everybody the space to move in an authentic way, giving options for people to do their own thing. I also teach based on how I’m feeling that day, rather than teaching a flow I’ve prepared and feeling pressured to stick with it no matter what. SHIT HAPPENS! *This also applies to you, students! The best compliment to me is if I see students doing something other than what we’re doing as a class! It means you’re taking care of you, and that’s really the whole point, right?
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your classes – what can we expect when we’re in the room with you, what do you hope for us to take away from your class, or what kind of music or movements are you into right now? Or anything else you’d like to tell us about your life, hobbies or interests!
My biggest hope for my students in my classes is pretty simple: to feel better. In class, we’ll always get our energy flowing by moving our bodies a lot and trying to sync our breath with our movement. I end my classes with at least 3 minutes of restorative movement (usually more), sometimes that’s an actual yoga pose or it’s some kind of body movement that relaxes away any last bits of tension stored up. When you’re in the room with me, feel free to ask me questions! Before class, after class, in the middle of class – WHATEVER!
A little bit about myself outside of H&F: I love food. Eating and cooking are my favorite. Hip-hop, funk, and soul are my favorite types of music. The many different methods to twerk is my favorite dance move. I’m an Aquarius. My favorite color is teal. My favorite yoga pose is half-moon. Coffee is a yes. I live in the East End. I’ll be starting a Master’s of Social Work program this Fall, and fully intend on continuing to teach at H&F throughout. This dance, yoga, movement, meditation space is imperative for me, and I love sharing it with all of the amazing people who come through!
Check out the schedule and join Liz at a Power Flow this week. we’ll see you in the orange room soon!