SMARTer bodies

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Get to know Dancer and Aerial Yoga Teacher Sarah Sadie Newett

You know we love to share what our professional network is up to.  Meet another member, Sarah Sadie Newett.  She’s a lovely dancer and yoga teacher who works with aerial silks and makes it look effortless.  Here are the details:


Sarah Sadie Newett has devoted her life to studying, creating, performing and teaching movement. She grew up in coastal Maine dancing, acting and performing before moving to Boston to pursue her BFA in Dance/Theater from Emerson College. As a student she performed in numerous rep works including David Dorfman, inFlux Dance, Ego Art inc and Snappy Dance Theater as well as choreographing her own works along side faculty members at The Majestic Theatre and graduating Magna Cum Laude.

In 2009 she moved to New York to further pursue her love of dance.   Forever interested in the science of movement, she became certified in YogaWorks and Power Pilates and has over 500 hours of training in the AUM Mind and Body Curriculum at Studio Anya. Her studies at Anya have largely influenced her creativity, teaching, moving styles and investigation of grace in day to day life.

In the past three years she has performed as a dancer and aerialist at Galapagos Art Space, Lincoln Center, Dixon Place, Triskellion Arts, The Whitney and The Box amongst others. She’s had the honor to work with Movement Workshop Group, Emily Faulkner, Grounded Aerial, Melinda Ring, Eva Dean Dance, Teresa Felion/BodyStories and create film projects with Brian Gonzalez/Taxiplasm and Contaminate NYC.

Sarah recently starred in the film Les Etoiles (release date pending) and is having a fabulous Aerial Silks workshop this coming weekend on March 10th at OM yoga.  Go here to sign up, it’s a perfect event for complete beginners!

Amy Matthews Explains Axial Extension

We wanted to write up a post about an ambiguous term we hear in yoga classes (and other classes) all the time.  “Keep your spine long.”  Well, what does that mean exactly and how does it benefit?  As always, whatever you choose to do it’s all about intention and awareness. Knowing what you want to do and what is actually happening.  Amy Matthews, a teacher of ours that we constantly obsess over, has shared a quick video clip that eloquently illuminates the concept of the “long spine.”  She discusses what exactly it takes to make that happen and the cost/benefit of performing such an action.

A quick moment spent learning this information is the kind of moment that can be transformative to your practice.  It is possible to get stuck in teachings we hear over and over from our yoga teachers.  Among some of the most common teachings about alignment in class concerns trying to get the most length and height we can, especially in poses like Tadasana, Trikonasana and Uttanasana.  This isn’t a bad thing to want to experience, but as Amy explains, it takes a lot of effort to live in that place.  Not only that, but most people don’t have enough kinesthetic awareness to actually do axial extension (if that is, in fact, what they wish to do) and end up compensating in not so helpful ways. Watch the video and see how implementing this information changes your experience.  We would love to for you to leave comments below. (Click here for the video!)

Want more of Amy’s teachings? Who doesn’t? Visit her at her website and sign up for her anatomy and kinesiology classes.  You won’t regret it!

Amy Matthews Talks Yoga Myths


You’ve seen her mentioned quite frequently on our blog, because we refer to Amy Matthews‘ teaches a lot!  She is an amazing anatomy and movement teacher.  Amy can help you to reach levels of understanding/sensing in your body and looking at others that is just about miraculous.  If you haven’t had a chance yet, you need to go to one of her classes or workshops.  (We’re lying; don’t come to NYC.  She’s all OURS!!!)

You know on this blog we love busting yoga myths.  Well, Amy elevated the myth busting thing to a whole other level.   Take a look at this excerpt:

Yoga Guide: Inversions seem to inspire a lot of anatomical claims. Can they cause retrograde menstruation during your period?

Amy Matthews: We are constantly in relationship to gravity, and when we change our relationship to gravity it has an effect on our body, definitely.

Our bodies are constantly adapting to changes in our external environment and in our internal environment and seeking a dynamic and shifting state of balance, called homeostasis. While the events of the menstrual cycle are in many ways highly evident, we are constantly dealing with all kinds of factors that affect our balance. More important than coming up with proscriptions for every condition (like not inverting during menstruation) is learning to listen to our bodies and not imposing ideas – either about doing something everyday, or forbidding something on certain days.

Chances are good that different women’s bodies will respond differently to inverting during menstruation, and for some women it will feel balancing and for some women it will throw things out of balance. Nothing is true for all women, just as nothing is true for all people.

Amy’s language is illuminating and can instantaneously increase your depth of understanding of why formulaic yoga prescriptions may not be the most effective way to use this practice.  Please read the rest of the article and learn just why Amy influences our work so much.