Meet Marti Bradley
SMY continues its series of Q&A's by publicist Zan Dubin Scott of ZDS Communications. This month Zan talks to one of our newest teachers, Marti Bradley.
Describe the kind of yoga you teach:
I teach a balanced vinyasa-based hatha yoga class. We focus on breath, strength, deep core and stability with music. Sprinkled with bhakti, you may hear a bhajan, mantra or poem for sweetness.
Who are your most influential teachers and why?
Janet Stone is at the top of my list right now. She really has helped me to dive 108 layers deeper than I had been practicing even a few months ago. She is deeply rooted in most yoga practices and is a devoted mama, too. Her offerings have really allowed me to pull into my strength without rigidity. They have also revealed the necessity to nurture myself as I nurture my husband, son, family, friends and students. SMY's Kyra Haglund and Nancy Goodstein have also been huge contributors on my path and I have been practicing with them for quite a few years now.
How did you get into yoga?
I worked at a fitness studio on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica (I actually teach Pilates there now) and stumbled into YogaWorks for a class with a couple of coworker friends. I left feeling like I needed more of what I had just experienced. Wasn't quite sure why at the time but kept going back for more.
How long have you been practicing?
Ten Years. The first five were bouncing from teacher to teacher and studio to studio. I was really searching for a space and a teacher or two that felt like home.
Why do you teach yoga?
I teach yoga because it has been one of the most physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually giving practices I have ever experienced. I love it. It makes me so happy, grounded and supports me in such a profound way. I am completely honored to share the bit that I know. I only hope for my students to walk out feeling a bit better then when they walked in.
What do you hope to impart to students?
Compassion, compassion, compassion, discipline, and more compassion
What’s your favorite asana?
Urdhva Dhanurasana and most backbends. I love how backbends increase my energy and uplift my spirits. They help to refuel me, increase the space in the chest and lungs and facilitate the opening of the heart center. Some days my body says no but when it’s a yes, its a YES!
What’s your favorite asana to teach?
Not an asana per se, but the combo of asanas that make up the "vinyasa" during sun salutations. I realize that many students don't quite get the linkage of those movements. Maybe they were never really taught? Some may not even realize there are modifications and variations one can use to adapt to how the body is feeling that particular day. It may not seem like the fanciest posture of yoga but is an important part of a flow class. I like people to move with intention: full of breath, no autopilot. Please, no autopilot.
Why do you teach at Santa Monica Yoga?
Santa Monica Yoga has been my home studio for many years now. I have learned so much about myself and have a strong foundation because of the instructors here. I took my first yoga teacher training with SMY and it now only makes sense for me to give back to the community that helped me to blossom.
What’s your favorite quote?
"At the center of your being, truth shines like a thousand suns," which is from the Vedas. It’s a real reminder of the amazing beings we all are. Yoga helps us to breathe deep beneath the surface, clear the muck so that we may shine like the light of a thousand suns!
What’s your guilty pleasure?
If you are hoping for a chocolate-cupcake answer, I eat those weekly and never feel guilty. I also like Chai lattes. Hari Om