Interview: Angela Morley

An Interview with Angela Morley

Can you give me a bit of background about when you started practicing and teaching?

I grew up a very competitive gymnast, making many yoga shapes (particularly handstands) on the floor, beam, and bars. I picked up competitive cheerleading in high school and started making yoga shapes while hoisted up on people’s hands as a flyer. As a broke university student I turned to running and self-taught Pilates and personal training drills to keep me in shape.  I found yoga ten years ago and the shapes brought me nostalgia for my past, the breath brought me presence, and the magic between the two has been shaping my future ever since.  I completed my teacher training in 2013 and have been teaching since then.  The ways the body moves and the intricacies of the postures fascinate me.  Sharing that fascination with students who find that “OH THAT’S WHAT THAT FEELS LIKE” moment is what drives me as a teacher.

What are you working on right now in your practice and/or in your life?

In both practice and life I’m working on finding balance – balance between my work lives as a yoga teacher who maintains a full time job but also wants to hang out with friends and family and have some time to myself; and balance in practice between pushing and pulling back – knowing when to let go of certain postures that are causing frustration and judgment until another time when my frame of mind is in a better place to approach it.  The literal balance on my hands, arm balances, and handstands are things that constantly evolve and shift.

Who are your teachers and what’s the most valuable thing they have taught you?

I’ve had many teachers throughout the years and they all bring me something different:

  • Jonny Belinko: He’s taught me how consistent practice can lead to progress (I’ve advanced most physically in his ashtanga classes) and that sometimes I just need to calm down.
  • Juliana Belinko: I can get dark and stormy in the mind, and Jules has a remarkable energy and way of communicating that calms the storms in my head.
  • Kate Gillespie: Her Yoga Method of approaching peak postures makes so much sense to me and she shares my fascination with the ways the body moves and the subtle intricacies of the postures and shapes.
  • Audrey Gentile: Her classes are what inspired me to teach in the first place.  Her classes are intelligently sequenced and you truly feel the person teaching you the class is the exact same person she is in life…something I feel I also demonstrate.

But also everyone I’ve ever taken class with, taught class to, spoken to even…everyone influences my perspective and my teaching in some way.

What do you think (or hope) will change about the yoga world in the next 10 years?

I think yoga will consistently evolve with time… just as it always has.  I hope it becomes less defined.  I believe that the practice of yoga involves breath work and presence within a space and time.  I don’t think it necessarily has to be the primary Ashtanga sequence all the time, or all Vinyasa all the time, or all Restorative.  I think it’s a tool that you can use based on your frame of mind and physical abilities at the time to create more space and awareness and we shouldn’t expect anything from it.  Use it as a tool, and if the tool is working, keep using it… if it’s not, try something else.  I’d also like the yoga world to experiment with different forms of music… I think it blends with hip hop seamlessly.

If you could have dinner with any famous person, living or dead, who would it be?

Heath Ledger… I wanna know what was going through his mind.  I feel like I’m one of those people who is lost on exactly what I want to do, and I truly believe that people like me land on helping others.  I think that’s why I teach.  I think that’s why I would want to know what he was struggling with.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Teleportation… being able to be anywhere else in an instant… sign me up.