May Featured Student: Hilary King
1. How long have you been practicing at DY?
Since fall 2011! (How has it been that long?!)
- What attracted you to yoga / Pilates?
I was looking for a physical activity that was not so hard on my body. As a teenager, I was a figure skater, an activity that forced me to become conscious of specific body parts so that I could land jumps and spin in tight circles! In yoga, I found a new space in which to focus on and be conscious of parts of my body that I would otherwise be unaware of. Questions like “what is my hip doing right now?” and “how do I integrate my shoulder muscles?” forced me to think about my body in a way that reminded me of figure skating, but in which I had more time to think about the answer. And in yoga, I usually don’t fall down when trying to make an adjustment!
- What has yoga taught you about yourself?
At DYP, I found teachers and a community that made me laugh and challenged me. I love the combination of being reminded to breathe, thinking of activities and people in my life as different yoga positions that are more or less comfortable, and getting a long term perspective on “progress” through yoga. Being reminded that a certain pose might be part of my 10-year-yoga plan is a good reminder for other parts of my life too.
- Have you had to overcome obstacles or injuries with your practice?
For a few years I have suffered from tennis elbow off and on, and have had to learn not to push myself through chaturangas that exacerbate it! This lesson has been an important one for me in yoga and in life; sometimes you have to take care of things not by working harder at them, but by giving them a break.
- How has yoga affected your life in general?
I joke that yoga is what has kept me sane in graduate school. I feel that practicing yoga helps me to feel present in and connected to my body, which helps me feel grounded in a world where I am often in my head. Making the time to practice at DYP helps me to feel relaxed and present in the rest of my life.
- What is your profession?
I am an anthropologist and work primarily on food systems and sustainable development. In Atlanta, I work managing farmers markets and as a fellow in Cultural Anthropology at Emory University. I teach courses on local food systems, and am finishing my dissertation, focused on what happens when producers and consumers get to know each other in Chiapas, Mexico. I have been a researcher, potluck organizer, waitress, business adviser and chief of farmer relations. I make really good latte and handmade tortillas.
- What do you do in your free time?
I knit a lot. I cook a lot. I try to grow tomatoes and strawberries. I love to read, drink coffee, walk, and play board games.
Thank you Hilary!