Valley Yoga Instructor Desiree Lapre on How Practicing Humbles Her
David Zimmerman Desiree Lapre
In honor of National Yoga Month, we're sitting down with some of the Valley's favorite instructors to find out how they first got involved in yoga, how it changed their life, and why they believe everybody should incorporate yoga in their lives.
Desiree Lapre started out teaching yoga to kids at At One Yoga (now LifePower Yoga), which seemed like a natural step given her degree in family studies and child development, as well as her love for yoga in her personal practice. Eventually that led to a full-blown career teaching yoga to adults across the Valley, as well as the nation, and like many teachers before her, she says she didn't really choose this path, the path chose her.
How did you first start practicing yoga?
I first got into yoga when I was a teenager. And I started practicing. I did a couple videos at home, and when I moved to Tempe to start going to ASU I took my first class at At One Yoga. And from there just started practicing more and more frequently. I kind of fell in love with it. And it eventually turned into more of a daily practice and less of a once a week or couple times a week, and it really started to integrate itself in all different aspects of my life.
Why did you decide to become a yoga teacher?
Well I actually kind of fell more into yoga than me seeking it out. My degree and background is in family studies and child development, and I knew the owners of the studio that I practiced at, and they knew what my background and education was, so they wanted to start to offer more kids classes, and they asked me if I would be interested in teaching them. I had been practicing at this point for about five years, and I started teaching a kids yoga class a couple of times a week, and that eventually evolved into wanting to teach adults, and from there the owners of the studio asked me if I'd be interested in going through the teacher training program. I was absolutely in love with yoga, in love with teaching the kids, and I really did want to get more involved in teaching adults. So that's how my journey into teacher training began.
Are you still working at the hospital and balancing that with your teaching schedule?
No, I left the hospital a year and a half ago. I started going through massage school to learn a style of massage called ashiatsu massage. And once I was done with school, between my private yoga business and adding in massage I just started to get busier and busier. I was very fortunate and grateful to have such a great, great group of clients that I was able to leave my job at the hospital to run my own business full-time. It's been a fun adventure. But it's given me a lot of flexibility in my schedule as well. Being locked into a 40-hour-a-week job, and only having a set amount of time off is really restricting when you're trying to plan retreats and workshops and different things -- traveling to teach at different studios -- it's hard to kind of accommodate the two at the same time, so the transition really gave me a lot of flexibility and a lot of room to grow with yoga and massage, and working with people in a different way.