Valley Yoga Instructor Anton Mackey On How Yoga Changed His Life and Why Everybody Should Be Doing It
Rebecca Vinacour Anton Mackey
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.
Our first instructor is Anton Mackey, whom you might have taken a class from at Life Power Yoga, True Hot Yoga, Urban Yoga, The Madison Improvement Club, or the now-defunct At One Yoga. He's been teaching for four years, and his mind-body awareness and connection, helped by his background in fitness and degree in kinesiology, has garnered him many fans in the yogi world, especially here in Phoenix.
Tell us about how you first got into yoga.
I was looking for an outlet to reduce stress and help me sleep better, and a friend of mine at the time, her name was Tessa, she worked at the [now closed] yoga studio At One Yoga, and she was like, you should totally try it, you'd be really into it, and I took one class -- on August 12th, 2008 -- I took Johanna Epps' class and I was hooked. I went from going twice a week, to four times a week, to eight times a week.
How did that lead you down the path of going to teacher training?
One of the owners of the yoga studio [At One Yoga], Vanessa Lee, approached me in one of the yoga classes, saw me practicing, and told me "you need to do our teacher training program," so then I did the teacher training program at At One with Alex [Austin], John [Salisbury], and Jenn [Chiarelli], and then I instantly got classes and started teaching. And it's been four years since June.
How has yoga affected your life?
I've always been searching -- I've always been somebody who's searching for something, whether in spirituality or a new hobby, or a new activity, and yoga is what I was searching for. It changed my life completely, gave me a different perspective. So much more becoming introspective, and that's when the work started to happen.
What was going through yoga teacher training like?
It was amazing, because the group I did it [with] was a really awesome group, there were a lot of young people. It's just life-changing because you're really diving deeper into the practice, on all levels. And basically just making a bigger commitment to it, and when you do it that often, you just become almost addicted to it, you know.