Stephie Falberg

How did you get into practicing yoga? My family and I moved to Highland Park in 2001. With young children, carpools are a necessary tool for survival. Pam Udell was one of the moms in the carpool.  As we got to know each other, Pam offered to give me a private yoga class thinking I would enjoy it.   I gave her a million reasons why I wasn’t interested: not enough time in the day, 3 small kids, I wasn’t interested in chanting, blah, blah, blah…  She didn’t take no for an answer and dragged me into her studio.  That was it!  My lightbulb went off.  I began my practice at the old Healing Power studio in Highland Park in 2002 and have never looked back.

What made you want to teach? My mother has always said that I was born to teach.  When I was a small child I used to play ‘teacher’ with my younger siblings and stuffed animals “correcting” spelling tests and reading Dr. Seuss books.  I have my masters degree in elementary education and specialized in early childhood eduction (I was a teacher In New York City) so I think becoming a yoga teacher was inevitable. I didn’t seek out a training program but when I learned that 2 of my favorite teachers from Healing Power (Pam Udell and Lourdes Paredes) were conducting a teacher training I signed up immediately. The universe was talking to me, thankfully I was listening!! 

What would you consider your yoga style and who were a few teachers that influenced you the most? I love a good slow-flow class; to take and to teach. Having the time to connect breath to movement is liberating. I am also keenly aware that strength and alignment are important so that we stay safe.I like to add some fun music and humor into my classes to balance out the hard work we do on our mats.The teachers who have influenced me the most are Pam Udell,  Lourdes Paredes and Deb Wineman.  I am grateful to have learned from each of them but especially Pam who lead me on this yoga journey and stayed by my side as I leaned to teach offering honest feed back and encouragement.  

What was one of the funniest or most humbling moments you’ve had while teaching a class? I was teaching a class with gum in my mouth (big no-no) and when I went into down dog and began to explain something, my gum fell out of my mouth onto my mat.There was no hiding that!!! I have never taught with gum in my mouth again!

What is your favorite non yoga activity? I love walking (either with my giant dog or without her). I love being outside in almost any weather. I also love spending time in my vegetable garden all summer long.  

Biggest Indulgence? Trader Joes dark chocolate covered caramels, Dairy Queen Blizzards, truffle fries from anywhere and a great cheeseburger!!  I’m not sure if tequila is an indulgence or a necessity……

Source of inspiration? Nature, small children, dogs playing, great music, my parents, my warrior friends and family battling illness, and my own family (my husband Gregg and kids Zach, Sara and Julia)

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Proudest moment? My proudest moments as a yoga teacher has been making a few students cry.I know, that doesn’t sound right but I’ve had a few students experience a rush of emotion in my class (it wasn’t forearm plank that made them cry) and felt safe enough to be able to let go and release their feelings.That breath/body connection is miraculous!

Most repeated intention? To be kind to myself so that I can be kind to others.

Coffee or tea? Both! Coffee in the am. Green tea all afternoon.

Join Stephie Wednesday Evenings 5:15-6:15 PM for Level 2 Vinyasa Flow

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