Carolyn Carpentiere

I got into yoga after becoming overly stressed at a high pressure sales job in NYC. I was amazed how I could feel better after just one class. That journey inspired my dedication to passing on the healing benefits of yoga to others in pain (physically and or mentally). I have spent many years researching and practicing the ancient art of yoga. I was certified at The Long Island Yoga School in 2008 and IMX Pilates 2009 and ongoing study with many healing and educational classes at Kripalu Center in the Berkshires. Having personal experience living with pain from a tumor that broke my L5 vertebrae, I have continually pursued how to be pain free through posture correcting exercises, balance and the mind body connection.

Getting to Know Carolyn…

1) Why did you start practicing yoga?

I started practicing yoga to get relief from a stressful NYC sales job…between client deadlines, a type A personality and the sales managers quotas, it was more than I could cope with. I remember one of the very first times I practiced yoga I was doing an Alan Finger Yoga video in my living room. I was amazed how it could transform you from a state of anxiety to feeling things are pretty great! Still, I was too type A to lie through a savasana/corpse pose (at home no one is watching so you can skip any part). Now it is my favorite part of class. It’s funny how we have the ability to change. I no longer consider myself a type A and I don’t put pressure on myself to succeed.

2) How would you describe your style of teaching?

I have studied many styles of yoga but I am drawn to the focus of alignment and structural balance for a strong but therapeutic practice. I love anatomy and read physical therapy books for pleasure. I think when you have dealt with any kind of chronic pain for long periods of time you become committed to finding relief. I also love the spiritual side of yoga. I think it is what truly draws most people to yoga…to get in touch with their spiritual selves while living a human existence.

3) Who or what inspires you?

People who exuberate confidence. We never really know what is going on behind the minds of others but I am inspired by people who are confident in their own skin, People who take pride in walking a path not followed by the norm and loving every step. Also I am inspired by my husband, who has the spirit of a Zen master and yet never once took a yoga class.

4) Tell us something we would never guess about you?

Ummm…that is a tough one…. That I was once a type A personality. And I’m half Dominican. My mother was born and raised on a farm in the Dominican Republic.

5) What is your least favorite asana?

Navasana (boat pose) in yoga and Teaser in Pilates is one of my least favorite poses. Although, it is a challenging core strengthener, I find it difficult to balance out using my lower abdominals and not over using my hip flexors. My hip flexors are tight to begin with from sitting at my desk at a part time sales job, and being a taxi mom for my family.

The other issue that I face in Navasana is trying to maintain a neutral curve in my lumbar spine (low back). Just last year I had a tumor removed from my lower spine that broke my L5 vertabra. I opted for the cyber knife in place of open back surgery as the lessor of two evils.

In my photo, I am demonstrating the pose with a strap which supports both my low back and the hips.

6) Name one thing on your bucket list.

Climbing the eightfold path toward Samadhi…Actually, I’ll settle for a meditation without mind chatter as well as a family trip to the Amalfi Coast!