Interview: Sarah Ezrin
We met with LA yoga teacher Sarah Ezrin and bonded over a deep love of yoga, travel and in particular, the scenic, post-card worthy central coast of California – where Sarah will be leading a mini-retreat next Spring in the hills of San Luis Obispo.
Tell us about your journey with yoga – what brought you to the practice?
I started practicing yoga in college on a video in my dorm and immediately LOVED it. I had done a little dance when I was younger, but honestly I was not that athletic. From the minute I put the video in, I was hooked! My body, my brain and my whole being felt shifted. I really got into the practice later when I was working in film and miserable and unhealthy and needing a shift. Yoga facilitated that shift and taught me to listen to my inner voice, which was saying leave your job and do what you love: teach yoga!
What made you want to become a yoga teacher and a life coach?
As I alluded to above, I was working in film for a producer and the least happy I had probably ever been. While I was making pretty good money and working my way slowly up the ladder, my soul felt empty.
My Mum got diagnosed as having terminal lung cancer, and it made me realize how meaningless what I was doing was. It also taught me that this lifetime is short and that we must make the very best of it.
I have always been drawn to helping people. The name “Ezrin” literally translates to “helper”. I was a Psych major and almost pursued a graduate degree in Psychology, as well. I feel like I am living my truth when I am helping others find theirs.
When we spoke over tea, we talked about your love of the Ashtanga practice – the quiet of it – would you like to elaborate or share a little more about it for our readers?
As a teacher it is difficult to separate out your own practice and spirituality from your work. Your practice is part of your job. While I am always seeking to grow and to learn, when it comes to my daily practice I am mostly aiming to still the citta vritti (thoughts); I find I am able to do that in my Ashtanga practice, unlike when I take Vinyasa Flow, as Ashtanga is self-led. This means rather than having a teacher talking at you or having to move at the group’s pace, you are on your own. Also, I talk all day every day. It is nice to be in silence.
What else inspires you or your practice?
My teachers inspire my practice. The wealth of knowledge that most of these people possess is astounding to me, and I just want to soak every granule up that is possible. I also want to continue growing and evolving every day.
What’s your idea of earthly happiness?
Yoga, teaching, family, friends, my dog, travel, and writing.
If you had to pick a favorite place in the world, where would it be?
I have so many different favorite places! Florence is probably the most elegant and beautiful city I have ever been. Bali is the most healing and gentle. India is the most transformative. London has always felt like a second home to me.
What would you say your favorite travel discovery has been?
My favorite thing to do is to set out into the streets and then get lost. I love losing myself, but then always finding myself in the end. And even though I will have a brief moment of panic, I know in my heart that I am OK and I always find my way home.
And do you have a favorite travel memory?
I had a bad motorbike accident in Bali. I was traveling by myself and decided to cruise up into the rice fields. I’m still not sure exactly how the accident happened, but I got thrown from the bike six feet, landed on my chin and not only knocked myself out, but lost my memory for a half hour. I was saved by the nicest local people, including the head of the security police, who ended up becoming my driver and good friend. Although I had gone on the trip with the intention to do yoga, I ended up not being able to practice and instead was forced to take a real vacation. It was my first vacation in four years and the first time I’d been anywhere since my mom passed. Although the accident was intense – I split my chin open, broke my cheek and my foot – it forced me to really STOP and HEAL.
What are your ‘must haves’ while traveling?
I love reading and writing, so I always must have a reader of some kind (iPad/Kindle) and a journal. I also bring my favorite pillow and yoga mat everywhere I go in the world.
What’s your favorite retreat venue?
I have not been to as many as I would like. The best so far is Maya Tulum.
Aside from yoga, what activities do you enjoy?
Traveling, writing, spending time with my dog, great films.
What’s your ideal/favorite kind of morning look like?
A two and a half hour practice, including a fifteen minute savasana. Not having to leave my apartment other than walking the dog to Starbucks and then reading on the couch in my pajamas.
What are you listening to right now?
I mostly listen to KCRW electronica like Bonobo, Tipper.
What are you watching right now?
I am obsessed with House of Cards. I just finished Orange is the New Black and this is quite a change of pace, but the acting is superb and the writing brilliant.
What are you reading right now? What are 3 of your favorite books from the past couple of years?
I’m reading Wayne Dyer’s The Power of Intention.
My favorite 3 reads are: Louise Hay’s Heal Your Life, BKS Iyengar’s Light on Life and Gillian Welch’s Gone Girl.
Sarah Ezrin loves yoga and nothing is more apparent when she teaches. Sarah’s joie de vivre is infectious. Her popular classes are fun, but challenging, with an emphasis on intelligent sequencing and detailed alignment.
Sarah has been a brand ambassador for numerous mindful fitness companies such as Lululemon Athletica, Manduka, Sweaty Betty, Vita Coco, Yoga Earth, and Yoga Gives Back. She is a regular contributing writer for Elephant Journal and Mind Body Green.
Connect with Sarah:
Sarah Ezrin Yoga | Facebook
@sarahasana | Twitter
Featured header photo above credit: Tai Kerbs