Catching up with Bloom 2017 Presenter Brea Johnson

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What is really inspiring you right now?

I'm continuously inspired at how resilient, capable and magical our bodies are. There is so much interesting research out there right now about how we move, how we are intrinsically connected to each other (hello mirror neurons!), how our nervous systems play such an incredible role in everything single thing we do. We are such fascinating creatures and the learning is never-ending!

Three words to describe yourself?

Playful. Big Hearted. Curious

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As a momma and entrepreneur, how do you balance the art of getting things done and taking care of your family and yourself?

To be a successful entrepreneur, it's important to love what you are doing and love working for yourself and all that it entails as it can take a lot of hard work and focus. And because so much of my business is online and international, it's easy to be "on" at all hours. So for me, I'm always recalibrating and evaluating what is working for myself and my family, and what isn't. Which means shifting my teaching schedule around, outsourcing some of my work and learning how to create "office hours" so that I'm not tied to my business at all times. I do this so I can turn work off and focus more fully on my family. This is always an on-going process!

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What do you LOVE about Edmonton in the fall?

Taking my dog for long walks in the beautiful fall colours of the river valley. Feeling the crunching of leaves under my feet and the incredible smell of the forest in the fall!

What do you love about teaching yoga in Edmonton?

It's been interesting to have started teaching yoga in Edmonton back in 2003 and opening one of the first few studios at the time. At that time, the Edmonton yoga community was a small, connected and growing tribe. I moved away from Edmonton for a number of years and it was great to see after coming back a few years ago, how the community has continued to grow and expand with many new teachers and studios. I really appreciate the openness of people here. I've taught and lived in many places and there really is something special about Edmonton. People really want to learn, and are open to new ideas and approaches. It's just lovely. 

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Any advice on how to open hamstrings for athletes and new yogi’s?

There are so many different ways to improve your hamstring flexibility. Traditionally we would do forward bends and other similar static stretches. But over the years, I've found two things to really make a difference. One is working more on your hip mobility. When you can improve your range of motion in all directions in your hip joints, that can go a long way to help your hamstrings. Dynamic stretches that move your femur bones in a full range of motion are fantastic. 

Another helpful tip is to work on the strength of your hamstrings. It might feel counter-intuitive to do that, but learning how to actively contract your hamstrings when doing a movement like a hip hinge, and even adding a small weight like a kettle bell will go a long way and even protect your lower back. Because tight hamstrings usually mean other muscles along your posterior chain (your backside) will be tight as well.

Check out these helpful videos! Hip Mobility Practice: https://youtu.be/uBQ1gIHB04w

Hip Hinge for Strong Hamstrings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zlDjZgXoyQ

Robindra Mohar