Featured Ambassador Becky (Tara) Eschenroeder

With some teachers, the lessons are planned. They are practiced. They are rehearsed. And they are perfected to a tee. But Tara Eschenroeder offers a different experience. Teaching was Tara’s dharma long before she realized it. She grew up with a bow and arrow in her hands, learning to pull back with just enough aim and control to send her arrow into the abyss, knowing and trusting it would hit its intended mark. And so she enters each class, each workshop, each lesson.. Having prepared her body and mind to become that bow – that vessel – that let’s her lesson go.. Weaving its way into the provided space and landing wherever it is intended.

Tara felt that call in 2007 when she first felt the spark of a tiny flame. And instead of approaching that flame fearing the heat, she chose to approach it with love, stoking the fire that was burning within for her passion of yoga. By the end of 2009, she received her 200 hour RYT under Arlene Bjork and Grace Yoga Training Systems. She continued to follow what she knew and trusted her path to be, and she obtained her 500 hour RYT through Om On Yoga under the guidance and wisdom of Jennifer Elliott.

Inside the studio, no two classes or workshops are ever the same. Students are not told what to do, they are empowered to listen to their own bodies. And while there are general cues throughout of “warrior” and “downward dog” (almost always accompanied by their sanskrit name), one is also just as likely to hear cues of “listen to the animal within,” “move through honey, “ride the wave of your breath,” or, simply, just an encouragement to “dance.” Her mentoring sessions follow a similar pattern. Mentees are not told what to do but instead empowered to listen within with offered guidance- never forced, and always an open-minded invitation to explore. Tara’s Psychology degree from James Madison University and Elementary Education License from Mary Baldwin College give her a studied foundation for helping others, but it’s her natural instincts and open heart that help students see the best in themselves.

Traveling is Tara’s home, as she spends much of her time around the country holding workshops, retreats, and classes. She has also received additional teaching credentials with Project Yoga Richmond and YoKid Stretch Your Limits, as well as serving as a proud Ambassador for Lululemon Athletica. Yet, so much of her teaching is done off of the yoga mat. Tara openly and outwardly lives the teachings has been inspired to share. Just as she would encourage a student falling out of a pose to take themselves lightly, she does the same as she navigates through challenges. And just as she would encourage a student to trust themselves as they spread their wings into something new on the mat, she is a living example of trusting what she knew was her calling as she spread her own wings. She approaches life with that same love that she used to approach that initial flame, and she encourages each person with whom is comes in contact to do the same. And by doing so, she is living out her truth and her drishti of being a vessel of blessing.

 

We asked her:

What experience brought you to yoga?

She answered:

I cannot say it was just one experience that brought me to yoga. I was raised by parents who emphasized the importance of being present … of respecting nature… of self-care. My father taught me how to meditate in the woods of Maine, how to shoot a bow and arrow with focus on my breath, how to cast a fly rod and wait patiently for the ripples, and how to listen. My mother taught me unconditional love and what it means to always be there and fully present no matter what. I was practicing long before I even realized. I owe it all to them and to my beloved teacher Arlene who received me and believed in my light.

 

We asked her:

*How did you discover Yoloha and what do you love about it?

She answered:

I discovered Yoloha at the beautiful Asheville Yoga Festival. One of my friends was in need of a mat to practice on for an outdoor yoga class. We approached  the booth in hopes that we might be able to borrow one for the hour. Sweet Emily didn’t even skip a beat when allowing my friend to borrow the mat for the afternoon. I immediately saw and felt the tribe that was behind Yoloha.

 

We asked her:

*What style(s) of yoga do you teach? Practice?

She answered:

My style ranges from vinyasa to yoga to live drumming to yoga to live music to hiking through the woods and inviting people to reconnect with nature and The Sensation of their feet. My teaching is very focused on  the elements of nature and getting back in touch with our animal and our instincts. I have the absolute honor of leading Retreats all over the country and and Central America in addition to teaching at about ten different festivals during the season. It is a gift to be able to offer workshops all over the country as well. When I am landed at my home base I also offer one-on-one private sessions, I teach at a local studio, and I teach a local corporate class. As for my practice it is daily… Every moment… Every breath…

 

We asked her:

What yoga certifications do you have?

She answered:

500 hour E-RYT, 200 hour E-RYT, RCYT, YACEP, certified coach and mentor, reiki practitioner

 

We asked her:

Do you have any events or workshops coming up?

She answered:

Always! http://greatabidingyoga.com/workshops/

 

We asked her:

Other than yoga, what are your hobbies or favorite ways to spend your time?

She answered:

The road is my home and the sky is my ceiling. I have a very ridiculous amount of energy. It has served me well. Any excuse I can get to be outside on a bike, on foot, hiking, running, paddling… Surrendering into Stillness, I will take it! My heart is overwhelmed with gratitude for the tribe that surrounds me both blood and spirit. Connecting with these incredible Souls reminds me why I get up and do what I do everyday… How do I wake up to BE. Music and the Arts bring my soul to life. Every chance I have to surround myself with this soul food I will gladly accept. Poetry and writing has also become one of my greatest loves. (http://greatabidingyoga.com/blog/)

 

We asked her:

Do you have a favorite charity or non profit?

She answered:

https://projectyogarichmond.org

 

We asked her:

Other than yoga, what is your favorite way to take care of yourself?

She answered:

Getting outside in any capacity!

 

We asked her:

What is your favorite mantra?

She answered:

I have a few mantras that I repeat to myself everyday.

1) Allow me to be a vessel of blessing, an instrument of Peace, living a life of inspiration while inspiring others to do the same… Serving from a place of fulfillment and not depletion.

2) Please help me to know what it is I meant to do and to have the courage to do it. Please help me to know what it is I am not meant to do and have the courage to walk away.

3) Help these hands to heal, this mind to think openly, and this heart to love.

4) Feel your feet.

 

We asked her:

What is your favorite place that you have travelled and why?

She answered:

As I stated before. The road is my home and where I feel the most grounded. I am so grateful for all of the beautiful souls this has allowed me to connect with. I have to say there’s one place in particular that I always come back to… Year after year… Where my soul is fed… My reset button. Big Sky Montana. There are no words to describe the healing energy that I am filled with every time I arrive and that I am able to take with me every time I have to fly.

 

We asked her:

Talk about an experience as a student of yoga that has changed you.

She answered:

This entire practice has altered my existence. I was diagnosed with anxiety at a very young age and told by doctors I would never be able to function without medication. I haven’t been on medication for years. The awareness this practice has gifted me with is indescribable. As I stated before, I have always had a lot of energy that I have tried to channel into goodness. One thing I am very grateful to this practice is its ability to teach me to pause. The tribe that this path has brought into my life is a gift greater than words. So many experiences that this practice has brought to me have significantly changed me and I know that I am far from done. Thank goodness.

 

We asked her:

Describe your favorite yoga class. This could be one that actually happened or something hypothetical.

She answered:

Those classes years ago listening to my beloved Arlene whispering to all of her students to no matter what “Stay encouraged. ”

 

We asked her:

What makes you laugh?

She answered:

The sound of others laughter… When I realize I’m taking myself way too seriously… Sometimes when I catch myself in the middle of the day and look up at the sky and thank this beautiful universe that this is my Exquisite life!

 

We asked her:

When do you feel like you are being your true self?

She answered:

When I experience the gift of looking into someone’s eyes and feeling the change that my words or my presence had on them.

When I am flying around this country sharing the gift of my purpose and my Dharma.

When I am outside.

When I am with my human.

When I am with my tribe.

When I have the gift of silence and solitude.

It is my intention to live every moment of every day in my truth.

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