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Bad Yogi Magazine Featured Authors


Alex

Amanda

Brandy
Chuck Gabriella
Jennifer

Joy

Kaitlin

Lexi
megan
Megan

Michael

Pála

Alex Campanelli

  • Where are you from? I’m originally from Arlington, VA right outside of Washington, DC. I currently live in Boston.
  • What makes you a “bad yogi”? I think being a bad yogi means recognizing I’m not perfect. No one is! We’re all flawed, and we can find humor in that as it translates to our practice. Yoga shouldn’t be about getting everything right, and the best stories can come when you accept that on your yoga journey.
  • Tell us about your first yoga experience. It was horrible. I went to a pretty well-known chain studio. It felt more like a fashion show for the trendiest workout gear than a class, and the studio’s vibe was pretty chilly.
  • What’s your favorite topic to write about? I love talking about things that are personal to me, especially on the topic of mental health. Yoga has helped me so much in my experiences with anxiety and depression and we need to continuing to have open conversations around those topics.
  • Fun fact: When I was 17 I got to meet President & First Lady Obama at the White House. Probably the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me.
Read posts by Alex here!

Amanda Sides

  • Where are you from? South Dakota
  • What makes you a “bad yogi”? Actually, I don’t think I’m a bad yogi at all. Sure, sometimes I drink wine, practice savasana for an hour, and lose my patience, but the point is that I’m always striving to be better, to do better, and that makes me a good yogi, indeed.
  • Tell us about your first yoga experience. I was in high school, and I went with my aunt to a yoga class. I kind of wondered what all the fuss was about — as an athlete, I found yoga to be too slow and thoughtful. But there was a curiosity in me that persisted, and I started going to class regularly in college. That’s when I got hooked.
  • What’s your favorite topic to write about? I love writing about yoga, fitness, and personal development. Until recently, I also wrote a lot of poetry! Maybe it’s time to get that going again.
  • Fun fact: I grew up on a ranch and went to a one-room country school for seven years. When I was in sixth grade, the only other students in the school were my brother and sister.
Read posts by Amanda here!

Brandy Oswald

  • Where are you from? Burlington, Vermont
  • What makes you a bad yogi? Not only do I eat meat, drink beer, and think headstand is unimportant, but I begin each yoga class that I teach by directing each participant to do “anything you want.” I believe that letting go, feeling good, and having fun in yoga is far more important than traditional alignment. I also encourage laughter, dancing, and singing in both my classes and personal practice. Let’s boogie!
  • Tell us about your first yoga experience. I was first drawn to yoga as a 20-something college student when I was struggling with chronic, severe anxiety. My anxiety kept me from sleeping, eating, and participating in activities that once brought me joy. Truthfully, during that challenging year, I constantly felt as if I was going to die at any moment. Then, I found yoga. My first yoga teacher was John  McConnell at the University of Vermont. I religiously participated in his lunch hour class at the university. That class soon became the only 60 minutes throughout my week that I wasn’t overcome with anxiety. It was magical. John and I have remained friends over the years and have even collaborated on a few yoga events in our community. The first time John attended my class as a student, I just about melted with gratitude (and nervousness!).
  • What’s your favorite topic to write about? Writing about body positivity and positive body image is one of my passions. As the Founder of Body Love Tribe, I use my writings to empower women to develop more loving relationships to their bodies. As a yoga teacher, I recognize that the yoga postures, breath techniques, and mindfulness practices have a powerful impact on our relationship to our bodies. I love writing about the many ways that yoga allows us to disconnect from the hectic world around us and reconnect to our bodies. Self-confidence, love, acceptance, and joy are all necessary for cultivating better body image. Yoga opens the door to all of this and more.
  • Fun fact: I once hosted an event with The Most Interesting Man In The World. Yes, that guy from the Dos Equis’ beer commercials. Turns out he’s not only interesting, but incredibly kind too!
Read posts by Brandy here!

Chuck Vadun

  • Where are you from? I live in north San Diego county … the yoga (or at least the yoga pants) capital of the world.
  • What makes you a bad yogi? I’m a bad yogi because I do yoga in part to compensate for eating pizza and drinking beer.
  • Tell us about your first yoga experience. My first yoga experience was exhausting yet exhilarating … I had no idea what I was doing and LOL’ed at the positions the instructor was telling me to assume. At the end of it I could barely move, but was thinking “I can’t wait to do this again tomorrow.”
  • What’s your favorite topic to write about? My favorite topic to write about, other than my amusing (I hope) misadventures as a bad yogi, is my family. The daily interactions with my beloved wife and teen/pre-teen daughters serves as a bottomless well of inspiration.
  • Fun fact: I’m an amateur drummer/percussionist, and that I occasionally back up a yogini singer-songwriter who’s an instructor/office manager at the studio where I practice!
Read posts by Chuck here!

Gabriella Gricius

  • Where are you from? I’m originally from Great Falls, Virginia and I’m currently living in the Hague, Netherlands (though I’ll always think of Berlin, Germany as my home).
  • What makes you a bad yogi? I think what makes me a “bad yogi” is not committing to needing perfectionism. Sometimes I won’t do yoga for two weeks or I’ll be watching TV or text while my home practice, but that doesn’t stop me from calling myself a yogi… I’m just a bad one.
  • Tell us about your first yoga experience. A friend dragged me along to a Deep Relaxation Vinyasa class on a Sunday afternoon and I thought I was going to die and questioned the meaning of life, liberty and the pursuit of food. That 90 minute class ended in a supported Shavasana and I remember lying there in utter bliss, wondering if every time I practiced yoga – I could feel like this. Thanks Rebecca for changing my life!
  • What’s your favorite topic to write about? Oooh tough choice. I love delving into how yoga has taught me to be mindful off of the mat, but I also enjoy writing a good humor post.
  • Fun fact: To balance my yoga zen, I want so badly to make a difference in international politics. I don’t know how yet… whether that will be working in the International Criminal Court or human-focused NGO – time will time.
Read posts by Gabriella here!

Jennifer Pollio

  • Where are you from? Beverly, Massachusetts
  • What makes you a bad yogi? Yoga teacher by night, Corporate Sales manager by day. I may wear a suit jacket and high heels during the day, but I can still hang with all of the barefoot yogis. I am a strong believer that yoga can be fit into anyone’s lifestyle.
  • Tell us about your first yoga experience. I was in college and I went to a Bikram yoga class. A little hardcore for a first Yoga experience but I was hooked right away! I am now a vinyasa lover but I am grateful for my many years practicing Bikram. It’s wonderful how Yoga practices can evolve and you can try many different styles before finding the right one.
  • What’s your favorite topic to write about? Real life experiences!
  • Fun fact: I teach a Yoga Sculpt class that incorporates 5 pound weights into a Vinyasa Flow. It’s set to fun uplifting music and it is a great way to fit both Yoga and strength training into your schedule!
Read posts by Jennifer here!

Joy Arnold

  • Where are you from? California.
  • What makes you a bad yogi? I refuse to be defined by labels or stereotypes. With that being said, some may not think I fit into the stereotype of a ‘yogi’ or yoga teacher because I enjoy red wine, eat chocolate every day, bust a move to hip hop, and in class, you may hear me occasionally say something like “drop it like it’s hot” or “just kidding”. 😊 Yoga is so much more than my practice on the mat. Yoga is a way of life for me. I believe the essence Yoga is in everything! My Yoga doesn’t have to look like my neighbors. That’s one of the beauties of Yoga!
  • Tell us about your first yoga experience. I first started practicing yoga about 17 years ago when my kids were 1 and 2 yrs old. I couldn’t afford to belong to a gym or studio so I started practicing yoga at home with videos I checked out from the library of Rodney Yee! Yoga immediately resonated with me and became life changing.
  • What’s your favorite topic to write about? Ultimately, Yoga! Whether I’m writing about nutrition, fitness, anatomy, or vibration & energy, I find a thread of yoga in it all. Yoga truly is in all of life!
  • Tell us a fun fact about you. I recently found out I won STYLE Magazine ‘Best Yoga Instructor 2017’ in Folsom & El Dorado Hills! Incredibly humbled and honored. And I love to eat Lay’s potato chips with mustard on them!
Read posts by Joy here!

Kaitlin Moran

  • Where are you from? I’m originally from Barre, VT (the Granite Capital of the World), and now make my home in Somerville, MA
  • What makes you a “bad yogi”? I don’t see myself represented in pop-yoga culture often, and yet here I am, doing the yoga. I’m also drinking the wine, teaching young people, and not fitting into a size 2 pant. To me, being a bad yogi means finding the yoga in your life.
  • Tell us about your first yoga experience. I discovered yoga in college, but it didn’t stick. It was a gym class, in a ballet studio, with some very skinny blond girls. I definitely did not think it was for me. Fast forward a few years later, and I can still remember the way the teacher spoke and led the class in the first practice where I really felt valued. That experience was so powerful!
  • What’s your favorite topic to write about? I love collaborations with people and hearing about the same events from different perspectives. Check out my series with Chuck on Yoga Teacher Training
  • Fun fact: My cat’s name is Three. Because she is Three colors, not because she is the third cat I’ve had or because she is the size of Three cats! Also, she bites.
Read posts by Kaitlin here!

Lexi Kristan

  • Where are you from? I was born and raised in Pueblo, Colorado.
  • What makes you a bad yogi? I consider myself to be a bad yogi first and foremost because I come from a family of ranchers and hunters. Having to confront the conflict between the vegan, kale eating world of the average yogi and what I had always known was my first big journey of self discovery spurred by my practice. I consider this an ongoing journey and a very personal one that we all have to go through at one point or the other…How does our diet affect how we interact with the world and our ability to practice yoga off the mat? I also consider my passion for CrossFit and obstacle coarse racing to play a part in what makes me a bad yogi. There is nothing I love more than coaching the YogaWOD at my gym, a class we designed to be half CrossFit and half yoga. in my experience yoga and CrossFit compliment each other perfectly. Everyone should take the time to meditate, and connect the mind with the body the same way that everyone should be performing the Olympic weightlifting lifts, the snatch and the clean and jerk.  Although yoga is and always will be my first love I’ve stuck with training and coaching CrossFit because I believe that it prepares me for “the unknown and unknowable” that is obstacle coarse racing. I dedicate all of the spring and summer months to Spartan Races, Tough Mudders, and any other adventure with lots of mud, barbed wire and burpees. I’m about anything that’s going to challenge me, push me to my limits, and make me feel totally alive whether that’s tears in savasana, an ass kicking Hero WOD, or collapsing after 10 miles, 20+ Obstacles, and six hours of work.
  • Tell us about your first yoga experience. I was never athletic before yoga. The first time I practiced was at my university Rec center. My best friend dragged me along and I was in love instantly. I still love yoga today for the same reasons, mostly because it helps anyone and everyone learn to cultivate self love. Take it from someone whose life has been completely transformed. I now train and coach in one of the most intense, all encompassing sports there is… and I use to be afraid to set foot in a gym. Tell me yoga isn’t magical?
  • What’s your favorite topic to write about? One of my favorite topics to write about is this fitness journey but I also love to write about my work with the veteran population. I was lucky to find a gym/ nonprofit that serves veterans shortly after completing my first 200 hour teacher training. Pueblo is the “Home of Heroes” because of the large amount of Medal of Honor recipients who still call this old steel town home. I have always had a love for the men and women who served this great nation. It is one of the most humbling, beautiful things to see a veteran go from reluctantly giving yoga a try to surrendering to their practice, expressing love and gratitude, and beginning to see their yoga as a spiritual path. I am honored to be a part of these guys journeys as their yoga instructor, CrossFit coach, and friend. And I love sharing their stories of triumph in as many modalities as I can, but writing especially.
  • Fun fact: Something interesting about me that I can tell you is that when I am not running around town interviewing people for a story in our local alternative newsmagazine, writing articles for bad yogi, teaching yoga, or coaching CrossFit, I am a student at Colorado State University Pueblo. I am currently studying psychology. My interest areas include addiction and recovery as well as military trauma and PTSD. My hope is to integrate positive psychology, yoga, and CrossFit into a career that will allow me to continue to serve veterans. But until then, I’m just taking this beautiful adventure day by day!
Read posts by Lexi here!

Megan Reddix

  • Where are you from? Hartford, CT
  • What make syou a bad yogi? I’m a bad yogi, because my practice is anything but typical. As a 4’11, pixie haired, gauged eared, tattooed, meat-eating, wine-loving, God-fearing Christian woman, I look nothing like the “idealized” image of a yogi. I thrive on creativity and each time I step onto my mat, whether as a student or as a teacher, I love to bring something new into my flow. To me, yoga is a place to explore and to learn, to have FUN and be CREATIVE, not for regimes and strict diets.
  • Tell us about your first yoga experience. My first yoga experience was AWFUL. I decided to practice for selfish reasons, and along with my selfishness, I was met with an unwelcoming and cold studio experience. Despite a rocky start, I decided to stick with it and seven years later, it is now my goal to make sure every single student feels welcome!
  • What’s your favorite topic to write about? I love writing about being a Christian in a yogi’s world/a yogi in a Christian’s world. I feel like many Christians fear yoga as “devil worship” and many yogis view Christianity as closed off and unwelcoming to outside cultures. As both a Christian and a yogi, I want to share my experience and bring light and love to both my practice and my faith. Acceptance is a universal desire, so why not combine these two beautiful communities?
  • Fun fact: Although I’ve taken a step back from the lime light, singing has always been one of my greatest passions. In high school and college I was a part of several musicals and competitions. I even flew to California for a competition and was offered signings with TOPA and SONY to sing on Broadway. I was also offered a scholarship to Juilliard for Voice & Opera studies. I declined their offers in order to pursue a different lifestyle, and instead continued singing in worship teams and a capella groups just for fun.
Read posts by Megan here!

Michael Duncan

  • Where are you from? For past 30 some years I’ve lived in Granville OH. (30 miles east of Columbus)
  • What makes you a bad yogi? I didn’t start my serious Yoga Journey until I was older than middle-age. I’m a crazy old guy that loves to try new and exciting experiences. I work in a macho work place (firefighter/ EMS) where the only yoga that is talked about is the cute yoga instructor that one of the younger guys is dating
  • Tell us about your first yoga experience. My first experience was with Bikram (Hot) yoga. It was OK, but I didn’t fit in. I also didn’t like the super structure of the classes. My next experience was better and hooked me. I was given a Groupon for a beginners class. I started there and never looked back
  • What’s your favorite topic to write about? Daily experience with yoga or wilderness. I actually have too many favorites. I have journaled for over 20 years so I just love writing.
  • Fun fact: I already told you I am a firefighter/ paramedic. Been doing that for about 30 years. Former Marine. I also teach wilderness survival and first aid. I love to take “newbies” on their first backpacking adventures. Someday I will backpack on every continent.
Read posts by Michael here!

Pála Margrét Gunnarsdóttir

  • Where are you from? I am from the north of Iceland where I lived the first 20 years of my life. After that I had the opportunity to travel a lot – which was amazing – but also made it clearer to me how Icelandic I am and how much I love my country.
  • What makes you a bad yogi? I have never been much of a go with the flow person. I prefer to do things differently, going the unknown path, and I believe that makes me a Bad yogi. I will not simply accept things as they are, but rather I believe that we can slowly change the world into a better place, using the tools of (bad) yoga and more.
  • Tell us about your first yoga experience. I started yoga in a dark place. I hadn’t been diagnosed at that time with fibromyalgia and had been dealing with untreatable pain for 4 years. When I started yoga finishing a 20 minute sequence – and skipping to challenging stuff like chair pose – was a victory. I wasn’t in love, this was hard work and I didn’t see much improvement. Slowly though I was able to do more and now about 4 years I am completely hooked, in love with yoga that has healed me in every way possible. That is why I feel like it is my duty to spread the word, to get more people into yoga (and save the world! ?)
  • What’s your favorite topic to write about? I have written about all kinds of stuff, going all over the place, and I believe I will keep doing that. My absolute favourite thing to write about is self-improvement, usually built on my own experience, with the hope that my readers will feel inspired to do the same.
  • Tell us a fun fact about you. I love crazy weather, snowstorms, dark nights with the stars, needing to put all your clothes on so you won’t freeze or being stuck somewhere because of to much snow. I joke about having a cold heart, haha, that is where I belong – in the cold and dark ?
Read posts by Pála here!