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In the midst of all the body talk we have different views of body positivity. My guest Yoga Therapist and author Erica Mather speaks about it.
After completing her B.A. she worked as a temp, a personal assistant to a differently abled woman, and as an office manager to a small music agency. When her father died at the young age of 56 (she, 23), Erica realized that life is short and it’s best to quickly get on with the business of living it in alignment with what matters to us most. She quit her day job and doubled down on playing the piano professionally, gigging, writing, teaching, and self-producing two jazz-inspired albums, Borderlands (1999), and The Millennium Song Cycle (2001). In 2002 Erica was voted “Madison’s Favorite Jazz Artist” in the 2002 Isthmus Reader’s Poll. She served on the Mayor’s Arts Advisory Board. You can hear her music on SoundCloud. At the age of 26, Erica began experiencing adult onset migraines, going overnight from “healthy” to “gravely ill.” On a quest for relief she discovered Forrest Yoga.
In 2004 moved to New York City to commence Ph.D. studies in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University. After earning her Masters Degree in 2006 she took a medical leave of absence, trying to get a handle on worsening migraines. In this quest, during the summer of 2006 Erica enrolled in and completed the month-long, immersive Forrest Yoga 200-hour Teacher Training with Ana Forrest, in Boston, Massachusetts. Returning to New York City, Erica began what has been her profession of the last 15 years. Fortifying her career change with retail work, Erica began growing a reputation throughout New York City as a gifted teacher, capable of high-level, physically, intellectually, and emotionally engaging education, presented in a mixed level classroom. It is in this environment of practicing and teaching yoga that Erica gestated the information culminating in her first book, Your Body, Your Best Friend: End the Confidence Crushing Pursuit of Unrealistic Beauty Standards and Embrace Your True Power (New Harbinger, April 2020). Using her own illness and body image challenges, the teachings of embodiment intrinsic to Forrest Yoga, and her experience working in private practice with people’s wounded and ill bodies, Erica has developed a teaching style and message that encourages us to begin to build a relationship with the body, in service of our health, and also in the quest to discover our life’s work.
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