Monique Hanafin

I was in high school when I discovered the magic of yoga. As a varsity three season athlete, I was desperate need to find relief from my Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Since I was 22 months old, I have struggled with this chronic illness and after my diagnosis, my parents were told I would most likely end up in a wheelchair, but that’s a story for another time! 
             I started doing on demand yoga workouts at home and fell in love with the physical practice. When I went off to college, I had a Denise Austin power yoga DVD that I would do in my dorm room. Practicing yoga helped me maintain a strong, flexible and balanced body while also alleviating pressure on my joints.
            After my freshman year in college, I decided to take my first live yoga class, which not only took my practice to the next level, but happened to present itself at the perfect time. My cousin, Renee, had just suddenly past away and yoga played a huge part in my emotional healing. After that first live class, I felt the happiest I had felt in months and I knew right then that I wanted to become an instructor. 
            Eventually, I became a children’s yoga instructor at the age of 19 and after two gratifying years of teaching yoga to children, I was ready to take the next step. I decided to go for my 200-hour yoga teacher training and started teaching adult classes immediately upon completion. And then came barre…
            After taking my first barre class, I was completely obsessed and again, instantly knew it was something I wanted to teach. I couldn’t believe how in just one hour, I could challenge every inch of my body (muscles I didn’t even know I had!) without any impact on my ever so sensitive joints. I showed up to the barre every single day for my daily dose of pulsing, tucking and squeezing and quickly got in the best shape of my life. I also was pleasantly surprised at how much my barre practice complimented my yoga practice. Barre strengthened my yoga muscles and I’ll never forget the first time I did crow pose, something that previously seemed impossible for an arthritic person like myself. From what I’ve learned through my own practice and from years of teaching is you don’t need to be in perfect health, in tip top physical shape or be able to bend yourself into a pretzel to practice yoga or barre.  Your practice is just that, a practice and a journey. It works for all different body types and you learn to embrace and celebrate your body for what it CAN do and not compare yourself to others.
            By the age of 22, I was teaching yoga and barre full time and almost four years later, I haven’t looked back yet. In addition to teaching vinyasa yoga and barre, I am reiki I attuned and specialize in teaching yoga to athletes, most notably for Harvard University. 
            Teaching is my passion in life. I feel so blessed to be able to do something I love everyday and teach such incredible students. I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring my positive energy and expertise to LPB @ LPY and I look forward to seeing you in class!