Seattle Yoga News is on a mission to find and highlight all of the hidden, and maybe not so hidden, gems in our yoga community and beyond. We want you to learn about their experiences and perspectives, but also a bit more about their personalities, so we have a few fun questions for them. This week’s spotlight is turned towards Morwenna Hardwick.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH YOGA?

Morwenna-Hardwick

Morwenna Hardwick:

I first started doing yoga as a kid. My mother taught yoga, so I used to tag along to the classes that she taught and took. I remember copying what she did. I also did yoga as a supplement to my martial arts practice, and later, as a supplement to my dancing. I didn’t truly focus on yoga until I took my 200hr teacher training in 2017/2018 at Spira Power Yoga. At the time, I really wanted to do something for myself that would give me some space to feel like my own person again. My son was about 2.5 years old and I felt like I had kinda lost my own identity in being his mother.

WHAT KIND OF TRAININGS HAVE YOU PURSUED?

Morwenna-Hardwick

Morwenna Hardwick:

I did my 200 hour training at Spira Power Yoga, a restorative yoga training with Jules Mitchell, and the Functional Range Conditioning certification. I’m interested in learning more about how to help people with mobility and strength, so looking to the future, I want to do the Kinstretch certification and I’m thinking of doing a personal training certification as well.

HOW DID YOUR EXPERIENCE IN MARTIAL ARTS CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR YOGA TEACHING METHOD?

Morwenna-Hardwick

Morwenna Hardwick:

The best thing about starting aikido at a young age was that it instilled in me a love of movement. This is apparent in my classes in that I don’t teach a lot of static poses. It’s the movement I love, so I like to keep people moving.

WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

Morwenna-Hardwick

Morwenna Hardwick:

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is “you’ve done the hard work, now let go of the results, and enjoy it.” My Mum said this to me before a big test in aikido – I think it was my junior black belt when I was 12. I had been working so hard to prepare and hearing those words allowed me to just trust that I had done enough, and actually enjoy the experience. Since then, I’ve thought about that advice often – before taking a test at school, before a job interview, before teaching workshops, before jiu-jitsu competitions. It helps!

WHAT’S YOUR MISSION AS A YOGA INSTRUCTOR? WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO REACH AND WHY?

Morwenna-Hardwick

Morwenna Hardwick:

As a yoga instructor my goal is to lead people through movement in a way that helps them get stronger, that helps them become more aware of how they move, and that helps them explore their ranges of motion. I aim to provide the space for people to fully focus on the movement so that it becomes a moving meditation. I like working with people who want to focus on their fundamental strength and mobility. And also, I love working with my fellow martial artists (no surprise there). Working with clients one-on-one in private lessons or small group classes is so rewarding to me. I find that this setting is the most effective for addressing a client’s needs. In this setting I can create a movement practice that is tailored exactly to the person I’m working with.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST INSPIRATIONAL MOMENT YOU’VE EXPERIENCED AS A YOGA STUDENT? AND HOW ABOUT AS A TEACHER?

Morwenna-Hardwick

Morwenna Hardwick:

As a yoga student, I’ve been inspired by the realization that taking just a little time to yourself to move can make all the difference to your outlook. As a teacher I’m inspired again by the idea that it doesn’t necessarily take a lot. Basic movement, basic human kindness and support can make all the difference.

WHAT YOGA RELATED BOOKS HAVE MOST INFLUENCED YOU?

Morwenna-Hardwick

Morwenna Hardwick:

Reading the Bhagavad Gita was very interesting. One of the things that I gained from reading it was reinforcement for the piece of advice that I mentioned earlier that was so inspiring to me – do the work and let go of the results. I think it’s important to read these ancient texts. And there are also many modern resources that are so important for navigating the role of being a yoga teacher in the west today. One that I’ve found particularly helpful and interesting is the Yoga is Dead Podcast created by Tejal Patel and Jesal Parikh. This podcast has helped me to examine my role as a white woman who teaches yoga and how I can teach in a way that is respectful and inclusive.

the Bhagavad Gita

OTHER THAN PRACTICING YOGA, CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SOME OF YOUR WELLNESS & SELF-CARE HABITS?

Morwenna-Hardwick

Morwenna Hardwick:

In order to take care of myself, I make sure to spend time with my husband and my son and get to my Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes.

WHAT IS ONE THING MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

Morwenna-Hardwick

Morwenna Hardwick:

One thing most people don’t know about me is that when I was 7 I memorized all the verses of the poem the Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carroll. I can still recite it today which came in handy at 2 in the morning when I was trying to get my baby son back to sleep. This will only be impressive if you’re familiar with the poem, but trust me, it’s a long one.

WHO IS THE YOGI WE SHOULD FEATURE NEXT AND WHY?

Morwenna-Hardwick

Morwenna Hardwick:

You should feature Marva Benjamin next. She’s been teaching in Seattle for years. She is a skilled teacher and a wonderful person.

Stephananda’s Bio: Morwenna is a yoga teacher and a certified Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist. She teaches private lessons, group classes, and corporate yoga in the greater Seattle area. Morwenna’s love of movement began when she started training in aikido as a very young child, and it has stuck with her as she has continued to train in many different movement practices from Brazilian jiu-jitsu to classical ballet. Morwenna is a second degree black belt in aikido and a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. She practices yoga from a place of finding awareness of the body and increasing strength and mobility. She provides the guidance and space in her classes for students to do the same.
Email her for inquiries about private lessons and group classes. And follow her on instagram to see the regular videos that she posts of what she’s teaching in class or her own movement practice.  

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