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 Natalie Wong.

We asked Natalie to share a word with our community and this is what she had to say:

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH YOGA?

Natalie Wong - Yoga Teacher Spotlight

Natalie Wong:

I was first introduced to yoga about 9 years ago when I was fifteen years old. I was in an eating disorder treatment center battling anorexia nervosa, & yoga happened to be part of the curriculum one week. Instantly drawn to the spaciousness & freedom that yoga offered my mind, that first class was the true beginning of my recovery. Accustomed to the constant string of negative self talk that came hand in hand with anorexia, I didn’t realize it was possible for my mind to be quiet, & through yoga I found a sense of reprieve. As soon as I left treatment, I found the closest yoga studio & have been practicing regularly ever since. In 2015, I withdrew from college & enrolled in my 200hr yoga teacher training.

WHAT KIND OF TRAININGS HAVE YOU PURSUED?

Natalie Wong - Yoga Teacher Spotlight

Natalie Wong:

The Sendatsu Evolution training was a multidisciplinary 200hr & involved a number of teachers I have always looked up to including Jenniferlyn Chiemingo. I appreciated the space for creative expression & the exposure to a variety of teaching styles. Going into training, I thought I’d leave as a restorative teacher, but I found my calling within power vinyasa.

HOW HAS YOGA INFLUENCED YOUR LIFE & WHO YOU ARE AS A PERSON?

Natalie Wong - Yoga Teacher Spotlight

Natalie Wong:

Yoga gave me back my life & was the main catalyst for my recovery. It completely transformed my relationship with myself & my body, which is the core source of inspiration for my teaching today. In my classes I aim to create a safe space where students can come as they are, be true to themselves & authentic in their practice, while they learn to be in loving relationship with their unique bodies.
The community that yoga has surrounded me with has also been a huge source of support along my journey.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THAT YOU HAVE FACED AS A YOGA TEACHER?

Natalie Wong - Yoga Teacher Spotlight

Natalie Wong:

My age. When I graduated teacher training, I was not only a new yoga teacher amongst a sea of really incredible & experienced teachers, I was also quite a bit younger at 21. Three years later, I’m still usually the youngest person in the room- or close to it. When I first started teaching, I had a hard time believing in myself. It was challenging to trust I had something unique to offer & deserved to be on the schedule next to teachers who had been teaching for years.

WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU ALWAYS GIVE YOUR STUDENTS?

Natalie Wong - Yoga Teacher Spotlight

Natalie Wong:

Your body & breath are your first teachers. So much wisdom already exists within your muscles & bones, & part of our practice is to re-establish that trusting relationship with our bodies. If we come into conversation with our bodies, that dialogue can become a really special tool for transformation.
I also like to remind my students that the physical asana postures are shapes. They’re tools for deeper understanding, but our ability to manoeuvre our body into a posture has nothing to do with our worth or “how good we are at yoga”. There is so much happening below the surface level in the layers of heart & mind.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE YOGA RELATED BOOK?

Natalie Wong - Yoga Teacher Spotlight

Natalie Wong:

The Wise Heart & A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield.

The Wise Heart by Jack Kornfield

A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield

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

Natalie Wong - Yoga Teacher Spotlight

Natalie Wong:

I love taking pure barre & lagree classes- I think it is really important to expose your body to different ways of moving, strengthening, & lengthening. I am also a huge fan of deep tissue massages, it’s my favorite self-care.

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

Natalie Wong - Yoga Teacher Spotlight

Natalie Wong:

Hmm, I suppose most people probably don’t know I love a good fantasy or murder mystery book.

WHERE CAN ONE TAKE A YOGA CLASS WITH YOU?

Natalie Wong - Yoga Teacher Spotlight

Natalie Wong:

Haute Yoga Queen Anne, Shefayoga Roosevelt, Bala Yoga-Fremont, Sammamish, & Kirkland.

WHO IS THE YOGI WE SHOULD FEATURE NEXT?

Natalie Wong - Yoga Teacher Spotlight

Natalie Wong:

                                                Casey Petersen

Natalie Wong’s Bio: Natalie was first introduced to yoga in 2011. She instantly fell in love with the mindfulness cultivated by breath and body awareness. Yoga’s ability to quiet the mind, heal the body, & form community has served as an anchor for Natalie over the years. Inclined to share the many gifts this practice has to offer, Natalie decided to shift from her current course in life in order to invest her time and energy towards her deepest passion. In October of 2015 Natalie made the decision to break away from pursuing a degree in psychology, follow her heart, and participate in the Sendatsu Evolution 200 HR teacher training program through hauteyoga Queen Anne and shefayoga Roosevelt.
Since completing her certification, Natalie has dedicated her time to teaching and immersing herself in the yoga community. Natalie hopes that her classes offer students a place where they can practice intentional awareness and come into deeper understanding of their truth. Through creating a space where her students feel safe and comfortable to be their 100% authentic selves, Natalie encourages her students to connect with their bodies and appreciate their individuality. Through a mindful flow that emphasizes both effort and ease, Natalie works to guide her students towards discovering a balance between strength and softness.