Interview with Joshua Boucher
How and when did you get into yoga?
After many years of intuitive curiosity, I first got to the mat 4 years ago through a friend’s invitation and a “first week free” offer in a local publication. Oddly enough, it was an elusive “yoga nap” that had initially peaked my interest. I’d heard a tale that promised a 20 minute rest could refuel the body as would 8 hours sleep, and I was convinced this deserved further investigation.
Where do you practice and/or teach?
I train 5 days a week at the House of Authentic Presence. There I’ve begun to more deeply explore Tibetan Kung Fu, Thai Chi, and Jiu Jitsu as a means of expanding the functional application of awareness in the larger arena of life’s challenges. These arts utilize breath-based movement and body-weight strengthening techniques in ways similar to yogic asanas, and inform my personal practice and teaching style.
I am primarily exclusive to private clientele while progressing through the necessary phases of opening a studio, but can be found hosting classes in the park and for brunch extravaganzas when the mood suits me.
What’s your favorite style and do you have a preferred pose in yoga?
I’d like to clarify here that I believe yoga and poses to be mutually exclusive although well paired to serve each other. Yoga is presence. It’s the condition derived by greater awareness, connection with “now”. Poses are a means of accessing the sensations that clarify awareness, but are not necessary to achieve the latter. Movement is proven to reduce atrophy, reverse aging if you will, and a limber, loved frame will carry the soul lithely on its journey. But even the immovable, broken or slack frame is capable of the yogic awareness.
That said, I generally enjoy a vigorous practice that readily shows me the thin edge of balance and instability, strength of will and body while highlighting the elegant, bold and fleeting nature of this very moment in each permeating breath. I have found this practice in varied expressions and styles of yoga, all credit due to amazing instructors.
Do you think there are any advantages or disadvantages of being a male instructor?
I think there is an enormous advantage to sharing masculine energy in service of others. We’re role models for physical, mental, and emotional wellness, and it’s necessary for our brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters to witness the possibility of transformation through mindful living. I believe this returns us to our roots as healers and pillars of our community.
How do other people perceive you outside of the yoga community being a male instructor?
It’s a mixed bag, others’ perceptions. I’ve had some outrageous questions asked about my reasons for “folding myself in half”, and I’ve heard objectifying remarks about the environment in which I instruct. For the most part, regardless of their affiliation, people recognize the positive changes in my life, and generally express well wishes.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us or our readers?
We’re only here a short while. Whether you find your presence on a mat or in the majesty of the everyday, the beauty is in the seeking, in the limitless joy of “now”. Actively revel in gratitude and appreciation, and lean fully forward into the fleeting, magnificent blessing that is this moment.
Have a breath. Have another.