TEACHER SPOTLIGHT: OONA BARRY
When people ask how long I have practiced yoga, I am always astonished at my response because yoga has literally been through every significant chapter in my life. My practice is like a time capsule when answering this question, because it is the only constant during the last twenty years, other than learning and attempting to become an adult. This is why I finally chose to teach yoga almost five years ago, and Harmony Yoga has been my sanctuary for roughly fifteen years. Naturally that is why completing my teacher certification with the guidance of Najla Barile at Harmony Yoga was a defining moment and one of the best decisions I made “to date.”
I discovered yoga from a friend who took me on a date to a class taught by Bryan Kest. I literally never turned back and was hooked immediately. I sat in line for classes three to four days a week eagerly, to feel that incredible connection to myself. This was a remarkable period thanks to Bryan’s classes, and his unforgettable humorous style in guiding us through a sequence. Ironically, I met Najla in his class around 15 years ago who was practicing next to me. We struck conversation as we rolled up our matts. She asked out of curiosity why was I in Santa Monica practicing yoga when I lived in Manhattan Beach? Great question, but I responded honestly that I had not found as good of a class in our area. This is when she introduced me to Harmony, and her teaching. Game changer. This was the beginning of my teaching journey.
After two retreats overseas in Bali and Fiji, a teaching schedule that varied from 2-9 classes weekly, managing a schedule of multiple private clients, and sticking with my personal yoga practice, I mean it when I say, teaching is the best part of my week. I also have the honor of running and developing a department for Two Guns Espresso as Head of People & Training - so life has blessed me with coffee and yoga. Pretty cool!! When I am not in Los Angeles, I travel frequently with family, friends, and to New York City, where I also live with my boyfriend who I met in fifth grade. Yeah that’s a story. Regardless, what inspires me is all of you. Whether I am teaching yoga or mentoring a new team in the business of coffee, witnessing your journey is what gets me through another day smiling. So, I thank all of you for sharing your journey with me. See you in class!