On My Mat with Neesha Zollinger

  • Brit Hastings
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Neesha Zollinger is a deeply passionate teacher of movement. A student of yoga for 24 years and a teacher for 16, Neesha has traveled around the world offering retreats, teacher training immersions, and workshops. Today, Neesha is the owner and operator of Akasha Yoga in Jackson Hole. She exudes a steady lightness of being on and off her mat, incorporating playful practice into the fundamentals of movement. Passionate and devoted, she loves learning and chooses a lifestyle that increases her ability to serve others who seek to enjoy their lives more deeply and potently. Often you can find Neesha cooking, spending time with her daughter, meditating, or recreating in nature. Neesha is inspired by the body as an endless gateway into the human experience.

Neesha's teaching speaks to her dedication to learning and living yoga. Step onto the mat with Neesha to see how she walks the walk (and talks the talk). 

Name: Neesha

Why yoga? “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” As in this love poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, so it is with yoga. Mostly though, I choose yoga because it feels good and needs minimal gear. Essentially, one needs a body, a mind, and a willingness to be in them.

Go-to outfit: Layers and (and more layers).

Successful classes: I know my class is successful when people feel better leaving than when they walked in.

Greatest challenge: Balancing the various aspects of myself in work is my greatest challenge. Teaching is often a flow state informed by many continued years of study. Having to harness the rational mind needed to run a business is challenging. I find the skill sets that are being asked of me are different, and both need to be developed. Although, I see it all as yoga: bringing disparate parts together.

Tunes that help me find my flow: If I plan to practice classical Asana, I don’t play music. If I play music, I usually have to leave my mat and dance free form instead. Music moves me to explore movement possibility too much. So to practice the discipline of yoga poses, no music!

Yoga has taught me: How to be in my body with respect and care.

Alignment tip that changed my practice: Using eccentric and concentric contraction of muscles in antagonistic pairs.

Post-class fuel: Water, Buddha bowl (rice, veggies, seeds).

Inspiration: I get my inspiration by tapping into source. Also, myths, science on every level, evolution, and serving people provide me with inspiration.

Current mantra: "I am thankful for…"