Sivana Yogi Spotlight: Genessa Zickefoose
Genessa Zickefoose’s professional career balances several of her passions. Her first passion has always been education.
For over a decade she has worked as an elementary school teacher, and now serves as a literacy coach. Since childhood, she has been an avid photographer, and now focuses primarily on yoga portraits that bring out each subject’s inner light.
In 2012, she received her 200-hour yoga teacher certification from Kripalu, and has been teaching yoga part time since then.
Your Personal or Professional Goals:
As an educator, I would like to earn my Sixth-Year Diploma in Educational Leadership and become certified as an administrator to work as a curriculum director.
I have a strong desire to grow my yoga and photography business, while balancing work with both my personal yoga practice and my role as a spouse and mother.
Why did you Become an Instructor:
Initially, I became a yoga instructor to further my personal practice. I was seeking emotional, physical and spiritual healing in my life, and thought that completing my 200-hour yoga teacher training would help me along the path to healing.
Throughout the month-long intensive at Kripalu, I experienced such love and connection for my sangha that I had never experienced in my other relationships. This was a huge shift for me, and I realized that so many other people around me were also experiencing stress, pain, disconnection, and suffering.
I decided that if yoga could bring such a change to my life, I had to share this beautiful practice with others.
Where do You Teach?
Since being certified, I have been offering yoga classes to my fellow elementary school teachers and staff members.
I also teach private lessons in the Greater Hartford area.
What do You Teach?
I teach moderate Kripalu classes, which consist of asana, meditation and
pranayama. My classes are often centered on a theme, allowing students to connect their practice to other parts of their daily lives. I also guide students to develop self awareness, self acceptance and compassion.
Each class also weaves in opportunities for students to practice meditation in motion. By guiding students to coordinate breath with movement and connect to the prana within, students move according to the flow of prana, releasing control and allowing the body to move intuitively.
Who/What Inspires You?
Artists like Robert Sturman and Wari Om inspire my photography work. I study their works of art for composition, lighting, location, and subject matter, but mostly I am drawn to the range of emotions expressed in the images.
Studying yoga photography with Robert Sturman gave me the confidence to start ajna goddess and to develop my own artistic vision, shooting intuitively, rather than trying to master every technical aspect of photography.
Since 2008, my family and I have suffered immensely from Lyme Disease. Yoga has been my go-to form of exercise for the past four years since my diagnosis.
I am interested in partnering with local yoga studios, healthcare professionals and local Lyme disease support groups and organizations to raise awareness of this disease, as well as offer yoga instruction to people affected by Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses.
What is your Favorite Quote?
“Treat everyone you meet like God in drag.” –Ram Dass
Kirtan and chanting play a large role in my life and I hope someday to learn to play the harmonium to include live music and chanting in my yoga classes.
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