It’s safe to say yoga has become extremely popular in recent years. The Yoga Alliance — the largest U.S. nonprofit organization offering certifications and teacher registries — has pushed out thousands of teachers who inspire even more yoga lovers. But before it had hit anywhere but the West coast and a sprinkling in other places, Brent Miller was traveling the country learning and teaching yoga.
And it wasn’t just yoga he was learning. He was certified in topics that covered kinesthesiology and what masters called “lines of continuity” — all together gaining an in-depth understanding of the body and how it moves and works.
Brent first found yoga through struggling with addiction and depression. While living in Colorado, and after a bad climbing accident, he was injured and couldn’t find work. When he moved home with the medicines he was given by doctors and friends, he was depressed, addicted and not getting better. It was then that he decided to take a yoga class.
“After the first class I felt so good I didn’t need drugs,” Miller said.
A year later, at age 21, he was attending yoga training. For about seven years following that, he learned from yoga greats around the country, and taught extensively. For five of those years, he studied with the famous John Friend, who taught him the importance and elements of body alignment and breath work. In general, he was always working to be better at yoga.
While studying the lines of continuity, he began to see what many yoga instructors never learn, structural integration, or how the body moves and connects. By utilizing this knowledge in his practice, he has mastered his yoga practice and is able to teach his students how to properly pose their bodies to eliminate the chance of injury and maximize the physical benefits.
“This is learning to use your mind and learn to feel your body and open things up. I’m not very flexible but I know how to move my muscles into the right alignment,” Miller explained.
In the years since settling in Fayetteville, he’s taught at several studios in the area and has gained a dedicated following for his unique and in-depth approach. In 2013, he decided it was time to open his own space.
“I’ve never had my own space. I’ve focused so much on studying and practicing that the whole business of having a studio seemed really overwhelming because they’re things that I’m not naturally good at — like marketing and business,” he said.
But confidence in his own ability and knowledge, and his love of yoga, finally pushed him to open 36 South Yoga Collective in his home in Fayetteville. In this studio he holds weekly classes, and has plans to hold teacher trainings, where he offers students an overview of anatomy, kinesthesiology, and the practice of yoga.
“I am interested in yoga because I want people to evolve their sense of self and spirituality. It’s easier to do that when I have other people around me to do it with me,” he said. “In a smaller setting it doesn’t have to be tons and tons of people so much as a good group of folks who are really stoked about practicing together.”
His theory is that those interested in teaching yoga can take his training for less money than what the Yoga Alliance and others offer and take advantage of his extensive knowledge of the human body and the practice. For those who take his classes, his abilities are obvious as he moves almost flawlessly into each pose, describing the muscles and joints he’s working with along the way.
To learn more about 36 South Yoga Collective, Miller and the other teachers who have partnered with him, visit www.facebook.com/HawkStormMovement.