FEATURED TEACHER OF THE MONTH
Gail Elizabeth Ganga Williams
Interview by Dharani Diana Diaz
Gail Elizabeth Ganga Williams is a certified Integral Yoga instructor and stress management consultant. She teaches Hatha I at Integral Yoga Institute and Yoga and wellness/stress management techniques at the College of New Rochelle in Brooklyn, New York. She is also a certified Reiki practitioner and holds both B.S. and J.D. degrees.
What was your individual journey to IYI?
I started practicing at Sivananda Yoga Institute about 24 years ago. At some point, I wanted to take their teacher training course, but it did not fit my schedule, ao I found IYI and went to a few classes, which attracted me. The classes were loving, warm, and gentle in their approach. Shortly thereafter I enrolled in the TT program. The practice was relatively the same yet for me more welcoming.
I’ve taken classes with you online. What do you hope your students will receive from your class?
I often pray before class that they find peace and a beautiful connection with their mind, body, and spirit.
I do believe in enjoying the practice. Why are we there if not to relax and renew? I have taken many workshops and many other certifications (Stress Management, Yoga for Heart and Cancer Patients, and Therapeutic Yoga, to name a few). That has opened me up to making the practice one with ourselves and focusing on our needs for the practice.
What has helped you through the pandemic?
Prayer, meditation, and a network of people who are supportive. In the beginning I offered free online classes to friends to help them and me with the adjustments.
What has surprised you about yourself during the pandemic?
That I’ve practiced acceptance. That I adjusted, accepted, and accommodated this craziness. I also had the gift of increasing my daily meditation and the gratitude to be alive and healthy. Unfortunately, many cannot say that.
What is one of your hidden talents?
Not sure. They are hidden. No, I think I am a decent singer; I can hold a note.
Anything else you would like to share about yourself?
My friends tease me because of the many things I do: I have been an attorney for more than 30 years, I am an oil painter who has sold many paintings, and, having no children of my own, I love fostering children. My mantra: Do as much as I can while here. What doesn’t get done in my next incarnation, I’ll do it!
Ongoing class: Wednesdays, Level I: 10:30 a.m.