lucyPRO Tiffany Gustafson, owner of Motivated Fitness in San Bruno, CA, was preparing to become a physical therapist when fate intervened.Read more
lucyPRO Hope Knosher lives up to her name and then some. After being diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing treatment, Hope found solace in a regular yoga practice. The experience was so transformative, she started teaching yoga to share what she received with others. “I am led.,” Hope said, “Truly it is my heart’s calling to do this.” Her students are the happy beneficiaries, whose glowing comments on her website are testament to the healing and hope she provides.
What brought you to yoga?
I am a breast cancer survivor. Up until then, I had done yoga on and off but hadn’t had a serious practice. Within a year’s time, I was diagnosed, had surgery, did reconstruction, and in the midst of all of that, I lost my mother. There was a lot going on and I wasn’t dealing with it very well. I ended up in a yoga studio, and committed to a regular practice. I was transformed by it, so much so that I felt called to teach it, and to help others like it helped me.
What do you bring to your teaching?
I believe when we do yoga, we’re all on our own journeys, we’re all just walking each other along the way. I don’t pretend in any way that I am shaping yoga. Yoga is what it is. What I bring to the table — my mission, my heart’s calling — is to share the practice with others, make it all inclusive, make people comfortable starting where they are. In addition to teaching in a yoga studio and at Whole Foods Market, I teach at my home studio, and a lot of people come who may feel intimidated or uncomfortable going to a yoga studio, but they come here because they feel safe.
I believe when we do yoga, we’re all on our own journeys, we’re all just walking each other along the way.
How is yoga healing?
I teach a class for cancer and chronic illness but I also teach a lot of different forms. I believe that yoga is very healing — healing for everyone, not just for people with specific diagnoses. What I teach is a very gentle form of yoga which lets people go deep and get into a relaxed state where healing can take place.
Yoga yolks body, mind, and spirit. Healing is multi-dimensional state. It usually requires more than medical treatment to heal from cancer. It takes getting present, really looking a little bit deeper at all layers, not just the physical.
What are your daily-musts?
I check-in with myself through meditation, quiet, contemplation, gratitude. I end all my classes with a moment of gratitude. I try to start each day with a moment of gratitude.
What’s your biggest challenge?
Staying present and living from a place of presence as much as possible. Not thinking of the future or past.
Best health and well-being tip?
Get present and listen to your inner voice. I don’t think there’s one size fits all for anything. I think it’s up to us to listen and do what’s right for our bodies, minds, and spirits. We can’t separate one from the other. True healing includes all three. It’s a synthesis of different approaches. We are the best to know what they are. We can seek guidance and should, but really it’s in us. It’s about finding that place inside that always knows what the right answer is.
Essential words of wisdom for women?
I would say trust yourself and value yourself. I think in our culture and in a lot of situations in the world we live in, women are devalued, and taught unless they’re perfect, they’re not good enough. It’s a struggle. I just wrote about it – about becoming perfectly imperfect. I think we need to trust ourselves and to be OK, just as we are. Part of that comes from living lives. We become more OK with who we are and where we are over time, hopefully. It’s a work in progress.
What makes you happy?
Life. There’s something about walking down the other side of cancer that wakes us up to the beauty of life. It doesn’t mean that every day is a bed of roses but I’m happy to be here. Laughing with my kids makes me happy. Teaching yoga makes me happy. Any time I get to talk about yoga, it makes me happy. Being able to do what I do. I feel really blessed to do something that’s a calling from my heart.
What is your favorite lucy item ?
Everything. The local store knows it. The Hatha Legging. I have it in every color. Those are my staple. I probably wear them four out of five days of the week. I love the fact that you have clothes that are studio to life. I love the cover-ups. I love the long ones because I’m so tall.