Whitney Davis On Her Most Profound Personal Yoga Poses
Whitney Davis not only has a feed full of inspiring yoga photos, but the personal and perspective-shifting stories and insights to back them up. Originally from Port Saint Lucie and currently living in Lakeland, Florida, she's a RYT-500 (a recent graduate of a 300 hour course, congrats!) and teaches full-time in a variety of styles, including hatha, yin, hot yoga and more.
She chatted with us a little about what drew her to the practice and has kept her here for 10 years and counting.
Can you tell me a little bit about your background and your yoga practice?
I like so many others, found yoga at a difficult time in my life. I was just starting college and I had some traumatizing breakups and transitions in high school, so I was starting fresh and living in a new city. I was in a new relationship and just figuring out how to be an adult. I could not afford a gym membership or studio drop-in rate, so I bought DVDs and read as much as I could. I kept a casual practice until my mid-20s. Yoga helped calm my anxiety and helped me build mental and physical strength. It was not until I was 25 and leaving a career of social work that I committed to a daily practice and found my calling as a yoga teacher. I’ve been teaching for almost 3 years and I’m about to complete my 300hr YTT.
What is the most surprising effect practicing yoga has had on your life?
I tend to not let the little things bug me as much anymore I’m type-A, so it has definitely helped me calm down and just let go.
What music is on your yoga playlist?
It depends on the type of practice and my mood. Sometimes I keep it traditional with Krishna Das or instrumental music and sometimes I love something more modern like Odesza, Jose Gonzalez, Coldplay, Mumford & Sons and even a little Drake!
If you were to choose a pose that’s had the most meaning or impact for you, what would it be?
Inversions and backbends have had the most profound effect on me in my practice. I spent a lot of my life not feeling strong enough and afraid of everything. Inversions have helped me increase my self-confidence and have brought me so much strength and courage. Similarly with backbends, I have felt so much opening and energetic release due to them. There were several instances when I first began practicing backbends that I would cry after coming out of them. Because of the profound effects they have on me, I try to be upside down and backbend every practice.
What parts of the body does this pose particularly focus on?
Inversions and certain backbends strengthen the whole body and they force you to remain focused to be safe and to hold the pose.
How would you teach readers to practice this pose?
I always recommend starting to learn inversions and backbends with the guidance of a trained and experienced teacher. There are a lot of things that can go wrong and it helps to have someone there to make sure you are safe.
When you’re not practicing yoga, what are you up to?
I love to spend time with my husband and our two rescue cats Sawyer & Nora. We also love to travel.
Are you into crystals?
I’m just now getting into crystals, but I’m definitely currently drawn to blue lace agate.
Best advice you've ever gotten:
Be your authentic self!
It's lunchtime on Wednesday. What are you having?
Something with carbs haha!
What’s your favorite scent?
My favorite scents are anything related to fall. Cinnamon, nutmeg and anything pumpkin flavored because it's my favorite season.
More from Whitney:
Follow her on Instagram: @whitneydavisyoga