THAY Yoga Teacher:
THAY would like to acknowledge Pam Skop, one of our Trauma Yoga Teachers since March 2018. Patricia,a THAY team member got to sit down and discuss Pam’s experience with yoga and sharing her techniques in our community.
“My experiencing teaching with THAY has been incredibly rewarding for me. I have one student who has been with me since the third week I started teaching. It is incredible to be on this journey together and to hear the benefits she obtains from classes.”
Patricia: Tell me a little about you, where are you from? What are your other hobbies?
Pam: I was born and raised on Long Island and have been living in Manhattan for just about 6 years. I love to be outside and connecting with nature. I also spend a lot of time with friends and family including my three delicious nephews under the age of 6.
Patricia: How did you get involved with Yoga? How has it impacted your life?
Pam: I had tried yoga a few times as a teenager and during my college years but never really connected.
When I was 25, I sought out treatment for mental health issues I was dealing with including anxiety and was connected with a yoga therapist. I became increasingly more interested in yoga and found that it was an incredibly healing tool for me. I love that I can just be myself on the mat and that yoga has taught me how to breathe through and accept experiences for what they have.
Patricia: How did you find about about THAY? How long have you been teaching? Karen Gastiaburo
Pam: In the fall of 2017, I completed my teacher training at Laughing Lotus. One of my peers from our training had found out about THAY by attending SOULfest NYC the summer before and thought I would be interested. We completed the training together along with one of our other Laughing Lotus peers in March of 2018. I began teaching for THAY two months later in May. I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I began teaching this class!
Patricia: Why are you passionate about teaching Yoga?
Pam: Yoga is so much more than a physical practice. It is incredible healing and I love being able to share that gift with others. For me it is like I get to experience something magical every day when I get on my mat and it’s the type of magic that needs to be shared with the world. I feel so lucky to get to share it.
Patricia: How do you feel when teaching a THAY class?
Pam: My experiencing teaching with THAY has been incredibly rewarding for me. I have one student who has been with me since the third week I started teaching. It is incredible to be on this journey together and to hear the benefits she obtains from classes. The students are so grateful to be there and to find some peace and quiet in their day. I feel so honored to be able to give them that space.
Patricia: What do you like most about THAY?
Pam: I love that THAY offers yoga to people who otherwise may not be able to get it. Yoga is so widely offered in Manhattan but the biggest barrier I hear is pricing. Many of the students we work with are facing adversity and really benefit from yoga so having it available to them in the place they live or frequent is such a wonderful thing.
Patricia: What has been your favorite moment teaching with THAY?
Pam: My favorite moments with teaching are when I have a student who says they just want to sit in the back and watch the class and halfway through I notice them participating in postures and breathing more freely. This has happened to me on multiple occasions and it is always such a beautiful thing to experience.
Patricia: What have you learned in this experience?
Pam: It is hard to put into words what I have learned from my experiences teaching with THAY. The classes that I teach are chair yoga classes so on a practical level I have had to learn to adapt to teaching in a chair and being creative in the way I do poses. I have also learned about the power of showing up and being present. The women I work with crave this space of safety and this experience has taught me how to create such a space.
Patricia: What is next for you and your journey?
Pam: I plan to continue teaching with THAY and seeing how I can get more involved. Outside of being a yoga teacher, I am also a licensed mental health counselor and postpartum doula. I recently started my own business called Pam Skop Wellness, which provides counseling, yoga, and doula services to women with a focus on the pregnancy and extended postpartum period. I look forward to incorporating what I have learned from THAY into business.
“I love that THAY offers yoga to people who otherwise may not be able to get it…Many of the students we
work with are facing adversity and really benefit from yoga so having it available to them in the place they live or frequent is such a wonderful thing.”