About Meredith Bechtel
I am an actress, yoga instructor, and overall movement enthusiast. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas and the number one thing I miss is the Tex-Mex. Growing up as a competitive swimmer, runner, and dancer, I’ve always been athletic, but my yoga journey did not begin until I was at Syracuse University getting a B.F.A. in Acting. After enough complaining about all the knots in my shoulders, my dad (who had never practiced yoga, by the way) convinced me that going to a yoga class was a good idea. I fell in love with the practice and how it made me feel, and soon what started as a stress-reducer to balance out my rigorous college schedule flourished into a passion and career.
I completed my 200 hr. teacher training with Shivakali Yoga, finished my degree, and moved to NYC. As I began teaching, I was surprised to find that not every body seemed to fit every pose. Sure, some were beginners, and some weren’t as flexible or strong as they could be, but for some it seemed as though their anatomic makeup was the thing preventing them from fitting into certain poses comfortably. I began to recognize a divide between the general expectation that yoga will always have a healing effect and the reality I was witnessing, where students attempt to force their joints into painful and often downright harmful positions in order to embody “classical” yoga poses. As I started working with private clients, and encountered more and more specific injuries, mobility limitations, and movement patterns, I developed a deep interest in relating each person’s individual traits to their yoga practice. Maybe these 5,000-year-old yoga poses aren’t meant to be used in a one-size-fits-all approach after all. I didn’t want to view any body as “misfit” for a pose, but rather I wanted view the pose as misfit and use the body’s traits as an opportunity to create something specific and unique for it. This led me to the 108 hours of Anatomy Studies for Yoga Teachers course with Jason Ray Brown – a study of functional anatomy, common injuries, biomechanics, and kinesiology of yoga asana.
Since completing the course, I find I teach very differently. My goal is to bring a more anatomically informed and muscularly well-rounded practice to my students. I can now see where specific muscular weaknesses are, and I design sequences to strength them. I also work with my students to make sure they have functional strength and mobility. If you can bench press 225 lbs. that's great, but can you lift your arm over your head comfortably?
Every body is different - therefore every yoga/movement practice can look different.
And together, we curate your own personalized practice.
Outside of teaching, I love hiking, hanging on monkey bars, learning how to keep plants alive in my apartment (I'm still working on it), continuing my studies of anatomy and biomechanics, and generally being outside whenever possible.
-200 hr. RYT with Shivakali Yoga, Los Angeles, CA (Serge Berliawsky + Gloria Baraquio)
-108 hr. Anatomy Studies for Yoga Instructors, New York, NY (Jason Ray Brown)
-85 hr. Prenatal Yoga with the Prenatal Yoga Center, New York, NY (Deb Flashenburg + Caprice Abowitt)
-Tuning the Instrument: Teaching a Therapeutic Private Lesson, New York, NY (Dages Juvelier Keates)