Ana Leger is an Anusara, Jivamukti, and Iyengar trained yogi and instructor, a meditation leader, Ayurveda Yoga Therapist, massage therapist/bodyworker, and an avid lifelong learner.
When she’s not working, you can find her curled up with a book, nurturing her inner child, learning myriad movement practices (currently Jiu Jitsu, Pilates, Dance, and Aerial Yoga), or finding new ways to collaborate with others to educate and inspire. Her passion lies in inviting people to accept themselves and others more by cultivating self-awareness, mindfulness, and grace, and doing this specifically through a variety of embodiment practices. Whether it’s on or off the yoga mats, she enjoys illuminating people’s own perspectives and encouraging them to bring more love and courage into their lives through kindness to themselves. Her teaching style is accessible to all levels of experience and often focuses heavily on alignment with ample use of props like yoga blocks and straps. Ana has been practicing bodywork since 2008 and has practiced yoga since 1999.
One of my favorite ways to support artists is through bodywork & helping them to take care of their bodies. If you are an artist & would like to schedule massage or bodywork, click here: https://mbodiedwellness.com/
Who makes up your art circle?
My inner art circle is mostly made of movers, anyone who enjoys being in their body. This includes dancers, martial artists, fitness students and instructors, aerialists, and yogis. Most of my friends study movement in one form or another. My peripheral art circle includes musicians, photographers, and other visual artists. And beyond them are chefs and writers who I have so much respect for and of whom I’m in awe.
How do you expand your art circle?
Speaking honestly, expanding one’s art circle is challenging as an introvert and as someone who isn’t on social media. I’m an in-person person and I like a structured environment, so classes are where I usually connect with others with a shared interest.
Teaching yoga allows me to meet others who are curious about deepening their experience of embodiment. Dance classes allow me to explore new movements in my own body while being among skilled others, and that is both scary and exciting. Pilates classes surround me with people who seek a combination of strength, discipline, and fun. Jiu Jitsu is a safe outlet for aggression without violence, and contact without intimacy. Teaching aerial silks reminds me of the importance of play. Being with aerialists often means opportunities to laugh at yourself. It’s humbling in the best ways. Classes draw people together from all walks of life. It’s a great way to meet people that you might not otherwise encounter, and there’s low social pressure (great for those of us who identify as introverts and/or neurodivergent).
Other ways that I expand my art circle is by finding ways to support artists. Sometimes this means attending Art Walks, shows at Basin Arts and the AcA, and performances throughout town. Sometimes it means promoting artists by putting event/performance flyers in my office and subscribing to BareWalls. Working for a creative organization also creates new opportunities to expand the art circle. I’ve worked at/with Basin Arts for 6 years now and I can’t even count the number of unique opportunities that has afforded me or the number of talented and amazing people I’ve met (many of whom I am grateful to call kindred spirits and friends).
What value do you see in having a creative community?
Having a creative community feeds me. Being active with others gives me more energy than exercising alone. Having a community also means accountability. We show up for each other. My students show up for me. I show up for my teachers and classmates and friends. I do more with them than I would ever do on my own. And this consistent showing up creates and fosters trust (trust in ourselves and trust in each other).
Having a community of creatives also gives us opportunities to expand our own points of view, to allow our beliefs and ideas to shift, to be curious, and to imagine a world as different or better than current affairs.
Having a creative community validates my choice of an outside-the-box lifestyle. A creative community surrounds me with people who push me to be stronger, braver, sillier, healthier, and better… all while challenging my brain to think in new ways and pushing me beyond the comfort zone of things I’m “good at.” A creative community is a community of personal growth.
This creative community inspires me; every time I see these other artists doing their thing (dancing, playing music, climbing silks, teaching, singing, writing, cooking, creating with pen, paint brush, camera, lights, sounds) I’m inspired, I’m left speechless, I hold my breath, and then I breathe more deeply, and in those moments it feels safe and good to be alive.
How does your artistic approach contribute to your community?
I don’t know exactly how to answer this question. Sometimes I’m not even sure what my “art” is. I’m not a ‘dancer’ or a ‘musician’ or ‘yoga teacher’ in the literal or traditional sense of those words, though I do dance and sing and teach yoga.
My lifestyle is definitely creative and artistically expressive. My hope is that when others see the creative life I’ve carved out for myself, they know that they have permission, support, and encouragement to do the same. They have encouragement to try things that are new and scary. They have permission to go against the grain. They have permission to prioritize themselves, encouragement to learn, permission to fail, permission to succeed, permission to be afraid, to be vulnerable, to be honest, to be seen and heard, to be healthy, to be happy, to be broken, to be whole, and to create something—anything—that is their unique expression of all of that. And I hope that they’ll choose to share it with others, so that we can be inspired by their experience and their ‘art.’
Our weekly Art Circle series profiles artists throughout the community and is sponsored in part by Lafayette Visitor Enterprise Fund managed by Lafayette Travel