What comes to mind when you hear the words Ayurveda, Vinyasa, and Hatha? How about downward dog, warrior one, and child’s pose? If you answered yoga, you’d be correct. Yoga is a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.
Whitney Ingram, the owner of Moving Mountains Yoga, established in November of 2018, and founder of the Moving Mountains Non-Profit Organization, took her first yoga class at the age of thirteen. She experienced some personal difficulties in her later teens, which lead to a two-year incarceration, an anxiety disorder, and PTSD. After reading some powerful, influential books, she discovered yoga was the best method for healing.
“I read We Are All Doing Time by Bo Lozoff, and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle,” she said. “I began with meditation and breath work and explored yoga with a volunteer and expert yoga teacher, Jean Jacque-Gabrielle. Upon my first class, I knew that yoga was forever an essential part of managing and exploring my mind, body, and spirit. I have practiced and studied since 2007.”
After years of personal practice with Jacque-Gabrielle, she completed her first 200-hour yoga training in 2012 with Maria Garre in Prana Flow Yoga. She began teaching immediately and assisted/studied Jala Yoga’s Teacher Training in 2013, and became certified in Hatha Yoga.
Ingram currently co-teaches various subjects of Jala Yoga’s training. She continued her studies with Garre in 2015, completing a 300-hour yoga training in Ayurveda, and became an Ayurvedic Specialist. Additionally, she is trained in Trauma-Informed Yoga and trains other teachers and therapists in offering yoga to under-served populations. Ingram is also a 200 E-RYT (Experienced-Registered Yoga Teacher) and 500 RYT, and an education provider for Yoga Alliance, as well as an ambassador for the Prison Yoga Project.
“Yoga has many different styles, and is often a low impact form of exercise, making it accessible to all,” she maintained. “It’s functional movement with a focus on alignment, strength, and stability. Vinyasa Flow Yoga, in particular, uniquely connects movement to breath—creating a cardio element to the practice without feeling depleting.”
Along with owning a yoga studio, Ingram pursued her original desire of establishing an organization. Moving Mountains Non-Profit Organization is dedicated to bringing yoga and wellness to under-served populations in West Virginia, starting with Jefferson County, which currently offers yoga to at-risk youth for Jefferson County schools, veterans, and developmental organization for Eastern Regional Jail and all public schools of Jefferson County. Additionally, they train yoga teachers and therapists in trauma-informed yoga and offer a donation class every Friday at 6pm at Moving Mountains Yoga studio (622 N. Mildred St., Ranson, WV). All proceeds benefit the non-profit.
Ingram wants others to reap the benefits of yoga just as she has, and hopes they’ll continue to have an evolving experience. “I want people to feel capable of managing their stress and feel the empowerment of that management,” she shared. “I teach to give back what has been given to me, to learn about others and myself, and to serve my community.”
Find out more at the above links, as well as Moving Mountains Yoga on Facebook.