UAA Yoga Instructor
Hometown: Las Cruces, NM
Fun Fact: Plays the oboe
If there is one class that every UAA student should take, it’s beginner’s yoga with Margo Sorum (PER 120 Beginning Yoga). Not only do students enjoy a different experience than a traditional lecture course, but students learn about various yoga styles, yoga poses, techniques to find peace of mind and the ability to listen to their body’s wants and needs. Plus, it’s fun and a great way to stay active.
It’s not just learning about yoga that makes this class worth taking; the instructor’s passion for yoga is both inspiring and infectious. Margo strives to motivate her students to have a daily home practice encouraging them to “floss your spine” and to “notice how your skeleton is standing throughout the day and fix it if it’s broken.” This may sound strange out of context, but her goal is to teach students how to care for their bodies through the use of breath work, creative yoga sequencing, bio-mechanic knowledge and relaxation techniques. Her hope is that students continue to apply the yoga techniques they learn during the course into their daily lives.
Margo speaks about the great transformative changes of yoga from her own experience and encourages her students to find these changes for themselves. Margo received a scholarship to the Sheperd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas and received her bachelor’s degree in music in 1998. It was during her time at Rice that Margo was exposed to yoga for the first time. “A yoga instructor held a master class about why yoga was beneficial for a musician,” she said.
Margo’s interest was sparked, and after attending several yoga classes she had discovered a new passion. “Music was something I was good at, but it wasn’t feeding my soul. Yoga really resonated with me and made me aware of how disconnected from my body I was.” It wasn’t long after graduating from Rice that Margo knew she wanted to become a yoga instructor and to share what she’d learned with others. “I wanted to help others discover what I had—a new awareness of myself, my body and my mind.”
Students with diverse backgrounds who take Margo’s yoga class gain new perspective, awareness and respect for their bodies and minds. “I enjoy watching UAA athletes gain new insight about their bodies. They discover new ways of stretching and listening to their bodies that can enhance their sport performance and help them to play injury free. Students who come to yoga class with chronic back pain are amazed when a few simple poses make it go away.”
Not only is yoga a great form of exercise, but a way to relieve stress through breathing and meditation. “Yoga helps me to be more mindful of what’s important. It helps me to be a better mother and wife and allows me perspective to love myself and to breathe through stressful times.”
Margo’s extensive resume reflects 13 years of yoga study with a large diversity of mentors and disciplines. She teaches at the Alaska Club and is in her eighth semester as an instructor at UAA.