Anna Greenberg is one of Peloton’s at-home workout instructors for yoga and meditation lessons. She has developed a very particular style of teaching that mixes music and movement to help people reach a deeper connection during the sessions. Her personality as an instructor and as an everyday person is inspiring and motivational for those who are looking to achieve that mind and body connection.
How and when did your yoga journey begin?
My mom practiced yoga for many years before I was born, so my introduction was through her. Growing up, yoga was always around my house. My mom would invite me to practice with her, and my level of interest in doing that with her varied. There was even the occasional eye roll from me. It wasn’t until my late teens and early twenties that I truly began my own practice. I was struggling with serious depression at the time and one day my mom urged me to attend a studio class with her. It was the right teacher and the right moment for me. I felt like a light was switched on and I woke up in that class. The practice made me and my own problems feel less important in the most relieving way, it gave me perspective and it made me feel connected to something greater than myself. I’ve been completely hooked ever since.
How has your journey helped you become a better teacher and person?
My own struggles that brought me to yoga have given me greater empathy, compassion and the desire to connect with others. Yoga has impacted my own life and wellbeing in such a positive way that I have felt and continue to feel a deep calling to share it with others.
What are the benefits of incorporating music into your teaching?
I think practicing Yoga both with and without music is wonderful and beneficial. The very first class I ever took with my teacher, Bryn Chrisman, is what sparked my deep love of teaching and practicing with music. I will never forget the way the music created a vibe for the class and helped me find my own rhythm, strength and grace. It made me feel so powerful and connected. A huge part of Vinyasa Yoga, which is the style of yoga that I teach, is the dance between the movement, breath and each moment in between that links it all together. In my classes, the music sets the tone and supports the journey we take in each practice.
What’s the process like of choosing songs and creating the playlists for your class?
I always choose songs and construct the playlists for my classes by keeping in mind the vibe I want to create and the arc of the class. Every class is a journey that starts slow, builds to a crescendo and then winds down to a close, but within that structure, there are infinite possibilities for the kind of mood, energy and experience that can be created. For example, I’d choose uplifting, ethereal music for a morning yoga flow, and for a flow focusing on chest opening and back bending, I’d create a playlist within a category that I call uplifting and spacious. On the other hand, if I’m teaching a hip opening and forward folding class, I would want that to be a very grounding and settling class so I’d choose music that feels warm, deep and that invites both opening and turning inward. I also love finding particular artists whose work inspires me. I put a lot of thought into whose music I play in my classes. I view it as a collaboration.
How did you join the Peloton team and how has that experience been for you?
Peloton reached out to me about joining the team since some of the Peloton family were students of mine who took my classes regularly. At first, the idea was totally unexpected and pretty intimidating. I had never taught virtually or been in front of a camera and Peloton Yoga didn’t exist at the time, so it felt like a pretty big leap of faith. The more I learned about Peloton and got to know my fellow teammates, I knew without a doubt that it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Being at Peloton has been an incredible and life-changing experience. The ability to connect with so many people is humbling. I also really enjoy teaching on camera because I truly think of each individual person on the other side. The fact that I am in people’s homes with them practicing yoga and meditation is so special. Even though we aren’t in the same room, it is very intimate and I feel a close bond with our Members. It’s an honour to be practicing with each one of them.
What motivates you to keep teaching and to keep inspiring people?
I love teaching and I love to connect with people and share these practices that impact me so deeply. I’m extremely grateful to be able to do all of those things in my job as an instructor. Of course, I have days where I feel uninspired, but getting messages from Members about successes they’ve had in their practice, how much it’s helped them get through something difficult, or even just how much they enjoyed a class always gives me a huge boost and reminds me why I love what I do and that I wouldn’t change it for a second.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone thinking about diving into yoga and meditation but hasn’t dared to do so yet?
Yoga and Meditation are for everyone. These practices are here to serve you and you don’t have to look, feel, or be a certain way to do them. Finding a teacher that makes you feel comfortable and supported is key. There are SO many options, so if a particular class, teacher, or style doesn’t resonate with you, that’s ok! That doesn’t mean you’re bad at Yoga or Meditation, just be patient and look for the right fit. You’ll know when you find it.
What is the best advice someone has ever given you?
It’s ok to be nervous and there’s nothing wrong with experiencing that physical feeling. It probably means you’re on the right track.