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Meet Taryn Vander Hoop of Lila Flow Yoga in Venice

Today we’d like to introduce you to Taryn Vander Hoop.

Taryn, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I moved to LA a little over a year ago from NYC and promptly landed the dream job I had been working so hard to get for so long as a Full-Time Professor of Dance at Loyola Marymount University while continuing to run my dance and yoga companies. So that’s where I am, but how I got here is a long and winding journey that is hard to put into words. I moved to New York when I was 23 to pursue my MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and met Sumi Clements. We co-founded Summation Dance just a year later in the midst of the recession. At the time, there were no opportunities for dancers, especially for those who identified as women. Even though women dominate the industry, there are very few in leadership roles, so I learned at a very young age to work hard and create opportunities where there are none.

I dedicated all of my twenties to running and growing this company — we performed on the stages I had dreamed of dancing on, toured, and danced ourselves to the bone. In the midst of working and dancing incessantly, I started practicing and teaching yoga to stay sane and grounded. Yoga turned out to be my saving grace as the professional dance world can be incredibly cut-throat and toxic. I was able to transform deeply held limiting beliefs about myself, find a sense of calm in my on-the-go NYC lifestyle, and help others find more possibilities for breath, joy and movement. After leading teacher training for years, I decided to once again to start my own thing, this time with Patricia Pinto launching Lila Flow Yoga in 2017.

Being a freelance artist, educator, and entrepreneur is not easy, in fact it’s incredibly hard and yes, at times, indescribably rewarding. I fell in love with teaching through my work with Dance Education Laboratory and that’s the last piece of the puzzle in terms of how I’ve landed where I am now: a Professor of Dance at LMU, an entrepreneur running two companies, and a freelance artist and choreographer taking side gigs as they come. While a lot of hard work, sweat and tears have been part of the journey, some sage advice from my mother has guided me along the way: “follow your heart and the money will come,” or in other words, keep following your interests, work hard, and things will come together.

Has it been a smooth road?
Definitely not! The road has been very bumpy, and I’ve learned so much from the journey that I’m grateful for all the hiccups. From each obstacle, I’ve grown so much as a person, partner, communicator, leader, teacher, and so on… and I’m still learning and growing all the time! It’s really hard to appreciate challenging moments when they arise, but I’ve found that if I’m able to switch my approach, I can face difficult situations with a growth mindset and truly get excited about overcoming the hurdles in both my work and personal life.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Lila Flow Yoga – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
“Lila” means divine play in Sanskrit and embodies our mission to train knowledgeable, compassionate, and inspired yoga teachers who honor yoga’s culture and roots and find their unique voice within yoga’s long history. We are known for making yoga playful, fun and accessible while acknowledging the deep responsibility we have as yoga teachers to pay respect to yoga’s culture of origin and live our yoga off the mat in terms of our commitment to fight for social justice in our industry and our world. We take yoga, education, and teaching very seriously and find a unique balance between this sense of responsibility and play, which keeps our training and classes joyful and accessible.

Lila Flow Yoga started as a retreat-style Yoga Teacher Training program and has grown 400% since COVID began. Prior to COVID, we offered teacher training in Costa Rica, and since March 2020 we have quadrupled our offerings and pivoted to make our training completely virtual to meet the demands of the current moment. We also started a virtual yoga studio to support our new teachers and give them experience teaching online.

We keep education and supporting our new teachers and community at the center of all we do, and we feel so lucky to be able to continue to do this work in the midst of our current climate. It is our hope that the work we are putting out into the world has a ripple effect and helps people to live more embodied lives in alignment with their values, both on and off the mat.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love how accessible the beach and local hikes are to LA! I dislike how spread out everything is and that public transportation isn’t part of the fabric of the city in the same way it is in NYC.

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Image Credit:

John Suhar Photography, Christopher Duggan Photography

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