Anthony Benenati

Anthony Benenati, founder of City Yoga in Los Angeles

We love Anthony Benenati’s down-to-earth approach to teaching. A yogi who adds a playful spirit to his dynamic sequencing, Anthony has a knack for connecting with his students and inviting them to experience more than just the asana.

Get grounded with some insights from a yogi who looks beyond the poses to the heart of the practitioner:

What makes your style of teaching unique?

This makes me chuckle because lately there seems to be a labeling trend in the yoga community. I get it – people are trying to stand out amidst the madness that has become the business of yoga – I played into it for a while myself. I got caught up in the particular style I was teaching, and began to think it was somehow better than any other style. The reality is that my style of teaching is already inherently unique because I am simply being myself. Finally, after almost 20 years teaching, I’ve learned not to take myself as seriously. I look to the heart of the practitioner, not the asana.

Who are your major influences?

John Friend was instrumental in my maturity as a yoga teacher. It was through him that I was exposed to the history and philosophy of the practice, and was able meet amazing scholars like Carlos Pomeda and Douglas Brooks. But more importantly, I must thank my first yoga teacher Kim Ian Moise, or Ki, for introducing me to the wonder of yoga. It was through him that the seed was planted.

What inspires you – and where do you suggest people seek inspiration?

My students inspire me; their dedication to their practice and their willingness to do the work. My wife Rebecca inspires me. The way she shows up in her life every day – for me, our kids, our business and in so many other ways. My kids inspire me. Their fierce honesty and endless energy, although not always appreciated, are very inspirational. The truth is that all anyone has to do is to look around his or her self to find inspiration. It’s happening all the time, right in front of our eyes and hearts. We only need to wake up and see.

What do you hope students leave your class feeling?

My job is to teach and to empower. If a student can walk out of class feeling better, and in the process has also learned something valuable about the practice or themselves, then I’ve done my job.

Comments

My First Yoga Studio

I started yoga at a gym setting although City Yoga is only 3 blocks away. I arrived at Anthony's beautiful studio ready to learn more. I looked forward to the only day of the week I can take a class with him. Every Saturday morning under his teaching solidified my love for yoga. I still remember an adjustment in my arms on a warrior pose. He is such a great teacher because I felt empowered after each class. I discovered strength I never thought I had so I keep coming back to my mat to this day. He is also surrounded by great teachers in his studio. I owe a lot of gratitude to Estela who taught me how to be powerful and to Grant who broke down poses so I can learn deeper.Writing this I have to say I miss my first studio.More power to you guys !

Lucky Angelino

I'm fortunate to live walking distance to City Yoga and even more lucky to count Anthony among my teachers. Thanks, Teach!

Lovely interview

Hope you can make it to NYC to guest teach sometime!

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