Moms, Meet Local Mom Courtney Bauer! Mother of 4-year-old Jacob, yoga and pilates instructor, founder of the ANYA method, active supporter of domestic and sexual violence survivors and one inspiring woman!
Tell us a little bit about yourself ?
I have one son, Jacob, who is 4. We moved to Harrison last September and prior to that I lived in the city for 12 years. As much as I loved living in the city, I missed being part of an intimate community. Growing up in New Hampshire in a place with a small town vibe, always being close to family, I knew I wanted my son to grow up within walking distance from school and his cousins. I chose Harrison because my sister-in-law raised 3 amazing kids here who loved being Huskies!
As for me, movement has always been essential to my well-being. From competitive tennis to marathons to everything fitness, I have explored how certain types of movement experiences could serve as an elixir in my life, uplifting and balancing my mood by giving me a way out of my head and into my heart. This search eventually led me to yoga and Pilates, where I have found invaluable strength, endurance and a deeper connection to spirituality.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I wasn’t always flexible and Yoga and Pilates didn’t come naturally to me. I couldn’t touch my toes and had very little core strength. Years of intense workouts had left my body tired, sore, and frankly, weak. Yoga and Pilates poses an unexpected challenge. One I couldn’t muscle my way through. I had to cultivate humility and grace in order to progress within these softer modalities. Yoga and Pilates have completely transformed my perception of strength and helped me to expand my reach in many directions.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
Yes! Even though I don’t have a biological sister, I feel I am surrounded by amazing women. From my sister “in-laws” to my many female mentors and friends, I am ever inspired by the power of Womankind. I am amazed by the female body and our capacity for metamorphosis and resilience. I see examples of amazing mamas all the time and draw from this strength in my own expression.
Favorite things to do with your kids?
We love to set out on adventures and discover new viewpoints. From chasing sunsets to searching the neighborhood for kitty cats, we enjoy the pursuit and simply being together.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization or a creative endeavor?
I founded Studio ANYA, a boutique yoga, Pilates and aerial yoga studio in NYC in 2009. During that time, I trained hundreds of yoga and Pilates teachers in my method. Since my studio closed last summer, I have created new and exciting platforms to continue sharing my work. I currently co-create and co-facilitate a 500 hour RYT program for the Swedish Institute, a health science college in NYC. I also teach y4c (yoga 4 cancer) classes at the JCC Manhattan and co-facilitates Trauma-Informed Yoga Trainings with 108 Monkeys, a New Haven based non-profit utilizing yoga and mindfulness techniques to mobilize social conscience and justice. I am especially passionate, about my most recent project to spearhead a Self-Care for the Caregivers program for Womankind, a NYC based non-profit serving survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual violence of all ages.
Any time saving tips when it comes to parenthood?
I have many mindfulness tips and techniques for taking yoga “off the mat” and on the go. I LOVE teaching busy moms how to access their core strength without compounding their “to do” lists. Through a simple sequence of micro movements, it’s so easy and effective to get fit and strong throughout your day even if you don’t have time to workout. By consciously focusing on your breath and a few key muscular contractions and adjustments in your alignment, you can radically improve your fitness level, posture and overall perspective.
I share a lot of these tips on my Instagram page and also do private sessions at my home studio in Harrison.