O2 Aspen Teacher Spotlight: Anna Hansen

"Every time I step on the mat to teach or to practice, I leave feeling so much more grounded than when I arrived. That feeling keeps me coming back every day."


Talented yogi, avid biker, and dedicated mother are just a few descriptions of our brilliant teacher, Anna Hansen. Anna believes yoga is for everyone, that breath and movement nourish our bodies and minds in a healing way. Learn what healthy rituals Anna swears by, how she discovered her practice, where she finds inspiration, and much more.

Find her on instagram: @movewithannahansen


What inspires you?
One big inspiration in my life has always been a good challenge, and that tends to shift for me with age, the season, or current events in my life. I felt inspired by the challenge of a yoga teacher training when my children were small, this summer I am inspired by the challenge to ride the Leadville 100 mountain bike race in August. Staying inspired can be difficult for me, but getting out of my comfort zone is always a good reminder to turn off autopilot and be present with myself. 


In a few words, can you describe what brought you to yoga?
I started practicing yoga when I was studying Biology at CU Boulder, but it wasn’t until after having kids many years later that I really committed to a regular yoga practice. I did my teacher training in Austin TX (without intending to actually teach), and I totally fell in love with teaching. Every time I step on the mat to teach or to practice, I leave feeling so much more grounded than when I arrived. That feeling keeps me coming back every day.


How would you describe your teaching style?
The style of yoga I teach most often in the studio is vinyasa flow. My class starts with a warm-up and often breath work, and then the meat of the class is generally a pretty good workout. Then there always has to be time for some deeper stretching and relaxation to close it out. 



Do you have any rituals or routines you swear by?
One thing I religiously do for my health is to drink 16 oz of freshly squeezed celery juice every morning. I’ve been doing this for about 4 years now, and the benefits are numerous. The most noticeable thing is the immune boost I get from it- I almost never get sick anymore! I also really believe in eating intuitively. I think it’s important to focus on nourishing the body with real, fresh food, but I also find it important to have days where I eat a plate of French fries and have rosé!


What do you love about Aspen in the summer? 
Aspen summers are so incredible. I love being able to eat outside on a gorgeous patio, grow fresh herbs and vegetables, enjoy the trails, do yoga in a park, or paddle in Northstar preserve. I love that you can be hot during the day, and jump in the water after hitting the trails, and then by nightfall be sitting by a fire to keep warm. 



What does wellness mean to you?
For me wellness is about the obvious practices that include healthy eating habits and exercise, but also must include emotional and spiritual well-being. I think all of these different elements of wellness take commitment every day, to making choices that will lead each of us on a path to our best selves. My choices certainly aren’t always perfect but if you can bring just a few to your awareness each day it's a good start. Yoga will always be a crucial part of my own wellness journey, whether it's breath work to help regulate the nervous system, yin yoga to release the fascia, or an intense power flow class to sweat out toxins and restore a balanced flow of prana. 


What's on your playlist? 
My playlists have so many different kinds of music! One I have been playing a lot lately has songs from The War on Drugs, My morning Jacket, and then hops to artists like Fleetwood Mac or Lukas Nelson. I like a combo of mellow and upbeat music depending on what part of the class we are in. 



Do you have any quotes that you live by? 
I love quotes, and this year my mantra has been: ‘Between a stimulus and the response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.’ -Viktor Frankl


When you're not on your mat, where can we find you?
When I’m not on my mat I enjoy spending time with my family, mountain biking, snowboarding, and cooking.