5 questions for Paula Greene, Milford yoga teacher

Paula Greene is a yoga teacher at Hampshire Hills Sports and Fitness Club in Milford. She lives in Lyndeborough with her two children, Jacob, 11, and Libby, 9, and holds a bachelor’s degree in dance, elementary education and acting/directing and is certified in Kripalu and prenatal yoga.

Q. How did you get into yoga?

A. I was a dance major in college and the professor would warm up with sun salutations. That was my first exposure.

Then I looked for a job as a dance teacher, for children, and I kept getting asked if I could teach yoga. So I learned kripalu yoga and was certified in 1999.

Four to six times a year I go for training and study. Everything else I was doing – tutoring, teaching kindergarten – pretty much melted away. I can’t picture doing anything else.

I opened what is now Hollis Yoga in 2002 as The Om Studio and sold it to be able to be a full-time stay-home mom. A really hard decision, but I thought if the great John Lennon could hang up his guitar and be a stay-home daddy for a few years, so could I. I made the right decision.

Q. What is yoga?

A. It’s like art in that it means different things to different people. But it’s one fitness trend that hasn’t budged in 15 years. In the 1990s, when kick boxing was popular, people would say “Yoga is a fad.”

But it has evolved. In the ’90s there was a focus on long stretches and alignment. Later came Bikram (hot yoga) – you (used to) have to go to Cambridge, Mass., for that, and now it’s offered in New Hampshire. Every year people are finding yoga.

Q. Why do you like it?

A. Because of how it makes me feel and keeps me feeling good. This is how we are meant to feel in our bodies. Yoga is not just the postures, it’s a way of eating, a way of living.

Q. What are the misconceptions about yoga?

A. That it’s just breathing. Or just a workout. Or that it’s not enough and you’ve got to do other forms of exercise to be fit. I am living proof that’s not true. If I want to eat a ton of pizza I can. In the summer, people are always commenting that they love my arms!

Q. What other physical exercise do you do?

A. I love to hula hoop. And I have a dance studio in my basement. Any time a commercial comes on my kids would think it weird if I weren’t dancing.

“5 Questions” is an occasional feature focusing on interesting people in the Souhegan Valley.