What has yoga brought to your life? More flexibility? A deeper sense of calm? Perhaps, more confidence? For today’s guest, yoga started as a physical practice that moved into something greater. (Same here!) As we dig deeper into the practice, we cannot help but be changed internally through the breath work, intention practice, or the pieces of philosophy throw our way each class. For Angela Tilger, it brought her a sense of freedom – to practice how she wanted and be who she wanted to be.
Angela is another amazing sister that I had the pleasure of connecting with through Gabby Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie Masterclass. I continue to be incredibly grateful for my training with Gabby, not just for the education I received, but for all the amazing souls I have been able to connect with. (For interviews with other Spirit Junkies, I invite you to meet Kimberley and Stacey.)
Meet Angela Tilger
I’m excited to share Angela Tilger with you today for a number of reasons. First, you’ll find parts of her story to be so relatable – I know I did. For both of us, it took the disintegration of a relationship for us to find growth and freedom. Second, she started her yoga practice simply to get fit, then fell into something more. Third, she shares her path into spirituality in such a practical way, something I adore.
Oh, and she’s joining the Remote Yogi Tribe as one of our guest teachers! Her teaching style fits the culture here so well. It’s all about making the practice your own and removing the false beliefs of “perfection” on the mat. She makes yoga accessible to everyone!
Angela’s Yoga Story
T: My favorite things to ask fellow teachers is how they “fell into” their yoga practice. Can you tell us what led you to yoga in the first place?
A: After my divorce and my second baby, I really started to take better care of myself. I started working out every day and eating a healthy diet. I lost 60lbs- 30lbs of baby weight and 30lbs of former housewife weight.
My best friend had been doing hot yoga for years and while I wasn’t ready to commit to a “real” yoga class, we agree to check out a local Yoga in the Park class. We live in Central Florida and the Yoga in Lake Eola Park is a huge group with hundreds of yogis in attendance so I felt like I could blend into the crowd there.
The very first class had me hooked and I started to follow that teacher. Eventually, I made it into a hot studio class, but it took a long time for the yoga to become more than a work out for me. I remember laying there in Savasana making grocery lists in my head and counting the minutes like it was torture. I could not quiet my mind if my life depended on it- I hated that part of class!
A Deeper Connection
T: I love that you started yoga with the solo intention of a physical exercise, same here! Plus, it sounds like you had a lot of resistance when you were first getting started. Can you remember what specific mental shifts took place on the mat or specific moments when something “clicked” for you?
A: I think that yoga kind of has this natural progression and it just takes you deeper and deeper without you really noticing until you look back. I do remember being in a class that had a lot of hip openers and towards the end of class, Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight” was playing and I just completely broke down crying- I was a mess.
The teacher explained how we can hold trauma and repressed memories in our hips and I remembered my ex husband singing that song to me while we slow danced. By that time, I was feeling happy and healthy and so over him. I had no idea that those old feelings were still inside of me. I think it was somewhere around that time that I realized how powerful the practice of yoga really was and I began to trust it more and allow myself to go deeper.
Becoming a Teacher
T: You’re one of the many teachers I have interviewed who started teacher training without the intention of teaching. What changed for you?
A: I started my teacher training with the sole intention of deepening my personal practice. I had the physical part down, but I wanted more of the inner work- the meditation and the yamas and niyamas and the philosophies. But when I taught my first “practice” class to my fellow YTT’s, it was my light bulb moment.
I just knew that I wanted to share this practice with as many people as I could. Deep down, I wanted to help other people feel the way yoga had made me feel. I saw that I could do that in my own way, with my own style and maybe bring the practice to a group of people who may not have been interested in yoga before or who needed to experience it in a way that only I could bring.
Developing a Style
T: With your experience as a student, what do you hope to bring to your own teaching style? What lessons would you love to present to your own students?
A: I want all of my students to know that I’m not here to judge their practice or their lives or tell them that they’re doing yoga “wrong.” As long as you aren’t going to hurt yourself- go for it, whatever it is for you. I think that I was put here for the yogi who doesn’t really know they’re a yogi yet and they’re just taking those first baby steps into their practice.
I love loud music, I give my students the freedom to move however feels to good to them, to skip poses that aren’t for them, etc. Yoga doesn’t have to be taught a certain way, that you have to be a vegan and meditating for an hour each day and practicing the asanas exactly as they were written thousands of years ago. I believe that yoga is something different to everyone and whatever it is for you- whether it’s “just” a workout or something much deeper- that’s okay.
Everyone is on their own individual journey and if there wasn’t someone there telling me and showing me that yoga can be whatever I need it to be, I wouldn’t have found my practice at all, I wouldn’t have evolved, I wouldn’t have found my spirituality so I think that I’m here to kind of bridge the gap and give my students permission to be wherever they are on their journey and to progress at whatever speed in whatever way feels best for them.
Gabby Bernstein’s Influence
T: Girl, you are speaking my language! We met through Gabby Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie Masterclass, which was definitely a life changing experience for me. What led you to Gabby’s teachings and what inspired you to become one of her students?
A: I wish that I had one of those really profound stories where a book fell off the shelf at me or I had a vision in meditation, but I found my way to Gabby in the most ridiculous way! I was actually “Instagram stalking” my boyfriend’s ex wife because I’m a girl. We do these things and my curiosity gets the best of me sometimes… She had a beautiful picture of her doing yoga in a bikini and the caption was a quote from The Universe Has Your Back (by Gabby Bernstein).
I can’t remember what it said, but I googled Gabby Bernstein because again, my curiosity took over. Naturally, I started reading about her. I ended up on Amazon looking at all of her books. I clicked the “order now” button on Spirit Junkie and I was immediately hooked.
How to Surrender
T: When we chatted about Gabby recently, you mentioned how much you were affected by the lesson of “surrender.” Can you explain what that is and how it changed your life?
A: I was half way through Spirit Junkie when I noticed this word “surrender” kept jumping out at me, but I didn’t really know what it meant – I couldn’t wrap my head around it until I got to this one particular sentence. I wish I could find it now It basically said that you can keep trying and fighting and struggling, but until you learn how to surrender to the will and the timing of the Universe and just lay it all down, you will never progress past that point of struggle.
It was like something clicked in my brain. I realized that everything seemed so hard for me because I was trying to force it to happen. A big part of me was holding on to a relationship that wasn’t serving me. I was trying to control its outcome instead of just accepting its end and letting go with grace and ease. Additionally, I was trying to make my kids act better and be better instead of accepting who they were. Instead, I focused on shifting my parenting to embrace their strengths/weaknesses.
I was working a job that I hated. It made me so miserable that I cried every morning on the way to work. I was on anxiety medication and depressed, instead of just finding a different job. There was a habit of saying affirmations over and over again trying to force them into reality, instead of believing that they were already true. I was just holding on too tight to every situation in my life and when that light bulb went off.
The word “surrender” sunk in and I instantly felt lighter. My whole world began to change in that exact moment.
Keep Up with Angela
A: I am so thrilled to have you joining the Remote Yogi Tribe as one of our guest teachers, but I would also love to see what else you are up to. Where can we find you online and what other projects are you working on?
Sure! I’m excited to be part of the tribe! I teach yoga locally at a few studios around town so if you’re ever in Central Florida, look me up! My blog definitely has my heart right now- you can find it at www.mommyoverboard.com. I’m going to be launching some exciting things really soon so definitely drop your email on the site or follow me on Instagram at @mommy_overboard so we can keep in touch!
A: I can’t wait to read more on your blog as you continue to grow. Last question for you, what does it mean for you to live authentically?
This is a big one for me! I have done a ton of inner work to overcome the shame and guilt of my past. I know that it can be difficult to own our truth and all of our experiences. It’s tough to fully embrace them, but I can also say that it is the most empowering thing you can do for yourself!
I have always been an open book, even when I wasn’t fully healed, because I’ve always known the power of truth and authenticity. Now, having gone through the trenches and come out of it, I know for sure that my story has the power to help other people.
I believe in speaking my truth, even when it’s uncomfortable because you never know who might need to hear it or who will be inspired by it. Remember, all of this is coming from someone who made the biggest life transformations and completely shifted their mindset and experience after reading a quote on a bikini yoga photo on Instagram.
Always live your truth. The good, the bad, the ugly. All of those parts of you are important and they were all given to you for a reason, even your wounds were divinely placed in order to make you into the person you are and to give you the story to share and the power to heal. Living authentically means standing unapologetically in the truth of who you are and never sacrificing it for anyone or anything.
Full of Gratitude!
Yep, I feel super lucky to have found Angela and to have added her to our team here! If you are looking to try out one of Angel’s classes, her first class was just added to the Remote Yogi Tribe! You get access all my classes, meditations, coaching workshops, and live calls. Go check it out 🙂
What lessons have you learned from your yoga practice? Comment below!
I believe you have a story worth sharing too. What can you do to share your truth more often? Take some time to journal on your story this week.
So much love,