A Yoga Love Story: Interview with Stephanie Snyder

When we heard that Stephanie Snyder was opening up a new studio this January called Love Story Yoga, we were intrigued. And with a lineup of AMAZING teachers, including anatomy wizard Jason Crandell - who will be teaching classes and leading the advanced 300 hr training - we couldn't wait to get the scoop! We caught up with Stephanie and Jason to find out more about what to expect from her dynamic line-up of teachers!

We love the name! Tell us the story behind Love Story!

SS: When thinking of our name I really wanted it to be something that reflected the depth of what yoga means to me and a reflection of how I teach. I have also seen the beauty and grace of the practice revealed in so many others. I'm a very say-it-like-it-is teacher and I like blending the traditional with the modern. I wanted the name to use regular everyday language without losing the rare and sacred aspects of what actually happens on the mat. Love Story came to be because it not only aligned with those aspects, but yoga is quite actually the greatest love story of all time as I see it.  It's where we fall back in love with ourselves, our gifts and limitations. It's where we fall in love with our life - sometimes messy and sometimes amazing but always worth it. It's where we get to forgive and find love where it had been before or see new awakened spaces within us for deeper understanding about what love is in the first place.

Stephanie, you're known for invigorating yoga classes, but also helping students find their purpose and inner resource, something many people struggle with.  How can yoga help us find our dharma?

SS: Yoga is driving us toward our purpose at all times. We tend to become distracted by fears, doubt, and general lack of self-knowledge. The practice helps us gain pause so that we have the opportunity to look in and witness who we are, what we believe in and how to proceed. That insight gives us choice and choice gives us the option of stepping into our dharma in a way that is engaged, has meaning and will serve us while simultaneously serving others. 

Jason, you've been called 'the future of yoga' by Yoga Journal, having developed curriculum with Orthopedist, Dr Roache. What inspires you to be so technical?

JC: First off, the philosophical side of yoga teachings came easier than the more technical anatomical side of the equation, so I had to work for it. It was once my weakest component as a teacher and I decided to dedicate my time to learning more about it, to teach the part of the discipline that didn’t necessarily come naturally.

Secondly, I had a lot of injuries. I played ice hockey and skateboarded for 15-16 years. Yoga poses have never come easily for me. I needed to understand the technical details that made the poses more accessible and safe. I’ve also needed to learn the technical details that help me do the poses. I can’t do difficult poses on effort alone. I have to understand the details and points of leverage in order to do the harder poses safely. 

Lastly, I find that anatomy is a good tangible access point for us to train ourselves to pay attention. It’s not just anatomy for anatomy’s sake but another component of training ourselves to pay deep attention.

With varied approaches, you both seem like the perfect match. Stephanie and Jason, Will you be developing a curriculum to meld the two approaches?

JC: Stephanie and I have very naturally complementary styles. We’re both Vinyasa Yoga teachers, but we sit on slightly different sides of the spectrum so while Stephanie is technical, she really loves the flow. For me, I like to be slower and even more nuanced in alignment detail. So we’ve shared a ton of students over time because there are a lot of people that will go to Stephanie because they want a good deep yoga practice, they want to move, they want to enjoy the music, they want to chant. And then they’ll also come to my classes because they want to go even deeper in the technical nuances and mechanics. Also, we have pretty similar personalities. We’re both dedicated, focused and disciplined but we’re pretty lighthearted about it. Both of us are really serious, but we don’t take ourselves so seriously, we like to have fun. And we’ve also been friends for a long time.

SS: Jason and I have been friends for nearly 20 years. We really love and respect each other. What we do individually as teachers is very complementary and that will benefit the Love Story community overall. We celebrate every teacher at Love Story!

Will we have an opportunity to take classes with both of you together?

JC: Yes, we definitely plan on partnering up a couple of different ways.

And, will you be doing teacher trainings together?

JC: Not yet. For now, Stephanie will be teaching the 200 hour and I’ll be teaching the 300 hour advanced program. I’m sure at some point we’ll join forces more overtly. For now, our programs are complementing each other. 

We can't wait to practice with you guys.  Where is the new studio and when does it open its doors?

SS: We will open early January and we are located at 473 Valencia Street in San Francisco. The location was so important to me because this is a community practice. I really wanted folks to be able to grab coffee, tea, food and socialize before and after class. And having showers on premise will help the Love Story community ease in and out seamlessly.  

Tell us about your pre-registration specials, exciting line-up of teachers, and launch party!

SS: We are so thrilled to be opening in January! Our pre-opening special packages are:  1 year of unlimited yoga for $1795 and/or 20 classes for $260. These pre-opening specials are not only a great opportunity for students to get a good deal but also allow folks to support Love Story and help us launch with great momentum. 

We are so proud of our teacher line-up. We have been blessed with a strong, smart, capable and devoted faculty that will bring Love Story to life in the most beautiful way. Teachers include Anna HughesJulie LockeRocky HeronHoward CohnPeter Walters, and more. 

To find out more about Love Story Yoga, please visit www.lovestoryyoga.com.  And you can follow Love Story on Instagram and Facebook.

Photo: Courtesy of Stephanie Snyder
Post written for SFYogaMag.com