Macabre Yoga
 

Thank you so much for your interest in Macabre Yoga. My name is Hillary and I am a yoga teacher based in Baltimore, having completed my 200 YTT in February of 2019. Though I’ve been practicing yoga for many years now, the concept of Macabre Yoga didn’t come to me until two years ago.

The term Love and Light gets tossed around in yoga a lot, and in my practice I became very frustrated with it. If we are trying to exude love and light all of the time, we start to overlook aspects of ourselves that shouldn’t be hidden away. To me, yoga is a dark and transformative process. Darkness is vital in order to change. Buddha believes that life is suffering, and it’s only through those trials and tribulations that we come to know ourselves. I started thinking more and more about love and light, and that question that plagued me the most was, well what about those of us with anxiety and depression, people who’ve experienced trauma, or people who have a chronic illness? Am I less of a yogi because I can’t constantly be a force of positivity? I’d rather celebrate what makes me unique, and all aspects of myself. That includes the dark. This is how I choose to practice. If we look at the yin and yang symbol, yang is the light side of the circle and yin is the dark side. Even in that symbol, within the light and the dark, there is a smaller circle of yin within the yang, and a smaller circle of yang within the yin. All things are in balance. The asanas themselves are yang energy. Yang is hot, fire, summer, light, spring, and summer, fast, and the sunny side of the mountain slope. In contrast, yin is darkness, stillness, quiet, water, cold, winter, fall, night, death, slow, and the shady side of the mountain where the sun doesn’t fall. Even in fast moving asana we can bring that yin energy, that sense of stillness into our practice by focusing on slow moving breath. I try to bring yin into my practice as much as possible, and to help students to also bring yin into their asanas as well.

Thus, an idea was born; a way for me to help expand yin energy even while moving through vinyasa. I Originally wanted to start an Instagram account showcasing the things I love: storytelling, the paranormal, history, and yoga. I brought the idea to my amazing partner, Marco, and asked if he’d collaborate with me. Blessedly, Marco is an incredible photographer and videographer, and also very used to my wild schemes. He said yes, of course, and so Macabre Yoga was born. Together, he and I travel to strange and historic places with a dark past and a unique story to be told. In the dark is where I feel the most at home, so it’s not uncommon to find me doing yoga in a graveyard or cemetery, or at a reportedly haunted location. It’s been so much fun to explore the places in our own backyard and to share each story with everyone.

Macabre yoga has become so much more than I had originally planned. After receiving several comments from friends and fellow students, I realized that my idea was morphing into something new, and that people wanted to see this enfold in a class setting. I wanted very much to focus on the weird and dark because that’s how I’ve always seen myself, while also still respecting the asanas and traditions in hindu culture, which are so important. In the immortal words of Lydia Deetz, “I, myself, am strange and unusual.” From the comments of students who have taken classes with me, they’ve found a place where like me, they can be themselves in the dark. growing up as that awkward “goth” girl, this was a blessing for me to hear. Being able to help others feel accepted regardless of race, gender, religion, or social groups, is what I truly hope to do with Macabre Yoga. After all, we’re all just a bunch of weirdos really.

If Macabre Yoga appeals to you, I hope that you’ll follow our journey on Instagram, and maybe even join me for a class. And as always, stay creepy! Want to book us for a class at your space? Head over to the contact page for an inquiry.

Photography courtesy of Marco Gonzalez

 

Services

Are you interested in booking Macabre Yoga or being featured on our Social Media?

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Yoga & Ghost Stories

Do you work at either a cemetery, historic building, or hotel with a strange and interesting past, or would you simply like to see a creative form of movement taught in your space? Macabre Yoga offers respectful on site storytelling, meditation, beginner’s vinyasa yoga, and relaxation.

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Yoga in Taprooms

Do you have an open space at your taproom or distillery and want to utilize it creatively and give you a new way to engage with your customers as well as a new customer base? Macabre Yoga can come to your facility and teach your staff and customers vinyasa yoga classes. We provide props, but ask that students bring their own mats. Classes start at $15 per person.


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Corporate Yoga

Boost employee morale and help your employees unwind with on site meditation, a slow paced yoga class, and relaxation.

How can yoga improve a business environment? Sitting at an office desk all day can become painful to a person’s neck, shoulders, lower back, and hips. Yoga offers improved sleep, increased energy and focus, improved mood, pain relief, balance, and better physical health. Classes start at $15 per person.


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Private Yoga Sessions

Do you want to begin your practice but aren’t ready to be in a larger group setting at a studio, or do you simply want to deepen your practice with one on one assistance? Offered is anywhere between a 30 minute meditation or vinyasa class, all the way up to a 90 minute class catered to your needs and experience level. This can be achieved either through a restorative, vinyasa, chair, or yin yoga class. Perhaps you’d simply like more guidance through meditation. I was also diagnosed with undifferentiated connective tissue disease early in 2019. This has given me a unique perspective in dealing with chronic pain and joint stiffness. If you also suffer from similar symptoms, I can help you create a practice that will benefit your health and well being. Classes start at $30, with an additional fee of $10 per added student. Contact me to begin your journey!

Available to teach:

Vinyasa

Hatha (great for beginners)

Meditation

Chair Yoga

Restorative Yoga

Yin Yoga

Yoga for Athletes

Yoga for Runners

Yoga Nidra

Yoga for Arthritis/Chronic Pain

Group Yoga Sessions

Would you like a private yoga session for you, your friends, family, coworkers, or loved ones? Offered is a 60-minute yoga, perfect for a work event, party, workshop event, or at another studio. Yoga can help bring people together and foster a sense of community. What better way to do that than to share in an uplifting and rejuvenating experience? Classes start at $30, with an additional $10 per person. Contact me to book your class!

Testimonials

“I’ve had a strained relationship with yoga for years, as I felt most classes and studios didn’t comprehensively match the yin and yang of human nature. That’s to say—there wasn’t even an acknowledgement of the harder, darker side of people and the practice. Hillary is a phenomenal teacher, not only because she will challenge your practice, but because she embraces both the light AND the dark. Her class is real, authentic, and uncovers the constant pull between the light and the dark. It’s a safe space for everyone to be themselves and to let go of the notion that yoga must be all light, all the time. Because it’s certainly not.” —Emma Durband, Friend, Student, and Glamazon

"Hillary’s practice is truthful, embracing that life and yoga both have ups and downs, and through those hardships, we can grow stronger in our practice and in our everyday life. I am so grateful to have found a yoga teacher who isn’t afraid to talk about the darker side of life because it is so often why I am showing up to class.” —Tori, friend, student, and friendly neighbor

"Yoga with Hillary was fantastically dark yet simultaneously illuminating. I found myself getting into my body unlike any yoga class I had experienced before. She has a knack for helping integrate the other half of ourselves in a loving, understanding way. It’s a lesson I learned that I carry with me into all yoga classes now.” —Jake Tunney, Founder at GiveFit Baltimore

"While I'm rather new to formal practice of yoga, I felt welcomed and comfortable in her practice. She is easily approachable and provides guidance for those at different ability levels. She created an atmosphere that I felt comfortable in starting my practice under her guidance. I would certainly go to another class led by her and recommend others do the same.” —Peter Smith, Student