We had the good fortune of connecting with Polina Eisenberg and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Polina, how does your business help the community?
I started Yoga in the Park in April of 2019 in hopes of reuniting with my passion for teaching yoga. At first it was a fun activity and a great way to meet people. The bi-weekly free yoga class took place at Washington Park and it was an amazing experience to see the same faces every week and watch everyone progress in their journeys. Then 2020 hit. Per the stay at home orders we had to stop the class from March-May. Once restrictions were lifted we began to safely and slowly return to our mats at the park. Reuniting every two weeks to practice some yoga together was a huge outlet for many of us. At one point we were one of the few yoga classes available in Denver and for most people this was the only social interaction they had. During the uncertain and dark times the pandemic had brought us, we found ways to remain optimistic and connected. With our masks on and mats six feet apart, as we breathed through the summer heat and moved through the humid air – we all knew we were going through the same thing. Something about collective adversity creates a healing environment. And that’s why I started the group.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My career as a registered nurse started in a Starbucks coffee shop. A friend and I were grabbing coffee after our long days at work. The difference between our jobs was that she just got off a 12 hour shift from a city hospital where she spent her day helping people and learning and growing; I finished a 9 hour day of sitting on the computer at an interior design firm where people were yelling at me about upholstery. I never cared about upholsteries. She said “you should be a nurse.” I said “I’m afraid of poking people with needles.” I thought about it for a minute and realized that’s the only fear holding me back. I could get past that. In that moment the world stopped and I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I quickly completed prerequisite classes and moved to Colorado to atten Regis’s accelerated nursing program. Since then I worked at The Medical Center of Aurora on the psychiatric floor and currently work at Denver Health on a medical unit. Nursing is a career where you never stop learning about the field and most importantly about yourself. We are constantly faced with difficult decisions which show our darkest shadows to ourselves. Sometimes this is harder to face than the objective challenges. You get to know yourself on a level you didn’t think possible. We are faced with our own shortcomings and are forced to either overcome them or sink under their pressure. Burnout is real. But finding little paths to circumvent and eventually overcome the burnout is an experience that will benefit me in many situations for the rest of my life. These lessons I learn I try to bring with me to my yoga classes because ultimately we are all the same and fight the same demons. Fighting them together is a lot more fun.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The best pizza in Denver is definitely Pantaleone’s (even Gordon Ramsay seems to think so)! This pizza almost compares to NYC pizza. My favorite hike is Chief Mountain – it’s about a 3 mile hike which is difficult enough to break a sweat but so worth the gorgeous view of the mountains and valleys! There is a brand new yoga studio that just opened up in Denver called Courageous Yoga and was founded by an amazing teacher, Jordan Smiley who used to teach at Kindness Yoga before it shut down. And for all your medical needs, come visit me at Denver Health – 10/10 would recommend.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I received my yoga teacher certification at Ananda Ashram in the Catskills in NY. This place played a huge role in my process of becoming a yoga teacher and eventually a nurse. I spent months living at that retreat practicing yoga and doing a work study program. During my month-long immersive training I was led by a kind and talented teacher, David Hollander. He helped me learn things about myself I would’ve never learned without his guidance. When I returned back to NYC from the training, I met Silvia Neri who took me on her team, The Yoga Trail, to teach her yoga classes which took place in Central Park. The Yoga Trail holds beautiful outdoor yoga classes wherever Silvia travels to and brings like minded yogis together! So a huge shoutout to these two mentors without whom I would not be a yoga teacher.