Annie Marcum was born and raised in Hamilton, Ohio where she attended Badin High School. She attended the University of Georgia where she got a degree in psychology with a minor in art history. Annie is currently a yoga and meditation teacher at M3Yoga, Shakti Power Yoga, Sangha Yoga Studio, Five Points Yoga and Strength and Strike Fitness and works with individuals privately in her home studio. Annie lives in Five Points with her husband Jon and their two dogs, Pinda and Opie, and they are expecting their first child in October.
What inspired you or led you to your current career?
In studying psychology, my main motivation was to help people. I realized throughout my years in college that it wasn’t quite the way of helping people that I found most effective. I had also been practicing yoga since 2007, and when I started taking classes from Cathy Jackson who has now become a dear friend I realized I’d found the method of helping people that felt right. After I graduated in 2011 I toyed with the idea of getting certified to teach yoga. Jon and I met in 2012 and he really encouraged me to follow that dream, and I’m so grateful to him for that. So I got certified to teach in September of 2012, and since then have received other certifications and have done lots of other workshops and continued learning. In June 2018, I was certified in iRest, a form of Yoga Nidra guided meditation, and that really felt like the culmination of what I have been doing in teaching yoga and in trying to help people, as well as the culmination of my personal practice. Ever since I found iRest, I have committed to a daily meditation practice and I have seen the vast benefits this has not only on me but on others in my life. I’m hopeful that using these tools can allow me to spread self-love, healing and connection in others, so that I can be a force of good in this world.
What is your favorite restaurant in town and what do you love there?
I am vegetarian, and I have been for ten years this year which is exciting. My favorite restaurant is Donna Chang’s. I love their Bok Choy and their peanut noodles. I can just eat those two dishes on repeat. I am pregnant so when I went there recently, I said do you have any “mocktails” and she just said yes and walked away. She came back, and I don’t even know what it was, but it was in this beautiful silver goblet, coconut flavored, the most delicious thing I ever had and all my friends at the table were like I want that. I also think the atmosphere there is great.
What is your favorite day trip from Athens?
North Georgia for sure. We like going up to the lakes and the mountains when we can. Pinda loves to swim, Opie doesn’t as much. They both just love getting out up there, and we’re lucky that they are totally well-behaved off leash so we can just take them to a park.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Trust. That’s it. Trust. To trust yourself, trust the flow of things that are happening, trust that you don’t have to have it all figured out it is going to be fine.
If you had a billboard around town, what would it say?
It would say something about being mindful. Take a deep breath, it is not that big of a deal. Whatever you are freaking out about, it is going to be okay. Take a deep breath, there is nothing wrong.
What advice do you find yourself giving people?
I think generally it is non-judgmental advice which is usually more about asking questions than telling them things. Advice is really a risky business. People usually just need to hear that their thought processes are okay, what they are doing is okay and need reassurance. I tend to steer away from advice and more toward non-judgmental support. But if I had to say something, I’d probably go with the same advice I’d give my younger self – trust in yourself, trust that all will be well if you listen to that inner voice.
If you could see any band, anywhere, any time, dead or alive, who would it be and where?
Stereolab in England, maybe London.
What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know?
That I am very interested in non-violent communication. I have attended two workshops in NVC with a woman named Judith Lasater. She is a prominent yoga teacher, one of the first famous yoga teachers back in the 70’s and in part started the whole yoga trend in the West. She has studied non-violent communication since the 90’s. It is a form of communication that emphasizes observations, feelings, needs and requests. It is basically changing everything you think you know about how to communicate, and it is kind of all I think about right now. A big reason I am thinking about it right now is of course parenting. It is going to be, I hope, very helpful. It also emphasizes giving yourself and others empathy while communicating which I think is very important in today’s world.
What three words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word “home”?
Comfort, dogs and love.