The wanderings of modern yogi Cassandra Fauss have found her exercising her craft weekly at The Richter Co. on Broadway and the historic Hays Street Bridge as part of Mobile Om, a donation-based, traveling yoga school open to all ages and levels of experience.
“The initial thought was I want to spread yoga; I want people to know what it is,” Fauss said.
In celebration of National Yoga Month, Mobile Om’s regularly scheduled Monday, Wednesday and Friday classes are accepting mat donations for participants to borrow or take. Classes start at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. check out their schedule here.
Inspiration for Mobile Om came from Fauss’ former boyfriend, who owned a food truck. The idea of not being tied down to a single location fit well into the San Antonio resident’s belief that the most sacred space for yoga is the one created within ourselves.
Becoming aware of that space has allowed Fauss, who considered herself to be naturally “very A.D.D. and high strung,” to breathe through her problems.
“It was an awakening,” she said. “I was not only awakening to my physical body … my mind started to calm down as well.”
Since its establishment earlier this year, Mobile Om’s influence has stretched throughout the city, from local events and employers to private instruction. Fauss said the school also takes inspiring location requests.
It’s in this way that Mobile Om has redefined the term upward mobility.
Fauss and the school’s other instructors, Lauren Aubrey and Whitney Collins, encourage people to stand tall in such yoga poses as tree and mountain throughout various parts of San Antonio that may be underutilized or underrepresented.
By doing this Fauss, 30, said yoga is made more accessible to the general public.
“I wanted to get back to (yoga’s) roots,” she said, adding that yoga originated in India and combines physical, mental and spiritual practices that are utilized for attaining a goal.
Fauss’s goal was to relieve chronic back pain, panic attacks and anxiety that had plagued her for years as a result of a high school dance injury and a high-stress film industry job in Dallas.
Sitting at a desk proved to be a detriment to her physical health and resulted in the loss of any core strength she may have retained from 14 years of dance experience, she said.
In an effort to alleviate her physical ailments Fauss enrolled in a Dallas-based daily morning yoga class.
That was eight years ago, but the memory of leaving the studio drenched in sweat, physically and mentally exhausted, is still vivid because of its life changing affect.
“I didn’t wake up with back pain anymore,” Fauss said.
It was there that the Texas Christian University alumna practiced for four years before deciding to work toward a yoga teacher certification.
“I wanted to deepen my own practice,” said Fauss. “I didn’t intend to be a teacher.”
After moving to San Antonio, she began working at AC Power Yoga, where the owner and instructor “re-inspired” her. She has since payed it forward to several new students and friends.
Lauren Jerralds took a class from Fauss several years ago and has since followed her to different studios and now to where ever Fauss’ green Volkswagen van will take her. The whole operation is literally mobile.
“She’s inspirational … It’s more than a yoga class, her personality makes her instruction interesting,” Jerralds said. “The great locations really add to it, too.”
The uncommon locations also add a stronger sense of connection to the community. Instead of a complete escape in a quiet “yoga room,” Mobile Om is a sort of an emersion experience – especially when the train barrels below the bridge at 50 miles per hour while you’re meditating (or attempting to).
Fauss credited the San Antonio community as a source of inspiration as well. She said there’s been overwhelming support for Mobile Om, which averages about 40 people each class. “There are a few regulars and we get new people every week,” she said.
Even though Fauss no longer teaches at AC Power Yoga, she still considers its owner a mentor, whose style continues to “speak to her.”
Fauss recommended that people find a style of yoga that speaks to them because the practices aren’t just for “flexible, skinny people.”
By working at Lululemon Athletica as an assistant manager, Fauss said she has gained the confidence and the skills to start Mobile Om, which she hopes will become a full-time job and eventually find a home in a local yoga studio.
“I feel like San Antonio’s on the cusp of so much growth right now,” she said.
Jordan Gass-Poore’ is an English/mass communication senior at Texas State University- San Marcos. She began her work as a paid intern for The Rivard Report in June 2013. Her previous and current intern experience includes the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, The Austin Chronicle, Slackerwood and the Austin American-Statesman, among others. If she’s not writing or sitting outside of her favorite local coffee shop drinking a Shyster (a delicious espresso-sugar-dairy concoction), you can catch her watching episodes of her favorite television series, “Battlestar Galactica.” Contact Jordan via firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter@jgasspoore.