Renee Whitley

What trainings have you taken that involved movement?

My first training was with Sunstone Yoga in Dallas TX. We learned a Bikram/Hot 26 style class, a Vinyasa and Power Flow class, and a follow the teacher class. My second training, which I have done twice, was with Jimmy Barkan, Level 11/111 in Florida.

If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day, who would it be and why?

I lost my sister almost two years ago unexpectedly. It was one of those situations you never want to be in—receiving a call in the middle of the night that something is wrong and arrive to find the worse thing you can imagine has happened. If I traded places with her, I would at least get to see her in passing. But it would give her precious children and husband an opportunity to see her once more on this earth. I know they would give anything for that to happen.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I am grateful that I have learned to choose my words carefully and my company even more so. I am grateful for remaining quiet because I have learned that the most effective response is to say nothing.

What is your favorite memory?

I competed in gymnastics almost my whole life before college. It was a 5 day a week practice schedule and on Saturday mornings after practice, my dad and I would go through the Wendy’s drive thru. I would order the same thing every Saturday—single with cheese, a frosty, and fries with extra salt—everything I avoid now!

What is your spirit animal?

I recently became certified to scuba dive. There is a whole world under the ocean that most people will never experience. In Cozumel, during a day dive, we saw an unusual number of active aquatic life, the most beautiful of which was a sea turtle. He was eating coral with two large blue fish on either side of him. He was curious and moved slow. He watched us as intently as we him. He was beautiful and probably old, but graceful. I want to move slower through life and enjoy each moment. I want to remain curious about everything around me. I want two friends by my side all the time. If not physically, mentally. I want to grow old gracefully and understand that outer beauty may fade but inner beauty is forever.

What is your favorite restaurant in downtown Raleigh?

Thaiphoon Bistro. It's Raleigh's best kept secret.

Tell us three words that describe you.

Active, compassionate, careful.

What is your favorite song?

Welcome to the Jungle, Guns N Roses

Would you rather have a button that sped up a bad day or slowed down a good day?

Slowed a good day down, for sure.

What is one of your favorite local businesses in Raleigh?

Oh my gosh, does the Farmers' Market count? Probably not, but its my favorite place to go with my honey.

What are your hobbies?

Yoga, scuba, biking, walking, and hanging with my precious daughter, honey and friends.

What brought you to yoga?

A school teacher. When my daughter was in sixth grade, her teacher invited me to go to Bikram North Raleigh. I went and loved it the first day but every day after that for a month, I suffered. BAD. I told myself as I walked in on my one month anniversary day, if it doesn’t get better today, I quit. I had the best class of my life, signed up for training, and the rest is history. My thoughts on yoga since then have really changed and evolved. But I truly love yoga and what I am able to share with others.

If you could give your 13 year old self advice, what would it be?

The same advice my mother gave me,—you can do anything that you want to do as long as you set your mind to it. She told me that my whole life and I believed it and still believe it to this day.