There may be no definitive answer to the age-old question, “Is yoga an art or science?” Joey Marion says, “If we try to put yoga in a box, it can only exist within the boundaries of that box, so I like to think it is a perfect blend of both.” Much like his life. Joey expresses his artistic side in the hours he spends in his pottery studio perfecting his creations. His scientific side comes out in his work as a physical therapist and his hours of schooling toward a Ph.D. in Science Education. With yoga, Joey gets to merge art and science. He sees art in how the body flows through yoga poses, but when treating rehab patients, yoga is just another tool.
Joey spent many years as a dancer, and it was his curiosity and intrigue of the human body and its movement that led him to get a Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT). (Yes, he is working towards his second doctorate.) He read about yoga and dabbled in classes here and there, but the classes fell short of his expectations. When Joey found a yoga teacher who paired the physicality of yoga with breath and alignment, something clicked, and he fell in love with yoga.
He also realized he wanted to teach others what he discovered: Yoga is so much more than physical movement. It is a practice that can balance the mind, body, and spirit. In his classes, Joey likes to emphasize the breath – “breath leads the body, not the other way around” – to help bring mental stillness and clarity. Using a mandala-style yoga flow, which takes you around and around the mat, Joey challenges your body awareness and coordination and gets you thinking outside your box.
Joey says everyone who steps on their yoga mat is in a different place mentally and physically. Every pose is beautiful, whether it is textbook alignment or barely held, and there is no greater benefit to either person. “Your yoga is perfect exactly where it is exactly in the moment.”
Joey identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and it is Alchemy Hot Yoga studio’s inclusive and non-judgmental environment that drew him in, and had him stay. He welcomes everyone to join him at Alchemy every Sunday for his 4pm Vinyasa Flow classes.
He also welcomes discussions on that perplexing question, “Is yoga an art or science?”
Certified RYT-500, 2021
Physical Therapist and Science Education Doctoral Student at NCSU
Joey has his favorite Hindi mantra tattooed on his arm: mā kashchid duḥkha bhāgbhavet (May no beings suffer.)
When Joey finds a spare minute or two, he enjoys wine, pottery, and hiking.