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Childhood nickname: I actually didn’t get any nicknames until high school and college, which were variations on my last name: Doty, Doty Bird, Dotzeytoes, and more recently, Mer (pronounced mare), mermer, or Mer Bear.

Where was that photo taken? Yosimite, CA

Best yoga experience: My best yoga experience was probably during a class and holding Warrior III just for a few moments, focusing on my breath, and I suddenly shifted from feeling the challenge of the pose to an overwhelming sense of calm and focus and was like, “Aha! This is what all this is about…” I was able to find a sense of serenity amidst the challenge.

Worst yoga experience: I was doing an Ashtanga Mysore practice and was tapped on the head and accusingly asked “What are you doing?” by the instructor for apparently beginning the transition in the incorrect way. It was really jarring on my nervous system and had a really hard time continuing my practice.


Merril Doty

(she/her or they/them) Queer/Trans Yoga

What do you remember about your first class? I was really nervous about doing anything other than what I was familiar with doing with my body, which was dancing. I was also really trepidatious about all the “spiritual stuff” that can come with a yoga practice. I’d love for my 15 year old self to meet me now!

Job prior to being a yoga teacher: I was (and still am) a dance instructor and preschool teacher. I was also a bookseller for a couple of years before beginning my training.

Guilty pleasure: Watching 90s and 2000’s tv dramas, and romantic comedies.

Accomplishment of which you are most proud:  I reconstructed a historical Modern dance for my undergraduate thesis that might otherwise not still be around.

Yoga training/studies: 200 hour training with Jill Jerome at Yoga Loft, Kids Yoga with OM Slice, and trauma-informed training with Molly Boeder-Harris. I’ve also attended the Race and Yoga conference in California, chakra workshops, and other inclusivity/sensitivity workshops and studied a little bit of Tantra. I’m also a Reiki master, which isn’t the same lineage, but shares a lot of concepts and energetic similarities.

Super power that yoga gives you: The ability to sit still for more than 5 minutes without multitasking.

Yoga Pet Peeve: When people pick or check their finger or toe nails during a stretch. I don’t get squeaked out by much, but hangnails really get me for some reason.

Athletic endeavor you have always wanted to try but are too intimidated: Snowboarding or skiing.

Five words that your friends and family would use to describe you: fun, sensitive, compassionate, intuitive, loving. (Bonus words: silly and derpy).

Merril teaches Queer/Trans Yoga on Saturdays at 10:15, beginning November 30th.

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