We’ll just get right to it: if you don’t follow @deandreyoga on Instagram, you need to get on it stat. Not only is DeAndre Sinette an open book when it comes to sharing his own fears, insecurities and adversity (hello, healthy Insta feed!), he’s also incredibly passionate about helping others start and develop their own yoga practice. Soon after we met DeAndre through acro duo Max and Liz, we know we had to bring him into the Alo family… and, of course, find out all about his journey.

How did you get into yoga?

I heard about how good it was for the mind and body—I was a fitness and gym junkie back then with a huge ego and tight EVERYWHERE. In reality though, I was a broken young man who faced a lot of emotional and mental abuse growing up, and yoga gave me so much healing. I wouldn’t be on this planet anymore without it.

When did you start teaching yoga and what inspired you to become an instructor?

I started teaching yoga during the summer of 2015. I ended up quitting a job, and I had just became a registered teacher, so I reached out to a studio and they gave me a chance! I was a nervous wreck, but I felt called to do it at the same time. I’m so glad they gave me that chance because teaching yoga has been so healing for me. It will always be about bringing people out of darkness, and that is my life mission.

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What has yoga added to your life?

Clarity, peace and strength.

You’re really open and honest about your journey. Has this always come easily for you or was it a process?

Honestly, at first it was hard and now it’s second nature. I believe that vulnerability is the art of connection, so when I am vulnerable, I can better connect with other human beings. It’s hard talking to someone when they have their walls up, so I don’t want to be that person. Come in and look around haha.

What has been the most difficult part of your yoga journey and how did you overcome it?

Accepting that I will never be as open as some people. Not in a comparison sense, but it just looks like openly flexible people are a lot more comfortable. As a naturally stiff and tense person, it’s very uncomfortable being stiff! I only ask for more patience and acceptance of my body.

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What advice would you give to someone who’s just starting out in their practice?

Go practice with real people. Sharing your energy and journey is such a deep part of the practice. It’s great to do online classes—I encourage it—but make sure to experience the community aspect of yoga too. It helps a lot knowing that you’re not alone in the journey.

Any exciting projects that you’re working on or working toward that you’d like to share?

I’m currently working on an awesome Yin Yoga ebook and video series that is accessible to everyone!

What are your favorite songs to flow to right now?

Honestly, this is the hardest question! Anything by The Weeknd or just vibey in general. I frequent this Youtube Music page called Nourish which has the best moody songs. I love it because it helps me connect to my emotions more in yoga.

Want to practice with DeAndre? His Instagram’s this way.