Monday, May 5, 2008

Information about the teacher and classes

Beginning is probably the hardest step in any unfamiliar process.   Sure other obstacles may arise during the process of whatever adventure one embarks upon, but I find just getting started is the biggest obstacle to any new endeavor.  This is sometimes my experience as a yoga student and also with beginning this blog.  Even though I love to write, I had to sit with it for quite a while before I found the right words or the courage to not have the right words.

So here is the beginning.  The reasons for me writing this blog is to have an interface with more people about the classes I teach, me as a teacher, what is happening in the classes I teach and other general information to help your yoga practice along.

You many be wondering why I include Youth in the title.  Well for starters, I couldn't get the name Yoga for You.  Also I have had the great pleasure of teaching Yoga to children this year.  I hope to eventually expand this area of my teaching.  I think children can learn to lead a balanced life if they are given the tools to develop gracefully through the emotional landscape and challenges of childhood.  

So Who am I and what do I teach?  To answer the last question, I teach what I know and in many ways that is always changing as I grow as a student of Yoga.  In other ways the teachings of Yoga are timeless as philosophy, movement, breath, concentration, meditation and the journey into our inner realm are practices that have been around for thousands of years.My experience as a yoga student began over 13  years ago at an Iyengar studio in Madison, Wisconsin.  I initially came to yoga with the hope of correcting my poor posture.  My first experiences with yoga were quite bewildering as my teachers called out only the sanskrit names of the poses and my poses never seemed as together and graceful as some of the other students.  Still there was something that kept me coming back every week.  I like to joke that it was Savansana or the hope that I could look as cute as the yoga instructors in their little yoga outfits.  But really it was something more than that.

After having my first child, I studied with a traditional Hatha Yoga teacher.  It was this teacher that made yoga feel accessible.  It was through her teachings that I became more present with my own inner wisdom. 

5 years ago I began teaching small classes in my home.  Through this experience, I found that I truly loved sharing my yoga practice with others.  This prompted me to seek a more in depth training that focused on knowledge of the body, proper alignment in poses to prevent and heal from injuries, and the philosophy of yoga that invites us to live a balanced life.

At this point, I chose to complete my teacher training with Sarahjoy Marsh, a certified Anusara yoga teacher. Anusara teachings are based on principals of alignment, encouraging students to approach their practice with an open heart and mind.  In this form of Yoga, I have trained for the last 3 years and it has opened a whole wealth of information to me not only about better alignment for the body, but also about the deep current of yoga philosophy that is an integral part of Yoga as one's practice deepens and grows.

Information on Yoga classes:  I teach both beginning and intermediate classes.  The focus of these classes changes periodically, usually to coincide with the changing seasons or the needs of the students in the class.  

In my beginning class, we tend to move more slowly and use more support in all poses.  It is here that students learn basic breathing techniques and poses.  We work slowly to balance effort and ease in each pose.  It is a great place to begin if you are new to yoga, have been away from practice for a while, or just want to relax and slow down.

In the intermediate classes, I provide more challenging sequences and postures.  We explore deeper backbends, forward bends, balance poses and inversions.  Everyone moves at his/her own pace and there are lots of variations to poses, so students can work at their own ability and comfort level.

Other Information: It is best to leave a space of 1 to 2 hours between meals and and the start yoga class.  It is fine to eat anytime after class.

I have a few loaner mats, but I prefer that you bring your own if possible.  They are pretty inexpensive.  I have found mats at TJ Max or Marshalls for under $10.

Wear comfortable clothes that allow me to see hip, knee, and ankle alignment if possible.

Information about the classes will be updated monthly.  Other information about yoga will be added as well.