I started getting serious more than ten years ago. For years in my late 20’s and 30’s I experienced periodic back pain. As I poured most of my energy into my family and career (I’m a teacher at Eastern High School – go Quakers!), I watched my health make the slow creep downhill. As I approached 40, my son was in high school, I was very comfortable in my career and I decided it was time to stop relying on chiropractors and drug companies to address symptoms. In other words, it was time for me to get proactive and work on improving my overall health. I started with food – less meat, less processed, lots of colorful fiber prepared simply. After about a year of working on my diet, I was ready to start on exercise.
I found yoga while staying at a Mexican resort for an extended vacation. I went to a morning class led by an amazing Yogi, Teresa Pa, and was hooked from day one! The combination of building strength through isometric and isotonic poses, improving flexibility and working on increasing mindfulness was exactly what I needed. When I came back to Lansing I first started practicing at home with DVD’s. Soon after I was ready to join classes and Hilltop became my first base. Eventually I became a bit of “yogi bedouin,” splitting time between practices at Eastern, Yoga State ($5 Sundays), Just B Yoga (Hip Hop Friday) and garage sessions with my son.
When East Lansing Hot Yoga first opened, I tried the two week special. During those first 14 days I practiced nine times, taking classes with Jordan, Laura and even Patty. I absolutely loved everything about it – the space, the mirrors, the heat and humidity and of course the instructors! I recall Jordan telling us at the end of every class to be proud of the work we had done, to be thankful to our bodies for carrying us through and to always seal off our practice with a sense of gratitude and mindfulness during our final savasana. At the end of every class I felt (and still feel) like I have been on a journey and am returning to the world in a better state.
As an instructor I strive to provide my classes with a similar feeling of going on a transformative journey through our 90 minute practice together!
How do you want your students to feel after class? Lighter, more spacious and expansive
Biggest challenge in life now…. Staying “present” and not reverting to “unconscious” behavior when working with my high school students.
First thing I do when I wake up…. A.M. yoga with Rodney Yee. A gentle 20 minute morning routine.