I love yoga (is that a surprise?). No really, it’s true. I love flowing through poses; I love learning to move with my breath; I love helping others to find a calmness and helping myself. I love learning the philosophies and sharing them and incorporating them into my everyday life.
But I REALLY love that yoga is something that every body can do (yes, every body, two separate words because yoga is for everybody and every body).
I teach people who are experienced and who have been doing yoga for years and years. And I teach beginners who nervously walk into my class and oftentimes are convinced they may not make it through before class even starts. I present to a college health and wellness class several times a year to many students who have never experienced anything like it before. And I have presented at a business conference to people with a variety of backgrounds. I’ve taught pregnant women. And their babies (baby yoga is SO much fun and seeing their smiles is always a highlight in my day). I’ve taught people with a variety of injuries, illnesses, and backgrounds. I’ve taught in a physical therapy setting. I’ve taught those going through treatments; some healing and recovering; warriors and survivors. People simply looking for a sense of calm in their lives. Women and men. Children. Babies (did I mention how much fun baby yoga is?). Young and not as young (I just had a 91 year old try yoga for her first time ever the other day). All shapes and sizes.
People have been telling me in order for my website to grow and new people to find me, I need to focus on a specific type of person to truly find my niche. I think this is great advice, but the problem is I love teaching everybody! And I want everybody to know that they have a yoga body. There are so many classes out there and teachers that I really believe there is a style for everyone. Not everyone loves my style, and that’s ok. But I strive to show everyone that they can do it. Especially those who want to learn, but don’t think they can.
I teach a couple classes that we call “Gentle Yoga” and these are among my favorite. When I first started teaching that particular class several years ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s amazing; all ages come to this class (check out some of the stories shared by members of this and my other yoga classes). The backgrounds are probably even a bit more diverse than the other yoga classes that I teach. Gentle yoga encompasses focusing on the breath. It flows and moves and stretches and strengthens the whole body. It moves the spine in all directions and stretches out the kinks that we often hold onto when we aren’t moving as much. The range in the classes includes everyone from athletes to those who aren’t as active and everyone in between. At the end of class, my goal is always for everyone there to walk out feeling better than when they walked in.
I think it’s great that there is a huge variety of what is considered “yoga” in the world today. I see pictures of yogis contorting their bodies into crazy shapes and balancing their bodies on one hand. While I admire them, I can certainly see how yoga can be thought of as something exclusive, something that only a select few can “do”. My hope is that anyone who is discouraged and believes that is the only way to practice yoga finds a more inclusive version of yoga so they can find the freedom that yoga has to offer.
Every body is a yoga body. Whether that means you are moving your body into crazy shapes or calming your mind and breathing or anywhere in between. My mission is to show you that and to help you incorporate it into your daily life. It doesn’t matter if you are local (hi to everyone in my classes and thank you for reading this!) or live somewhere else in the world (thank you for finding me!), I hope that I can show you some ways to use yoga that can help you improve every aspect of your life. So, will you share this with a friend who says they “can’t do yoga”? Or inspire someone who has always wanted to try but just never did. Will you pay it forward and let them know that they too have a yoga body? I want to create a community where we can all come to empower each other and lift ourselves and one another up.