My Yoga Story
Becoming a Yoga teacher was punctuated by an enlightening God moment for me. While I was on vacation in Hawaii I signed up to take a yoga class at the hotel where I was staying and the teacher never show up for the class. I waited for a while and then started doing my own yoga exercises. Several of the people who were waiting with me asked me to please show them some of the poses.
I had never taught yoga before but I had been practicing it for a long time. My fellow vacationers began following me. I taught for an hour without missing a beat and, incredibly, everyone stayed for my entire impromptu class. At that moment I knew I had evolved from student to teacher. I felt God saying to me, You’re ready; what are you waiting for?
You’re never too old to do something great!
I was in my early 50’s when I completed my training and started my new career in yoga. This path led me to develop different styles of yoga classes for my students. I sometimes use guided imagery while my students are holding a posture. For example I might coach them to picture each of their internal organs healthy and vital as they rotate in Belly Twist Pose.
Yoga for Healing
At times in my life, when I have been in stressful situations either physically or mentally, I have been drawn to yoga for healing. I have always been active, I danced and practiced yoga for many years until I sustained neck and back injuries in a car accident. After a year of rehabilitation, I was able to slowly return to yoga but I was still in some pain and not physically able to do all the things I had been doing before. It was a very frustrating time for me. That’s when I discovered Pilates and how important core strength and muscle balance is.
Getting Back In Balance
I realized I had strong abdominal muscles but my back muscles were significantly weaker. A good Pilates practice includes exercises for the entire core, so a girdle of muscle is built around the mid section, equally balancing the muscles front, sides and back. I began focusing on proper body alignment and building up the deep supporting muscles of my ‘powerhouse’.
Variations of Tree Pose – beneficial for improving balance and core strength
A strong core is the foundation for safety in all fitness practices and well as for everyday functioning in life. Through Pilates, I was able to attained the muscular support I needed for my injured back and neck. I made a full recovery and returned to dancing and doing the activities I loved. I have better back health now, than I did 15 years ago.
Our bodies are amazing miracles. My personal journey to recovery from my car accident gave me the passion for helping others heal and has given me insight to becoming a better fitness instructor. I am an AFAA certified group fitness instructor with additional certifications in yoga and Pilates. In my classes I spend a moment with my students in gratitude for how the body works so perfectly, doing the most complicated biological processes, without us having to tell it what to do. Simply incredible!
Just as muscle imbalance can lead to injury. Imbalances in health are sometimes created when the mind and body are on two different paths. Being in the moment or mindfulness, will help keep you in sync body, mind and spirit. Lapses in memory or in your emotional, spiritual and physical health occur when your mind wants to do something different than your body does or vice versa.
The body mind and spirit are deeply connected an imbalance in one will effect the other parts.
Let go of any mental and emotional ‘baggage’. Deal with one thing at a time truthfully and courageously. It’s okay; you are not the sum of your environment or circumstances. You can create a positive transformation in your life. Yoga, Tia Chi and Qigong are good physical disciplines for reducing stress and calming the mind. Journaling, meditating, prayer and reading spiritual books or the Bible can also be helpful tools for attaining holistic health.
This inner work is as important as exercise, rest and nutrition for your overall well-being. Explore what helps you open pathways in your mind for renewal with Divine intuition. When you are whole, you can pass on this wholeness to everyone you come in contact with and that is a beautiful gift.
In gratitude, Linda
“Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” – Psalm 103:2-5
Disclaimer: Consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.
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