…May every moment of our lives be our greatest teacher.
In Sanskrit Yoga means union, the practice of balancing the physical, mental, energetic, and spiritual aspects of the self. An ancient tradition, over 5,000 years old, includes physical postures, breath control, relaxation techniques, meditation, chanting and the study of ancient texts. It’s referred to as ‘the science of yoga’, not a religion. Yoga deals with universal truths and is therefore compatible with all faiths and none.
Yoga, originating in India, was passed on as an oral tradition. Patanjali has been credited for putting it in writing thousands of years ago in the Yoga Sutras. Here he defines the 8-limbs of yoga which is the base for all the different types of yoga we practice here in the west. All the yoga postures that we now do were originally devised to prepare the body so that it can sit comfortably for long periods in meditation.
The eight limbs of yoga:
- Yama: abstentions
- Ahimsa (non-violence)
- Satya (truthfulness)
- Asteya (non-stealing)
- Bramacharya (illicit) sexual restraint
- Aparigraha (non-greed)
- Niyama: observances
- Saucha (purity)
- Santosa (contentment)
- Tapas (discipline)
- Svadhyaya (study of self)
- Isvara Pranidhana (surrender to god)
- Asana: steady posture
- Pranayama: Control of prana or vital breath
- Pratyahara: restraint of the senses
- Dharana: Concentration
- Dhyana: Meditation
- Samadhi: Super-conscious state (state of liberation)
I was first introduced to yoga in the late 1970’s shortly after arriving in New York City from Louisiana. Yoga became intertwined with my training as a modern dancer. Later, in the mid 1990’s, as I began transitioning from a career as a professional dancer I began studying yoga seriously and developed my own practice. I’ve been teaching for the past 10 years.
I have observed that people of all ages benefit from yoga, being a very practical practice. The asanas loosen joints and stretch muscles to improve posture and maintain strength and flexibility. The exercises improve circulation and have a wide range of therapeutic benefits. Breathing exercises boost energy, calm the mind and the nervous system and improve the efficiency of the bodily systems. Relaxation counteracts the effects of stress and allows the body to recharge. Over time, yoga will make you more supple, stronger and relaxed, promoting health and well-being. The American Council on Exercise has done a excellent study on the benefits of yoga.
I’m a certified Yoga teacher registered with the Yoga Alliance. I completed a yearlong 200 hour teacher-training program at Satya Yoga center in Rhinebeck NY and a 500 hour teacher training at Sadhana Center for Yoga and Meditation in Hudson, NY. I created an “Anatomy for Yoga” workshop that I now teach as part of teacher training programs at Sadhana Center for Yoga and Meditation and Satya Yoga Center. I teach an all levels Vinyasa class in New York City.
I bring to my teaching my love of movement and the amazement of the human body. I’m in awe of the endless depth and multiple layers that creates each individual. I am honored to introduce you to this wonderful journey and aid the development of your individual practice. Look forward to meeting you on the mat.
Yoga Sutra 1.2: Yogas chitta vritti nirodhah
Yoga is the control of the modifications of the mind-stuff