What brought yoga into your life?
When I was an adolescent, I often asked myself: “Who am I?” During this time, I was struggling to find self-esteem and meaning. At age 19, I picked up my first yoga instruction book. As time progressed, I taught myself yoga poses from home. My daily yoga session is the time of day where I feel the most safe, connected, and fille with self-love.
How long have you been practicing yoga?
I’ve been practicing yoga for 51 years, and three of those years have been with Yoga In Our City on the Waterbury team.
How do you think YIOC’s yoga program has benefitted the Waterbury community?
Being able to practice yoga at no cost in an accessible and inclusive environment has provided locals with the opportunity to learn about themselves while connecting with others. Mentally, yoga provides important tools that help people deal with anxiety, depression, and overall mental health. Physically, yoga increases mobility and overall awareness of healthy choices.
What advice do you have for older adults who are looking to start yoga?
My work is focused on bringing my students to a new level of self-love and self-healing, at any stage of their lives. I often advise them to be compassionate toward themselves and trust their bodies, while accepting whatever physical condition that they are in. Classes for older adults typically focus on improving joint mobility, balance, and flexibility.
What’s your favorite thing about teaching at Waterbury’s public parks?
I enjoy the fresh air that comes with outdoor classes. Also, giving people the ability to get outside after a long workday to enjoy the sites and sounds of our City.
How do you fuel up for class?
Usually with a fresh peach or plum two hours before class. Other times I reach for yogurt with banana, cinnamon, and nuts…yummy!
What advice would you give someone who wants to try yoga for the first time?
I would encourage them to engage fully in the moment of practice. Once focused on the movement, you will eventually forget your nervousness. Everyone starts off as a beginner!