Skip to main content


I'd love to hear your thoughts and reflections on any of these posts.
Font size: +

7 Reasons Why I Love Working With People New (or sort of new) to Yoga

Snow globe Cropped 2015Yoga isn't supposed to be about ME, the teacher, and it isn't.  Not by a long shot.  But I gotta say, I just love it when a student shows up for class who either experiences yoga for the first time or returns to yoga after taking a number of years off. That's what this month's post is about.  
Here are seven reasons why I love  working with students new to yoga. 
1. I feel great satisfaction and pleasure when a new face shows up in my yoga classes. It brings fresh energy into the room and it's as if I'm experiencing yoga for the first time right along with them.
2. I love hearing their comments, sometimes said with awe and surprise, after their first class or two: "I'm amazed at how this peaceful feeling stays with me after class...days and days." "I didn't want to drag myself to class but I'm so glad I did." "This was amazing." And the perennial favorite, "I went home and slept like a LOG after class!"
3. Yoga has played an important role in my life, in terms of my physical, emotional and spiritual well being. Most of my career has required lots of desk-sitting and while I was going to the gym a few times a week and physically active, it wasn't until I started practicing yoga that I realized how my body needed to stretch and how good it felt to breathe deeply, let go, and experience deep relaxation. The breathing and movement also helps me manage (now) occasional anxiety. I have a new appreciation and experience of the idea that God dwells within us. I enjoy sharing the gifts of yoga with people young and old, male and female.  
4. There are tons of yoga studios and yoga teachers out there. Tons! Yet, there are many, many people who have never experienced yoga before and who could reap the benefits from a regular yoga practice.  Individuals who feel intimidated at the idea of showing up at a yoga studio and trying out a class where they're surrounded by people who've taken countless classes already (or so we think). And, some classes are just too vigorous and advanced for beginners...that's a fact. I feel honored to offer a class where people new to yoga, who think they "can't do yoga" can give it a try and feel safe, supported and welcomed.
5. I feel like a relaxation fanatic. Not that I've figured out how to live in our world and be completely relaxed. Still working on that one. It's more a matter of me feeling so, so strongly that yoga fills an enormous need in our lives not only to be connected to our body, breath, and inner light, but to bring us into a state of relaxation and well being. Yoga can do this. That's why I end each class with a nice, deep, relaxing body scan.. The mindful practice of drawing your attention within, noticing sensation in your mouth, neck, arms, hands, belly, legs, and feet is a powerful tool for shifting out of repetitive thoughts, worries and to-do's. It also allows our body's nervous system to shift from "fight of flight" mode (sympathetic nervous system is active) to "rest and relax" mode (parasympathetic nervous system is active). The time spent at the end of class in relaxation pose also serves an important purpose: it's a time when the body and spirit integrates and absorbs all the breathing; stretching and strengthening you've done during class. If you didn't spend time resting at the end of class, it would almost be like assembling all the ingredients for a delicious apple pie and not putting that pie in the over to bake. What a waste!
I love hearing the deep sighs and yawns at the end of relaxation pose and I feel truly tickled to share this juicy part of class with new students.
6. "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Wisdom from the founder of Taoism, Lao Tzu. I sometimes feel this concept applies when a new student attends my class or any class for that matter. One by one, all over the world, more and more people are experiencing yoga each day. Think about it. That's an enormous cultural and lifestyle shift that serves us as individuals, our families, our societies and our planet. I'm humbled to be a small part of that shift.
7. Karma, baby. I was introduced to yoga in a deep way while working at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. I'd be working at my desk all day and then I'd quickly change into my yoga clothes and slip into the late afternoon class. Class ran from 4:15-5:45 PM. Almost two hours of yoga! Amazing. What a gift. Kripalu teachers are among the most welcoming, accepting and heart-felt teachers I've experienced over the years. And the practice is extremely accessible for people new to yoga. I'm just paying it forward.

 Would you like to try yoga and aren't sure where to begin?  Are you looking for a warm and welcoming setting where you can discover the many benefits and gifts of yoga?  Have you tried yoga before and think about starting up again?  If so, please join me on Wednesday evenings in South Portland.  I teach an all levels class at the First Congregational Church on the corner of Cottage and Mitchell Roads from 5:45 - 7 PM; $15 drop-in fee.  For the month of February, anyone new to my class receives $5 off the drop-in fee.    





Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

CPA's Love Yoga, Too
Soulfire Sessions: Opening Up Our Attention & Hear...