I took my very first yoga class in September of 2017. I had recently retired from teaching middle school and I was quite “fried” to say the least! Although I attended class once or twice a week, I couldn’t do half of the poses (not even halfway). In January, my instructor said she would be moving the following June (2018). I said she couldn’t move because then our small town wouldn’t have a yoga instructor. She replied, “Why don’t you get certified to teach yoga?” I thought this was pretty funny – so I laughed and said I really didn’t know anything about yoga. Knowing I was a Christian, she mentioned she had heard about Holy Yoga and suggested I check it out. After a few days of searching on Google, I was signed up with Holy Yoga . . . and more than slightly terrified.
I completed my 200 hour instructor training and in April I attended the immersion retreat in Arizona. I was positively scared; I was still such a novice!
But God had different plans. He put me on a hyperspace track. The changes I began to see in my own posture, flexibility, confidence, and faith were all remarkable.
Shortly after immersion retreat I decided to register and take the Chair/Senior Holy Yoga training. I initially took the training because I wanted to be able to help my parents and their friends find more mobility in their lives. I thought learning this specialty would not only help me to add modifications to my regular practice, but it would also open up yoga to a whole different population of people in my community (Bailey, Colorado) who have very few amenities. We have no Senior Resource Center, no recreation center, no Meals on Wheels, or anything that caters to our senior citizens.
My mom has pretty advanced Alzheimer’s and my dad is her primary caretaker. My first practice class during the chair yoga training was at their house with another elderly couple. My mom wouldn’t come out from behind the wall and my dad just stood back and watched the whole thing. The other couple seemed to be very unsure about most of the movements.
Despite a very awkward start, I truly felt God was leading me to try to get a class started in a local church anyway.
The biggest thing that stood out to me in the training was just how effective the poses are – even though they are in a chair. Range of motion exercises are gentle and deep; while warrior and crescent poses challenge even veteran students. The variety in the instructor’s lessons supplemented not only my regular class flows, but also helped me to understand poses to a much deeper level.
I recommend this class to anyone who has a heart for the senior population. Or anyone who wants to understand modifications for handicapped, injured or balance-challenged people.
The whole experience has blessed me with more empathy toward people who sign up for yoga even though they initially believe it is unattainable for their own situations; these are the folks I really admire because God is empowering them to try something completely new. Every week I stand in awe of their courage.
I am heading into my 60th birthday this year with a whole new profession! I will have taught one year in June and I am currently teaching six classes a week at a local church. I hold God, my encouraging husband, and the amazing staff at Holy Yoga totally responsible for this transformation!
Wendy’s story is such an inspiration! If you are interested in learning more about our Chair/Senior Holy Yoga training be sure to click here. The next training starts May 7th.
You can also learn more about the First-Time Holy Yoga Instructor Training that Wendy went through by clicking here. Our next training for that begins on May 21st.