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The Yoga Sanctuary Story: Our First 15 Years

The Yoga Sanctuary Story: Our First 15 Years

In May 2007, Bonnie Yonker, yoga teacher and founder of The Yoga Sanctuary, opened the studio doors in the Swiss Connection Building at 403 Sullivan Street with just eleven classes on the schedule. Read more to learn the story of The Yoga Sanctuary…

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In the Midst of March 2020 Madness

By Margit Bannon, Instructor E-RYT 200, YACEP, and USPTA certified Tennis Professional  Earlier last summer I was confiding in Gwen, a fellow yoga teacher and friend that recently passed. I said to her, “ I feel as if I’m practicing (yoga) as though I’m preparing for...

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Pura Vida: The Yoga Sanctuary in Costa Rica

Live Your Life Fully by Jennifer French and others It’s been just over three weeks since The Yoga Sanctuary returned from our first ever yoga retreat! Our adventure took us all the way to Costa Rica. We stayed just outside of a little town called Puerto Viejo de...

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Using the Sensory Practice to Move Inward

A Guided Meditation Led by Melissa Goodwin Melissa fell in love with yoga at the age of 10, when she and her mother attended a community yoga class. She is grateful to have found her long-time teachers, Tias and Surya Little, when she moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in...

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The Art of Self Practice: Why Are You Here?

By Jennifer French I often reflect on how fortunate I am to be on this yogic path. It has provided me with tools and skills that help keep me afloat when the day to day challenges of life get even more challenging. It’s a blessing to have mentors to go to, teachers...

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Yoga for Dispatchers

By Kimberley Heffley: 2019 TYS Teacher Training Graduate and 15 year 9-1-1 Veteran with the Charlotte County Sheriff's Department As a group, dispatchers sit. A lot. Upwards of 12 hours for some. Some dispatch centers have consoles that allow you to stand but we are...

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Yogi of the Month: Diane Smolen

The Yoga Sanctuary: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Diane Smolen: Talking about myself does not come naturally. I arrived in Florida following retirement from a career in Michigan where I had earned a PhD at Michigan State University. Several years were spent...

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February Yogis of the Month

Miguel and Nicole Dotres The Yoga Sanctuary: Can you  tell us a little about yourselves? Miguel and Nicole Dotres: We have been married for 15 years and have 2 children.  We moved to Punta Gorda from Miami 3 years ago in an effort to find a great place to raise our...

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Why Bother Breathing to Improve Your Game

The Yoga Sanctuary is excited to share this excellent essay by local Tennis Professional, Jak Beardsworth. Jak writes about the importance of using the breath, particularly the exhale, to improve your game -- something we yogis know very well! To learn more about Jak,...

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Yogis of the Month: Edie and Glen Martin

As a young man, Glenn began his career in the car business. When he moved to Punta Gorda, he obtained a degree in culinary arts and worked as a chef catering with Dean of Dean's South of the Border, first at Edison College and then Hurricane Charley's. Edie is retired...

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Staff Spotlight—Pat Francis

Staff Spotlight—Pat Francis

When we moved to Florida in 2007 I had always wanted to try yoga so I took a class at The Yoga Sanctuary. I came for the physical aspect, but after my first class I felt so peaceful and calm I couldn’t get enough. Jennifer encouraged me to try different level classes, and I did. All the teachers at the Sanctuary had so much to offer. Then I realized this is what my heart had been looking for. I talked to Bonnie, the studio’s former owner, and Jennifer to let them know I was interested in doing the teacher training, and they encouraged me to take as many classes and workshops to help me prepare. It was good advice.

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Staff Spotlight—Lisa Ahrens

Staff Spotlight—Lisa Ahrens

A wise friend of mine once said that all rivers lead to the same ocean. Taking into consideration all the investigating I have done on many different philosophies, sacred texts, and literature from various authors throughout the years, I concluded that not only was this true for me, but that all share a common thread in the tapestry of life which culminates in one word, yoga.

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From India With Love: Excerpts from Anna’s Journey

Red Light Sangha We all have been in traffic where one of the drivers just has to go faster then others – zig zaging in and out of lanes—just at the end, comes to stop at the red light and all others catch up with him. Sitting at the red light one time I felt oneness...

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Staff Spotlight—Gwen Burdick The Teacher’s Teacher

Staff Spotlight—Gwen Burdick The Teacher’s Teacher

Gwen Burdick; 9/23/61 – 7/14/19; Always loved, always remembered
The following was written by Gwen in May of 2016: Many years ago my best friend sent me a copy of the book When Things Fall Apart by the Buddhist nun Pema Chodron. At the time I was unfamiliar with her work, but my life was definitely falling apart and out of my control. So I was interested in what it might offer to help me make sense of what, at the time, did not make sense.

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Staff Spotlight—Melissa Goodwin

Staff Spotlight—Melissa Goodwin

A great many of my most important teachers are people I’ve never met. That seems like an odd statement, I know, so I’ll have to explain. I’ve been an avid reader since – well, since the moment I learned to read. As a child, my first favorite book was The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne. I have a very clear and distinct memory of thinking, Someday I want to write books like this, after reading it at around the age of eight.

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Staff Spotlight: Remembering My Teachers— Julie Huffman

We have all been students and have had many teachers. As students, we remember those teachers who have given gifts that we take with us throughout our lives. It’s the little stuff—the details we learn that inspire us to find our passions. My parents were my first...

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