yogi of month

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I grew up in Michigan enjoying the things offered by Lake Michigan—nature and blustery winters. Because of those roots, I am an avid sailor, snow skier, and hiker. After receiving my BS in Education from Northern Michigan and an MS in Training Development from Purdue University, I went into the Army as a Lieutenant and retired as a Colonel. I never thought I would make the military a career, but I did. I spent 26 years going to places I could never have imagined. Each experience gave me an appreciation for what I have back home. I learned a lot about people and humanity. After retiring from the military I was a Director for Training Development for a large defense company designing and developing simulations and simulators for training.

I started yoga about four years ago looking for an alternative to lifting weights and to improve my flexibility as I got older. I took yoga actively for about a year and then got transferred to Orlando by my company. The travel of the job took me mostly out of yoga for the next two years, but I knew it was a great challenge for both body and soul. Six months ago I began actively practicing yoga again, and I plan to do it for rest of my life. I practice six days each week and take a mix of Level II, Mixed, and Ashtanga classes.

I was looking for a way to mentally decompress and improve both my strength and flexibility. I still keep a pretty active lifestyle and knew I had to “keep using it or lose it.” Yoga has been the best thing I ever did to improve my mental state, clear my mind, and de-stress. My flexibility has improved ten-fold, and I have regained both core and upper body strength.

I have found the greatest benefits of yoga to be the self-reflection and bringing my mind and physical body together. Yoga has helped me align my type A mind to my type B body! I find it to be both mentally and physically challenging. Yoga brings me peace of mind and a sense of well-being within both my body and soul.

As for other life challenges, I am dealing with an aging parent with Alzheimer’s, which makes me realize how fragile we are. I try to not take life for granted and enjoy every day I have.

Outside of The Yoga Sanctuary, I am active in sports and bike riding. I am Ducati motorcycle nut. I also still enjoy sailing, having been an avid sailor most of my life. I enjoy the arts, music, and theater, all of which help keep my mind active. And I love animals. I have two rescue dogs and a cat—Freeby, my pit bull, Jake, my miniature Australian shepherd, and Munchy, my alley cat.

My favorite poses are inversions. I really like the strength building and endurance required to let my mind go. I love the challenge to improve and take on more complex poses, and I greatly enjoy being with others who have a common bond with yoga. I love to learn from those who have been doing yoga for a while. I am amazed at what mind over body can accomplish.

At the studio, Jennifer inspires me to do better. I greatly appreciate the teaching that occurs during the practices. I have always been a teacher at heart and a good teacher motivates the students to do better in their own space. I think overall the instruction at The Yoga Sanctuary is consistently well done.

My favorite quote:

“Dreams make life tolerable.” I have always been a dreamer!