linda d

I am number four of five children who grew up in Ohio with a loving family. I moved to Florida in 2003 with my husband after dreaming about moving here since our first vacation in 1979. I work in a dental office as a business assistant and have been in the dental field for over 25 years after working in the medical field for 15 years.

My first time ever doing yoga was when I came to The Yoga Sanctuary in 2010 for the new student package, and Bonnie gave me my private class. I have practiced ever since. For years I could only come on Friday mornings, but now I try to make it to at least four classes a week when I can. I attend Gentle, Level 1, and Restorative classes. My goal for 2016 is to start the Mixed class. I am also trying to attend as many workshops as I can—they have all been amazing.

I have struggled with a weight problem for years, so I was much heavier when I started practicing, but I would do the best I could with poses. I have since changed my whole outlook to my weight and just embraced a healthier lifestyle. I have been successful in losing weight and I feel my yoga practice has helped me focus on myself and achieve this.

For me, the greatest benefit of practicing yoga was learning the connection that my mind and body have, and embracing that. I always loved coming to classes and have met life-long friends from doing so. When my husband passed away suddenly in May, The Yoga Sanctuary became the one place I could come and feel a sense of peace and calmness. My brain could stop racing, if only for an hour. I was so thankful that I already had this in my life and blessed that everyone there gave me love and support at such a difficult time—and still do.

Challenges I face in yoga arise when I do not feel confident doing new poses. I am hard on myself when I feel that I did not do it right. My favorite yoga pose is Bridge Pose. It stretches and strengthens at the same time.

I keep coming back to yoga because of the feeling of my mind, body, and spirit coming together that I get from my practice. All the different ages of people who come to practice yoga inspire me. It is something that you can do no matter what age you are.

Outside of yoga, I love to swim, exercise, and go to the beach.

My favorite quote: “A good life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less, smile often, dream big, laugh a lot, and realize how blessed you are for what you have.”