Upon arriving in Punta Gorda in December of 1981, I fell in love with the charm and quaintness of this beautiful area. I manage a restaurant that symbolizes the unique history and feel of Punta Gorda, and my second career as a tai chi instructor has become a very fulfilling and enlightening journey.

My first yoga experience was reading the book Yoga, Youth and Reincarnation by Jess Stern. I knew nothing about yoga or reincarnation, but youth was certainly beginning to sound appealing. My early study of yoga led me to understand that asana is only one limb of the 8 limbs that comprise yoga. The sense that there must be something more to life than ordinary, everyday routine spurred my search for that something more.

I began attending classes at The Yoga Sanctuary in January 2008. From the very first class I found that yoga enhanced my life. I now practice yoga daily. I take the Yin class on Tuesdays and the Meditation class on Wednesdays, in addition to my home practice in which I incorporate sun breaths with my tai chi warm ups, and the study of yoga through books.

Yoga sustains me in all aspects of my life. When my foundation shifted in 2010 when my partner Kerry passed away, the love and compassion of my friends and fellow yogis at The Yoga Sanctuary was constant.

Physically, I have found that the yoga practice has helped me to release restrictions in my right hip and knee by letting go of my need to relax. The comfort and ease that is associated with the Yin practice is allowing muscles and connective tissue to relax. Through this practice I am learning to be kind to myself, and to others.

Yoga has also brought me a sense of easiness within my body. My posture has improved as my spine has become straighter. I am able to conquer anxiety through a balanced breath, and I am overcoming the depression that comes with the grieving process, of losing my partner of 30 years. Through mindful awareness I am more able to see the Himalayas of life, so to speak, become merely speed bumps. And I have learned that encouraging others, and myself, brings a positive outcome to most situations.

Outside of The Yoga Sanctuary I like to spend time with my son, to read books, and to sit in a garden, listen to the wind, and dream. To challenge myself, I’d like to become certified as a yoga instructor; I’d like to become a competent, if not an accomplished, potter; I’d like to do Ashtanga yoga; and to become more lighthearted. And as the Dalai Lama says:

Never give up
Be compassionate
Work for peace
And I say again
Never give up
No matter what is going on around you,
Never give up.