Marge Keller

Seven years ago I retired as a fourth grade elementary school teacher about 20 miles west of New York City. My husband Coty and I live there for five months each year, and we enjoy boating, clamming, and spending time with our family. I have two children and four granddaughters ranging in age from five to 17. Coty and I reunited 20 years ago after not seeing each other for 25 years—we were high school sweethearts. We spend the rest of the year in Port Charlotte and love being able to ride our bikes every day.

I have always loved ballet and have studied it since I was a child. I continued as an adult, teaching it while my children were growing up. After a while, I moved onto yoga, studying Ashtanga and other athletic forms. Then wear and tear crept into my hip. Doctors suggested a hip replacement. I decided it was time to stop running after kids, and come to the comfort and warmth of beautiful Florida.

At this time I had to rethink my exercise because I couldn’t put weight on my hip. First I found Pilates, which strengthened the surrounding muscles. I bought a machine and still do about 40 minutes a day. I also ride my bike a few miles each day. When I found Jennifer, I restarted yoga, but this time gently. Practicing yoga helps me to stretch and calm my mind. This rounded out my exercise regimen. I love my routine—I remain mobile and take no medication.

I take four or five gentle and yin yoga classes a week. I have a love/hate relationship with Annie’s happy hip day, but seriously, these hip poses seem to be specifically designed for me. It’s funny, but sometimes when my shoulder hurts, Jen will do a shoulder class. Yoga practice seems to know what I need much better than I do. There’s always this good feeling of a fresh start after each class. It helps me let go of fretting and carry on. When my kids visit me, they all want to go to The Yoga Sanctuary. It is an oasis of peace and tranquility.

Outside of yoga, I enrolled at the Visual Art Center to learn how to bezel beach glass, and have been taking metal and enameling courses there for six years. I’m inspired by the chakras and the symbols of yoga. I use them in my work. This season I sold my jewelry at the Placida Art Market.

My favorite quote: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing, there is a field. Meet me there.”