Rene 2

Most of my 33-year education career teaching and being an assistant principle was spent in Des Moines, Iowa; the last six years spent here in Charlotte County. This fall my husband Mike and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Our daughter Kelly lives in Medford, Oregon.

My first yoga class was in 1969—before Bonnie was born! Unfortunately, at that time there wasn’t much interest in yoga, so the class did not last. Much later, in 1995, a yoga studio opened in Des Moines and offered one class a week, which was better than no classes at all. I started going and fell in love with the practice. But after three years the teacher moved away and the studio closed. I was delighted when I met Bonnie, shortly before she opened her first studio, and found that a variety of classes would be offered. I’ve been coming to class ever since.

I have always felt uncoordinated and physically inept. But I found that yoga allowed me to compete only against myself—no one seemed to judge my level of fitness. At first, I would hang out in the back of the studio near the wall. The wall was my best friend whenever the posture required balance. Now that I have been practicing a while, I find that my balance is better and I don’t need the extra support.

I generally attend classes four days a week. When Ying Yoga is offered, I generally attend two classes in one day. On days when I don’t come to the studio, my practice suffers. I like the opportunity I get to take different levels of classes under the various instructors at the studio. Each teacher has a slightly different approach, and I benefit from all of them. I can usually be found in level 1, mixed, yin, and sometimes gentle classes. I’ve also signed up for several workshops and appreciate concentrating on specific areas.

My lower back is extremely weak and inflexible. It has always given me problems, but with continued yoga practice I have managed to avoid surgery. I still find it a challenge sometimes, but with stretching and core building done through my yoga classes, I don’t experience much back pain. I will always experience stiffness and limitations with my practice, but I feel as though my poses are getting better, my endurance is improving, and I always leave class in a positive frame of mind.

Favorite pose: Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) because it lets me stretch and twist at the same time.

My favorite quote: “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”