Susan - June, 2016

I have known about yoga for decades. In the mid-1970s I attended a yoga series, which was my introduction to yoga. I loved the practice, but sadly, the series was a one-time experience. Further yoga practice was not offered again. Living in a small Midwest community, opportunities to practice yoga were nonexistent. Consequently, it wasn’t until I moved to Punta Gorda and met The Yoga Sanctuary’s former owner, Bonnie Yonker, at the Punta Gorda Club that I began to regain an interest in yoga. I attended a Tuesday morning 6 A.M. yoga class with Bonnie as the instructor. It was a great chance to reconnect.

When Bonnie left the Punta Gorda Club and opened her own studio, I was so happy that she was starting her own business. It took me a year before I finally walked into The Yoga Sanctuary in the Swiss Connection building. The first person I encountered at the studio was Margit Bannon. We had a great conversation about my physical issues and my desire to incorporate a yoga practice into my life. Margit was extremely understanding and totally supportive. From that day nearly nine years ago to now, I have been practicing yoga.

Yes, I have left yoga from time to time for different reasons, but I always come back. An auto accident four years ago really set me back in my yoga practice. Both physical and mental issues from that accident continue to follow me through my life. It is yoga that has saved me! And Margit Bannon is the person who best understood and helped me through the worst of my recovery. She is my treasured yogi, and I feel blessed that she is at The Yoga Sanctuary. With her care and watchful encouragement, Margit has guided me through those joyful and difficult moments when only yoga would provide me the strength, stability, and peace of mind that I needed to keep moving forward.

I continue my yoga practice at least twice each week. I practice gentle yoga and chair yoga. When I achieve better balance, I will add Level 1 to my practice. I have recently become interested in meditation and took an introductory meditation class at TYS earlier this year. I also participated in Deepak Chopra’s 21-Day Meditation Experience via internet and have recently signed up for another 21-day mediation practice.

My favorite yoga pose is Supported Bridge Posture. My most challenging yoga pose is Tree Posture. I credit yoga with keeping me moving and keeping me grounded and positive. Yoga is in my life, and it will always be an integral part of who I am.