Yoga

My yoga journey began nearly 25 years ago, when a close one experienced a severe back injury, resulting in chronic pain and depression. Ever the seeker of solving other people’s problems, I’d been doing some reading about yoga, and it seemed that it might be helpful.  An evening yoga class was being offered at a local elementary school, and wanting to be supportive, I suggested we go and check it out together. A kindly sensitive teacher encouraged and skillfully guided her class of beginners with compassion and humor, and while my injured companion experienced mixed results, for me, a yogic seed was planted.

Ten years later, life shifted when my daughter left for college, my work in public education became focused on administration, and life seemed more stressful. The mid-life thing of wanting to take better care of myself kicked in, and along with paying more attention to diet and exercise, I returned to yoga. Over time, and with the guidance of several wonderful teachers, I discovered that the ancient wisdom and practice of yoga provided a framework that connected all aspects of my life: the physical, the mindful, and the spiritual.

In 2014, with yoga grounding me through more life shifts (retirement and divorce), I decided to attend a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica with Paula Tursi of Reflections Center for Conscious Living and Yoga. As a 60 something-year-old, I knew I wanted to deepen my practice, but wasn’t sure teaching yoga would be an outcome of the experience.

After leaving ego at the door, teaching yoga has been humbling, incredibly rewarding, and inspiration for continuous study and growth. I have taught yoga in prison blocks, high school gyms, residential addiction treatment programs, college fitness centers, preschool classrooms, local yoga studios and the YMCA. In each setting, with each sangha of participants in a class, there are connections made and lessons learned through the lens of yoga. More recently, I’ve partnered with my sister Carrie Goldsmith to provide satsangs for yoga retreats she offers in Costa Rica. My lifelong love of making music seamlessly connects to the practice of mantra and satsang sings.

And yoga travels well. As a constant traveler, I always bring it with me. Little is needed to connect with one’s breath when on the road. A bit of time and space for the simplest of asanas (even just a few sun breaths and shoulder rolls) returns the focus to the present moment, and eases a traveler’s challenges.

With a seed firmly planted, sprouted and flourishing, who knows where this yogic journey will lead. A journey that truly has no end.

With gratitude, other teachers that have informed my yoga practice and teaching include Libby Volckening, Rajeshwari Gretchen Carmel, Liz Seaman, Joe Kara, Rolf Gates, Rudy Peirce and Vandita Kate Marchesiello.