After three full months of practicing yoga eight times per week; I find I have patience, clarity, and confidence. I no longer am ‘braced for impact’, but am able to feel exactly what is going on each moment. I have let go of the pressures and stress of work and school and I can operate with a clear mind. Even my husband notices that I can listen better and communicate more clearly. I feel as though I am aligning my body and my life. Now I am comfortable in my own skin and in my own life. My life is beginning again at 42!– Lorraine Matheny, security manager turned Yoga Teacher
Andy is our lovely spirit from England who shows up in the best tie dyes you’ve ever seen. He arrived here maybe a year ago and has felt like family since the first day he walked in. He has a story that is rich beyond imagination (when googling him for a photo, I discovered he’s even a published author and may have a noble title in England). You should ask him some time. I overheard Andy one day saying he reworked his schedule and will sometimes come to the studio two times per day to ensure his three times per week intention for the Inspired Path. His words are below.
“We are often told that we should make more time for ourselves, but life is a busy event and one full of distractions. When we do find time, the sofa becomes a common and perhaps all too easy choice. And then what? A book? Some television? Social media? In reality these are all distractions too. To create time for the self and perhaps find that inner peace that makes us whole, requires discipline, and a place to practice it. For me, committing to the aptly named ‘Inspired Path’ three times a week is that discipline, and Greenville Yoga is that place in which to practice it.
The regularity of coming to yoga that has made the changes within me far more significant than they would otherwise have been. In body, old injuries have begun to repair themselves in ways that have not occurred before… and my core strength has never been this good. I will be 59 in April… In mind, there is still the ever present trauma of losing the one I loved so very much, but I have begun to have a better understanding of my emotions, and how to find peace in something that was, is, and will forever be beyond my control. In spirit, I am who I am, or so I thought. Yoga is teaching me more about myself than I knew existed. I am on a journey of discovery.
I believe we all walk our own path through life and that it is only when fate decides to give us an option to change direction that we determine which path to take. Thus when people say life is what you make it, I believe this is only partially true. If we are to determine which path will offer the best chance to make life what we wish it to be, then I believe we must first understand ourselves ~ our limitations, our inner strength, and how indomitable our spirit truly is when faced with the challenges that might lie on that chosen path. There is nowhere better to do this than with others on the same journey. Namo Vah.
I have been attending Greenville Yoga since April of 2007. I found it on a whim, realizing I needed something in my life to counteract the stress of work, but I had no idea of the amazing community I was walking into. Greenville Yoga truly is just that – a community. You are welcomed from the moment you walk in. It seems impossible in this day and age, but this truly is a safe place with no judgment. Bring yourself just as you are – you will be taken care of. The teachers are all top-notch and extremely well-trained. They know how to offer modifications to suit your body or your needs for each particular class. They also truly care about their students – they are more friends than teachers. I know I used a lot of adjectives, but I cannot recommend this yoga studio highly enough. I have been going every Tuesday night for 8 years, and it’s made a world of difference in my life.– Emily Stevenson, Writer
Jessie is an art teacher and local artist in Greenville. Her words say it best here: I have struggled with pain and anxiety on and off for 10 years having every test and treatment under the sun with no lasting positive results. The pain has been almost unbearable this year until I was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 2 weeks ago. I know that this difficult time will lead me to a deeper and more authentic whole hearted life if I trust in the healing process. I was terrified to try yoga again but felt really drawn to your studio and am so glad I did. I did some yoga years ago before the pain began and really loved it. It’s funny how I thought to myself that I would go back to yoga one day when I “got myself together” and one of my many amazing features could include being a “cool yoga chick” with all the answers. HA! I realized Monday that yoga can be a safe place to be a complete mess and serve as path to healing and growing….by simply showing up and accepting where I am at any given moment.
I just wanted to say that the class touched my heart deeply. Thank you for holding such a beautiful and safe place for healing and growth in our community.
I appreciate this quiet place to practice yoga and the non-judgmental style of classes resonates well with me. I can’t believe this is not more popular. Everyone needs to be doing this.– Hank Czubek, database administration manager/system architect & avid hiker
Julie is one of those people that just makes you smile. I am not sure how she is at work or at home, but when she walks into the studio she is full of life. She is one of our students who was coming pretty frequently and decided to “up her game” two months ago and show up a little more. I started seeing her in every class I attended and taught. Her dedication intrigued me… when I asked her if she could send me some thoughts, her return subject line was “Happy to help…because I want other people to feel like I’m feeling!!” Her words are below.
“This past summer, in the 8th year of being “almost 50”, the niggling thought that yoga might be good for me, and that I might like it, was on my heart. The yoga I had done prior to this past summer was terms, poses, and concepts I learned through continuing education as a pediatric OT. I have run marathons and earned a black belt in Tang Soo Do, but my “almost 50” body has been asking for a different challenge and more stretching! Over the summer, with much trepidation
I started attending Greenville Yoga because either I was going to like it or not, and I wasn’t going to find out until I walked through the door. After my week of any classes I wanted to attend I settled into about 2 a week. When the school year started my attendance decreased as work and family demands increased. And I missed it! I missed taking my deepest breaths of the day. I missed slowing down but feeling strong. I missed the decrease in neck and back pain that yoga had brought me. So maybe 6 months after I first walked in the door I decided to make a 4 month commitment (my time line) to my health- physical, spiritual, mental.
When I have only been to yoga 1-2 times a week my husband and daughter (without knowing my actual attendance) will ask when I have a class. They can tell when I am taking care of myself because it reflects at home. My core strength is improving. I am doing better letting go of thoughts and emotions that are not helpful during my day-to-day life and attending to thoughts and emotions that help me be the best version of me.
It has helped me to have a yoga “buddy”- someone else I know who goes to yoga to help me stay accountable. We don’t necessarily attend together, though its great when we can. For me having a friend who asks what class or classes I’ve been to, or if I can meet them for a class has helped me stay on track.
I will add that trying a variety of classes has helped me work on stepping outside of my comfort zone- which is helpful in all areas of life! The support and encouragement from the instructors I’ve been to- you, Matt, Susan, Caroline…- all add pieces to my growing understanding, knowledge, and hunger to learn more!”
Thank you for your school. It has provided a peaceful place for us in an often crazy world. We are so happy to be here.– Lindsay Branum, mom and marketing team member & Brad Branum, business development representative
Linda is fairly quiet and unassuming. She always looks you in the eye and smiles when she checks in. She sneaks in under the radar and leaves with a gentle thank you. I started noticing Linda was here more and more. Then when looking at the sign in sheets, I noticed some days she was here at 6am, 10:45am and 7:15pm! Now that is some crazy commitment. I knew I needed to learn more about this kind person who clearly loves this place as much as we do.
Linda recently moved to Greenville and when her daughter (an avid yogini) was visiting, they found us. When her daughter left, Linda kept coming. Linda recently completed double masters in Divinity and Theology. During these studies Linda found a passion for understanding how faith connects with a responsibility for caring for the environment and all of its inhabitants.
When I asked her if she minded sharing her WHY, she shared that she came to delve more into the body, mind, spirit / soul connection. “When I come here I enjoy slowing down, breathing and feeling the floor beneath me. I want to be inspired. This is a place where my body, mind and soul connect and remind me everything in this world is connected.” When I asked Linda if there was anything she thought you should know, this is what came (and I love this so much), “The more you show up, the more you will benefit. Different people are at different stages in life and sometimes can’t show up more. Because I can show up, I do.”
Through yoga I learned about self-care and its importance. I have stayed with yoga the longest of any physical activity. I realized from the very first time that I can do this the rest of my life. Physically, I feel better all around.– Maureen Nery, preschool director
Pete is a regular Tuesday and Thursday night and has been since 2009. Soon he will be one of our yoga teachers here… This was written a while back, in Pete’s own words: As 2016 begins I am writing this to express my gratitude. 2015 was a challenging year for me at work. Several people left and I spent months doing my job and parts of theirs while hiring new staff. Just as all the positions were filled the one experienced person went on maternity leave and we got a new grant that required hiring another person. I spent the next few months training 4 new people while trying to keep getting all the work done and get the new grant started.
In the past I have responded to this kind of stress by becoming irritable, frustrated, testy—a very difficult person to be around. In 2015, with a few exceptions, this did not happen. I handled the stress with much more calm and good humor than ever before. The reason is the change in my life from regular yoga practice, meditation, breathing, and mindfulness (at least a little). I learned these things at Greenville Yoga so I’d like to begin 2016 with the following thanks:
- Thanks to Liz for creating such a wonderful place in our community and for being such an excellent teacher. Your open, welcoming, joyful spirit sets the tone for everything at Greenville Yoga.
- Thanks to Kelly for the wonderful Saturday morning classes. What a great way to start a weekend.
- Thanks to Heather and Walt and Jessica and Kimmie and all the other teachers who have subbed for Liz. I learned something from each of you.
- Thanks to Sarah for the nice new Sunday meditation class.
- Thanks to Emily and Pauline and Rick and Amanda and Joan and Bruce and Wilma and so many other students who’s names I either forgot or don’t know. Your presence, your practice and your breathing helps make each class special.
- Thanks to Victor and Susan and all the other Ashtangis who greet me with a smile as we pass each other between classes.
- Thanks to my wife, Donna, for encouraging me to start a yoga practice in the first place and for everything else!