How I learned to inspire my classes and my practice, and help others do the same.

While gathering information from physical therapists, chiropractors, and trainers, I ask a million questions and then figure out how to use the information in my own practice as well as enhancing my students practice.

 

Owning a yoga studio, raising two babies, and cancer…

Looking back I’m not sure how I did it. Sure, I had some help, but I was all over the place…and LOVED it…for a while.

I’d teach a class while my kids were napping and then again after dinner; bring them to the studio to play after their naps while I cleaned; and then sign in and out classes when they headed off to preschool.

Oh, and the cancer. That’s what motivated me to open a yoga studio. I was 16 when I was originally diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

I will never forget when my youngest was 6 months old and my oldest was 2 1/2 years old getting a call from my Dr. that a biopsy they took came back malignant and the cancer had returned.

Since that scare, I’ve had numerous cancer recurrences as well as a benign brain tumor. These recurrences are a blessing for me because living in high alert for much of my life, I was forced to look at it a little differently.

I am naturally a fearful person (probably why safety is such a focus for me) and I probably wouldn’t have accomplished as much without those health issues. I am also blessed to say that I feel very healthy now.

I made deals with G-D to let me let me live long enough for my kids to remember me. I didn’t know what to expect. Within 2 years and no time to waste (at least in my mind), I followed my dream and opened the doors of Healing Power Yoga in Highland Park, IL.

I was teaching nearly every class offered for the first year and by the second year Healing Power Yoga had moved to a bigger space and I started hiring more instructors.

Less than 3 years later, there were 40 classes on the schedule with 20 instructors and 2 locations. I had my ups and downs, but the experience was extraordinary!  I learned a lot!

  • "Pam researches, plans and shares info in each and every class. She is a true gift to yoga and all her students."
    Lisa R. Northbrook, IL

I​ ​practice​ ​yoga​ ​not​ ​only​ ​to​ ​breathe,​ ​but​ ​to​ ​FEEL.​ ​

Yoga​ ​inspired​ ​me​ ​and​ ​gave​ ​me​ ​a​ ​purpose​ ​and a​ ​direct​ ​way​ ​to​ ​help​ ​others…including​ ​my​ ​family.

Looking back, I can’t believe how little I knew…

I​ ​can​ ​remember​ ​students​ ​coming​ ​in​ ​telling​ ​me​ ​their​ ​doctor​ ​told​ ​them​ ​to​ ​come​ ​to​ ​yoga​ ​and​ ​that’s why​ ​they​ ​were​ ​in​ ​class…and I would tell them what my teachers told me, having no idea why I was saying what I was. While I had a good grasp of the body, I didn’t understand quite yet how it pertained to yoga…especially back issues.

I​ ​remember​ ​working​ ​hard​ ​to​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​practice​ ​the​ ​arm​ ​balances​ ​and​ ​inversions​ ​with​ ​ease​ ​while not​ ​worrying​ ​at​ ​all​ about​ ​the​ ​safety​ ​of​ ​my​ ​neck,​ ​back,​ ​or​ ​shoulders…because​ ​nothing​ ​hurt​ ​back then!!

I​ ​taught classes​ ​at​ ​Gatorade​ ​corporation​ ​when​ ​I​ ​first​ ​started​ ​teaching​ ​and​ ​taught​ ​Eric​ ​Shiffman’s​ ​class from​ ​beginning​ ​to​ ​end.​ ​Every​ ​time!​ ​For​ ​months!

Telling​ ​a​ ​student​ ​who​ ​came​ ​to​ ​class​ ​with​ ​back​ ​issues​ ​to​ ​avoid backbends…having​ ​no​ ​idea​ ​the different​ ​kinds​ ​of​ ​back​ ​issues.​ Hint:​gentle backbends​ ​can​ ​be​ ​helpful​ ​for​ ​bulging/herniated​ ​discs.

Going​ ​to​ ​workshops​ ​and​ ​conferences​ ​and​ ​just​ ​believing​ ​everything​ ​I​ ​was​ ​told.

Feeling​ ​insecure​ ​with​ ​what​ ​I​ ​actually​ ​knew​ ​when​ ​it​ ​came​ ​to​ ​the anatomy/biomechanics​ ​of​ ​the body​ ​as​ ​it​ ​pertained​ ​to​ ​yoga…even​ ​though​ ​I​ ​had​ ​my​ ​masters​ ​in​ ​exercise​ ​physiology.

I​ ​learned:

  • That​ ​after​ ​years​ ​of​ ​teaching​ ​I​ ​had​ ​to​ ​regularly​ ​come​ ​up​ ​with​ ​inspiring​ ​cues​ ​to​ ​not​ ​only keep​ ​myself​ ​motivated​ ​but​ ​my​ ​students​ ​as​ ​well.
  •  The​ ​more​ ​body​ ​knowledge​ ​I​ ​acquired (by meeting with physical therapists, chiropractors, trainers and experts in their fields)
    the​ ​more​ ​I​ ​was​ ​able​ ​to​ ​help​ ​many​ ​levels​ ​of students​ ​in​ ​the​ ​same​ ​class​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​grow​ ​my​ ​private​ ​student​ ​base.​ ​(I​ ​no​ ​longer​ ​teach privates​ ​by​ ​choice,​ ​but​ ​years​ ​ago​ ​when​ ​I​ ​did,​ ​that​ ​knowledge​ ​made​ ​a​ ​huge​ ​difference​ ​in growing​ ​my​ ​private​ ​base.)
  • Having​ ​classes​ ​that​ ​made​ ​sense​ ​and​ ​left​ ​my​ ​students​ ​feeling​ ​safe​ ​and​ ​strong​ ​made students​ ​want​ ​to​ ​come​ ​back​ ​for​ ​more.
  • That​ ​I​ ​am​ ​not​ ​here​ ​to​ ​say​ ​there​ ​is​ ​one​ ​right​ ​or​ ​wrong​ ​way.​ ​I​ ​am​ ​here​ ​to​ ​give​ ​options​ ​for students​ ​to​ ​try​ ​based​ ​on​ ​the​ ​knowledge​ ​that​ ​I​ ​have,​ ​not​ ​just​ ​repeating​ ​something​ ​I​ ​read and​ ​believing​ ​it​ ​to​ ​be​ ​“right”.

My teaching style is known for blending strength and softness with safety always at the forefront.

Where I am now in 2017

So​ ​here​ ​I​ ​am​ ​20​ ​plus​ ​years​ ​after​ ​taking​ ​up​ ​yoga​ ​wanting​ ​to​ ​continue​ ​to​ ​grow​ ​in​ ​the​ ​yoga​ ​world and help others, but struggling​ ​with​ ​how​ ​to​ ​do​ ​that.

Well,​ ​life​ ​threw​ ​me​ ​a​ ​curveball​ ​so​ ​big,​ ​and​ ​so​ ​powerful,​ ​it​ ​brought​ ​me​ ​to​ ​me knees…literally…many​ ​times.

What​ ​was​ ​born​ ​from​ ​the hardest period in my life, ​is​ ​my​ ​new​ ​mission:​ ​empowering​ ​yoga​ ​instructors​ ​and​ ​curious students​ ​so​ ​they​ ​can​ ​empower their practice and continue to grow.

Whether​ ​for​ ​personal​ ​growth​ ​or​ ​financial​ ​growth,​ ​I will​ ​share​ ​all​ ​I​ ​have​ ​learned​ ​and​ ​connect​ ​you​ ​to​ ​what​ ​i​ ​feel​ ​are​ ​the​ ​best​ ​teachers,​ ​podcasts, articles,​ ​and​ ​videos,​ ​to​ ​help​ ​keep​ ​you​ ​inspired​ ​and​ ​moving​ ​forward.

I love to share!

Between​ ​my​ ​education​ ​in​ ​exercise​ ​physiology,​ ​owning​ ​a​ ​yoga​ ​studio,​ ​leading​ ​teacher​ ​trainings and​ ​workshops,​ ​and​ ​my​ ​personal​ ​struggles,​ ​the​ ​common​ ​denominator​ ​for​ ​me​ ​is​ ​the​ ​joy​ ​I​ ​get when​ ​I’m​ ​helping​ ​other​ ​people​ ​grow​ ​and​ ​thrive.​

​Seeing​ ​how​ ​a​ ​cue​ ​or​ ​suggestion​ ​can​ ​impact​ ​my students​ ​(physically​ ​or​ ​mentally)​ ​has​ ​kept​ ​me​ ​motivated​ ​all​ ​these​ ​years.​ ​

Having​ ​students​ ​thank me​ ​for​ ​making​ ​a​ ​pose​ ​more​ ​comfortable​ ​(good​ ​prep​ ​poses!),​ ​helping​ ​to​ ​make​ ​their​ ​day​ ​better because​ ​of​ ​a​ ​quote​ ​or​ ​deeper​ ​connection​ ​to​ ​their​ ​breath,​ ​or​ ​showing​ ​them​ ​another​ ​option​ ​of​ ​how to​ ​do​ ​a​ ​pose​ ​because​ ​of​ ​back,​ ​shoulder,​ ​or​ ​other​ ​issues​ ​is​ ​rewarding.​

​It’s​ ​now​ ​time​ ​for​ ​me​ ​to share​ ​as​ ​much​ ​as​ ​I​ ​can​ ​with​ ​as​ ​many​ ​yogis​ ​as​ ​I​ ​can.

It​ ​is​ ​very​ ​easy​ ​to​ ​go​ ​online​ ​and​ ​find​ ​yoga​ ​articles,​ ​videos​ ​and​ ​workshops,​ ​but​ ​what’s​ ​not easy​ ​is​ ​deciphering​ ​the​ ​high​ ​quality​ ​info​ ​from​ ​the​ ​mediocre​ ​to​ ​low.

​ I​ ​will share​ ​with​ ​you​ ​inspirations​ ​from​ ​around​ ​the​ ​yoga​ ​world​ ​to​ ​empower​ ​your​ ​practice​ ​and​ ​your teaching.

Download one of my inspiring handouts and empower your classes and your practice.

Chaturanga

Quick and easy variations

Best Poses

To strengthen the back body/posterior chain and why it’s important

5 Resources

Every instructor or curious yogi should know about

Chaturanga

Quick and easy variations

Best Poses

To strengthen the back body/posterior chain and why it’s important

5 Resources

Every instructor or curious yogi should know about