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."
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.
- 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.