Terry Michael is sharing the difference in yoga instructors and practice to help our readers interested in finding a yoga “home” where they feel comfortable and supported. You can refer to her previous posts featuring Tina Marie Rodriguez, Eva Montalvo, Anya Deva and Grace Surjan Kaur Geller. This month, Terry interviews Kathleen Hayden.
What is your personal philosophy as a yoga instructor?
My personal philosophy is to live life to the fullest every day. Yoga has taught me to not judge myself or others, to take each day as it comes, to live in the present moment, to breathe deeply and to love unconditionally.
Tell us more about your training and practice.
My training started early in life with The Self Realization Center, where I learned Hatha yoga under Yoganda at an ashram. I loved the peaceful, loving and kind training. Some days it was easy on the mat and other days it was hard, but it was always about unconditional love. This two-year training set the foundation for the rest of my life. I have practiced fitness and wellness ever since, helping as many people as I can. I went on to train and certify in Iyengar yoga, Anusara yoga, Yin yoga, Restorative yoga and Aerial yoga. Today, I teach more of Hatha, Yin and Restorative yoga. In today’s world we need to come to our mat and be who we are, learning to relax and go inward. I meditate every day. It helps me feel that I can handle whatever comes my way in life and business.
What do you like best about teaching?
I like to inspire my students to come to the mat to explore their bodies and minds. I love seeing students grow and change into the beautiful human beings that they are. Helping people feel good drives me. Often times I get more from my students than they get from me. I am an educator in many modalities, so if one type of yoga doesn’t work there is always something else to try.
Do you combine yoga with any other exercise or recommend that people do?
I recommend doing other forms of exercise along with yoga. It is important to balance the body and cross train. I like to walk, cycle, paddle board, swim, practice functional movement training and practice Pilates. I tend to do multiple disciplines with my clients to keep them balanced.
Are there certain benefits from yoga for a woman over age 50 that maybe in your 20s and 30s you don’t receive?
In the past this was true, but not so much anymore. When I was in my 20s and 30s it was all about cardio, a little stretching and a little yoga. Today I feel everyone from children to golden years can benefit from yoga. This is attributed to the many different styles of yoga being offered today. Our world has gotten so fast paced – everyone is on a phone, a tablet, a computer, or TV. People need to unwind and shut off the external noise for awhile. Studies have shown that yoga calms children and allows them to focus. Young adults are practicing to de-stress or to help them study. In our 30s and 40s, yoga helps to manage work and family stress. As we age, Restorative yoga is good for our posture, stretching, improved mobility and strength. Yoga is good for all ages.
Anything else you would like to share?
Be open to yoga and all the various types, whether it be Restorative yoga, Yin, Iyengar, Anusara, Hatha or any other yoga practice. Find one you like and stick with it. Come to your mat daily, even if its for 15 minutes. If you can’t attend classes, get a good DVD and do it at home. Ask around for good teachers, check their credentials, see if their philosophy agrees with yours. Don’t wait, start now.
What other new things are you doing in the yoga world?
We have just come up with a frequency-infused musical and vibrational platform to do yoga, Pilates, stretching, meditation, chair yoga and many others. It was patented and is being released this summer. We will be holding workshops and classes on this throughout Southeast Florida. Check it out at www.acoustics.yoga