I want to take this opportunity to tell you what a wonderful teacher you are. You are patient and encouraging. You provide very good direction. The environment that you’ve created in your studio is perfect – calming and peaceful. The words that come out of your mouth help me ‘get it’ relative to others. You provide much support and help to the whole class in a very caring manner. You are good at what you do. Thank you for sharing your gifts with the rest of us. Wina Before I came to my first class, I was skeptical about yoga in general. Not just the physical aspect, but also the philosophical. So, I was what you call a “hard sell”. I remember my first beginner class, Deborah had been coming for a few months and it was time for me to give it a try. Apprehensive was an understatement, but it was time to do something – why not yoga. I wasn’t able to do the things I had done all my life – basketball, softball, and my hours at work kept me from golf in the evenings. Let’s try yoga. I had no idea, except for the pictures in David Swenson’s book, which of course were pretty intimidating, given my knees and inflexible body. And then you add breathe though your nose! OMG, I’m a mouth breather after all. What else could there be? Mat envy – even in beginner class! Seeing others doing 2nd while I was doing 1st half of primary. I never in my life was “worse” than 90% of the people in the room. Then…”worse” became “behind” and “behind” became “almost” and then it was FUN. Once I knew that I was not competing with anyone, not even yesterday’s practice, I started to relax and enjoy the fact that I felt better – even though I was sore, I could see a change in my body. I could see muscles cut in my legs again and my pants started getting bigger, somehow. Now, 1/2 primary wasn’t enough. Oh, and by the way, I leapt into buying a business and changing my WHOLE outlook on money and well being. Did yoga do that – I’m sure it contributed, a lot! Now that I quit that job and worked closer to home, I could get to more classes. So full primary – here we go. All over again, new poses, new people, but a new confidence. Who cares what other people are doing, look what I’m doing. Who would have thought it, me doing yoga. If I want to do more classes, it didn’t seem like I was making progress with 3 times a week, my only option is Mysore – oh no. Now I’m in the big league. Do I know the poses and the series well enough. I might be the only one doing primary in mysore – just do it. It will be fine, they’ll help me. I forgot a few poses and messed up the sequence a little, but the world kept turning and I didn’t do too badly. I liked it – my own pace, my own breath, if I had a question, you were there or somebody else would tell me. My body continues to tell me, this is good. More energy, less pain, better outlook, what else is there? Now what – I can’t stay in primary for ever. I’ve never done a back bend in my life – even as a kid. But I have to try, all this forward bending. I can tell I need it, and you reinforce it. The poses you hate are the ones you need…urdhva dhanurasana. Ugh! Second is so hard for me; hurts my knees, hurts my back – can hardly stand up or sit down while I’m in class. Afterwards, I feel good. Like I said…my body is changing, slowly changing. Maybe, I’ll never get into lotus, maybe my next set of knees will bend further (I have a feeling I’ll wear these knees out – not the knees, but the bones around them), there’s more progress to be made. One thing’s for sure, yoga is changing my life. Thanks so much for your inspiration, your friendship and your dedication to the old school. Without modification – I’d still be sitting on the couch!