People often ask me how I became interested in yoga. I’d like to think that I got into it to become more spiritual. That is not the case. I started to practice yoga because I was a runner with tight hamstrings and tight hips. I couldn’t even get close to touching my toes. I was also developing high blood pressure, headaches and anxiety. Basically I didn’t feel very good, inside and out and I wanted to. I wanted to experience freedom.
I started my practice in 2004 at the Women’s Club in Missoula, MT. My first class I became dizzy and nauseous. I was curious about the sensations that were rising in my body. I was incredibly uncomfortable and frankly embarrassed that I couldn’t “do” more of the poses. I had always been an athlete. I was competitive and used my competitive nature to push myself – to the end of the swimming pool, to the finish line, to basically be the best. And here’s the kicker. I felt I wasn’t enough.
I persevered. I became more and more interested in other aspects of yoga. I started to feel better, inside and out. Did my hamstrings become longer? Probably not but now my hips didn’t hurt, my headaches eased and I was no longer taking meds for high blood pressure. I was healing myself and this felt empowering.
Today as we begin a new year, I am involved in guiding others to become yoga teachers. I teach group classes in yoga, breathing and meditation in the Bitterroot Valley and Bozeman, MT. I would like to honor the influential teachers that I have had the privilege of studying with over the past 8 years. Erich Schiffmann, my spiritual guide for always being truthful and open and sharing his Freedom Style Yoga with me. Gratitude for Bernie Clark for his intelligence of the practice of Yin Yoga. The Chopra Center for allowing me to drop deeper into meditation. Dr. Lorin Roche and Camille Maurine for the opportunity to study the Radiance Sutras and to better understand and fall madly in love with meditation. And Nancy Ruby, my very first yogini that I studied with to receive my first 200 hour certification. Thank you to all!
Martha is currently not instructing any classes.