I was introduced to yoga in 1969 by my mother-in-law, Alta.
One day we watched a TV show entitled "Yoga
for Health" with Richard Hittleman on Oregon Public Broadcasting.
We had fun rollicking around on her living room floor, and I became
a regular viewer. From Richard Hittleman I learned many
of the basics of Hatha Yoga.
My first "live" yoga class was at an ashram
somewhere in the Poconos where I discovered that what I had learned
on TV was being taught there as well.
This ashram was not close to home, so I did not return, but I continued
to practice sporadically throughout the 70's. I always lived in rural communities, far from
larger cities where yoga was being taught. "Lilias, Yoga and You" replaced Richard Hittlemans's
show on public television, making Lilias Folan my next teacher.
My yoga practice was
intermittent for over 20 years. When the 90's arrived,
my kids were teenagers and stress was taking its toll. One day
I tried to do a shoulder stand, and I could hardly breathe!
A rude awakening!
In 1991 I learned about a yoga class
in Scappoose. This was the beginning of my serious
yoga practice, which led to my becoming an instructor in 1993.
For eight years
I was a self-taught teacher, taking classes in Scappoose with Gary
Domby, D.C. and Evangelia O'Dell, and attending workshops
in the Portland area, mainly at Holiday Johnson's Studio with Holiday
and many guest instructors. I also traveled to yoga conferences
and seminars to expand my exposure to many teachers from a variety
Eventually, I took formal teacher training with
Bob Smith and Ki McGraw of The Hatha Yoga Center in Seattle.
I earned my R.Y.T. (Registered Yoga Teacher) status in September of
2001 upon completion of their two year program. After that training,
I was drawn toward the style of TriYoga taught by Kali Ray, with whom
I've taken over 100 hours of workshops. My current status with Yoga Alliance is E-RYT 200, YACEP, which means I have over 1000 hours of teaching experience and I offer courses for CE credits (continuing education) to yoga instructors
Yoga permeates everything in my life. It has improved
my strength, flexibility, and endurance. I embrace its values, do
my best to live by them, and to share what I've learned with my students.
Chinese philosophy and Feng Shui have been long time interests of mine. In 2008 I had an opportunity to study Feng Shui at the Emerald Feng Shui Institute in Seattle. To me, feng shui is taking yoga into your environment. Balance and harmony can be improved in our surroundings by cultivating awareness and applying feng shui principles.
The MELT Method is the most recent addition to my practice and teaching. Myofascial Release techniques had become a buzz in the fitness industry when I discovered the MELT Method online. After reading Sue Hitzmann's blog I decided that I wanted to study with her and learn about her program. MELT is a method of self treatment that goes far beyond myofascial release. It works beautifully in conjunction with a yoga practice. I completed my MELT instructor training in Spring of 2012.
A new addition to my trainings in 2017 is Somatic Movement Coach. Somatic movement helps an individual to discover and unravel patterns of contraction in the body that have occurred through automatic reflexes to the stressors of life. That's a lengthy way of saying that we can learn simple movements that retrain the brain, reset muscles to relax completely and to restore smooth movement. This helps with pain and promotes healing from injuries or surgeries. It is a modality that may be easier and more accessible to some people who find yoga beyond their comfort zone.