Reflecting on Garden of the Heart Yoga Center | iHanuman


Love, Service, Devotion, Yoga

Reflecting on Garden of the Heart Yoga Center

Sometimes it's nice to site back and reflect on where we have been and where we are now...My husband and I moved to Florida from Virginia five and a half years ago, after he retired. Initially I kept my yoga center in Virginia and went back regularly to run it, so I did not start teaching in Florida right away. However after comparing winter up north with winter down here, I sold my yoga center and decided to focus on Florida! In August of 2000 an opportunity came up to teach in the community where we live. We initially offered two morning classes, with my husband Dave teaching one class and me the other; we had a total of 18 students. Anusara yoga was new to the area, so we were educating students about its principles and also about the concept of progressive teaching. The program grew and we added Michelle Roy and Patti Knowles as instructors. Over the course of the next couple of years we gradually outgrew the space.
Through several magical and serendipitous events, such as meeting my landlords at an orchid fair at Selby Gardens, I found the current location and Garden of the Heart Yoga Center opened in January 2003. We started with 117 students in the new location. After 2 years here we have grown to 362 weekly students!
However, beyond the numbers, what really amazes me is the inner growth and heart expansion that Anusara Yoga offers us. One of the major teachings of Anusara is to look for the Good first. Founder John Friend teaches us to do that when we are leading classes, working on our own practice, or when we are relating with others. Looking for the good has transformed our yoga center! The most wonderful group of teachers, students, staff and wok-study volunteers has come together!! Our work-study folks are at the front desk to greet you for class and welcome you to the yoga center; plus we have other work-study folks who keep the yoga center clean and sparkling, order the books we sell, and add more beauty to the center with fresh flowers. Mary Anne, our office manager, takes care of the bulk of the administrative details with superb effectiveness and joy. Mary Rice has come onboard to help with the administrative workload that has grown as we have. Everyone is so positive and uplifting! Seeing the good in ourselves and in each other makes it possible to resonate with the best in each other! This has truly transformed my life and our yoga center!
On a technical level I find Anusara Yoga's Universal Principles of Alignment to be unsurpassed in brilliance and effectiveness! Our students are experiencing how empowering it is to be in alignment. I am still amazed when I see the value of the Universal Principles in working with injured students, in my own practice, or helping students move with greater ease into the postures.
Anusara also emphasizes taking the yoga teachings off the mat, and into daily life. Anusara yoga is "heart-oriented", emphasizing a celebration of Spirit in the poses and expressing various qualities of heart through the poses:courage, patience, compassion, stability, freedom, joy, etc. It follows that we can take these attitudes off the mat and incorporate them more fully into our lives. This approach empowers each of us to express our uniqueness, our joy, and our spirit! In effect, to live more fully!
Yoga is not just a series of physical poses; it is a process of becoming who you truly are...and along the way you become stronger and more flexible, more centered, and joyful. Yoga is not about the final pose; it is about the transformation you go through to get there...the transformation of your heart.
May your heart bloom to its full capacity!

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