How Did You Find Yoga?
When I started Women’s Quest 30 years ago we were the only retreat that included yoga and meditation along with exercise. When I started the retreats the only other programs out there were boot camps for fitness fanatics OR on the other extreme you could sit in the lotus position and do Vipasana sitting meditations for 11 days. I wanted to create something that had a balance of mindfulness and athletics. I wanted to include everything I had learned as a professional athlete into our WQ retreats which included Movement and Exercise but just as importantly I had found that Yoga, Meditation, and Relaxation are an important KEY to Health and Vitality. So all of our retreats have this balance!!
My yoga journey:
Not many people had heard of YOGA in the early 80’s and there were no yoga studios in Boulder, Colorado. I went with my friend Diane Israel to the only class available and it was held at someone’s house. It was a Kundalini yoga class which started with 15 minutes of “breath of fire” meditation. (This is super fast breathing in and out your nose). We were training for Ironman triathlons at the time and typically Diane and I would ride our bikes 4 to 6 hours a day, run one hour and swim one or two hours. So LOTS OF MOVEMENT!!
THEN… we went to this YOGA class… We sat on the cushion and did “breath of fire” and almost passed out from hyperventilating. This was my introduction to YOGA and I was thinking that YOGA was intense breathing and not much stretching!!
A few years later I went to another Yoga class with my friend Gretchen Spiro (who has been our yoga instructor for the last 30 years). I went to the back of the class because my runner hamstrings were super tight and I looked like a downward camel instead of a downward dog. Gretchen helped me surrender, relax and enjoy stretching which to a type A athlete… was hard to do. Little by little I was able to begin to touch the floor which totally amazed me and it kept me injury free (but most importantly it helped me relax and Chill out!)
Boulder has always been a hub for different kinds of yoga so I have been able to experience LOTS of different kinds of bending and strengthening classes. We did Pilates when it first came to Boulder in 1986, and then I started doing Gyrotonics in the 90’s. I have always been more drawn to the more relaxing type of yoga classes because my life is so “full throttle”. I also love Strong Balance at KOA fit in Boulder with Brenna Backe because her classes helped me get strong enough to run again after several injuries.
My newest kind of workout is FOUNDATION TRAINING with Vicky Hunter which helps balance the whole body. It totally relaxes the nervous system which we ALL NEED, because it turns on the posterior chain or the back side of the body, and helps regenerate the body by activating the supporting structures of the back side of the body. You may not feel like it is giving you a workout but it is an Inner Workout. (Here is a link to the training and her contact: https://www.foundationtraining.com/location/vicki-hunter/)Everyone has their journey to find BALANCE in life and we are so fortunate that with the stress and headaches out there, that we can also find a yoga class, video, YouTube video or tv channel to help you stretch your BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT!!