From the very first time Julie stepped on a mat in my class, having never done a yoga pose before, I knew she was special. Within seconds of finding deep breath and the first pose, she grew this glorious cheshire cat grin on her face that has never gone away. I always said that if I were to write a book that required pictures of every-day bodies in yoga poses, Julie would be my first choice of a model.
The first thing I noticed about Julie's body was that she had the most adorable crooked and knotted toes and fingers. While they clearly had arthritis, she used them as vibrant expressions of her being. The sparks that emanate from her digits are tiny lights as compared to the aurora borealis of colors that Julie shines in her life and world. Her yoga mat is just one place where she spit shines her inner lightbulbs to full brilliance. (I have come to learn that her kitchen is another place).
Julie has followed me as a teacher since 2005 when I opened the Yoga Path. When it closed in 2007, she followed me to private classes with other dedicated students, and attended any twin cities local workshop I offered. As I tell all my students that eventually my goal is that they don't need me anymore, Julie developed a strong home practice and didn't need me to teach her regularly once I started traveling nationwide, spending little time in our home state of Minnesota. When she started snow-birding to Florida, she invited me to visit her every winter, and we would practice together every morning on the lanai.
In the summer of 2018, Julie celebrated seventy trips around the sun. Despite over a decade of yoga practice, Julie's spine twisted into a scoliosis that rivaled that of her toes and fingers. The poses and sequences she had learned from me in her late 50s didn't feel as nice anymore. She came to me asking for a personalized practice to work with her aging body and still express her age-less happiness.
In her own words…
Twelve years ago, after I retired, I discovered yoga at The Yoga Path with TeriLeigh. I was hooked! When the studio closed, I followed TeriLeigh to her home, others’ homes, other studios, wherever I could practice with her. After a few years, we realized I could practice at home with things I had learned in her lessons and along with her podcasts. This continued for many years and was a wonderful way to spend time breathing, meditating, and moving my body in poses that allowed me to get in touch with my spirit.
Along the way, as old age has its own way of changing the body, I developed arthritis and severe scoliosis. There were things in yoga practice I couldn’t do anymore. I didn’t want to stop practicing, but I needed help with a personal practice that fit my new anatomy. I asked TeriLeigh to come to my home and work with the abilities I had.
She was awesome! TeriLeigh designed and personalized 20-minute practice that not only helped me to understand how to use my body in a new way, but also helped alleviate some of the persistent symptoms of the arthritis and scoliosis. I now have a wonderful yoga practice that is all mine, just for me.
If you are struggling with classes that just don’t fit your life and your needs, please get in touch with this amazing woman. It can be life changing instead of life limiting.