I met her about eleven years ago. I was a teacher at the time. Another teacher knew her, she had just finished her yoga training and was looking for a group to practice with for a nominal fee, plus, she would do it at our school site! That was a no brainer. Yes! A small band of us signed up. From the moment I met Anna I knew she was amazing. A former dancer, the beauty of her yoga poses was a feast for the eyes. She was so young, so sweet, but her steely seriousness and discipline as a yogi became quickly apparent, the perfect combination for a teacher. In my life, the timing couldn’t have been better. I was sixty-one and at the end of a three-year promise I had made to myself: to stop all dieting or food-restrictions of any kind, to eat healthy food only when I had the whim to do so and to consider exercise as the most important thing I did six days a week. The previous ten years had been a roller coaster of gaining up to 55 pounds and numerous rounds of losing twenty or more pounds through yo-yo dieting. I was making headway. I had about ten more pounds to go. Slowly, after years of non-existent or inconsistent exercise, I was getting back to my old self, but the neglect had taken a toll. When we began yoga with Anna in the classroom after school, pushing desks aside, I couldn’t cross my legs, trying to bend in any direction was alarming, and I remember thinking maybe I had an inner-ear issue since I couldn’t balance on one foot for any length of time.
Anna was an amazing teacher, sensitive to our mood shifts caused by report card time, parent-teacher conferences, Halloween, or whatever. She pushed when we were able and went gentle when needed. We were so grateful, our bodies felt so much better! She continued to haul bolsters, mats, and yoga blocks to the school for many years for a few
paltry dollars even as she became a “real” teacher at Yogaworks, a highly respected local studio. She loved us, in part, because we were her first students and also her compassion for the hard work teachers do.
By the time I retired four years later, I was a changed person physically, I felt like a real yoga person, and this was the beginning of my fitness journey that led me to become a personal trainer.
I’ve been thinking about yoga lately. Now, in coronavirus quarantine and all the craziness going on around me, I feel a need to get more grounded in my body, for me one of the best benefits of yoga. I remembered Anna offers online classes. I found her class at Yoga Bridge and have signed up. I projected her onto my big tv; it was like we were in the same room together! No surprise, Anna’s kindness shines through. Proceeds from the classes go towards yoga teacher training for a group of inmates at California State Prison Solano. If you’re looking for an online yoga class, check her out!