Yoga in the Heights Student Spotlight: Geradine

Occasionally, Yoga in the Heights will feature first-person student testimonials on our blog. Real students will be sharing the ways that yoga has changed their lives. Read Geradine’s story below.

Yoga in the Heights changed my life: a very strong statement but very true. As my 60th birthday was approaching in April I was depressed, overweight, and not inspired. I am an ovarian and stage-three breast cancer survivor and experienced two minor strokes. Although I felt blessed to have survived, I also had repercussions from a hysterectomy, mastectomy, and one-and-a-half years of chemotherapy. I was given steroids, hormones, and other conventional medicine. The results were 80 extra pounds and a loss of self.

My husband and I are avid bike riders, and I have a treadmill in my home. I was constantly trying to lose the weight I had gained and was feeling defeated in my failure. Although I was exercising, my results were futile, and my spirit was not improved. I had seen that YITH was moving to Central Avenue, walking distance from my home. It was time to stop talking and notice that a gift was here for the taking. My daughter gave me the start I needed by giving me a gift of the introductory one-month special.

The first time I walked into the facility I was struck by the beautiful decor and general spirit of the environment. The studio is beautiful, inspired, and immaculate. Stephanie, one of the owners, is there everyday meeting you with a warm smile. She is so helpful and efficient and wants input to always keep improving her services. I have never seen Stephanie without a smile and truly like her. Seeing her next to me, pregnant, on a mat in yoga class is amazing to see.

My first class was the 9:30 Saturday morning with Robyn. She was a great instructor with knowledge and energy that captures you. Her class is fast-moving, fun, inspirational, and challenging. Wow, it was hard, but I immediately knew I would return. After a slow start, the 9:30 weekday classes with Karen began on Monday and Wednesday. After one class I knew I had found a home.

Karen is my favorite teacher. I have had previous experience with yoga, but never have I had a teacher like Karen. Her abilities and knowledge of her craft and her spirit shine through in every class. Her classes equally work your mind, body, and spirit. Her knowledge of her practice is apparent in everything she does. Her words inspire your soul and your body. As I listen and learn, I grow. I have a type-A personality and normally want things to move fast, and I respond to immediate results. Through Karen I learned a new way to think, a new way to approach change, a way to appreciate “the now.” My initial primary goal of weight loss was now replaced by the joy of change of self. Through yoga, your life, goals, health, and overall perspective are joined and changed forever. She has enabled me to grow both spiritually and physically in a very short time. Her classes equally exercise your mind and spirit. I cannot express in this space how wonderful she is. I feel blessed to know and work with her.

I recently tried acupuncture for the first time. I became interested in trying a new method to address my lingering health and weight issues. I had been taking daily medications that I felt only masked the issues rather than address the root causes. The session started with a detailed account of my medical and personal history followed by an discussion with Erin, the Acupuncturist and Physician of Chinese Medicine. I was immediately struck by her analysis. She saw a correlation between my current and past issues that were overlooked in conventional medicine. In Chinese medicine and with Erin’s knowledge of it I saw that a new way of treatment and approach were possible. After her diagnosis I was treated with 40 minutes of acupuncture. When I got off the table I felt as if I was floating. I made another appointment immediately. Erin is amazing. She is compassionate, thoughtful, caring, and most of all an expert at her profession. I am forever grateful to have found her.

I am looking forward to utilizing other services offered at YITH. I have registered for a nutrition workshop with Lara on February 22. I also have now attended classes with Adriana and Lola, both of whom follow the same principles I have come to expect at this studio. After Lola’s class I will now try hot yoga for the first time because of how impressed I was from our first meeting.

My health in general has improved but more than anything everything in my life is changing. I try to attend at least three classes a week. I love going and it is now part of my life forever.

In closing I would like to say “thank you” to Stephanie and Bridget for bringing YITH to my neighborhood of over 30 years. The studio is a welcome addition that I hope inspires more people as it has done for me. I also hope it inspires the neighborhood in general. Namaste.