A Note from Joan Gordon

Dear Yogi,

I’d like to tell the story about the day I was walking home from a new yoga studio after taking my third class. I was crying and yet elated. It was hard to find words to describe how my body felt but it was very clear that I was ecstatic. I remember claiming, ‘I want to do more of this!’

Prior to that class I had taken a few yoga classes where I learned to breathe, move my body into poses but I was not engaged. The classes, teachers or the style of movement was not grabbing me. I never felt anything, just went to classes. Until that day.

It was a style of asana that emphasized alignment and opening my heart to change. To engage in the practice is to set an intention, a commitment if you like, to jump in, to learn new ways to move – to build strength, balance and a strong sense of well-being.

From that day on my life changed. I left an executive level professional life in New York City to do more of ‘that’. I was insatiable. I just wanted to learn and dive deeper. I was aglow, happy, finding a new me who could make change in my body and life.

I was in my late 50’s when I entered the yoga community. All the years previously I jogged 2-5 miles a few times a week. Running began in my early 30’s when as a young working mother of three, it offered alone time. I ran outdoors in good weather or on the track at the Y in the winter. I was strong but my body paid the price.

My hips began to hurt, my feet experienced trauma from the running. Then, the sciatic pain kicked in and pain ran down my leg. Even though I was blessed with excellent alternative therapies such as a knowledgeable chiropractor, acupuncture, podiatrists, massage therapists, nutritionist, etc., it was the yoga alignment that taught me that my body could take care of itself, heal and re-align itself.

I left my professional life behind and dove head or feet first into learning yoga, taking teacher training to absorb as much as I could. I had no goal toward becoming an instructor. I just wanted to learn as much as I could and feel empowered in my body and soul. The gifts that I bestowed upon myself was to learn from as many knowledgeable teachers as I could. Talented teachers who came to do workshops in the studios, who offered retreats and trainings all over the country. I was hooked.

And it became evident that it was meant to be shared with others. Once I started to absorb and understand the principles of alignment, I became astute in observing other peoples’ bodies. How a person stands, walks, placement of the head on her/his shoulders. I became able to spot pain in a person’s face or notice how she/he walked into a room, eyes downcast or making eye contact. The more I learned the more I wanted to share with others not as fortunate as I was to learn from the best.

Perhaps because of my maturity and love for the yoga teachings, I built strong relationships with my students. We have fun, we laugh and cry together. I listen to their stories. My senior instructor used to say “If you can’t laugh and enjoy your practice, you aren’t practicing yoga”. I teach others to lighten up and stay open to possibilities.

Now, I’m offering private yoga sessions at Maha! If you’re interested in our private monthly membership program, I have time Thursdays during the day, and other hours upon request. CLICK HERE.

We are offering 30% off your first month of membership! Use code PRIVATE30 at checkout to redeem.

If you have any questions, reply to this email and we’ll talk further.


Joan Gordon