Pictured with Bela, Vincent and Luna, three of her five grandchildren!
LYW: What initially brought you to a yoga practice? How long have you been practicing?
Helma: Three days after marrying my husband John, we moved to his native England in 1970, from my native Brazil. Three months later, pregnant with our first son, and a limited knowledge of the language, I found television not only helped me to learn English, but also taught me to relax and exercise at the same time! I found a wonderful yoga program taught by Richard Hittleman along with a female or male model. They even had a simple book, Yoga For Health with drawings and healthy recipes that I ordered, and still have today, almost 50 years later!! Yoga classes were not as prevalent then as they are today. There were classes, few and far between at first, and I took them wherever and whenever I could. For me, it was a home practice from the beginning. It seems there are yoga studios now on every corner. Back then no one knew what it was.
LYW: What brought you to LYW? And what keeps you here? How often do you practice?
Helma: We moved back to the states in 1972, where my other two sons were born, and moved from Laguna Beach to Westchester in 2012. I was looking for a place to practice, saw the signs around the neighborhood, and was delighted to find LiveYoga Wellness. I have practiced at least twice a week since, walking to the studio most days. My husband John has recently joined me (after years of cajoling) on Fridays for Don’s 9:00 AM Prime of Life Yoga class. John’s’s now a convert. As an avid athlete and golpher, he finds the yoga helps to balance the asymmetry of golf game and at the same time helps to alleviate overall stiffness and minor aches and pains (albeit he’d rather the classes be 60 rather than 75 minutes!)
LYW: Are there any observations/comments/antidote’s from a class or workshop you attended you care to share?
Helma: When I first started practicing at LiveYoga Wellness I really enjoyed the classes taught by Mariana Murr. She included incorporating Jill Miller’s Tune-Up Balls into her practice, which I found very helpful. All of the teachers bring their unique perspective of teaching and learning to the class that is always wellness based.
Some say that you can be injured in yoga. I have found that the benefits far out way the possibility of injury if you bring awareness to the transitions between poses. Your best protection is in thinking about the transition to be nice and smooth and slow. People think they have to get there fast but slow thinking into the transition is what reinforces the possibility. And it is so accessible to take the practices home.
LYW: Please share with us the benefits you receive from your yoga practice.
Helma: After almost half a century, I particularly enjoy the sense of well being, and the freedom of movement that yoga brings.