Yvonne, Just a note to let you know how much your yoga classes have helped me on my journey through life. After reaching my goal last year to run 600 miles by my 60th birthday at the end of December, I wasn’t sure what challenge lay ahead of me for 2014. My running mates kept encouraging me to run a half marathon this year but for some reason I kept getting this pain in my left back ribs. I knew I wouldn’t ever be able to run a half until I got this fixed. Whatever was causing this pain, I am still not sure, but after several trips to a specialist, a minor change in my diet, and working privately with you the pain went away. Hallelujah!
I took the summer off from running and enjoyed lots of playing with my grandchildren and did lots of gardening. Late in August I thought I had better get running again because I was had signed up for a 10K race around the seawall in Stanley Park in October. I challenged myself to run this race under 60 minutes and later run a half marathon before the end of the year. As it turned out, I ran a half marathon with my running mates on October 12th (2 hours & 30 minutes) then ran my 10K race in Vancouver with a personal best of 59 minutes. Needless to say I was very excited with my accomplishments.
I have to attribute my running success to you, Yvonne, because without the knowledge of awareness and breath, the belief and power to achieve my running goals in a pain free manner may not have happened. I have learned how the breath gives me energy and focus while awareness lets me know when my body needs a rest. It’s OK to have that time out. I believe in the power that comes from doing yoga and how it has helped me when challenged.
My favourite song is I Believe by Nikki Yanofsky. I use it to warm up just before a race, at the half way point as a little inspiration, during the final kilometer for that push to the finish line and when I just want to reflect on life while doing yoga at home. I wrote my own lyrics to this song which I titled “Yoga and I”.
As Oprah always says, “what I know for sure” is that as I grow older I know that I will always be able to count on Yoga to soften my mind and tenderly keep my body working so I can live a long life.
Thank you, Yvonne.
Thank you for the beautiful class this morning. I do love my Tuesday custom class, but being guided so gently through this mornings practice was a gift I allowed myself to sink into and the afterglow has been so lovely. My feet and ankles are relaxed and rejuvenated and the “choppy” breath I had been “struggling” with is flowing with much greater ease.
When I question and explore my future as a teacher, a class like today’s reminds me that if even one student I teach can experience an iota of that feeling I had today, it will have been a very good day indeed.
Yvonne, I wanted to share with you some feedback from the on-line course on Sun Salutation. I personally found it so interesting, in my own practice, to take apart each of the components and really spend time understanding the functional movement required in each asana. Then the lessons on the transitions made so much sense and really brought awareness to the compensations typically used to get from one place to the next. I shared the month long experience in my classes and my students really enjoyed it also. So many of them said they used to approach this flow with some trepidation and also some really didn’t like Sun Salutation (you could see it in their faces!) but now they all enjoy it, and like the challenge of finding the flow without the compensations. So, thank you very much! I have your book, which I bought at the Intensive last year, and use it often, also just to see your lovely smile!
Yvonne, I can’t thank you enough for all you have done for me. Not only have you given me some skills to live life with no pain, but you have given me a whole new way of living my life in peace and happiness. I have some insight now that I couldn’t find on my own and it has helped me in more ways than you can imagine.
I can’t believe how much it has helped me grow in so many different ways in my life and again I thank you!!
Thank you Susi and Yvonne. I learned a lot and was reminded of many of the points regarding working with ease and function that you talked about during the Intensive. My students have also enjoyed exploring Sun Salutation this past month. Tomorrow we put it all together and see what flows!
Hi Yvonne, I ordered your book – How to do a Sun Salutation Without Killing Yourself – off of Susi’s website. I have used it to help me in my recovery from Shingles (which really screwed my nervous system and more). Your book has helped me bridge a gap to start again with some simple honesty in my yoga therapy.
Thank you so much.
Hi Yvonne! I wanted to thank you so much for your Mantra Workshop on Saturday! I wanted to stick around and thank you in person but I have a 7 month old that needed me home. It was so inspiring and exciting! I so look forward to learning more and beginning my journey into Mantra Meditation and the benefits of such.
As I was driving home on Saturday night, I experienced an array of emotions. I felt mostly sick to my stomach, along with bursts of crying (not necessarily sadness)... I felt a little out of control. Once I arrived home, I felt the same way as I do after I’ve returned home from a rock concert – the silence at home was deafening. I was wired! After a few hours (and some yoga nidra), I was able to fall asleep. I didn’t sleep long and was wide awake at 4:30 am... surprisingly energized! I have been struggling with energy lately, as mentioned above, I am a new mother... What a powerful thing! I fully believe that it was due to the energy and vibrations of those who attended class on Saturday!
I am day 2 into my new practice. It entrances my daughter! Om Eim Saraswatyei Swaha is the mantra I am focused on... but I woke up this morning with the Rama stuck in my head! It must be for a reason! I am beginning my studies in March as a yoga teacher and am just so grateful to be touched by spiritual people like you and can only hope to inspire others as well! I really enjoyed your seminar and hope to learn more from you in the future!
I appreciate your time and your knowledge. Once again, thank you so much for facilitating such a life changing workshop! It’s so wonderful to know there are like minded people out there in our community. It gives me so much joy!
Thank you again! Namaste!
I am an amateur dressage rider. I love the discipline, because as a rider, you are always striving to create unity between yourself and your equine partner. Good riding requires strength and “softness”, without tension. Working with Yvonne in her Customized Yoga program has helped me develop this control and strength. The result is a more harmonious ride. Both my horse and I are much happier and closer to my overall performance goals.
It has been an interesting and enlightening journey through this book and with your weekly mantras or exercises. I will read this book over again and lend it out to several people that would benefit from it as well. I have also enjoyed and really benefited from our private sessions. I went to see my Pulmonary Specialist last week who I had not seen for several months. She told me I had excellent posture and looked so toned, fit and healthy and wondered what I had been doing. I of course answered “YOGA” and she was not surprised in the least. All our hard work is paying off!!
Hi Yvonne, Your class was such good medicine tonight. It is truly the first night that I feel “happy” in my skin and “home” in my body since last Tuesday... everything lifted and shifted and changed... and the whole thing with my friend’s accident doesn’t seem so bad anymore.
Thank you, with all my heart, I thank you.
I love the reality of Yvonne’s book How to do a Sun Salutation without Killing Yourself. It shines a light on how much tension and strain the poses and the sequence can put on the body.
I see in my students (and feel in my own body) how challenging this can be. Not only do you feel you are moving toward the destination of the poses and the sequence but along the way you feel the unwinding of tension and the building of strength.
This book is a great resource. I recently used it as a basis for a week long retreat. What amazed me was the progress and ease my students felt. Working through each pose and transitions helped them to increase their level of awareness without bracing or strain. On the days when they felt fatigued, we just kept exploring, always moving toward more ease, what more could you ask for in a retreat?
I used the book – How to do a Sun Salutation without Killing Yourself – within my personal practice and found pieces of sun salutations that I was blowing through not even paying attention to the fact that my body didn’t really move that way! I especially played with the transitions section and had a lot of fun moving only where I could. I’m continuing with all parts of the book and still spending a lot of time with the transitions. I think I need longer arms!! I’m gaining the strength to move from DD to lunge purely now.
I would recommend the book to anyone that wants to do a sun salutation with ease and without hurting themselves. I think teachers that include sun salutations regularly in their classes could really use the book to help teach their students how to move well in general, to move well in sun salutations, and learn how they really are moving. Great teaching for avoiding pain and injuries!
The title alone should pique interest in reading it! “Hey Josh, you should check out this great book! You can get great movements and sequences to teach your students to see how they are truly moving. Once they learn that, the book will also help you teach them how to move better and actually ENJOY sun salutations and find the JOY in sun salutations!” I’m having a lot of fun playing with the individual poses as well as with the flow!
~ Bev Weaver
I had a weird but wonderful class last night and I wanted to share with you. Yoga, your class particularly, has taught me to slow down and appreciate this body that I will have for this life. It is amazing how seeing you once a week works on my perspective. My mind goes in many directions when I leave your class. Thank you for opening my mind and body :) Much appreciation.
Okay, here I go again! Yoga buddies, Yvonne Werkmann: Pure Motion Therapeutics, Mantra Workshop was magnificent! I am the proverbial bad singer, can’t carry a tune in a bucket with a lid on it, and so I was shy and fearful about unleashing my voice in tune with others to do healing mantras... silly me! Just another way I got to look at, and step out of, the box I had built for myself. I loved it, can’t wait for another, and bonus, I get a CD to use at home. That was a very good day!
Update to the “healing” power of the mantra workshop, I danced!!!! – a lot – in boots with heels at a wedding last night... won’t bore you with the details of how it has been years since I was able to do that pain free with ease, but last night it was magic... Footnote to that, I m not “crippled with pain or hobbling this morning” I am overflowing with gratitude to the ladies who lovingly shared their voice and intentions for healing for “everything and everyone.”
Hi Yvonne, just wanted to let you know that I am not able to sign up for the next customized Thursday night class. With spring around the corner my evenings will be getting filled with riding again in prep for competitions. However I am hoping to go back on the waiting list in the fall again. I am loving the progress. Last night as I was doing my moves, I was thinking about how much easier my breathing is becoming in each pose. When I started, my breath was short and almost rigid. Now I find I am able to just sink in and breath deep…super cool considering my breathing has always been a bit of a challenge for me. I am going to fit these moves into my daily workouts in order to try to keep the progression coming along. Thanks again for all the time you put into the workouts and helping me.
Actually, I started riding again about the middle of January and I am super happy so far…my back and left side seem much better. Before when I was done riding and got off it often took me a bit to stand up straight and walk correctly on my left leg…but so far it is going much better!! Sure is a thinking process…the listening and retraining our mind and body!!
Here's a story I want to share with you about how yoga has transformed a dark place in my life into the splendor and vitality of a spring morning.
I have always enjoyed lap swimming as a means of physical conditioning, weight control and stress release. Generally I would find I would get to the pool after hockey finished or as spring and summer temperatures lured me to the water. Routinely the first few visits were always harder. I would run out of breath, experience high heart rates, sore, or even painful muscles and joints and generally not having a lot of fun. The fun came later along with increased strength, stamina and distance.
In December of last year I developed some chronic back issues. Chronic enough to stop virtually all physical activity. I wasn't bed ridden but the next thing to it. At my lowest point I was hospitalized for three days for pain management. Four or six weeks into this new life place I came and visited you and was introduced to yoga. Three months later I am pain free, for the most part. A couple of weeks ago I again felt the urge to start swimming. I went, cautiously excited and hoping for the best. Well . . . what I experienced was amazing. On my very first day at the pool, after four months of inactivity, I was fully expecting significantly compromised strength, endurance and physical condition. What I discovered was amazing flexibility, strength and stamina. I started almost were I left off last fall. I got out of the pool dumbfounded. The only thing that was different about how I was treating my body was . . . YOGA!
During those dark days of debilitating back pain I tried to convince myself of the merits of what seemed like my "new normal". Coming from that place of believing many activities I loved may now be in the past, to this place of enjoying them even more fully and more easily still seems unbelievable.
Thank you Yvonne! My life is full and as active as ever because of the freedom you have shown me in yoga.
I need to stop here, the outdoors is calling me!
I really like my new program. My spine is waking up in all the right places!!!!!!!!!!!!
I liked the previous program, as well, and appreciated it too.
A few of us went to Mugs after class and discussed how class was SOFTER today. I think that is because we are learning to be softer and twice during class you said something like "whatever you are doing right now... soften it."
I know that helped me be softer and so the movements were more effective.
I was having fun playing (while lying on my back, arms up, thumbs together & moving my shoulder blades). My play consisted of watching my aura around my hands and breathing to make the aura deeper/thicker. I can only see auras when I am soft.
As I was driving home I was thinking about that and now (thanks to your classes) I am becoming aware of being softer in life. Then I got excited thinking that maybe the calluses on my feet will become less & less.
~ luv jammmmmmmmmmmm!
What do you do for me that no one else does?
You capture what you are teaching (and, therefore, learning more deeply yourself) in the beautiful, simple, profound words of your poetry and it is that, always, that speaks loudest for me. As well as your voice in my head whispering "Relax. Do less. Don't work so hard" when I'm on the mat . . . and when I'm not.
I haven't yet caught on to what the Straw breath is doing but I sure do get (feel the benefits of) laying on my back & pressing my knees together and then apart. It was a great feeling to be able to urinate and know that my bladder was emptying completely! I can feel the muscles in my pelvic floor today. They are saying that the exercise yesterday was great but do not want to exercise today. And the part about laying on my side with the roll under my ribs is going to be a big benefit cause sometimes my diaphragm doesn't work as well as it could. My tight ribs will be very happy with this! and so will my digestion and lymph and probably other stuff that I don't know about yet.
Am sending a big THANK YOU to you for using your big talents for their highest & best good.
I really do appreciate being in the Custom Yoga Class!
~ luv jammmmmmmmmmm!
The breath and relaxation training help me get through my long runs.
I’m going to put in my own two cents worth here: You make a difference in my life by exuding confidence in your own ability to make a difference in my well-being, not only my physical well-being but my mental well-being as well. I believe that only by having the confidence to know that you can make a difference in a person’s life, can you actually accomplish that. And you actually SHOW that you WANT to make a difference.
Over my life I have had a lot of instruction from a lot of people and a person naturally takes from the instruction what one can use. I can think of no instructor/mentor/teacher where I can honestly say that I can apply virtually everything that I take away from a class before.
Now, that’s a difference.
When I am being taught by you...you instill confidence in me
you soften my edges
you make me so aware of my breath, space and mind that I can't help but find peace,
even when the pose makes me work... you make me work!
and it feels good!
your "speech" is slow and meaningful — you mean and believe in everything you say!
That inspires me!
leaving the room after a lesson with you is like...
you know when you have a headache or you feel "cloudy" in your head,
then all of a sudden you feel like a weight is lifted and you can see clearly and
you feel more relaxed and you are glad
you actually did get off the couch and now you feel better.
Used lots of yoga to overcome some of the pain and the nerves of surgery. The surgeon has given me clearance to take up the yoga again in a couple of weeks just as long as I don’t do anything with the neck for six-eight weeks and has given me instructions to work very hard on my core strength because he plans on fixing my back in about six months!! He also suggested perhaps upping the number of lessons too. Turns out he likes that I do yoga.
Thanks for your support and help in preparing for surgery.
You know Yvonne, each time I open my book to write in my next meditation session of 40 days, I read the opening page. It says, “I discovered meditation and yoga thanks to Yvonne Werkmann.”
Being very sick at the time with an autoimmune disease and having limited physical ability, Yvonne was my saviour! Meditation and yoga by Yvonne was a big part of my mental, emotional and physical recovery over the next two years. And then I moved away. And then Yvonne made these wonderful CD’s and I was thrilled to continue my practice from a distance. The three CD’s are amazing. I have loaded them on to iTunes and listen to them when I am driving, or working in the office or whenever I need some recovery time. Thank you so much Yvonne!
My meditation continues and I love your CD. All 3 of your CD’s. Your voice is perfect to listen to and I listen often. I too (as some on your website have done) loaded them into iTunes and over to my iPod. I play them when I am working in the office, and on the computer, and when driving and of course anytime when I want some recovery time. I have yet to work through the Yoga CD, but it is in progress. Thank you so much for making them!
Dear Yvonne, I felt compelled to thank you again for the exceptional class this morning, as I mentioned earlier it was in perfect alignment with the questions and physical issues I had been "struggling" with for some time now.
In addition I wanted to express my gratitude for responding to Linda's question about your aha moment in the latest training you took, your pure generosity in sharing what was a deeply personal revelation (about your defensive crustiness)was of and in it self one of the most magnificent lessons of the day.
I have been cognizant of and exploring for many years now the connection of emotional, mental, physical and spiritual holding patterns that keep revealing themselves layer by layer. Your encouragement that nothing is "bad" and to view with awareness and no judgement is the gentle reminders I need for myself. I've heard them before, but obviously it needs to be repeated.
The question you posed, was not new to me – "what are you holding in?" – but allowed me to revisit that area with renewed awareness of how it is manifesting in my physical body. which is just soooo tired of holding that anymore. It is an issue that like an onion has been peeling off layer by layer but never before have I been able to so fully connect and approach some aspect of remediation before at such a profound physical level. as someone once said you don't know, what you don't know and now that I know there is no moving away from that!
I look forward to the next session with pure joy and delight!
A year ago when the Doctor walked into the office, reading the x-ray report, she said “I know what is wrong with your back – it’s broken.” I sat there stunned, I never thought that shoveling snow could do that much damage. Apparently my L2 was cracked and it was putting pressure on my disc causing pain to radiate down my sciatic nerve on my right side. She also told me I had had another break at sometime, my L5 had evidence of this, (there are 2 different opinions on this)causing the same pain. I asked if there was anything we could do about the damage and she said that the only option was fusion of the lumbar area from L5 down to L2. I stated I did not think that would be good and maybe I could try other options like massage, chiropractor, and maybe exercise of some kind. Because of my age she thought that might be a good idea. I knew from experience that I needed to rest my back for quite awhile. For 4-6 months I laid on my back as much as possible and most of that was on the floor. If I laid flat there was no pain, but even though I was going to the chiropractor and having massage regularly I still had pain,but, I had not done any exercise as of yet. I started taking yoga in the fall of 2011 and within about 2-3 sessions I had no more radiating pain. My back still gets tired but to be pain free is an answer to prayer.
Thank you Yvonne for helping me.
~ Dorothy Dye
So funny, to see your newsletter in my inbox today! I was just thinking last night that I need to drop you a quick line....since our meditation session I've only missed a few days and am so surprised at how easily and excited I am to ensure meditation is part of my day, also I've been doing more yoga and enjoying it immensely.
Again, thank you for connecting some of the dots for me, always a pleasure spending time in your presence, know that you make a difference.
~ Kristi :)
Yvonne — your CDs are a fine piece of work. Your voice is steady and melodious, calming and yet energizing. Your use of breath is truly outstanding - the merging of breath and voice is a marvel to hear. WOW, well done and thank you for sharing your love of your work in this recorded form.
Yvonne, Thank you for the healing and learning that I have taken part in the past years. I think that people come into your life for a reason or a season and I am grateful for having you in my life. Thank you for all that you do and for having the courage and talent to follow your dream. Yoga loves you :)
Hey Yvonne, I just wanted to let you know I really loved your work shop and I am listening to your CD right now, it is really great. Now I can keep learning my favourite mantras. I enjoy learning from you. I also wanted to say that I really would be honoured if you were to come to some of my classes, it would not make me uncomfortable, I didn't want to leave you with the impression that I didn't want you to come... (everyone intimidates me, when I think about it) LOL
Mahalo (thank you) I received your CD today, Pure Vibration Sanskrit Mantra and I absolutely love it! I've downloaded it on my iTunes so I can listen thru my iPhone and iPod. Your voice is melodic and calming and just what I need to hear pre or post meditation or yoga practice. I listened to it in my car today on the way to work and I found myself chanting even when the CD had stopped. Thank you for reminding me how much I love chanting.
~ Pam (from Maui)
Thanks Yvonne, you are amazing at what you do!
Yvonne was quick to volunteer her time in helping the Didsbury Hospital have their ‘Care for the Caregiver’ event. The theme “Wellness is Peaceful Moments” was demonstrated thanks to Yvonne’s wonderful ability to help 22 participants learn to listen to their bodies and become more relaxed. I could feel the difference in my body and mind after the session and was more relaxed well into the evening. It’s interesting how something as soothing as yoga can do so much good for one’s physical and mental well being.