The 216 community of yogis is rich and diverse. Each month, we invite a different yogi to share their yoga journey and demo our pose of the month. This month, we checked in with husband and wife Steven Maeglin and Catherine Ryan, who were both turned on to the joys of their practice by their daughter, Chelsea! Namaste, Steven + Catherine!
I began my yoga journey in May 2016. My daughter Chelsea was turned on to Yoga 216 by a friend. She recruited my wife, Catherine, to try it and Catherine persuaded me. I had been needing an exercise regimen for a long time. I had been told that I should try yoga, but I probably never would have, if my family had not found Yoga 216 before me. For that I am grateful.
Now I love yoga. I love the focused effort, the self control, and the lack of competition and judgement. I love that I can strive for perfection in every pose, never achieve it, and still value the effort and the progress. I love those moments when I am in a pose and I suddenly realize that I am holding some extraneous tension, or I can improve my alignment and I make it better. The knowledge that perfection is ultimately unachievable allows me to appreciate my own efforts in that direction rather than focus on where I fall short.
I specifically love this studio. The instructors each bring their own style and personality, so I get a different experience from each, but each is warm and generous in her own way. I have had a chronic problem with my knee, which the instructors understand and help me make allowances. The tiny class size assures that no one is ever ignored. There is always a guiding word or touch to help me along in my journey. I love the way we focus each month on a different pose because I can see my own progress. So often, I am able to do something at month end that I could not at the beginning, and that feels really good.
I think the meditative aspect of yoga is very helpful for me. For my mental and emotional well being, I need to periodically let go of the endless chatter in my brain, and yoga is the one place where I do that. I am hooked.
I was introduced to yoga in my early 20s after a car accident. While helpful, my practice was inconsistent and eventually I stopped.
For the past 5 years, my osteopath had been telling me yoga was the answer to my body woes, but each time I tried it, I became incredibly nauseous and was often bedridden for the rest of the day.
Last April, my teenage daughter asked if I wanted to do a mother/daughter yoga class with one of her good friends. When I resisted she said, “Mommy, it’s a small studio I think you’ll love and I’m strong enough to carry you home if need be.” I really wanted to do it so I took a Dramamine and headed with her to Yoga 216. From the moment I stepped in, I felt cared for. Heidi greeted me and inquired about any issues. Many, I said, I have a mostly healed rotator cuff tear, a tolerable Morton’s neuroma in my foot, and I usually vomit when I do yoga though I took a Dramamine with high hopes but may end up lying down on the bench.
Unfazed, she asked if I had low blood pressure, which I do, and explained how the up/down motion of yoga, especially having my head below my knees likely caused that. Better yet, I could most likely avoid it by using wall modifications and blocks. What?! That’s it?
Yes, that was it and I had a wonderful class with my daughter. Heidi cared for me throughout the class and made feel comfortable with my differences. I was so grateful. Half a dozen yoga studios and several yogi friends had never identified the problem.
Yoga helps not only my body aches but Yoga 216 gives me respite from the moment I walk in the door. It calms my racing mind and gives me a breather from my hectic life. Everyone is so warm and welcoming and every instructor brings her own energy and style. I absolutely love going there! For my birthday that June, my favorite gift was a family yoga class with my husband and 4 children.
I am as consistent in my practice as my life allows, which is not enough, but I no longer take Dramamine nor use blocks and my practice continues to improve as does my body. I am so grateful my daughter my daughter introduced me to Yoga 216.