SALLY PARKER - Yoga Instructor

I came to yoga around 2000 through a friend who loaned me a VHS tape of Bryan Kest’s 1-2-3 series. I’d roll out my mat in the living room and soon I was hooked. It was invigorating, challenging and calming all at once. I felt myself getting stronger and more flexible, and my breathing became deeper and more even. A couple of years later, after some major life challenges, the time I spent on the mat became more than just a workout. It was my therapy in every sense of the word, my safe place to land. I started going to a class and liked how I could pay attention to what was going on in my own head and on my mat even though I was in a room full of people. I felt like we were all in this together, going through the flow of our own life journeys side by side. The cool thing about yoga is you can adapt it to your needs, your energy level, your focus (or lack thereof) in each moment. Practicing yoga prepares me for my life off the mat—breathing through a challenging pose … or backing off with compassion when my body says “enough” … or relaxing into calm breathing while going through the poses to help center my mind. It’s an invitation to embrace challenges calmly, to let go of ego and fear. I received my 200-hour teacher training at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, Mass., so I can share what I’m learning with you.