At Winter Garden Yoga Online, we're not two incredibly gifted people who like yoga, do it perfectly, then decided to teach others. Most yoga providers have a mentality of ... "If we can do it ... they can do it." That's not where we're coming from. In fact, you may be surprised to discover there's a tale of struggle and frustration involved in how WinterGardenYogaOnline was born.
Read on ...
As the founder of Winter Garden Yoga Online, my goal is to offer the safest, most effective way for you to experience the proven benefits of online yoga.
Right now it may seem like it's all smooth sailing, but that wasn't always the case.
It all began – nearly 30 years ago – when a friend asked me to try yoga.
At the time, I had no idea what yoga was. I mean … I knew it had to do with stretching or something. However, I heard it was supposed to be good for you … so off I went.
That first class was 3 hours long … and I felt fantastic. I was literally buzzing with energy. I’d never experienced such a rush of positive feelings.
Needless to say, I wanted to keep buzzing so I began searching for yogic resources to help me along the way.
this was pre-Google, pre-Amazon, pre-internet … the only resources available were bookstores [remember those?] and they didn’t carry very much in the teachings of yoga.
So …I did the best I could with whatever book I had at the time and taught myself the basics.
It wasn’t until the early 21st century that I found a yoga studio near my place of residency in Central Florida.
And it was great.
My practice took off and I was getting really “advanced.” I had the honor of teaching classes, facilitating workshops, and even demonstrating when name-brand yoga teachers would roll through town. There was only one teenie, tiny, little problem …
I was in agony.
In particular, my lower back was killing me. And it was frustrating because yoga was supposed to be helping me … not hurting me.
Believe me, I tried (pretty much) everything in the context of yoga … hot yoga, gentle yoga, restorative yoga, Thai yoga, you name it. And none of it provided long-lasting relief.
Then it dawned on me … “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." - Albert Einstein
In other words, I had to look outside the realm of yoga if I was going to find the solution to my aching back.
That’s when a whole new world opened up to me …
The world of strength training.
You see, I began to wonder how strength athletes could pull 500 pounds off the ground or press 200 pounds overhead and walk away unharmed … yet … someone could “blow out” their back just trying to touch their toes in a yoga class.
It sent me down a rabbit hole of anatomy, movement, mobility, tissue quality, proper strength training, rehab therapy, and the list goes on.
Full disclosure: I’m still in this rabbit hole 🙂
Once I understood the nature of properly aligning the body and engaging the correct muscles I applied that science to fundamental yoga poses.
My back pain lessened.
I felt like Paul Revere … I wanted to tell the whole world!
So I began integrating my approach to more and more yoga poses. Plus, I got rid of all the “bells and whistles” … always focusing on the basics and following precise steps.
Once I got myself fixed up, I began teaching my method to a small circle of students, and they started to feel better and stronger, and more mobile.
Today, Functional Yoga Instruction is helping 100s (maybe 1000s) of folks across the globe practice yoga safely and sanely … helping them to feel useful, confident, and independent.
It’s still a humbling journey as I continue to show you the way to start where you are, use what you've got, and be your best.
It all began – nearly 20years ago – when a friend who owned a yoga studio asked me to try yoga.
I was terrified because as a kid, I was never physically able or coordinated.
It was even worse when I was in my 30s, PLUS I wasn’t flexible … at all. I couldn’t touch my knees, let alone my toes.
When my friend kept inviting me to a class, I consistently told her no because I was afraid of being judged.
Thankfully, I gave in and took a class one day, and I’m so grateful I did!
Although I could NOT do most of the class, I still left feeling amazing … I was hooked, and never looked back.
But there was a catch …
Over time, I started feeling frustrated because I couldn’t keep up with any yoga class I took ... including Beginners Classes.
Everyone around me was doing super bendy-pretzel poses, and I could barely touch my toes.
I skipped many poses because I had zero flexibility.
I felt humiliated because I’d have to sit out a lot because I couldn’t do handstands, headstands, or some of the basic backbends.
It didn’t feel good to be the only person in class who couldn't keep up.
I knew there had to be a better way to get the whole experience of my yoga practice.
So I took a yoga teacher training course. I thought if I could learn how to teach, I could learn how to practice for myself.
Even then, the answer always alluded me.
But … there was a blessed light at the end of the tunnel.
I started studying yoga and learning for myself. I got EVERY book I could get my hands on.
I began to learn about how poses were set up step by step.
I pulled back on my own practice, and instead of focusing on how deep I could go, I met myself where I was!
AND I started to feel confident, and strong, and received even more benefits from my practice!
It was liberating no longer focusing on having an impressive "bendy" yoga practice!
I wanted to share this same experience with others but was scared because I thought I did not fit the mold of the perfect, bendy yoga teacher.
But thankfully, there was a divine plan for me, and doors opened unexpectedly, and I began my yoga teaching journey.
Many years later, I took one of Brians's classes and it was destiny :)
The endless search was over.
The way he taught yoga was EXACTLY what I had been looking for.
He gave step-by-step, do-able instructions, and for the first time in my life, I felt confident and adept in a yoga class.
Also, after a regular practice with him, I noticed some minor aches and pains going away, like my knees, feet, and, amazingly my lower back.
I used to have an achy lower back after every 'regular" yoga practice. But it disappeared after taking Brian's incredible classes.
I had no idea certain poses were irritating my back. But the Functional Yoga Instruction method [Brian's method] eliminated it!
When he learned I was a teacher and how we shared similar philosophies in how we taught, it was an instant connection to begin working together with our similar missions.
I easily and effortlessly got certified in Functional Yoga Instruction … a completely different experience from my other teacher training.
Now it is my honor and privilege to help you experience the amazing benefits of yoga in a safe, simple, and accessible way.
Then we made it our mission to help people enjoy the benefits of yoga even if they are not flexible.
From this desire, we opened a yoga studio located in Winter Garden, Florida in 2010.
We wanted a place where every body could practice yoga safely and with confidence!
After proudly serving our community for over a decade, we closed our brick-and-mortar location in May 2021.
It was definitely the downside of the pandemic, but...
a whole new world opened up for us! Literally ... the ENTIRE world :)
We were no longer limited by the four walls of the studio where we focused mainly on yoga and a few other services here and there.
Now there were no more limits and the whole world was open to us to serve
Through our amazing online yoga services, we can now help people in ways we never thought were possible!
It truly is an honor and a blessing to provide an online yoga service where "flexibility is not required."
We've helped thousands of clients who would normally never give yoga a try because of fear and thinking they could not do it, to feel confident, and safe, and receive the endless benefits of a regular yoga practice.
We'd love to be a part of your journey as well!
JOIN THE CHALLENGE
DO YOUR YOGA
ENJOY DELICIOUS RECIPES