Teaching Yoga in a Restaurant, in a Gym, and in the Bible Belt

Cynthia Edmonds

Bath, ME

In the Restaurant with a Five-Star Chef

In one of my classes I have someone of regional celebrity status: a five-star chef (he was Maine’s first) with a restaurant and large catering service. He’s known for being passionate and outspoken, and he has a temper.

He loves the asana affirmations and often repeats them out loud in class with a smile on his face. My friend works for this chef and says he is much calmer now and has everyone in the kitchen repeating the affirmations.

One time, I showed the class Sasamgasana and pointed out that it’s good for headaches. The chef obviously took that in, because some days later, he practically dragged a delivery guy into the dining room when the guy said he had a migraine. The chef “showed” him the pose and the guy felt immediate relief. So, our chef actually shared the credit for “the cure.”

Now I am known in this area as “the yoga woman with affirmations who can cure headaches”! Not exactly the way I would’ve “shared” yoga, but our chef is a somewhat forceful personality, to say the least. And he’s sending a ton of students my way.

Erika Osmann

Myersville, MD

In the Gym

I do a Friday evening class at a health club for people to put the stress of their weeks behind them.

It has been very popular, averaging about 16 people a class. I’m happy about that, because the club director never thought it would go!

One evening a woman came up to me after class (she’d not been in the class) and said, “I’d been looking forward to this class all week, and I somehow got the time wrong.” But she wanted to tell me how much the class means to her.

I told her there was another class tomorrow morning with another teacher. She said, “Yeah, but does she do the affirmations?” It has been so fun finding ways to present the affirmations and the essence of Ananda Yoga® to the best of my ability in accessible ways, even in the middle of a pretty grunty (for lack of a better adjective) sort of gym!!!

Janet Burrel

Kokomo, IN

In the Bible Belt

My class loves the affirmations. When I say they can “mentally affirm …,” they all say it out loud. I tell them they don’t have to say it out loud if they don’t want to, but they say they like to.

Also, this being the Bible Belt of the nation, they love to say all the affirmations just exactly the way they were written.

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