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About the Instructors

Anne Avant, E.R.Y.T.  (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher), began attending Iyengar hatha yoga classes while living in the San Francisco area in 1978 where she studied with many senior teachers.  She continued her studies after returning to Little Rock in 1984, began teaching in 1987, and was the first teacher in Arkansas to receive her Iyengar certification in 1991.  Anne regularly attends Iyengar workshops and conventions to maintain her certification and keep current on Mr. Iyengar's teachings.

Anne Avant, Certified Iyengar Instructor An important part of the Iyengar training Anne has received over the past 30+ years is detailed knowledge of proper alignment of the body in the asanas.

  "Good alignment of the bones and muscles is essential for the therapeutic benefits of each asana to be obtained.   Then the nervous system, circulatory system, glands, and organs can optimally function.   Many times, muscular aches and discomforts are remedied through the asanas and strength is gained in weaker areas.  The body is brought back into balance with more stability and a calmer nervous system.  A calmer nervous system enhances the immune system."

It is important to have a relaxed environment where the students feel safe to explore his or her own limitations.  We are able to do this first through the asanas - to explore by our self awareness and observations.  By learning to observe the behavior and feedback of the body/mind in the classes, we can use this awareness when we attend to our normal daily activities.   It is a way to pay more attention, creating more consciousness inside and around us.

"It is important for each of us to have some way of dealing with stress and illness.   This is a very personal way of getting in touch with our Self to effectively change and heal in whatever manner is needed.  One of my teachers is 82, and began yoga at 46.   She is an inspiration and offers reinforcement that yoga can help us improve with age.   It is not done, however, while sitting and doing nothing.  One of the definitions of hatha is "effort" since great effort is required for us to improve."

"I love teaching yoga and am thankful for all my teachers and every student.  Each student has helped keep the studio alive, and I hope that his or her life has improved as well by doing yoga."



Sharon Wilkes Sharon Wilkes has studied Iyengar yoga at Cedar Rock Yoga Studio with Anne for 11 years.   Her dedication to yoga is evident in her practice and constant attention to details.   Sharon began teaching classes at Cedar Rock in 2008 and became a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher (CIYT) in 2015.  She continuously expands her knowledge through her studies with Randy Just, Lou Hoyt, Peentz Dubble, and other senior Iyengar instructors.  She is a devoted student and teacher and her sincere love of yoga comes through in her teaching.  Sharon is also a Spanish instructor and the Director of the Language Learning Center in the Department of World Languages at the University of Central Arkansas.

"Yoga offers so many tools to help us overcome the difficulties that arise in life. I am so grateful for my practice, teachers, students and the many positive changes in my life since the day I attended my first yoga class."

The Light that yoga sheds on Life is something special. It is transformative. It does not just change the way we see things; it transforms the person who sees. - B.K.S. Iyengar, "Light on Life"



About Cedar Rock

Anne and her husband, Hans van der Werff, designed and built Cedar Rock Yoga Studio in 1998.   "We bought the adjoining five acres to our house a few years ago.  It took many months to clean up.  Hans suggested we build a yoga studio there.  Knowing absolutely nothing about such a project was a bit frightening, but we eventually designed a plan and began the work.  If it were not for Hans, the studio would not exist.   Using a plan we drew on graph paper, he measured for the foundation, figured out how much of everything to order, framed the studio, built the decks and completed the woodwork inside.   Thank goodness he is good at math and very precise!  We started in July of 1998 and had an open house in January 1999.  We still had a lot of work to do, but classes began the following week.  It was one of the most joyful times of my life to begin teaching in a space we had created."