I have been doing yoga on a regular basis for over a year.  It has increased my balance, strength, and
flexibility dramatically. In addition, the relaxation benefits of doing yoga are unsurpassed.
I practice yoga because it has the ability to make both my mind and my body feel good.  Not just good—
really good.  Until I began a consistent, regular practice of yoga, I didn’t realize how much stress I
store in my body.  Yoga helps work out that stress on both a mental and physical level.   With
a regular practice, I have begun to feel yoga’s effects off the mat as well.  It has given me greater
awareness of my body and mind so that I can adjust to difficult situations or even realize negative thought
patterns.  But for me, yoga is even more than the sum of these parts—it is a spiritual practice.
In the moments when I’m doing yoga, I feel like I am my truest self.  I am the person I want to be all
the time - someone who can live mindfully and “deliberately” as Thoreau puts it.  And the more I do yoga,
the easier it is to come in touch with this being.
When I started doing yoga about 4 years ago, I was 47 and had minor, but persistent back problems.  It
didn’t take long before it was bothering me less and less and now I have no back pain.  It has helped
my flexibility, circulation and balance as well but I think the most noticeable difference is my joint mobility.
It use to take me a few minutes of “hobbling” in the morning before my hips, knees and back allowed
me to walk normally.  I assumed this was a normal aging process …and maybe it is IF you don’t do something
about it.  Within a few months of yoga, my first steps out of bed felt better than it had in years and
the regular walking trail I take was easier and easier.  Now after 4 years the change is incredible.
I see yoga as a permanent part of my lifestyle now.
I started yoga classes with Cedar Rock Yoga, in October 2009.  I began with the free four-week classes
at the Faulkner County Library and knew I wanted to continue.  Class starts on time and new people are
made to feel welcome.  Instructions are clear and any issues or questions are addressed immediately.
I especially like the anatomy lessons.   I’ve learned more about my body, its strengths and
weaknesses.  I also learned that my bone density scan in July 2010 showed that I had gained bone and I
believe yoga is responsible for a large part of that gain.  But, I really didn’t start yoga for my bones,
I wanted to know more about yoga and I appreciate Anne and Sharon and their ability to share their knowledge of
yoga and its philosophy.
I had been in fairly good physical health most of my life, in spite of knee and foot surgeries.  I also
had a huge amount of stress in my life, as a result of a divorce, and moving away from most of my family.
After a life of heavy lifting, my back began to bother me.  I found that I could walk for hours, however,
standing in place for more than a few minutes caused quite a bit of pain in my legs.  Also, if I stood for
a prolonged period, such as at social functions, etc. I would pay for it for a couple of days afterwards with
numbness the back of my legs and foot pain.
After a business trip over the summer , which involved nightly social events, then going right into babysitting
my grandson for 3 days straight, I found that no matter what I did, I had excruciating lower back pain and
numbness in my legs.  The pain even bothered me while I was sitting down, and that had never happened
before.  After about a week of taking pain killers, muscle relaxers and three deep tissue massages, I
realized I was going to have to go to my doctor.  I dreaded it, because I knew that would lead to an MRI
and then who knows what after that!
While pondering which type of doctor I was going to see, I was really depressed about my health.  Then
my eyes suddenly rested on some books about Iyengar Yoga that my sister-in-law sent me a few years before.
I had checked into this type of yoga, when I lived in Missouri, but life got in the way and I forgot about it -
UNTIL NOW!  I had remembered looking at the international website for BKS Iyengar after receiving the
books and that there was a link to find a local teacher.  I was so happy to find that there was a
certified Iyengar instructor in Conway, so I made an appointment for a private lesson.  Anne took the
time to fact find about my physical issues and designed a session of poses and stretches targeted to my problem
After my lesson, I realized on the way to my car, that I had just walked about 75 yards without any pain!
I was amazed at the results.  When I woke up the next day, I was pretty sore, but was determined to
continue because of the success of the previous day.  After my workout that morning, I have been pain
free ever since!  Because of Iyengar Yoga, I can even stand for much longer periods of time without pain
than ever before.  I have also noticed that another benefit of yoga has been a much calmer temperament.
I think the time spent concentrating on breathing properly and relaxing my body during poses, also
helped me to face stress.  I am definitely going to make Yoga a permanent part of my life!
I can say without a doubt that Anne’s program has had a tremendous positive effect on my life.  Two years
ago, when I got out of bed in the morning, I could barely walk for the first several minutes (plantar fascitis).
The pain in the soles of my feet was terrible.  Also, after sitting in a chair for several
minutes the pain was back, I could barely walk because of it.  After a couple of weeks of class, I
noticed a dramatic decrease in the pain in my feet after being off them for 15 or 20 minutes (the longer I was
off them, the worse the pain was).  I can’t begin to describe the improvement in my life since I’ve been
taking Anne’s class.  The pain is completely gone and I’m back to normal (as normal as a guy over 60 can
get).  For me, it beats the heck out of jogging and other exercises.
I came to yoga hoping to:  1) improve my posture and general health and 2) reduce feelings of stress.
After years of practicing Iyengar yoga at Cedar Rock, the ways in which yoga has changed my life are
too numerous to list, but here are a few that come to mind.  My posture has definitely improved, which
has improved my outlook, breathing, and physical/emotional health.  I am stronger and happier, and the
stresses of life don’t throw me off balance as much as they used to.  The migraines and allergy-related
asthma that I was treating with prescribed medication have almost disappeared.  I’m kinder to myself
and others.  I feel more connected to and grateful for life around me, and especially grateful for Anne,
for being such a wonderful teacher.
I love the fact that anyone can do yoga, even 67 year old seniors like me!  Just the act of taking a few
deep breaths and being mindful of your breathing is beneficial.  The postures are great for relieving
tension in your neck, back, and entire body.  It strengthens your core and other muscles.  I have
degenerative disk disease in the lumbar area of my spine.  Seeing a chiropractor and practicing yoga have
resulted in my having very little pain and more movement and flexibility in my back.  Anne Avant is a
wonderful teacher, helpfully demonstrating and monitoring each pose taught in class.  It has truly been
a blessing in my life.
I began practicing yoga in my late 20's.  My attendence was irregular, due to raising a family and making
a living.  When I began working in Little Rock in my 40's I reapplied myself to yoga studies in order to
handle the physical and psychological stresses of aging and work.  At that time, I also had to deal with
the illness and death of my husband.  I started attending Anne's studio at Cedar Rock Yoga in September,
2002.  Since then I have been mostly regular in attendence. I will soon be 60 and I credit yoga with my
ability to stay active in spite of my injured knees. I garden almost daily and volunteer regularly in child care
and health care.  I think that yoga has helped my body stay flexible and strong. Anne's teaching of Iyengar
Yoga uses physiology to individualize my practice in such a way that I can envision myself going onward practicing
yoga indefinitely.  I don't believe that any other form of physical exercise could have given me these