YOGI OF THE MONTH
November 2015 - Page Wittkamp
What first brought you to yoga and how long have you been practicing?
I can’t recall exactly what first brought me to Yoga. I suppose that yoga was “in the air” around me when I was in my mid 30’s, just like Jane Fonda workouts with leg warmers and headbands were all-pervasive in my mid 20’s. So wow, I’ve been “practicing” (and I mean exactly that) intermittently for almost 25 years.
What is/are your intention(s) for your yoga practice?
My intentions today are quite different than my intentions were many years ago, when the “outside” of me seemed of paramount importance. Today, improving the“inside” of me seems much more important and more achievable than looking like I'm 30 years old. One of the many benefits of growing older, and, I hope, a bit wiser, is that I've arrived at a gentle truce with my potbelly, my very non Michelle Obama arms and my affinity for all good foods. As Susan says in each class, today my intention is to take the lessons I learn in each practice session and apply them in my daily life, especially in my interactions with others. I intend to: try hard, be compassionate with faults and weaknesses, and to be loving in thought, word and deed. It sounds easy, but often it's not.
What is your favorite pose and why?
Pigeon pose. One of my early yoga teachers was a beautiful ballerina from Russia, and one day while we were doing pigeon pose she told us in her lovely accent that we stored our emotions in our hips and that many people would feel strong emotion or even cry during this pose. I’m not sure if that's the reason for my love of the pigeon pose, but I do know that it's a cathartic pose for me. It's a challenge, a relief and a surrender.
What is your favorite class at InsideOut Yoga?
Slow Flow is just wonderful for me.
How has the practice of yoga influenced your life?
Please see “Intentions” above.
What advice would you have for a beginning yoga student?
Truly, it is not a competition, nor merely a physical challenge. Work with your body and your mind like you would with teaching a child how to swim—a little bit at a time. Find and appreciate an instructor who teaches the mind-body connection. Enjoy yourself!
What is your occupation?
I like to tell people that I'm a “recovering lawyer.” This means that I'm happily retired and working on recovering from arguing, fighting and viewing life as an interminable competition. Since moving “full-time” to the area just recently, I've become a volunteer administrator at Church of the Visitation as well as a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (“CASA”) for children.
What activities do you enjoy?
I love InsideOut Yoga, singing with the Chesapeake Chorale, boating, studying Buddhism and other world religions, Zumba!, reading, cooking, swimming, taking long walks with my great little dog, Mojo, and conversing by the fire with my husband.
What is your favorite thing about living in the Northern Neck?
I adore being outdoors and just experiencing this beautiful part of the world. A Buddhist nun from Burma once came to visit us here. She stood on the hill overlooking the River, gazed all around her and then turned to me and said: “Good Karma.” I think that all of us who are blessed to live here have built up some good Karma.
Is there anything you want to add?
I'm so very grateful for the unexpected blessing of such an outstanding Yoga program in our small community. Thank you Susan and my fellow yogis!