Meet Liz Hall
Liz's interest in Yoga began in 1974 when she was in grammar school. She ordered Richard Hittleman's book, "Introduction to Yoga" through the book club at school. The focused way of being in Yoga always intrigued her.
In 1987 while living in New Haven Liz met a friend who taught Yoga. I would keep telling her how I would like to start doing Yoga soon. After hearing this so often her friend finally said, "why not NOW?!" She then began her regular practice.
A year later Liz moved to Willimantic where she couldn't find a yoga teacher. She resorted to audio taping herself reading from a Yoga book because it was hard to do the postures and look at the directions in the book. "It was, also, hard to listen to my own nasal sounding voice" she said. "Thanks to Ujjayi breathing I no longer have that nasal sound but a clear voice."
It was imperative for Liz to continue her Yoga practice because when she was 19 years old she hurt her back in an accident. For years she was in continuous pain. "I had gone to all sorts of doctors. It wasn't until I began my own REGULAR yoga practice that I was finally able to live pain free."
One night, several years later, after not being able to sleep she got up to do some yoga. For some reason it was different. She was extremely focused and was paying deep attention to the cues her body was giving her. She was able to go farther than she was ever able to go before and it seemed effortless. She said that while she was in the posture the bound angle (Baddha konasana) an amazing wash of bliss went through her and she stayed in the posture for a very long time in complete comfort. When she came out of the posture she was full of a sense that she needed to share Yoga with others. That is when she knew she needed to be a Yoga teacher.
Liz began teaching when her daughter (now 29 years old) was in cooperative preschool. She taught the other moms while the children were in school. She says the best way to describe how she felt while teaching was like a child feels on Christmas morning and they've received everything they wanted and they're completely happy and thrilled to be able to finally play with those long awaited toys.
Liz received her 200 hour Yoga Teaching Certificate from Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, North America's largest Yoga Center, located in Lenox, MA. She has taken more than 500 hours of Yoga Teacher Trainings. Liz has trained with well known teachers from across the United States such as Erich Schiffmann, Beryl Bender Birch, David Swenson, Doug Swenson, Bryan Kest, and Shiva Rea. "My most influential teachers have been from the variety of needs and abilities from hundreds of Yoga students since I started teaching in 1998."
I like to teach postures that give the most benefit for your life as opposed to doing postures for the mere novelty. Many postures can put strain on joints if they aren’t done correctly or if someone does them before they are ready. After teaching for several years I decided I would stress safety over adventurous yoga. This has a lot to do with why I came to yoga. I had many physical problems and Yoga was the only thing that restored me.
In a classroom setting with people of different strengths and weaknesses I believe it is best to do postures that will enhance each person’s life no matter their flexibility and/or strength. My biggest priority is getting rid of what I call the “Gorilla Posture.” In our life we do many things that make us slouch forward. We sit at the computer with our shoulders hunched up to our ears as we type unaware of our posture; we prepare food or wash dishes rounding forward; and we may even sleep in inappropriate postures. Many activities of our daily life put us in this “Gorilla Posture” unconsciously supporting these imbalances.
So, in my classes we will do postures that help us to counter the “Gorilla Posture.” I stress strengthening the core and the upper back while bringing flexibility to the upper chest. In the gentle class we do simple postures such as Triangle, Warrior 2, Cobra, Child. I balance the postures that require stamina with postures that create relaxation and flexibility. So a gentle class will have many child postures throughout the class. A moderate class will have less child postures and more postures and movements that require strength and stamina balanced with postures that require a bit more flexibility like full pigeon and lunges.
Classes are taught in seasonal sessions. During sessions we are working toward a more challenging posture (ex. camel) or group of postures (ex. balance postures.) We take the whole series to work up to what is required for that posture. Finding physical balance is our primary goal. In the winter I choose a posture that is more heat generating like a posture that requires more strength and in the summer we do a posture that requires more flexibility.
Let me know what YOU would like to work toward to for your body and mind!