How did you first come to yoga, & what was that experience like?
My daughter, Anna, a longtime practitioner and also a certified teacher introduced me by turning me on to Yoga Today, an online yoga project in Jackson Hole, WY. Although it wasn't like being in a class, the teachers did have students in house (actually, on a mountain!) to help demo. I immediately felt the difficulties and rewards of a yoga practice--even online.
What is your favorite experience of Yoga?
I remember my first 108 Sun Salutation event at Yoga Loft, Willmar, for Summer Solstice. I was still rather a novice, inclined to compare myself to the packed studio participants. But the flow of movement, while teachers called out the Sanskrit counting of actions soon melted away that line of thinking. Although I wasn't a teacher yet, far from it, I got to join in at the end and call out the count to lead us through a series, joining other non-teachers who felt so inclined. Yoga Loft has windows on either side looking out at two lakes. I still recall the sublime combination of accomplishment, the arrival of summer in Minnesota and of yoga community. (I was quite sore for a few days after!)
A piece of Yogic Philosophy that's special to you?
The Sutras of Patanjali offer a plethora of principles to apply to our lives. But asana (the physical practice) is probably the most easily accessed. Bringing the yama (restraints, such as non-violence) and niyamas (observances such as perseverance) to my asana practice is like cultivating my life practice.
Why do you teach?
I had the idea early on in my practice, that I would like to share my personal sense of, manifested through, the long yoga lineage. Again, my daughter encouraged me to go for it. At present, I continue to learn the Iyengar asana methodology. I am certain that preparing my weekly classes (both Asana and Sutra Study) not only contributes to, but is a key element in my creative and analytical process. That is, by heightening my own perception, perhaps I can help others to see more clearly. Which, by the way, is fun! I find that in order to educate my students, I educate myself. In order to create something fresh and interesting for them, my class prep requires I do the same at home. I teach to grow the great practice of yoga, personally and communally.
Where can I contact you, or learn more?
Facebook: Mary Fulweiler Swank
How long have you taught yoga?
Training and Certifications
2017: 200 hr Return Yoga teacher training with Karin Carlson. YA certified and I have continued education to maintain that.
How long have you practiced yoga?
Almost 20 years