Living in the far northwest corner of Oregon, on the Columbia River, I am so pleased to have found Mary McCarthy and her yoga community. When the pandemic closed my local yoga studio, my joints became stiff and unyielding within just a few weeks. Despite a lengthy history of practicing yoga with various teachers, I couldn’t achieve the results a qualified teacher provides. Hiking and walking soon were causing significant joint pain in my reconstructed knee, which affected my ankle, hip, and eventually lower back.
I was becoming desperate for help when I met Mary in the ASPIRE club, a group of women dedicated to reaching their goals, that is coordinated by executive coach Dr. Christi Hegstad of Meaning And Purpose, Inc. Drift is easy to fall into even in an active, happy retirement and I had engaged Christi as a coach to help me stay on track with my goals. In one of the ASPIRE meetings, Mary introduced herself and her online yoga classes. I was impressed by her friendliness and positivity, and also nervous about practicing with someone new. At Christmas, my husband gifted me a month of classes and now I cannot imagine how I managed all those months without Mary. Mary provides different types of classes, including a strength class that has dramatically enhanced my hiking/walking endurance, muscular strength, and gait. The on-demand video library is a blessing that transcends time zones and schedules. I had never practiced online yoga before this pandemic, and I must say it is wonderful to practice in my own space and still gain the benefit of a teacher of Mary’s education, training, and dedication. Mary’s knowledge of how the human body works is impressive. I schedule two classes in person and use the on-demand to fill in the rest of the week. When we are ready to travel again, whether in the motorhome or by plane, the online classes and on-demand video library will be coming along. It is a blessing and a pleasure to be gaining strength, balance, and flexibility. As a career librarian, I’ve read thousands of great quotations. But “Dull women have clean houses” is one of my favorites. So if you drop by the house, my domestic skills may not impress you but you’ll find me enjoying travel, writing, being creative, reading, hiking, spending time with friends and family, trying out new art supplies, and staying curious and positive.
In my perfect world, I would be living in a tropical climate, spending my days meandering through life, dressed in flowing, brightly colored caftans that respond lazily to warm breezes, breathing in the scent of flowers and sunshine. In my husband’s perfect world, we would be chopping wood/carrying water, living in a mountain cabin in deep woods, in a northern climate that promises snow from October through April, dressed in sturdy boots, wool socks, thermal underlayers, and flannel. The Pacific Northwest climate is our compromise. I am so grateful to have met Mary and by extension, her yoga community as well. Mary made the pivot to online teaching with true grace and resilience and I am reaping that benefit.