Your first time should be memorable. Do you remember your first yoga lesson?
Easy for me. My mom taught Hatha (ha – sun, tha – moon) yoga to me in the late 1970’s. Prehistoric, huh? My mother, Hildegard Rochman, was a yoga coach at Florissant Valley Community College. The campus is near infamous Ferguson, MO, where I went to high school.
Her teachers were Helen Esser and Lilias Folan– you may remember her as the first yoga teacher on PBS. At that time Lilias wore a long black braid that drew a plumb line from the back of her head to her lower back. Years later, I met her at a yoga conference in San Francisco. When she autographed her book for me, I mentioned that Hildegard is my mom. She remembered her fondly and spoke of a body-warmer Hildegard knitted for her that kept her warm in winter. Lilias is still my favorite yogini after all of these years.
I’ve never stopped practicing yoga. I’ve traveled to Bali and Hawaii to take two-week workshops and spent long weekends all over the US to learn from the masters. I took yoga teacher training twice (another story I want to share) and enjoyed many years of teaching. I’m sure I’ll go back to teaching again, someday.
Now, I practice yoga at home or at the gym and take special classes at nearby studios. Sometimes I have the chance to spend time at a weekend retreat. But, I’ll never forget my first experience with Mama Hildegard. Your first yoga experience is always your best.
Tell me about your first – or favorite – yoga teacher. Namaste, Alexandra