Hello – My name is Lynda Herman and I live in Garden City with my bestie Tom and
our demon cat, Annabel Lee – named after the Poe poem.
The original motivation to begin a regular yoga practice came from my very stressful
job as a driver and owner of an industrial catering truck/business. Some folks refer
to them as “roach coaches”, but I assure you: mine was clean and shiny.
I looked for a class that was close to me and sure enough – right down the street
within walking distance, the class appeared! It is said when the student is ready
the teacher will appear. Apparently, I was ready. Lol
My first teacher and mentor was June McCarthy. I took classes with June for many
years – following her to Dearborn and Novi. She encouraged me to teach and asked
if I was interested in subbing for her, as well as lead a class at YAGD’s Summer
Wednesday evening classes in Dearborn, at Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church.
It was “the big one”: 60+ students and little old me in front of them! I closed my
eyes, went through the practice I planned – and when I opened my eyes, the
students were applauding me! I was hooked on teaching, and began my search for
my own classes.
Eclectic would be my “style” of teaching… Vinyasa, Yin, and on and on. Whatever I
felt comfortable with until I could develop my own style. I realized early on that the
students dictate the style, especially if all are drop-in (an entire set of new challenges
every week) but I felt I was up to the task after having spent hours of study, retreats
and intensives with many of the country’s best: Beryl Bender Birch, Jason Crandall,
Lilias, Doug Keller, Arthur Kilmurray and Leslie Kaminoff. I stayed away from
teacher training because I wanted a very diverse experience, and I believe it has
served me well.
Fast forward to today’s reality. A total knee replacement in 2019 has kept me off the
floor, but I’m still very committed to teaching and sharing my practice. So, my “style”
has changed but amazingly enough my students have stayed with me, because they
have also aged with me. I now teach what I lovingly refer to as “adaptive”
yoga. Adapting to the needs of the population I find myself in – over 65, and some
well over 65! My oldest student is a little Italian lady – she is 95! The benefits of
yoga increase as we age, so why not adapt to the challenges and roll with them?
I teach Chair Yoga at the Westland Senior Center. We were able to remain open all
of 2021 and a good portion of 2020 all because the Mayor of Westland has been
very committed to his senior population for years. Our center received a brand-new
hospital-grade HVAC system, AND he has installed UV lights as “additional
scrubbers” for the virus. Consequently, we have been able to serve our seniors for
the past 2 years and will continue with the strictest of protocols still in place.
The newest form of adaptive yoga I teach is Aqua Yoga – done in a warm,
therapeutic pool (90 degrees – great on a cold, winter day!). I was able to convince
the director of the need for therapeutic yoga in the water, and it has been very
The Yoga Association of Greater Detroit has been a great mentor to me with so
many very fine teachers and practitioners. The Anatomy Study Groups and
workshops, along with the best Retreats ever – all have contributed to my knowledge
of the practice. And I’m glad YAGD continues to find new ways to serve the yoga
If I were to share my thoughts with the group, it would be this: You do not become a
teacher, you are the teacher. You do not become an artist; you are the artist. You do
not become proficient, for you must always be learning and growing, and
adapting. You will not become $$$ rich, but the rewards are endless. Challenges
but not obstacles, willfulness but with flexibility, steadfastness, and adaptability.
On a personal note: Tom & I thoroughly enjoy camping…BUT we prefer the more
rustic & remote campgrounds in the UP, and have always found them to be the best
for us. Rustic does not mean uncomfortable or lacking in any way. Tom packs the
back of our truck to the very top and end-to-end with our stuff. 2 tents: one for
sleeping, and the other screen tent to enjoy the outdoors without the pesky critters.
All the bedding we can stuff into the truck, including a very comfortable cot for me so
I don’t have to maneuver my tired old self onto the floor. The rustic camping allows
us to be part of the camping experience, but without the close neighbors, & the
parking lot-like atmosphere of State Parks. We enjoy the quiet of the growth of trees
& brush between sites. All the comforts of home, yet surrounded by Mother Nature.
Let your Light shine for all the world to see: we need more Light!