Come to Yoga
with Barbara Lyon
PHOTOS: MILTON BEVINGTON
Barbara in Dolphin Plank pose
WHAT STUDENTS ARE SAYING:
"Dear Barbara, I just wanted to let you know how much I love coming to your classes, first of all because you have that wonderful way to instruct us, always gentle, with that sense of humor and twinkle in your eye and so positive. Second, you are an excellent teacher, giving choices and offering alternatives how to modify each pose so each student gets the most out of a class. And third you became my yoga friend and favorite teacher. Thanks for all you do!"
"Barbara Lyon is a born teacher. She has that rare ability to create a learning environment that is totally stress free and student friendly! Although her classes include poses that challenge students, each student is encouraged to advance at the pace he or she needs and is comfortable with. One is never made to feel you must push yourself to a point beyond what is best for you. Classes include folks from different age groups and different yoga experience. Barbara makes sure the classes "fit" all! Even on a day I'm feeling tired, I love going to class! —CL
I love Barbara and her classes! She's taught my shoulders where they belong and I come away from her classes feeling strengthened and as if my body's been realigned. I tell friends that it's like getting a massage, but with deeper and longer lasting results. This is a great class if you want to know how to do the different poses correctly, in a way that is good for your body. It'll change the way you do yoga elsewhere, especially if you've been taking classes at a gym or where there is little personal interaction. —Christina
I started taking Barbara's classes 6 years ago when I first moved to Cambridge. I started out in her beginner class as I had some health problems and was new to yoga. At the beginning of class she asks how each person is doing and then offers alternate poses throughout the class to accommodate injuries. The classes are different each week and I love how she pulls in knowledge from other modalities like tai chi and reflexology. There's always something new to learn. She is a great teacher; extremely encouraging, knowledgeable, and caring. —EF
I really enjoy your teaching and your style. When I tell people about your class I boast that I can even take my glasses off and still follow you (I'm blind as a bat). I especially like the twists and stretches. The other thing I really appreciate is that you get us working hard but you ease us into it in such a way that isn't stressful, and you always build in time to catch our breath after the challenging poses. It's such a nice addition to my life - it's grounding – and I miss it when I miss class. Just thought it's about time I told you! —LH
I have been a yoga teacher in the Kripalu style since 1994, at Cambridge Health Associates and Art & Soul Yoga, and other studios, companies, private classes, special classes for organizations, celebrations (bridal showers!), and assisted living residences (Gentle Joint Yoga). I teach 8-10 classes a week, many of them private classes.
In 2010-11, I returned to my yoga studies and earned an Advanced Teacher Training Certificate called The Art of Teaching, from The Yoga Studio (with nationally-known Barbara Benagh), a 200-hour program.
Then in 2012, after a year of study, I earned a certificate in Silver Age Yoga, a program that teaches how to modify yoga to safely teach it to seniors. One level is chair yoga where all the moves are done sitting on chairs (sometimes with music), and it is surprisingly effective. The more advanced level includes standing, sitting and floor poses, with many modifications to accommodate for physical conditions and challenges.
Private Gentle Joint Yoga classes are a wonderful option if you are wishing for more flexibility and strength, or grappling with a specific issue, or just need to relax deeply! At your home or Cambridge Health Assoc or Art & Soul Yoga. Please email me or call 617 959-2562 to discuss or set up a lesson.
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How I became a yoga teacher . . . kicking and screaming :)
Many years ago I learned to teach yoga by studying with the wonderful Danielle Levi Alvares for 10 years, from 1986-1996. Eight years into it, she began telling me that I absolutely had to become a teacher. I said, no, it's too pleasurable to be a student, I never want to turn this into 'work.' But, she persevered: she trained me, then hired me to teach at her studio.*
I'm so glad she did! Teaching yoga is one of the most rewarding, renewing experiences in my life. It feels ever-fresh to me — topics and approaches for explorations of the body are limitless and fascinating. One of my favorite themes is "yoga for better posture," and there are a hundred ways to approach this topic. In late March we do a "spring cleaning" and in Oct, the autumn version - both classes focus on twists, lung strengtheners, and inversions, and include a lymph system massage to help bolster our immune system. In allergy season, we do yoga to help combat overreactions to allergens; at other times yoga to help us sleep, battle depression, energize or relax us. And of course, many classes on easing tight shoulders and neck, core strengthening, hamstring stretches, and hip and lower back openers. Once a year we do a class on "yoga to help prevent breast cancer," based on studies published in Yoga Journal and elsewhere.
I have continually studied many forms of yoga since 1986, particularly Iyengar style, as well as taken dozens and dozens of workshops and immersion weekends focusing on different topics like back bends, restoratives, breathing, twists and yoga for the subtle body.
In 2010, I completed a three-month Structural Integration series with Eli Thompson that focused on learning to recognize physical imbalances in the body and helping to correct or balance them in my students.
*Danielle retired from teaching yoga in 1997 and now teaches meditation in California.