Teacher Feature - Debbie Martin

Like many people, I originally tried yoga for pain relief. In 1976, I was in a bad accident and suffered several broken bones including a compression fracture of the L-2 vertebrae. I was in constant pain. I knew nothing about yoga other than it had something to do with the spine – all those pretzel poses! So, in desperation, I tried a yoga class. No surprise now, but back then I was completely amazed that my back pain lessened and eventually became manageable as I strengthened my muscles. It has been many years since I have had any back pain and yoga deserves all the credit.

I have been practicing yoga for almost 30 years and yoga has become a part of who I am. Years ago, I could never explain why I liked yoga so much but when asked, I would say, "Yoga helps me, be me." Little did I know then that yoga helps us connect back to our true nature. Over the years, I have learned that yoga offers a comprehensive way to live life more joyfully.

I took Willow Street's Anusara teacher training in 2003-2004 to deepen my own yoga practice. I was the only person in a class of 40 people who did not want to be a yoga teacher. So you can guess what happened, the universe conspired, and 2 years later I was a full-time yoga teacher and I have never looked back.

Yoga has transformed me on multiple levels. Being a yoga teacher has provided me with a never-ending abundance of gratitude for the students I have the honor to teach, the friendship of my fellow teachers, the insights of my teachers and most of all for the joy I continue to receive from my own personal yoga journey.

I have extensively studied ParaYoga with my main teacher, Yogiraj Rod Stryker (YogaRupa). His ability to clearly transmit the complex and vast teachings of yoga inspires my own teaching. I am also indebted to my pervious teachers; long-time Kripalu yoga teacher Howard Schwartzberg (Jayvadan), Suzie Hurley, and Moses Brown. Their teachings enriched my life immeasurably and helped propel me down the yogic path.

I provide students with a supportive, challenging and fun environment to help them be the best that they can be; to improve the quality of their lives and reach their fullest potential, physically, mentally and spiritually. I teach an alignment based hatha yoga class and use the energetics of the postures to achieve a specific and balancing effect. I also incorporate breath work, yoga philosophy, chanting and meditation into my classes. Oh yeah, I'm also known for giving plenty of hands-on adjustments.