Student Spotlight: Linda Griffin

Linda Griffin joins us on the mat almost every day. Though she came to yoga as form of physical healing, she has found that yoga is much more than the physical asana. Meet Linda.

JJ: Where are you from?
Linda: I was born in California and grew up in the mountains of Tennessee.

JJ: What do you do? 
Linda: I began working with individuals with developmental disabilities while in college and continued that work for over forty years in Tennessee, Florida, and North Carolina before retiring a few years ago.

JJ: Tell us a little bit about your life outside Wilmington Yoga Center.
Linda: Following my retirement from state government I moved to Wilmington to enjoy the beach. I have three children and two of them live in Wilmington. I enjoy spending time with them and the wonderful people I’ve met since moving here.

JJ:Tell us about your yoga journey.
Linda: I first attended the Wilmington Yoga Center about four years ago after being referred by a physical therapist. I had open heart surgery in 2001 to repair a congenital defect and continued to have discomfort in my shoulders and chest following the surgery. The therapist recommended gentle yoga. I was reluctant to try yoga. I knew little about it and assumed it would be too difficult. I also assumed I would have little in common with the people who participate in yoga, but I knew I was losing strength and flexibility as I grew older. I decided that I should try a yoga class.
The physical therapist had written Donna Gardner’s name on a slip of paper and told me I should try her gentle yoga class. So I found her class at Wilmington Yoga Center. It was very difficult for me to do any of the poses, but I really enjoyed being in the class. Over time, I began to feel the physical benefits of the class. Eventually, I decided that I would try to come every day to the gentle class so I could learn faster and increase my strength and my skill.
For several months I was able to make it to class almost everyday. My physical health improved, but I was also developing a deeper spiritual dimension to my life through daily practice. I learned that yoga is much more than a technique for reducing pain or improving flexibility, it is an important part of my daily life.

JJ: Why Wilmington Yoga Center?
Linda: Donna Gardner was recommended as an excellent yoga teacher, and I found her at Wilmington Yoga Center.

JJ: What is your favorite and least favorite pose?
Linda: I don’t know that I have a favorite pose, but I have enjoyed learning to breathe in yoga. I look forward to the beginning of class when I can focus on breathing and feel the breath move through my body. I’m now aware of my breathing throughout my day and feel more alert and energized because I have now learned how to breathe.
I am most challenged by the balance poses. The balance mechanism in one of my ears doesn’t work properly and, unfortunately, yoga hasn’t fixed that. However, by gaining strength, especially in my legs, and practicing balance poses regularly, I have much improved my ability to keep myself in better balance.

JJ: What is your favorite class at Wilmington Yoga Center?
Linda: I come to the 11am Gentle/Meditation class

JJ: What or who inspires you?
Linda: I am inspired by all the excellent, committed teachers at the Center.
I am also inspired by the people who come to class and practice with me. I have grown in ways I didn’t anticipate just by spending time daily with a community of people who give time and effort to improving their lives and the world through their yoga.

JJ: What is possible in your life as a result of yoga?
Linda: Since beginning yoga I can move more easily, breathe more deeply, and rest more efficiently even with less time sleeping. I take fewer prescribed medications. I see fewer doctors yet feel healthier. I have taken more responsibility for my own well-being. I have more quiet times in each day, but have more energy and enthusiasm for life.
I have taken advantage of the excellent workshops offered by the Center and have learned how to meditate and make that a part of my daily life. I have learned how to select better food and feed myself in a healthier way.
My life has changed significantly since I found yoga and committed myself to the practice. My only regret is that it took me so long to find it. I can only imagine the positive effect beginning yoga early in life would have had.

JJ: How does yoga play a part in your daily life?
Linda: Throughout the earlier part of my life, my day was organized around going to school or going to work. Now that I am retired, I organize my life around the yoga schedule. Planning to include yoga in daily life has helped me focus my time and effort in creating better health, a calmer mind, and a richer spiritual life.

Thinking about making your practice a daily one? Check out our class schedule to see what we have to offer.
Class Schedule