Meet a Teacher: Cindy Webb

Posted by on Jul 31, 2018 in carson city yoga studio, meet a teacher | 0 comments

Cindy WebbThis month, in our Meet a Teacher series, we are highlighting our teacher Cindy Webb. Cindy has been with the studio for about a year and a half, coming to teach when it was still Yoga Sol.

As you will read below, Cindy’s introduction to yoga was not in a class on a yoga mat, but rather through the written word.  An encounter with the book Autobiography of a Yogi stimulated a curiosity about yoga that eventually led her to the mat.

Cindy continues to combine her love of books with her love of yoga, and she is the impetus behind the library in our Carson St studio.  Cindy knows how important books can be to open new worlds, and she wants to make that option available to other people as well.  If you haven’t yet explored the books that are available for loan, please take a look next time you are in the studio. (And yes, Autobiography of a Yogi is on the shelf!)

Cindy shared some thoughts with us around her love and practice of yoga in a recent conversation:

CCY: Who do you consider your primary teachers, or who has influenced your practice in a major way? What do you feel you have learned from them that serves you in your practice?

Cindy: My first exposure to yoga was reading and studying about yoga in the book Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahansa Yogananda.  I love books.  It always seems that when you find an interest, opportunities appear. It wasn’t long after that, I met Bea McDonald. She was teaching what she called Hatha Yoga in Gardnerville. This was 1987, back before yoga was so available. I practiced Gentle Yoga with her for 6 years before I took my first teacher training.

My foundational training was a 200 hour certification in the Iyengar style. I have read every book B.K.S. Iyengar has written (and there are a lot of them!). Iyengar Yoga is based on proper alignment and using props to help foster alignment, which teaches you awareness of posture and structure of the body.  Discovering the role of posture in yoga and in life was a big piece for me.

Many years later, I trained with Ana Tiger Forrest (Forrest Yoga) and Seane Corn.  Forrest Yoga is about breathing in a way that sparkles you up and bringing the breath to those areas in the body that get stuck or clogged.  This was magical for me, and I could feel the effect in the central nervous system with this kind of practice.  It still serves me, and I remember it every time my body is in a stress response.  Take a breath. Let it out.  It’s very calming.

The biggest influence Seane Corn had on me was the gift of prayer and meditation, and how to bring that in to a physical practice. She brings the feminine side of the practice in, by asking where is the reflection? You can have a challenging practice (yang) and still a softening with prayer and meditation (yin) to create a balanced practice.  I will be studying with Seane Corn again this Fall, and I look forward to bring back some new experiences and ideas!

CCY: How has yoga made a difference in your life?

Cindy HandstandCindy: I like the feeling of having control of my life, and I always feel better when I have a daily intention to grow and learn something new, or apply some healing aspect of yoga that’s gonna wake me up physically, mentally, and spiritually.  That’s my dharma!

When I turned 60, I made it my goal to create strength. As I grow older, I want to become strong and wise.  I have a bone density scan every year, and my spine has the bone density of a 30 year old!  Every year, there is an increase in my bone density.  Weight bearing builds bone, and I am certain that yoga has helped improve my own bone density.  Now, I emphasize inversions.  I practice handstand daily!

CCY: Why do you teach? What do you like best about teaching?

Cindy: I love sharing that sacred space with people who are curious about the practice, and want to learn about the discipline. My entire adult life, I have been a teacher. I have taught preschool, kindergarten, ballroom dancing, effective parenting classes, martial arts (I am a 2nd degree), and yoga.  It’s part of my character – when I want to learn something, I teach it. It pushes me out of my comfort zone, and that’s how you grow and learn.

I sometimes feel like it is my duty to share the teachings, but also because it’s fun and I like being with like-minded people.

CCY: Why do you teach at Carson City Yoga?

Cindy: It was a heart evaluation. I took classes for a year with all the teachers at Yoga Sol, and various studios in Gardnerville. I was invited to teach here, and felt honored because this is the real deal with qualified teachers.  I really wanted to be a part of that.

CCY: What are your classes like, and who would be a good fit for them?

Cindy: My classes are eclectic, and I draw from all of my background:  beginning, gentle, vinyasa flow with a dose of power yoga.  Every class is different. I think you need change and variety. This is how you learn what you like and don’t like. It creates space for an open mind, and an open heart.  The noon class that I teach is like a slow flow for mixed levels, with modifications as needed.

As I get stronger and find the benefits of strength in my own body, I am drawn to teach yoga for building strength, including all levels of inversions. I want to work with people who want to progress in their practice, get physically stronger, and to invite spirit into their practice.

I am a good listener, and I truly want to know you, to hear you and help you practice to your full potential.

CCY: What does Yoga mean to you? If you had to define it….

Cindy: I love all aspects of yoga, the subject is vast. What first attracted me to this healing art and science was the philosophy behind it. The philosophy is not religious in nature, there is no dogma, however it teaches you to know your own constitution.

It brings grace into my life; the way I think, the way I move and the way I act. At least, this is what I strive for. A big part of yoga for me is to have an awareness of how I breath and how I feel in my body. Perfection is over- rated but the practice, for me is progress in itself.

CCY: How do you live your yoga off the mat?

Cindy: Intentionally seeing the good in people. In yoga classes, we are always talking about opening our hearts and when we do that off the mat, we make strong connections with people, the environment, the animal kingdom and the cosmos.  I love people, and connection matters.

CCY: Just for fun…. what is your favorite asana? Do you have a least favorite asana?

Cindy: This has changed so many times over the years. But right now, my favorite pose is handstand because it gives me a sense of freedom. It clears the fog in my head and gives me energy – great for circulation. I also really like Half Moon pose.  It just makes me smile.

I sincerely don’t know what is my least favorite… hmmm.  I don’t think I have a least favorite!

CCY: Cindy, thank you so much for sharing yourself with all of us.  And for those of you reading…   you can share a yoga practice with Cindy on Wednesdays at noon, at our Carson St studio.  Have you been to a class with Cindy yet?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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