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Meet Your Yoga Teacher, Linda

Meet Linda! She's one of your wonderful Runa Yoga teachers with knowledge and experience working with the anatomy of yoga. Her training has taken her as far as New Mexico and Costa Rica!

Photo courtesy Linda Farrell.

Q: When did you discover yoga?

A: I have worked many, many years as a recreational physical therapist and always enjoyed yoga. In 2015, I was going through some personal challenges and was drawn to yoga for the emotional escape. I fell in love with turning thoughts into action.

Q: Can you tell me about a memorable yoga journey?

A: I went to Costa Rica in 2016 for a Marianne Wells Yoga School training. She’s a woman from Eagan, Minn. Marianne’s husband, Ron, taught all the anatomy training courses, and I overheard them talking about Ron being unable to teach due to an infection in his leg. I have the anatomy knowledge from my career in PT [physical therapy] and could whip up the class! It went well and I was invited back to teach the following December and August.

Q: What’s an important lesson you’ve learned from yoga?

A: A mind-body connection. Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right. Your thoughts drive your actions.

Q: How has yoga changed over time for you?

A: I used to be a runner with a type A personality: organized, punctual, and practical. While going through personal challenges when everything was happening, I attended core power and strength-focused classes. I was drawn to this because of my personality. They were the same every time and that’s what I needed. Then, I signed up for a restorative teacher training in New Mexico, and had to hold restorative poses for 20-minutes, 30-days in a row. I was addicted to it! It was so powerful and something I wouldn’t have tried before.

Q: What do you think of societal stigmas/portrayals of yoga?

A: 95% of Instagram poses are horrible for your body because it’s not the way the pose is supposed to be. Alignment is really important, which is often lost in societal stigmas. Social media can be a challenge. It makes us feel like we have to “do do do.”

Q: How do you think we can break down barriers of yoga societal stigmas?

A: By having older instructors teaching, and encouraging older participants. I do believe that anyone not only can do yoga, but can benefit from yoga because yoga is not just about doing poses. It is about doing something healthy and healing for yourself, and that is something we can all gift ourselves with. Prior to COVID restrictions I had been teaching an adaptive chair senior yoga class for a few years. Participants ranged in age from 73-93. This group was amazing and very dedicated. They loved to share their stories with me of how yoga changed them. A few examples included; One woman had walked with a walker for several years, and when her grandson got married she not only walked without a walker but danced with him too! Another woman used to “walk” with her daughter on the Lakewalk, which meant that her daughter walked and she rode in her wheelchair. After a year of yoga she surprised her daughter and walked 1 mile on the Lakewalk!

Q: What would you say to someone aspiring to start practicing yoga?

A: Congratulations! I would encourage them to explore.

Visit Linda's website, A Grateful Breath, to learn more about her!

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