I know I’m not alone. Since moving back seven years ago I have been delighted to find so many inspiring, talented local Maine teachers leading their own vibrant, eager and tiny yoga communities. From to Bangor, Bar Harbor, Brunswick and Brooksville to Wiscassett and Waterville I’ve discovered many fantastic yoga teachers tucked into home studios, church basements and old school houses. They’ve never been on the cover of a yoga magazine and they are very likely wearing sweatpants they bought at Renny’s. But what they lack in glamour and marketing they more than make up for in the depth and authenticity of their practice and teaching. It is not easy to show up cold, snowy night after cold snowy night to a class of two students. It’s not easy to hold the light of love and warmth when you know your students well enough to know the depth of their suffering, or even worse, the depths of their shortcomings. Being a rural Maine yoga teacher takes serious dedication to your craft and a strong commitment to your community.
This is why teaching at the Maine Yoga Fest was such a joy for me last summer. Emerging from all over the coast, the I-95 corridor and beyond, we came together to discover a cohort of enthusiastic, dedicated and super-experienced yoga teachers - all from right here!
It was also a delight to meet so many enthusiastic and engaged students who embraced my Yoga for Athletes class with its nerdy anatomy experiments, glute torture and painful footwork. Many of them have stayed in touch with me and it helps to know on those cold snowy nights, which it’s just the three of us hitting the mat together, that we’re part of a much bigger yoga community.
I also want to say that I am a huge fan of how the Maine Yoga Fest is raising the bar for this kind of event. By staying local and homegrown they are reducing their footprint and supporting the local economy. Even more importantly by bringing us all together they’ve shown us that yoga in Maine has something amazing to offer. Even if sometimes it’s only two students at a time!