Coleen Petersen will be teaching Amy's Tuesday (7:35-9:05 pm) Vinyasa (Level 2) class while she is away.

Coleen Petersen: I began taking Yoga classes under threat of death by my college roommate when she first began teaching Yoga at Rowan University’s REC Center in 2000. She was convinced that not only did she need my support to help her nerves, but that I also needed to be able to touch my toes at the young age of 19. Like most people, I have the tendency to distance myself from the things I do not naturally excel in. Why do I need to turn myself into a human pretzel? I do not need my feet to go behind my head or to be able to do a split. Thankfully, I began to take my friend’s Yoga class despite the judgmental musings of my na├»ve, younger self.

I instantly loved Yoga! It was an excellent workout. The chaturangas appealed to my desire to have Jennifer Aniston’s arms. Yeah, finally tight arms! At first, Yoga was merely exercise. After years of attending Power Yoga and Bikram classes, I was certain I wanted to share all the advantages of Yoga with other people once I realized the calming effect it had on my mind. I signed up and completed Yoga Synthesis™ Basic Certification Teacher Training with Raji Thron in October 2010. I am 200+ RYT with Yoga Alliance. I teach at NJ Hot Yoga and Yogasynthesis.

My training synthesized the major benefits of Classical Hatha, ViniYoga, Iyengar Yoga, and Ashtanga Vinyasa, which strongly influence my vigorous Vinyasa class. Yoga is more than exercise or a series of stretches if each posture is articulated with breath. The goal of each class is to bring a calm balance to the body, breath and mind in order to achieve internal and external alignment. The mental strength and resolve that a practitioner cultivates on the mat will perpetuate one’s ability to overcome the daily, unforeseen obstacles faced off the mat.

“Yoga is like life. Each circumstance in which we find ourselves is like a pose. Some poses are hard to hold, others are pleasant. It is how we hold the pose determines whether or not we will suffer or grow and whether or not we will listen to the drama of the ego or wisdom of the spirit.”