Name: Audrey Pleasant
I am a native Detroiter and currently live in Farmington Hills.
I started doing yoga a long time ago—decades ago! When I retired from my career as a public school teacher, it was suggested to me that I consider teaching yoga I was honored, thrilled, and quite nervous. I decided to combine two of my favorite activities yoga and teaching. After considerable preparation and with much trepidation, I taught my first class. I felt a soaring yoga- teacher high. I could do this! It was wonderful to be guiding people through their practice, deeply satisfying to have students who appreciated the benefits of yoga and were working to enrich their lives.
I have enjoyed creating the practices, trying to make each session unique but containing all the necessary elements—from breath, to posture, to stretching and flexing each part of the body, moving in all directions–and relaxation. I have always told students that my number one and really only rule is RELAX and ENJOY! I use a variety of styles, plan and rehearse ahead of time, try to make postures flow from one to another. Each lesson is a project.
In my personal practice, I vary the focus from day to day. I especially enjoy backbends because they provide an opening up to the world and counteract the many hours spent folding forward.
I have benefited greatly from my YAGD membership. I have learned much from other members and, as a side but very important benefit, have met many nice people. The variety of practice styles, yoga activities, and perspectives add to my knowledge and to my inspiration.
Yoga, for me, is part of a well-rounded life. It helps me care for myself as I also care for others. I see yoga as a way to make people healthier and happier. Especially pleasing is the lack of competition. I do yoga to make myself better, not to be better than someone else. This is an antidote to the over-competitiveness around us. Yoga, also, teaches that what is right for one person may not be right for another—we are taught to modify poses to suit the body we have, not to reach some model of perfection. This self-acceptance and respect for differences is a lesson we need in other areas of our lives. Yoga creates calm and builds self-confidence, helps us feel good about ourselves. When we feel good about ourselves, we are more inclined to spread good to others. I think that is a reason I have met so many kind and generous people in yoga class.
Along with yoga, I am active with the Hearing Loss Association of America: I am on the state board of trustees and several committees. I am HUGELY involved with the Birmingham Temple, especially in my role as Social Justice Committee chair; that includes working on community service as well as social justice issues. You may notice that from time to time, I mention service opportunities to YAGD members. Along with that, I am on the Caring Committee, am in the garden group, attend classes, etc. Besides these efforts, among other things, I enjoy line dance, lots of reading, and outdoor walks.