…about yoga classes at Esther Myers Yoga Studio
As usual with your workshops (Monica), I was surprised at how deeply my body responded to what might be perceived as a non-strenuous practice. I will be looking at the interaction/interdependence of spine and limbs in my practice now; I felt the difference of working from the spine or initiating movement from the limbs but have yet to conclude what the difference signifies.
Personally, taking two classes a week with you has always been a goal for me. I find your classes are beneficial long after they end, and that they provide a sustained sense of peace which is invaluable. Your teaching is open ended enough that I can adapt the classes to my own needs. If I need to focus on a particular issue I can use the exercises you provide as a jumping off point for that purpose.
I must thank you (Tama) for the very fine workshop you offered us in Kamloops, B.C. the past weekend. I find myself, even walking about the house, differently, slower, and more deeply into the steps. And surprise, surprise, my hips feel better. You gave so much wisdom that really resonated for me.
I would like to thank Tama (Soble) for a great workshop delivered on Thursday at the Yoga Show and Conference! I learned a great deal and have really been thinking a lot about much of the content.
I really related to the Moro reflex and the psoas muscle and how each asana could help to release some of the tension caused by consistent stress and anxiety. Tama took us through many postures that focused on hips/sacral plexus, spine and pectoral/shoulder girdle.
Thank you again for a great workshop!!
Just a note of thanks for yesterday’s class. The focus on feet, and by extension on hips, was so helpful… I found myself walking much more freely last night. And I’m still feeling looser today.
Thanks for a great, very topical class. My shoulders thank you.
One day after attending many yoga classes with Monica Voss, I was in my studio working as a visual artist and I reached down to pick something up and suddenly much of what we had been talking about in yoga class made sense to me. I could feel my arm stretching out, I could feel the muscles, I could feel my legs as they bent to accommodate my posture. Everything I had been learning about yoga postures came together for me and I could connect them to my day to day activities at home.
A really great teacher instructs something that you may not understand in the moment but then you go out into your life and find yourself connecting with what you have learned.
I find this way of teaching leads to an open exploration of movement and body awareness. The grounding is so helpful in learning how to relax and truly move from a natural organic place. I like that you don’t have to hold postures rigidly but are able to experience and explore the poses for yourself and make them your own.
Monica and Tama are gracious, generous, compassionate and wise. Their classes are always enlightening: elegantly devised, safe, sophisticated and mindful of their students’ physical abilities, emotional needs and intellectual or spiritual concerns. They’ve taught thousands of students over the years, young and old, in Canada and around the world. And they never cease to refine their technique or their deep understanding of yoga.
“Breathing, grounding and elongation of the spine” is the mantra of their yoga. And, as it turns out, for living.
Hi everyone, thank you so much for a lovely informative and inspirational weekend! You have a beautiful facility and an open and welcoming community!
Dear Monica and Tama,
I so wanted to write to express my appreciation to you both for creating such a beautiful and rich yoga community. I appreciate so much the deep commitment, integrity and wealth of knowledge that you each bring to the co creation of such a vibrant community!
The recent workshop with Peter Blackaby was wonderful and such a great example of that!
I have felt so fortunate to be able to have the excellent training opportunities that you have offered.
What a great class today! Just loved the energy in the room. There seemed to be great curiosity, openness and wonder, and a shared love of the learning.
We loved the combination of useful information and suggestions in the Labour Preparation workshop, and the style of delivery – a combination of a calming, knowledgable, non-bossy nurturing style. We appreciated that the workshop focused on the role and feelings of the coach.
That was a wonderful, challenging, informative, and reassuring Labour Preparation session! Thanks so much.
I would like to say how much I appreciate your teaching style, Tama (Soble). It is likely not possible for one teacher’s style to work for everyone, but I must say that I find your style to be gentle and welcoming, with so much valuable information and a knowledge of the area that appears to be very deep. Your approach of providing detailed tools and options and having people find what works for them I find to be very appealing. You offer things to folks without judging them and it makes me feel welcome. It also seemed to be working very well for people of different levels, which I would expect could be a challenge for a teacher.
I feel privileged to have had a teacher with such strong facilitation skills as you have. While I don’t have too much experience with yoga, I have experience in different learning environments, and I don’t think I am over-stating things or being dramatic when I say that you are a gifted teacher. Thank you for your guidance and leadership on this continuing journey.
Thanks so much for the EMYS Teacher Training Programme Alumni Day, such a stimulating, warm and friendly day! I enjoyed all 4 classes and never get tired of what is taught and shared at the Studio, and what we learn from each other! This is such great community to be part of!
Monica and Tama are gifted and generous educators. They have a deep understanding and knowledge of yoga practice, human anatomy and hands-on learning. My yoga journey has been profoundly enriched through their thoughtful guidance.
Monica’s gift of yoga is one to be savoured. Her connection to the human body brings not only the practice of yoga, but everyday movement to a whole new level… Monica’s retreats to India and Italy both inspired me and instilled a sense of wonder for continuous exploration. I highly recommend Monica’s teachings no matter what your level of experience. She is a true master…
I enjoyed today’s class very much because of your extensive commentary about the relationship between movement and relaxation. Some of your comments were quite profound and will require further exploration as I continue my practice. I am always thankful that you take the time to express your thought processes and reflections on various aspects of different poses and concepts as it helps to keep things interesting and to provoke further learning, especially as a teacher in training.
It was lovely to be back in the studio again. Just what I needed. I especially loved getting to know my collar bones and their movements – so cool!
You seem to surprise me with a new experience every time I attend. Thank you.
The breathing focus was a good entry point for me towards gradually and gently bringing my yoga practice fully back into my life. All 4 classes I attended this month stimulated learning for me, but the mudra class was particularly impactful. I experienced each of the 4 mudras in the first set as strongly connected to an emotion or a resource. I realized that I could use these mudras to call up one of those emotions or resources when I needed it – grounding, openness, nurturing, intellect. It sounds so simple and rather obvious; how could I have missed it until now?! Readiness…
From the first beginners’ class I took the teachers’ clued in to my persistent lower back problems. The culture at this Studio notices individuals, their aches and pains as well as their abilities and potential. Teachers always offer tips for adjusting poses. You don’t need to worry – as I certainly do in aerobic classes – about straining areas: back in my case, shoulders, knees, wrists, whatever.
Of the many things I love about yoga classes here, top of the list is the effort teachers invest in each student to reduce her/his body damage and stress.
This is to thank you again for the four day intensive. It was a well rounded series from which I was able to take a key aspect each day to support exploration in my practice. Inspiring!
I knew that I missed taking classes over the past number of months and after the first class I was reminded of how enriching it is to be a student. You have an extraordinary gift in using metaphorical language that touches the body. I look forward to returning to classes on a regular basis.
I wish to thank you for the prenatal classes and all the support we have received from you! The birth was an amazingly powerful experience, and all the practice in grounding, breathing and staying present definitely helped.
Now that I am a mommy, you were so right about the arms and head being in one position all the time, and the stiff shoulders, and the lost hips. There is barely any time to squeeze in any stretches, but I try.
I just wanted to say a big thank you to each of you for the classes and intensives I attended this summer. As a teacher myself, even though I was on holiday I couldn’t help reflecting on the pedagogy at the Studio, and I wanted to share this observation: you are each so effective at tuning in to your students in your own distinct ways. I experienced such a range of paths into my body, mind and spirit in your classes, yet it is clear you all share that fundamental skill of compassionate, genuine attunement to your students.
Many thanks for all your brought to your teaching – your humour, insight, and student focus.
I look forward to seeing you in the fall.
With respect and gratitude,
Each class is, for me, a beautiful, liberating, even mysterious journey into my body and into stillness, places that I have not been encouraged to explore much in my life. I always leave feeling strong, calm, and empowered. You are doing important healing work for me, and I’m sure many others. I’m very grateful to have discovered yoga, and your particular take on it.
When I retired I realized it was essential to keep going, to keep working on flexibility in order to prevent all the things that can happen if we are not mobile as we age. Aging is not an easy process, but the yoga can be very helpful in all aspects; physical, spiritual, emotional. And there are a lot of different ages and bodies in the classes I go to, very encouraging.
I like the companionship of the mat and the different activities that are offered. I found in doing the teacher’s training I developed a whole new “career” so to speak.
I came because it seemed a good way to expand my physical universe…unwind, stretch my body, and feel better about myself. It makes me feel relaxed and energized at the same time! A combination of moods I previously would not have put together.
Slowly over the last few years my body has seemingly become stronger. The Studio encourages you to trust your body and your senses…and to listen to that small voice inside your head….something I hugely appreciate.
I love the accepting philosophy…the idea that there is no rigid right or wrong…
just something that may be right or wrong for your body at a specific period in time.
I also really appreciate that the focus is on movement….and keeping the body/spine fluid. I like the idea that we can unblock tension and become more at ease. It allows for the possibility of growth and development….physically and mentally.
That’s a wonderful feeling for someone getting older…instead of feeling less capable, or less limber,
I feel more able…and more willing to try new things!!
I’ve been going to Esther Myers Yoga Studio for over 10 years. I am always impressed by the uniformly high quality of the teaching and the profound respect for the uniqueness of each individual learner that all the teachers demonstrate in their classes.
As I engage in Yoga practice I am lead into a deeper knowledge of how to breathe, how to enter into and be still in the moment. I ‘ve also developed a deep sense of wonder about the gift of the human body. As a breast cancer survivor of 22 years, Yoga has helped me discover and develop the innate potential of my body for health and healing.
In all my years of yoga study, never have I met teachers so competent and supportive as the ones I experienced at your Studio. To this day, in my yoga practice, I use what I learned from Monica and Esther.
This is just a little note to say thank you so much for your calm and positive and peaceful Pre Natal Yoga classes during my pregnancy. I gave birth to a lovely baby girl, and the labour was a better experience for your help. I’m excited to bring her to postnatal classes with you in the next few months!
I can’t say enough about Monica and the Parents and Babies class. The quiet space (figuratively and literally – I loved those tatami mats) was such a blessing and a time to be myself with the second babe. I rave about the class to all my friends. It is just a bit of magic and Monica is really the gentlest guide through a sometimes wild new adventure in your body.
Mary is a psychotherapist practising in Toronto
As my body is aging and I feel the changes in flexibility and endurance I want to keep stretching and embracing the changes rather than resisting them. Yoga helps me do that! I always feel encouraged and respected by all your teachers and never judged and I really enjoy the community of “sister” travellers.
A few years ago at my annual check-up with my physician I discovered that I had grown a half inch!! She did not seem very curious so I decided to share with her the benefits of yoga as I believe that my “growth” was the result of a regular practice.
I came to Esther Myers Yoga Studio eight or so years ago when I retired because I loved your style of teaching. I appreciated the opportunity to continue to grow in my yoga but in a safe and accepting atmosphere. I love yoga and I love the classes at EMYS. I believe yoga has kept me healthy and peaceful.
In an atmosphere of genuine care, the practice of safe yoga is shared. A true privilege to attend. Definitely a 5 “namaste” (5 star) Studio. With an attitude of gratitude.
For those who have done yoga for 30, 40 years but are aging and for for those who start in their 60’s, the approach at Esther Myers Yoga Studio is accessible and enjoyable. That is why I joined at 65, did the Teacher Training and will continue for years to come.
…about yoga retreats
…about yoga Teacher Training
The week at La Rosa was indeed wonderful, and thanks are definitely due to you – for choosing that amazing place, attracting the group of people, leading the great yoga sessions, and being the heart and soul of the whole experience. It was a truly restorative time for me, and one that I keep re-playing with pleasure in my mind.
Thank you Tama for taking us to such an organic, beautiful, special spot to practice yoga. I feel so blessed to have experienced this with you. You are an amazing teacher and I appreciate all that you have shared with us.
Dearest Tama…as I awoke this am in the glorious sunshine of Canada and started my yoga practice, tears of gratitude streamed down my cheeks. I don’t know where to begin to express my gratitude for you, your yoga teachings and this outstanding retreat in Southern Italy. La Rosa is such a special place of healing, rejuvenation and renewal and it will always be a place. I can put myself whenever these attributes are needed.
Sending you light and love today and always,
We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the extraordinary retreat at Ghost Ranch! It exceeded all of our expectations and provided one of the best yoga, and travel experiences we have ever had!
The yoga was perfect and so helpful in preparing us for, and helping us recover from the wonderful hikes. We appreciate so much the care and skill that went into your excellent teaching.
Ghost Ranch, it’s hard to find words to describe this spectacular location with such beauty and history. It is so easy to understand why Georgia O’Keeffe loved it so much.
With love and thanks,
Your retreat at Mar de Jade was memorable for me. Your teaching, your presence and the movement of our spines echoed by the waves and our breath are indelible for me. It was truly the best Yoga Retreat I have ever attended. I’m now reading Awakening the Spine to reinforce it all.”
What a privilege it was to share the week at Mar De Jade with all of you. There was joy, honesty, companionship….DANCING!…..and as always, the incomparable experience of a retreat with Monica. The memories are indeed indelible.
Thank YOU, Monica!
It was an incredible experience to immerse myself in your deep teaching surrounded by such beautiful, warm-hearted humans. Other than the yoga, I particularly loved the temezcal, the rich and authentic conversations, walking on the beach and, of course, the dancing!
Paige and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and look forward to reconnecting with you either in Toronto or on another adventure.
Abrazos y besos grande,
I had an amazing week (at La Rosa dei 4 Venti). I will never forget all the special excursions, the food, the country setting, and most of all spending time with you (Tama) and Monica. The yoga was special as always. I hope to see you soon.
I wanted to thank you for the lovely yoga retreat in Tobago that I just attended with my friend. I very much appreciate the obvious planning that you put into our sessions so that they really built on the previous sessions.
I very much enjoyed the lovely resort (Kariwak Village Hotel), and the beautiful island, as well as the yoga and my fellow participants.
I look forward to the possibility of taking your classes again in the future.
With warm regards,
So many thanks for facilitating such a splendid respite from our day-to-day lives. To have the privilege of living in a fairy land of Trulli shelters (at La Rose Dei 4 Venti, Italy), to have splendid food laid before us, always with an aesthetic inspiring photo opportunity. To be guided by you toward body and breath awareness enhancing our health and happiness, in all it was an experience to be relished and fondly remembered.
Love and respect,
Thank you so much for a wonderful, magical (Tobago) holiday. I loved meeting all the friendly people, watching the little birds at the sugar bowls, and doing all that deep yoga in a very special setting.
It couldn’t have happened without your inspiring teaching and wonderful presence.
So again, many thanks.
Blissful is a perfect description of our week together. Special thanks to you Monica for the glorious yoga sessions, for your diligent organizing and for your gracious approach to, well, everything!!!
I just wanted to let you know how much I “enjoyed” the Swallow’s Bridge weekend.
“Enjoyed” is probably not the right word, as doing Yoga is not easy; it is a truly a “practice”, something that by definition requires some consistent effort. But I am beginning, I think, to come around to “feeling” in my body, rather than just “knowing” in my head, that yoga can be good for me. It is not intuitive for me, as there is some distance between my mind and body, sometimes as if they are two entirely different things, and I think yoga might help me to bring the two closer together.
Thank you (Tama) for organizing the retreat at Ghost Ranch (New Mexico). It was a wonderful experience in so many ways… serene environment, breathtaking landscape, yoga classes twice a day led by a great teacher, lovely people in our group and at Ghost Ranch, opportunities to walk/hike, learn about the region, see what inspired Georgia O’Keefe… I haven’t felt so relaxed and at ease for quite a while. I still feel great.
I’m very glad that I was a participant on this journey.
Tama, thanks again for a wonderful retreat. You are such a generous and skilled teacher and I value my time spent in your classes. It was also a great group. Lots of laughs and pondering together.
My images of La Rosa (Italy) are sweet– the wildflowers, the donkeys, cows and sheep and the soft greens of the landscapes.
I’m so glad I joined you. It was a very special week for me and I like to think it won’t be the last time. Tama, thanks so much for your generous teaching which always left me feeling so alive and well.
“Yoga in Tobago” exceeded my wildest expectations of setting, teaching, yoga practice and friendship. I’m in serious Tobago withdrawal right now! Many thanks to Monica and all of you for an unforgettable experience.
The Tobago Retreat was a wonderful experience for all the senses, emotions and body. I learnt so much from everyone, watching how the body moves naturally, your experiences in the postures and your questions. Monica, you are a truly gifted teacher with infinite patience, can I kidnap you and bring you to France?
We are still here at Kariwak and I am doing my daily practice under the ajupa, hearing your voices and laughter, and seeing your faces.
Until next year, aurevoir.
Monica I wanted to thank you for a wonderful weekend. Your style of yoga is different to what I have been exposed to in the past but I really appreciate it. I think sometimes our lives are go go go and it is so great to take a step back and practice a peaceful and relaxing form of yoga. I really enjoyed your approach.
The location (Swallow’s Bridge) was also wonderful and the food was amazing.
It was a truly wonderful week.
Thank you all for sharing it with me and making it so much fun.
And thank you Monica for making it all possible and being such a kind, patient, encouraging teacher.
It was a fabulous combination of relaxation and challenge…that somehow never left me tired.
I’m amazed that I did 4 hours of yoga a day and loved it!
Tama, I wanted to write to thank you SO very much for such a great week (in Italy). Your (course) surpassed all my expectations and I thought it was simply fantastic – encouraging and inspiring. I have done yoga for so long but never before have I been quite so impressed by the teaching skill. Thank you for your wonderful support, patience and guidance. I feel so much stronger in every way and a lot of this is thanks to you.
This yoga retreat was a really good experience for me: walking in the forest, the morning meditation session, the relationship between mudra and pranayama. The beauty of the Scorpion pose and the transitional feeling from Wheel to standing were unforgettable. I feel lucky to be one of the participants.
The site is just gorgeous and the food is delicious.
Thank you very much.
I wanted to thank you for the yoga retreat last weekend. I am enormously grateful to have participated. As with the retreat last summer, I found the experience very life-giving. I find your teaching very restorative and affirming and because of that I end up being able to do things I never thought possible, like head stands and hand stands and just the general comfort level I experience increases.
The people who participate in your workshops are thoughtful, with a desire to live their lives to the fullest which takes a lot of commitment and courage. It is a privilege to spend a few days with such amazing people. Thanks for making that possible.
Never would I thought of taking a trip to Iceland without your instigation/inspiration! And I am thrilled that I did it. What a marvelous landscape – the colours – strewn boulders, – greened with lichen and mosses, the dense blackness of the basalt sand, miles of indigo lupine, the icy blue of the icebergs – all elements of unknown terrains.
Thank you so much for your introduction to them!
I experienced the landscape, history and people of Oaxaca and its envrions as a bountiful banquet which nourished, excited and inspired. The comfort and quiet of Casa Sagrada combined with Monica’s excellent daily yoga classes enabled me to absorb it all with deep pleasure and relaxation.
Monica and Tama, I want to thank you once again for a wonderful week in Costa Rica at Luna Lodge and I wanted to share my memories with you.
As we approached the air strip in our 6 seater plane I remember the beautiful view. We disembarked our aircraft and as I stepped out, the Scarlet Macaus settled in the giant trees made their loud call. I thought, “What a warm welcome!”. Our vehicle drove up a long rugged road to Luna Lodge. Lana and her smiling staff greeted us with ice cold water, just what we needed. I wandered up to my bungalow thinking, “This is paradise!”. Super-sized vegetation along with neighbours like lizards, monkeys, birds, butterflies and many more creatures to come.
Our yoga classes were perfectly planned, keeping in mind the heat and the climbing we did daily just getting to and from the yoga platform.
I remember the hike and cooling off under the waterfall. I remember the 14km hike and swimming in the river. Resting on rocks by the ocean and having a picnic lunch. Our guide Oscar and his knowledge of the terrain and all the animals.
Most of all, I remember how wonderful I felt with the two of you.
I didn’t keep a journal while I was at Luna Lodge, but I REMEMBER…
…about yoga events
“A lot of my training was useful during labour…breathing for sure but grounding too… to help with all these thoughts… that you can’t make it, it is too painful and this is not what I wanted (I had to be induced at hospital at the end because I broke my waters and 24 hours later I still had no contractions)… Again thank you…this training is about life. I see it now.”
“What I wanted to share regarding yoga and pregnancy and birth…
a) I had no lower back pain throughout my pregnancy. None. And I attribute this to elongation of the lower spine.
Things I found useful…bridge on the ground/bridge at the wall. Cat/Cow. All movements of the tailbone. This awareness and control also helped me when it was time to push. I elongated my spine through the tailbone and envisioned my pelvis widening. Even though I was pushing abdominally and vaginally, it felt as though I was able to soften and widen. All this awareness of the pelvis widening, its elasticity, was encouraging and very useful in labour.
b) The breath. Especially the extended exhalation was a saving grace during contractions and in labour. It was very helpful to have a birth partner remind me to exhale. Opening meditations of water, wave, the tide, I found soothing, reassuring and natural. Helped to remind me to soften to what the body was meant to do. Going with the flow (literally).
c) Toward the end of my pregnancy and during recovery ‘mula bandha’/pelvic floor lifts were very useful for bladder control – also useful to talk about as some students in prenatal yoga have little awareness or access to this part of the body.
d) Knowing how your body feels, what your body needs is useful in communication with nurses/midwives/doctors. It enables us to ask questions, share our concerns and make decisions in the face of ‘expert’ advice.
e) I liked my prenatal yoga class to be about awareness and contemplation. It allowed me time to acknowledge and honour the changes that were occurring in my body. Sometimes we need permission to slow down. We can’t let others know what we need if we aren’t aware or accepting of what it is we need.”
Thank you for presenting the Feldenkrais workshop. After three hours of very small, slow movements my body felt very soft today (day after). I appreciated the expanded information on Feldenkrais and found it accessible through my yoga practice. Pulling back slowly to the first indication of a movement is a valuable learning tool for awareness. These are just a couple of my thoughts on the very detailed and informed presentation.
I am writing to compliment Shari Stein on teaching a wonderful, comprehensive and informative Chair Yoga workshop this past Friday. She has a beautiful teaching style and communicates with so much love, respect and grace. Please pass on a BIG THANK YOU to her for me.