Big Changes

25 Years of teaching yoga come to an end

I started teaching yoga shortly after I took my first class. Back then (1994) there weren’t many yoga teachers and studios were happy for students to substitute teach classes. I’ve always loved to teach and it was a natural fit for me. I taught yoga as a back-up job through graduate school, while working as a National Park Ranger, as a new mom, while working at a land trust and while studying Ayurveda. At times it was my primary job, like when I ran the Johnson Yoga Studio in Johnson, VT and hosted the Vermont Yoga Conference (2004-2006). And it has been my primary occupation since I created Blue Hill Mountain Studio four years ago. Over the years I became Maine’s first certified Anusara instructor, taught two year-long 200hr teacher trainings, led retreats to Costa Rica and traveled far and wide to teach specialty workshops. In short, I have had a highly successful and satisfying career as a yoga teacher.

Jerome and me practicing the primary series of Ashtanga at Yoga Vermont (2000).

My yoga journey started with Ashtanga Yoga as taught by K. Patahbi Jois. In my late twenties I sought out a more balanced practice and spent a year studying with Angela Farmer. Then I began following John Friend and Anusara yoga. I took something from each style and I am indebted to all of my teachers for the skills they imparted to me. Take what serves, put the rest aside.

The Johnson Yoga Studio and Vermont Yoga Conference making the news (2005)

After a few major events in the yoga world I wandered away from any formal style or teachers in 2012. Disenchanted with what felt like a lack of integrity and transparency in the broader U.S. yoga industry I decided to focus on how to best serve the community here in Blue Hill. Many of my students followed me on this journey. I think some were disappointed when I dropped the Sanskrit, chanting and Hindu mythology from my teaching. Over the last seven years my classes have morphed into a familiar, mostly low-key routine that focuses on being present and at ease in our bodies.

With K.Patahbi Jois (1999). I was recently interviewed for the book Practice and all is Coming by Matthew Remski describing my experience as KPJ’s student.

It’s been 25 years since I taught my first class and over this last year I have found myself steering more and more toward other interests. So while I still have tremendous affection for the teaching and practice of yoga and mindful movement, my time as a yoga teacher, has for now, come to an end. June 15 will be my last Saturday morning 9am yoga class. I’ve been teaching this class weekly for ten years and I have so much gratitude for all of you who have joined me along the way, many of you since the very beginning. I hope to see you in the studio soon.

What’s next? I will be traveling with my family for the summer and after we return Labor Day I plan to teach Pilates classes at my new home studio.

You are all invited to a closing celebration on Sunday June 9thfrom 5-7pm at Mountain Studio. 

Blue Hill Mountain Studio – a special class for Jenny and Masi’s wedding.

4 Comments on “Big Changes

  1. You are a Great teacher, Charlotte, and I am very grateful for all you have given me. As I age, and feel body – querks, you have helped me stay aligned, pain-free, strong and healthy. All with humor, directness and warmth!
    Best Wishes to you in all that lies ahead.

  2. Good luck and God Bless you and family on your next journey!

  3. I only had the opportunity to practice yoga with you a few times over the past 10 years when up in Maine in the summer. First time was in Ellsworth and then in Blue Hill. You’re an amazing yoga teacher. Will miss taking your class. Best yoga in ME in my opinion. Thank you so much for sharing your teaching. Best of luck to you!!

  4. Dear Charlotte,
    I have so enjoyed your classes for several years, and will miss your wisdom and challenging approach. That said, I will just have to be less lazy and more inclined now to challenge and teach myself. We all have mountains to climb and dreams to live, so you GO, girl. Very best wishes and THANKS.

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