Testimonials

Who is using Mindful Flow Podcasts?

Meet Linda Daniel and find out how she has managed to keep up her yoga practice while traveling.

Returning to the mat after several years has been the best thing I could have done for myself. I have been attending Mary’s Vigorous Flow and Yin/Yang classes for almost two years now. I can say without a doubt that she is the best and most personable teacher I have ever encountered.

Last year, Mary worked with me in a private class to create a Podcast for my use during an extended absence from the area. I also downloaded several other Podcasts from her website to my laptop to keep my practice interesting and diverse. It was an easy and convenient way for me to continue to reap the rewards of regular yoga practice. Mary was with me in voice and spirit which helped tremendously.

Even though I am back in the area and able to attend her classes regularly, there have been times when I’ve practiced yoga with her Podcasts in the comfort of my own home and when away from home on vacation. I can’t speak highly enough of the quality of Mary’s Podcasts and how they have enabled me to stick with my practice wherever I happen to be.

It is testament to her generous spirit and passion for yoga that she makes her Podcasts available on her website for everyone’s benefit. Her knowledge, passion and enthusiasm for yoga is contagious.

Linda Daniel
McLean, Virginia

So. Do I look like a cover model for Yoga Journal? No, not at all. Do I look like someone who is ill and battle weary? No to that, too. What my practice has done for me may be much less dramatic in terms of my appearance than I would like, but the result has been very, very dramatic when it comes to my level of overall wellness. It has allowed me to learn to live in my body, no matter what level of physical pain and discomfort I am in. It turns out that yoga is so much more than the typical asanas, and with the right guidance, I have been able to practice even, for example, for the five months when I had to keep my leg elevated while healing from a skin graft! There is a yoga routine for every time and place, if you take the time to figure out what you can do, and have the patience to go to your edge, over and over, in order to find out what your body is capable of right here, right now.

I realize this may all sound a little gory and extreme. Despite what you might imagine, I am whole and healthy and happy. And for that, I am so grateful. So grateful, in fact, that I recently wrote a letter to my body for a body project on www.kristinnoelle.com and it turned into a longer post on my site and now this article, too. Here is my letter to my body, which has hung in there with me for so long, through so much.

Dear Body of Mine,
What comes up when I even think about writing to you is that I am so, so sorry. And so amazed that you are still here. In pretty equal proportions.I am sorry that I didn’t pay much attention to you for many years. I’m sorry that I was so stuck in a pattern of dissociation that I didn’t even know you were there for a very long time. I am sorry about all the violence you experienced, and that I gave up trying to protect you – eventually. I’m sorry about taking you to doctor after doctor and letting them experiment on you – rather than see that you were trying to tell me that you needed attention. And why wouldn’t you?I’m trying, now, to make up for lost time. I hope it’s not too late. I am amazed, and so very grateful, that you have come through so much so well. I know now that what you need is for me to love you, to accept that this is where we are right now, to rest as needed and to care for you in the way you have always deserved. I see you for the gift you are.There is a place where we have always met, where I learned to inhabit you fully, where we find peace. Yoga has been our best conduit and connector for so long, and now I see that it is a way to honor you and my inner self, together. As I move, and you soften and respond, it just feels good. And right. And true.I’ll meet you on the mat, every day, and we’ll see where that takes us.
Namaste.

I am sharing this with you so that you know that it’s okay not to be able to hold that pose as long as the person on the next mat. I may never be able to hold Tree for more than thirty seconds, but that doesn’t make my practice any less. It is, in the end, all about showing up. Showing up not just for your teacher, but for your self. There is a quote that says it very well, from Rodney Yee: “Yoga is really trying to liberate us from … shame about our bodies. To love your body is a very important thing. I think the health of your mind depends on your being able to love your body.”

When Mary asked me to write this, she requested that I make it about me, rather than about her. Here’s the deal, though. I have had the gift of working with Mary for about fifteen months now, and it has changed my life for the better in many ways. While I may have known all of what I just wrote on some level, Mary’s extraordinary ability to teach to what is has brought it all to the surface. She has helped me to get to know myself better in many ways, and has shown me what extreme patience and love look like – in a way that I had never seen modeled before. More gratitude to her, and to you, for giving yourself the opportunity to grow with her guidance.

Again, namaste.
Christa Gallopolous

Christa is a regular blogger, photographer, practitioner of yoga and meditation, mother, wife, and companion to ‘a dog who thinks he is a VIP’. Christa is committed to helping and healing on many levels. She is a friend and inspiration to many in the real and virtual world. Follow Christa’s blog Carry It Forward: a Journey from Here to There.

 

I started taking Mary’s YinYang and Yoga Stretch and Flow classes in June of this summer and committed to taking two classes a week for the duration of my eight-week summer vacation. By practicing yoga regularly I have found that I am a better problem-solver, more creative and have more energy to give my family and my students every day. This gift that I gave to myself is something that I will forever treasure!As an elementary school teacher my days are very busy but rewarding because I know I am making a difference in the lives of the children that I teach. However, the work is also a source of daily stress due to the many responsibilities that teaching entails. One of the most important things that I have found through yoga is a way to deal with that stress and not allow the stress to control my life. I’m having an amazing year, enjoying every minute of my day and handling any stress that comes along in a very productive way. Yoga has become a part of who I am and is as necessary to me as the air that I breathe!

I look forward to Mary’s yoga flow class every week because it gives me the time and space to breathe, stretch, focus on different yoga poses, time to meditate and listen to my “inner heart”. I leave Mary’s classes with a greater sense of inner peace, alertness and happiness!

When I was younger and a new mom all my energies went into taking care of my young family and then to being the best parent that I could be for my children as they were growing up. Well now my children are both in college and I finally have the time to think about my own needs. Through my practice of yoga I feel that I have reached the level of self-actualization that Maslow teaches, I truly feel “self-actualized” like I am meeting my potential everyday!”
Marcia Charin

 

Dr. Mary  DDS

In this fast paced world we live in, practicing YOGA with Mary allows me to bring my mind, body and soul back into balance.

As a dentist, often times I am working in unhealthy positions for long periods of time–be it on a patient or at the computer. For about a year, until I discovered Mary, I was suffering chronic shoulder and neck pain.
Thanks to her guidance I am pain free, and when it arises, I know how to treat it.

Thanks to her friendship and counseling, as she is a multi-faceted teacher, not only have I grown as a person, but my office team and patients have benefited as well.

Our sessions are both subtle and vigorous. Mary trusts the ancient wisdom of Yoga and can lead others with grace into a powerful weave of integration allowing mind, body and spirit to come into true alignment.

I encourage you to give her class a try or make an appointment for a private yoga session. She makes everyone feel welcome and comfortable, and as cliché as it may sound, yoga will transform you-for the better.
Dr. Mary Gharagozloo, DDS, McLean, VA

 

I started yoga at the recommendation of my physical therapist. After two back surgeries and months of physical therapy, I was told yoga would improve my balance, build my core strength and better support my lower back. Truthfully, I had mixed feelings about yoga. Despite my recent health challenges, I’d been a tennis player and runner for many years and wasn’t sure yoga would be a good fit for my competitive nature. However, eager to put my recovery behind me and to get back to an active lifestyle, I signed up for a couple of classes at Pengu Studio and started practicing with Mary.In just a year, I’ve gone from skeptic to “yogini”. First, I was hooked by the physical benefits. Almost immediately, I saw greater improvement in my balance, flexibility and more movement in my lower back than I’d seen in years. What made me a true “believer” was the subtle way in which yoga transformed my life. On the mat, yoga terms of art such as “breathing”, “stillness” and “surrender” became critical elements of my practice. Off the mat, I found these elements could be applied in wonderfully transformative ways. After practicing now for almost a year, my stress levels are more manageable. I sleep better now than I have in years. I find new ways to navigate difficult conversations, especially when I’m dealing with my teenage children.

The possibilities of bringing yoga off the mat and into my life seem endless. I’m even more committed to this aspect of my practice than to the benefits to my body. I’m so grateful to Mary for her guidance and for teaching me that I can live yoga both on and off the mat.

Annie Hall, McLean, VA

 

Dr. Sandy Ibrahim’s patients at PartnerMD are practicing yoga! For over a year now I have been honored to introduce the practices of yoga and meditation to patients at PartnerMD, a concierge medical practice in McLean, VA, that also offers fitness assessment, nutritional assessments and massage to their patients. The team is incredibly talented and truly embraces and understands the value of helping individuals find balance and health on all levels of being.

In her own words:

I am very pleased to be working with Mary to offer introduction to yoga and meditation practice to my patients. It is important for patients to understand that our body and mind are the two main instruments that allow us to be successful and evolve in the world. The practice of yoga, which concentrates on many different forms of exercise: strength of the core, deep breathing, stretching, proprioception and sleep control, allows the body to increase its efficiency and total health. Yoga has been linked to improved stress levels, reduction in blood pressure, better blood sugar control, improved pain management and has helped my elderly patients understand the importance of proper breathing techniques to fight against respiratory infection. Mary is very dedicated and very knowledgeable. She is genuine and effervescent and I am glad to have her as a part of the PartnerMD team.Our patients at PartnerMD are saying that:

“Mary is very centered and calming. I have never tried Yoga before and Mary was able to break it down into basic format that a beginner could understand. It was very helpful to have one on one time with her as she helped me focus on my breathing and stretching techniques. Once I was able to implement the breathing actions she was teaching me, I realized that breathing properly allows me to feel more alive and healthy. I also realized that Yoga will help my mind and body mesh as one. I have found that as I have aged I have lost my muscle tightness and breathing, stretching and working hard will allow me to be more mobile. I plan to continue practicing Yoga with Mary”.

“Working with Mary was extremely helpful. She was very upfront with information that would help my lower back pain and chronic problems. She has a calm, passionate disposition and I believed every word she said about the power of Yoga and mediation. She enabled me to better understand the techniques behind breathing properly and now I am more conscious and I feel more aware”.

“I was very excited to learn that PartnerMD had incorporated Yoga into the yearly wellness assessment option. It shows me that Dr. Ibrahim is working to educate her patients about the body as a whole. It is also nice to make the population aware about different options to create a better lifestyle rather than just using medication. I was instantly at ease with Mary and she exudes enthusiasm for yoga, inspires you to safely challenge yourself, and offers excellent instruction. She was not judgmental about the fact that I might not do Yoga again but rather took the time to educate me about the different types of yoga so that I could deepen my interest level”.

For more information about the practice and how to join visit the website at www.PartnerMD.com.