Michelle Charlton · Yoga Instructor

Michelle Charlton has been teaching yoga at the La Pine Activity Center for almost four years, with classes Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (see page 11 of this newsletter for class times).
“Yoga has always been a safe place for me,” says Michelle, “and it was something I always went back to during difficult times in my life. I teach yoga because I want to share that safe space with anybody who wants to become familiar with their safe place through yoga.”
“There’s no experience necessary to come to class,” Michelle continued. “A lot of people hear the word ‘yoga’ and think that they’re not flexible enough, but yoga means to ‘unite’, coming from the word “yoke” in India, where people have been practicing it for thousands of years.”
Michelle said the practice and postures of yoga are only one limb of the eight-limbed yoga discipline. Practicing yoga for over 40 years, Michelle is licensed in Iyengar and Ashtanga yoga, and has great knowledge of Hatha yoga.
“Yoga is for everybody,” says Michelle. “It is your own personal journey. Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self. Everyone’s journey is different, and it changes over time. We have people in this class in their 70’s and 80’s. It’s not about turning yourself into a pretzel, anyone can do it, and you’ll be surprised at what your body can do!”
Right now the class at the Center is comprised of women, but most yoga classes tend to be co-ed. “At my Fit Zone class we have several men, and I encourage men to come to the Activity Center. I love the different type of energy they bring to a yoga class,” says Michelle.
“I continually remind my students that they need to know what their body is doing, and not worry about the person next to you, just do what you can do!”
Michelle would like to see more people be comfortable with coming to class, and “I feel blessed to be on this journey with my students and see their progress.“
“I have a male student in his 70’s who is a fisherman, and when I asked him what made him decide to start yoga he said he needed to quiet his mind, and work on his balance. He’s found that the breathing exercises have helped with his breathing issues and his balance is getting better!”
“So don’t be afraid of yoga; it’s a connection between mind, body and soul. Your body will have more flexibility and range of motion, better balance and a quieter mind.”