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Grant allows Burlington yoga instructor to teach seniors

Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 8:20 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A Burlington yoga instructor is using her passion to teach a group of older Vermonters.

“My goal is making yoga accessible for every ’body’ -- that b-o-d-y,” said Krista Marzewski.

Her students are residents at the Cathedral Square Senior Living Facility and have a range of yoga experiences, but they agree the classes are crucial. “Yoga is one of the most important things in my life. It’s what keeps me sane,” said Rainbow Cornelia.

“What a relief to have this regular practice of yoga during this awful shutdown,” said Ginger Hobbs.

Through the pandemic, they learned Zoom, connected, and continued to stay together. Marzewski’s mom, Peggy Anne, was even able to step in remotely, gain some community, and center herself. “To know that it’s helping everybody as well as I was getting help from, my body felt better, and I was enjoying doing something,” Peggy Anne said.

It’s trauma-informed yoga, meaning Marzewski understands everyone comes to her at a different place in their lives. She recently received a grant through the Yoga Alliance Foundation Teaching for Equity program. She is one of 25 teachers all over the globe making the art accessible for everyone with little to no pay.

She says yoga should be and can be for everyone, you just have to create access. “These are marginal people, they are on a fixed income and yoga has changed their lives and we need it. It creates community and connection and that’s what society is missing is community and connection,” Marzewski said.

She says it’s not about the posture or the shape of the body, but reshaping lives and offering people choices at a time when they often can get taken away. “I was in rehab and I took a yoga class and it was the first time my mind was able to quiet. I learned how to be a human being again, I learned how to breathe, I learned how to quiet my mind,” Marzewski said.

And as she continues to offer choices to those yoga finds, she hopes she can continue to find funding. But regardless, she wants to continue to help others. “I want to be able to help others change their life and know that just sharing my experience strength and hope with other people we just learn to breathe,” Marzewski said.

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