I recently had a discussion with yoga instructor Marti Ewing to discuss her perspective on yoga and especially Recuperative Yoga and the role of yoga in health and healing. Marti is a close associate and ally within my yoga community and she offers yoga classes through her neighborhood studio very close to the Jbyrd Yoga studio. You can find out more about her at her site: MartiEwingYoga.com.
How long have you been practicing yoga?
Yoga first found me 20 years ago, in a college class where I fell in
love with the way yoga made me feel. My teacher was beautiful and
graceful and inspiring. I took classes when my schedule allowed, and
felt stronger and healthier as a result. I would watch all the other
yogis in the class move with ease and even though I never felt like a
natural I knew there was something there I needed that made me feel
But after college, life became more hectic with marriage, a stressful
sales career, and an aging mom. My self-care was put on hold — for
almost a decade. Driving to sales calls ( in the medical field,
ironically working with pain patients and feeling pain) , I found
myself feeling exhausted, disconnected and in pain from long miles of
sitting behind the wheel with my body in the same position . My body
ached and my mind felt scattered from the stress of work . One day,
suffering from sciatic nerve issues, I literally hobbled into one of
Julie Byrd’s Recuperative yoga classes and in a very short time found
myself feeling great.
What made you want to become an instructor?
Julie’s compassion and knowledge of the human body inspired me to
dedicate myself to self-healing. She taught and mentored me how to
modify my practice to my particular needs and have fun, as well. As I
discovered the healing properties of yoga, I felt called upon to
become a teacher myself and pass along this ancient healing modality
to others. Having spent much time caring for my mother and a disabled
sister I had a real interest in working with special populations.
Where did you get your instructor training?
I began my studies under Julie and Amy Garrett at Balance Your Body Yoga.
Amy and is a remarkable athlete, and taught me about
strength and how important it is to flexibility. In my late thirties
and early forties I became stronger then I ever had been. I felt great
and began to realize that I was actually feeling better as I got
I was incredibly fortunate to have two such wise teachers. With their
guidance and my own consistent practice, I progressed forward faster
and my whole life was transformed (mentally and physical as yoga has
a way of doing).
I found I began to embodied this quote:
“When the body is strong the mind thinks strong thoughts.” – Henry Rollins
What type of yoga do you teach?
Today, I share my Recuperative yoga-based practice with people of
various levels of experience and skills in groups, as well as through
private lessons, workshops, trainings, conferences and retreats. My
message is that anyone can do yoga when guided by a skilled teacher
who knows how to recognize individual needs and modify practice to
suit the person.
Where do you teach?
My work has me teaching students from the most young and fit to older
people suffering serious illness. I serve as the Yoga Coordinator
working with adolescents at Kinkaid High School, as well as working as
the Yoga Educator for St. Luke’s Hospital Department of Integrative
Medicine, working by physician referral with patients individually and
Do you teach group classes that anyone can join?
In addition to Recuperative yoga classes, I also teach Hatha yoga and
all classes, regardless of the style, are infused with meditation/deep
relaxation techniques to help release stress and tension. Emphasis is
on alignment and full awareness of the present moment. Over the years
of teaching, I have seen that as students learn to take better care of
themselves, they develop greater compassion and love those around
them. It is an honor and privilege to be part of this journey.
What about workshops? I heard you are somewhat of an expert about Kombucha.
Workshops range from extended classes in Rieki Energy work and Chi
Gong to lessons in making Kombucha, in addition to sessions on Yoga as
a healing modality. Although different, all classes have one thing in
common: they are designed to teach self-care and awareness that leads
to a better quality of life.
Tell me a little about your yoga studio.
Classes take place in a healing environment located on the edge of
River Oaks. (very close to Julie’s studio) My studio is quaint and
cheery and allows me plenty of time and space to give personal
attention to students, whether in private lessons, groups or
workshops. People say the studio is a wonderful contrast to the
environment of a big gym, and people often linger after class to talk,
drink tea or Kombucha and just enjoy the peaceful place.
Where can we find out more about your classes?
The schedule for my classes and other events can be found at
martiewingyoga.com, where you can also sign up for my newsletter to stay connected to our yoga community. There you will find more about me and my You Tube channel.
So check out Marti’s website and look for her at the 8th Texas Yoga Conference Sunday, February 19 TIME: 1:30pm – 3:00pm.