By Dr. Dennis Augustine (DPM-Ret.)
“The success of yoga does not lie in the ability to perform postures but in how it positively changes the way we live our life…”—Desikachar
Cindy Walker has been involved with yoga in one form or another for over a quarter century, and in the process has become a well seasoned certified yoga instructor with a loyal following at Yoga Source Los Gatos and Bay Club Courtside in the South San Francisco Bay Area.
As a former certified yoga instructor myself and a dedicated student of this practice for 30 years, I can say without a doubt that Cindy is one of the most gifted yoga teachers in Silicon Valley.
Though I have taken several of her classes off and on over the years, I wasn’t able to attend her popular 8 AM Sunday morning class at Bay Club Courtside, as I reserved that time to attend an ongoing group sitting meditation session at the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City.
This changed however, a few years ago, when my wife Cecile and I downsized our home. Focusing on settling into our new townhome we had very little time to make the forty-five minute commute. This freed me up to take Cindy’s class. I thought it would be temporary. But, after a few weeks went by, I discovered I was experiencing better results from her class than sitting meditation at the center. Cindy’s slower, more mindful vinyasa flow approach to yoga with an emphasis on energetic breath work is akin to a moving meditation really resonated with me. As a result I became one of her regular Sunday morning students.
One of Cindy’s favorite wisdom quotes is by Goethe, an eighteenth century philosopher, novelist, poet, playwright, who once said: “When you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” Cindy tells her students that, “Yoga trains us to reduce the mind’s constant chatter, concentrate on living in the present moment, and focus on what’s most important in our precious lives.”
Her first introduction to yoga was during her college years. She was instantly awakened to the many benefits yoga had to offer, including stress management and a dramatic improvement of her general well-being. In effect, yoga revealed her inner guide, her inner therapist and her body-temple became her sanctuary.
What distinguishes a good yoga teacher from a great yoga teacher? One could argue it requires superior technical abilities, a great resume, and excellent communication skills to articulate the posture sequences and philosophy of yoga. Cindy certainly has all that and more. She holds a BA in Movement Therapy & Psychology, the prerequisite number of hours of certification through the Yoga Alliance, and has received a number of other yoga certifications including Restorative and Yin Yoga from some of the top teachers in the country. But, what truly makes her a great yoga teacher is how she makes her students feel during class and the residual positive afterglow that carries over to the rest of their day.
When a student attends one of Cindy’s mixed level classes, you can expect a well choreographed eclectic blend of different styles of yoga and an amazing, full body workout. This is accompanied by a cool tunes playlist ranging from jazz, Afro-Caribbean beats and Indian chants to name a few, invigorating breath movement, guided imagery, playful humor, and ending the class with zen meditation and a deep relaxation pose.
After years of showing her students how to build muscle strength, improve flexibility and balance, Cindy, a compassionate observer of the human condition, saw a need to help heal the mind. This led her to become a certified Life Coach which she describes as “Yoga of the Mind.” The goal is to assist her clients to overcome everyday obstacles that often get in the way of discovering their authentic selves.
She accomplishes this by creating the space for clients to recognize and let go of old patterns of thinking and unhealthy belief systems. She then guides them in creating newer and healthier ways of seeing, that allows them to discover peace and inner joy that is not dependent on events that happen outside themselves.
Through “The Art of Living Life Coaching & Yoga Services” Cindy is available for private one-on-one and group classes, Skype sessions, and conducts workshops, teacher trainings, mentorships and retreats in some of the most tranquil venues throughout the Bay Area. To learn more about this amazing teacher and healer, check out her website and see her contact information below: