By Jeani Mackenzie, 67, Founder, Davenport School of Yoga
My journey with yoga began in 1974. I was living in the southwest corner of Western Australia at the time.
My husband was a Palmer graduate and was incorporating yoga to help his patients help themselves. One day he was unable to teach class and I took over!
I taught my first class in a sheep-shearing shed, before yoga mats were even invented.
I lived in Australia for 20 years before returning to the States.
Back here, I started teaching yoga in 1994 in fitness centers and church basements, opening a studio on Brady Street – now located at 735 Federal Street, Davenport – in 1996.
At that time there was only one other teacher in the Quad Cities!
Yoga has gone mainstream over the past 20 years, as more and more people have discovered its virtues and the peace it brings to their stressful lifestyles.
In yoga class, you get an hour’s vacation from your life!
You think about your body and your breath. There’s no room for outside thoughts. You leave your worries at the door.
My goal is that students leave class with a different perspective.
People think they can’t do yoga. They see difficult poses and think they could never do that. Maybe not!
But we can all do something, which is where yoga begins.
No matter where you begin, you can do yoga.
Through yoga, we become stronger, more flexible, more accepting of who we are.
I have 80- and 90-year-old students who don’t do headstands anymore, but what an inspiration to me and other students!
All my students are an inspiration to me. We all have our challenges, including the young students.
We all need a break from the chaos that our lives can become.
There is so much dis-ease in our world. Many health issues are related to that lack of ease, that stress.
Through yoga, you learn to stand better, think better, feel better. You learn to live your life with ease.