My Story

IOA valley w Sandy/fish

My story with yoga began 40 years ago.

As an at-home mother, TV was my access to the world beyond. It provided my first yoga experience.

I was and am still captivated by how we can affect our health and well-being just by moving our body in challenging and interesting ways. I love that science is validating many of the claims made by the early yogis, especially when the benefits relate to the common issues I find with students – back pain, arthritis and osteoporosis.

These are the challenges time has added to my personal life agenda too. Probably because of my yoga practice, their effects were minimal until they combined with the impact of age. Through dealing with them I’ve come to treasure the power of yoga – and I’ve become a better yoga teacher.

My first surprise in the body-pain department came a few years ago when back sensations insisted on slowing me down. After a pain-free life, I suddenly found myself in fairly constant pain. “Managing” the body has become the new buzz word for my relationship with yoga. As back-pain is managed through specific postures and vinyasas (a moving series of postures), simultaneously the twisting and stretching of muscles and tendons put tension on the bones – which sends signals my inner bone-builder to increase my bone density. Movement enables the arthritis to stay at bay, so that too is managed.

Clearly yoga is the magician. Repeatedly, when I’m less diligent with my practice, pain returns. The ‘silent disease’ of osteoporosis, doesn’t signal me to activate my yoga habit, but re-testing bone mass does.

From the moment I began yoga, I valued it as a tool for improving the body’s functioning. Years of doing yoga have shown me its place as an assistant in altering mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions.

I have observed myself angry, sad, sick and rattled as I began my practice. These and other joy-covering clouds have been cleared again and again as I become absorbed in yoga.

Maturity has colored my practice and my teaching style. Trained in the Kripalu yoga style  in 2003, compassion toward one’s self is at the core of all classes. As a part of my continuing education, I keep up with research on yoga – avoiding injuries is as important to me as knowing posture benefits.

I have taken courses in Yoga for MS, Laughter Yoga, and Therapeutic Yoga. Having maintained a meditation practice for almost as long as I’ve been doing yoga postures keeps the value of connection to one’s deepest level a central intention of each yoga class.

My BA is in psychology and I am certified in the Work of Byron Katie.

There is so much to know about yoga! I love teaching and learning about it. There is no phase of your life that cannot be augmented or improved by a yoga practice.

Namaste, Sandy

Yoga for Arthritis: The Complete Guide
Loren Fishman, MD, & Ellen Saltonstall

Yoga for Osteoporosis: The Complete Guide

Loren Fishman, MD, & Ellen Saltonstall


Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing

Timothy McCall, MD


Yoga for Emotional Balance: Simple Practices to Help Relieve Anxiety and Depression

Bo Forbes, PsyD


Sandy Callender, RYT

Kripalu Certified