What Students Are Saying About Rocky

Wanted to thank you again for the wonderful session that we had on Wednesday. We have been practicing the [yoga for scoliosis] poses since then. We especially love the stretch with the straps to the door. We have cleared a part in our home so that we have access to a wall. Your idea of turning on a song was an immediate hit with my daughter. [Age 9]. She has a playlist now that we start every time we start our session. Thank you again for all the support,

— Priya.

During an NCC concert, you noticed the difficulty I was having bending over. I had been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease between by 4th and 5th vertebrae. I tried physical therapy, anti-inflammatory and pain medications, lifting weights, and walking all to no avail. Things got so bad, my wife had to help me put on my shoes and socks every morning. It also affected my work. I couldn't bend over to help students and had much difficulty doing the manual labor necessary to set-up for concerts.
Since that time, you introduced me to yoga and taught me that stretching and strengthening my core muscles was essential to alleviating back pain. Now, I start each morning by doing some of the stretches and core exercises you taught me. After several years of this morning routine, I am virtually pain free and decided to try to run again. By the end of the summer, I was running 3 miles a day, six days a week. I dropped 17 pounds and several inches on my waist. When school started, I continued with my daily morning exercises and decreased my runs to 4 days a week. During the winter months, I continued to exercise 4 days a week at the gym. This is the first time in my life I have been successful in continuing to exercise during the school year. None of this would have been possible without you. I thank you for your kind spirit and for reaching out to help me. I am forever grateful!

— Charlie

In St. Benedict's writings on the development of monastic life in the 6th Century he understood that the required activities for Benedictine spirituality were challenging and that at one time or another all would fail in one way or another. His approach was that's ok - always we can begin again. I see that unspoken concept in your class.

...you have created a 'gentle' class in which no one realizes how hard they have worked until it is over.

You have created a safe and relaxing environment that allows individuals to be themselves, warts and all. There are not many places in today's world where that is possible.

— Barry Nestor

"Rocky starts with what is there . . . in the body in front of her. She gathers details about her students' conditions and works with that very specific knowledge. She adapts, contours, re-invents positions so that I, or whoever is working with her at that moment, will get the most out of them. She attends to the slightest imbalance or sigh of pain, makes the necessary adjustment in her instructions. And she reminds one of the basics--breathe, relax the face, pay attention to those toes, the arches, the whole foot, in what manner do those oh-so-useful feet best support the weight of the rest of the body? Each reminder acts as a kindly touch, a tiny step towards a better functioning body."

Maybe it is the particular way she says, 'remember to breathe,' or maybe not, but Rocky makes me laugh in the middle of great effort, and that laugh invariably lets me relax my face, my shoulders, my belly, and then I carry on with better will. And speaking of relaxation, the corpse pose at the end of the class is, at least for me, almost miraculous. All my life people have been telling me to “just relax,” but they never told me how. At the end of each of Rocky's yoga classes, I am learning how.

But best of all, when the class is over, I am not done with it. Each time, I carry home some small new fix, and the knowledge that if I practice it, it will make bits and pieces of my body feel better, work better. I would have said, at almost sixty years of age, that there was no magic to make my body feel better. But I would have been wrong. Little by little, Rocky's gentle teaching is giving me a sense that while I may never be young again, I may yet feel whole again.

— Rebecca H.

"Rocky's Back Care Yoga Class is a different kind of Iyengar yoga class. It is different because the her focus is not on teaching the specific Iyengar yoga poses of a particular level - whether beginning, intermediate or advanced. Rocky's focus is on teaching modified yoga poses which support and strengthen backs that have been injured. The yoga poses are modified by using props. She teaches them through preparatory poses in incremental stages. In this way, students are able to access the benefit of certain Iyengar poses to strengthen the muscles of the back, abdomen and body.

While I have taken gentle, level I, level I/II and level II classes with Rocky and other Iyengar teachers, ... it has only been in this Back Care class that my back has felt appreciatively better. I've also gained a new energy to start taking more advanced level Iyengar yoga classes. "

—Peg Blechman

Dear Rocky,
I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your yoga class. It's clear that you are totally invested in what you do. I appreciate the planning you do and the class itself, but also the sense of community that you foster. As I grow older, I rely on yoga more and more to connect with myself and with the world. Physically, some things are more difficult, but happily, that's not the point! As long as I'm able, I'll stick with it, doing what I can and staying open to the many benefits yoga can bring. Thank you for your guidance,

— Vicky

I started in Rocky's class at age 70 to help me recover from back problems. I got much more than I came for. Not only is my back in excellent shape but my posture, my balance, my general well being is vastly improved.

— Beatrice D.