Anya Tikka | Democrat
Students Karol Sundholm, June Shafer, Ken Sable, and Nancy Stevenson practice a position.
Yoga is good for everything
HIGHLAND LAKE November 29, 2013 Situated next to the tranquil lake, Highland Yoga offers daily yoga classes in a spacious studio with floor to ceiling mirrors, soothing music, and picture windows that allow the sunshine to illuminate the space that seems to invite relaxation.
Shain Fishman, who owns the studio runs all the classes with firm gentleness, and ends each session with a relaxation exercise where everyone lays down on their mats and Shain goes around tucking their heads in a sort of supportive cocoon “It’s cradling,” she explained, and it can be wonderfully soothing.
The yoga classes are well-attended year-round, said Fishman, who’s been running it since 2002 when she reopened "Highland Yoga and Dance.” It was the same space where she’d been taking classes from her mentor Blake France.
Fishman had moved to Sullivan County from New York City and took yoga classes after having her third child at 46, and “finding it difficult to get on the floor to play with my child and even harder to get up from the floor.”
“I made the choice to raise her in the country where we had a second home. I have been a full-time resident for 17 years,” she explained.
Fishman continued taking classes, and became a 200-hour certified yoga instructor (a RYT or registered yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance) in 2008. After a stint of teaching ballet, the studio is back to being yoga only.
Fishman described her classes: “I have studied and taken classes in many styles of yoga from which I draw inspiration. Teaching for me is based on the knowledge I've accumulated but is for the most part instinctual. I bring many different approaches into a single class depending on who is in class, what the group energy is at the time, and what the weakest and the strongest person in the class may need at any given moment.”
Due to the small local population, the studio has offered only one class per day, taught by Fishman.
“But it has become apparent that a specific population has been underserved in our county,” she continued, adding, “We are now offering pre-natal yoga classes in four different time slots. We hope that expectant mothers from all over Sullivan County and adjacent Pennsylvania counties will avail themselves of this opportunity. The instructor, Tiffany Haley, is a doula and prenatal yoga instructor. She is currently pregnant with her third child and is happy to share her skills and knowledge.”
Fishman noted that yoga with consistent practice brings strength, flexibility, stamina, concentration, and stress reduction, something echoed by comments of the students in the class we visited, namely, “Yoga is good for everything.”
In the past the attendance at the studio has gone up during summer from second homers, but the past summer had mostly year-round residents who attended regularly. “Those attending class have come to understand that even though once a week is better than nothing, twice a week, or three classes per week are even better,” Fishman added.