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People often ask me how I became interested in yoga. I’d like to think that I got into it to become more spiritual. That is not the case. I started to practice yoga because I was a runner with tight hamstrings and tight hips. I couldn’t even get close to touching my toes. I was also developing high blood pressure, headaches and anxiety.  Basically I didn’t feel very good, inside and out and I wanted to.  I wanted to experience freedom.

I started my practice in 2001 at the Women’s Club in Missoula, MT. My first class I became dizzy and nauseous. I was curious about the sensations that were rising in my body. I was incredibly uncomfortable and frankly embarrassed that I couldn’t “do” more of the poses. I had always been an athlete. I was competitive and used my competitive nature to push myself – to the end of the swimming pool, to the finish line, to basically be the best. And here’s the kicker. I felt I wasn’t enough.

I persevered. I became more and more interested in other aspects of yoga. I started to feel better, inside and out. Did my hamstrings become longer? Probably not but now my hips didn’t hurt, my headaches eased and I was no longer taking meds for high blood pressure. I was healing myself and this felt empowering.

Today as we begin a new year,  I am involved in guiding others to become yoga teachers. I teach group classes in yoga, breathing and meditation in the Bitterroot Valley and Bozeman. I would like to honor the influential teachers that I have had the privilege of studying with over the past 8 years. Erich Schiffmann, my spiritual guide for always being truthful and open and sharing the Freedom Style Yoga with me. Gratitude for Bernie Clark for his intelligence of the practice of Yin Yoga. The Chopra Center for allowing me to drop deeper into meditation. Dr. Lorin Roche and Camille Maurine for the opportunity to study the Radiance Sutras and to better understand and fall madly in love with meditation. And Nancy Ruby, my very first yogini that I studied with to receive my first 200 hour certification. Thank you to all!

nofilters

Martha studied with Nancy Ruby, Bernie Clark, Erich Schiffmann, Deepak Chopra and is currently studying to become a certified meditation teacher with Dr. Lorin Roche and Camille Maurine. 

18 Comments

  • Reply Sharon Thompson

    Hi Martha:
    I really like your new website. Simple, spirit-filled and speaks the truth from deep in
    your heart and soul. Congrats.

    January 21, 2017 at 11:08 pm
  • Reply Nancy Ruby

    Yeah! Love your new site and all that you are offering. Congratulations!

    January 22, 2017 at 4:10 am
  • Reply Annie Allen

    Absolutely brilliant Martha! I look forward to hearing more.

    January 24, 2017 at 2:41 pm
  • Reply Jenna

    I just moved into the area from Toronto with my family. Both myself 22 and my younger sister 15 are looking to start everything fresh and were looking at taking yoga classes

    I Think it would be outstanding for both of us mentally and physically. We both played or in her case still play sports competively. Neither of us have done yoga before, Is there a particular class that you would recommend for us. We are open financially open to either private or group classes if you offer them.

    We went out and got yoga mats and have some gym gear like yoga pants etc but need to go get some other clothes, I’m curious is there a certain fabric you would recommend? Whether it be for performance or comfort?

    Also Is there a specific kind/style of bra and underwear you recommend? I’m not sure what most girls would wear. I know from trying some poses here in our house some yoga pants seem a little thin lol

    I apologize for all the questions this is all brand-new to us 🙂 it’s a little intimidating lol. I understand you are probably very busy but if you have the opportunity to help us out we would greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks sincerely Jenna

    February 2, 2017 at 10:01 pm
    • Reply Martha Piersma

      Hi Jenna,

      Wonderful that you are interested in bringing a yoga practice into your life. You will find balance through the poses and breathing practices. You will gain strength and flexibility which is so important for athletes. I would recommend clothes that you are comfortable in. Clothes that stretch as you stretch and breathe as you may begin to sweat. I would love to meet with you and your sister and do a private or two just to get you started with proper physical alignment and work with your breathing. What part of the valley do you reside in? I teach group classes all over the valley. For instance my Sunday morning class is in downtown Stevensville, I teach classes in the Lone Rock school area as well as between Stevi and Victor.

      It may be best to have a phone conversation as we move forward. 406-375-5764 is my number. Feel free to call anytime between the hours of 9 and 6.
      Namaste,
      Martah

      February 4, 2017 at 3:15 pm
  • Reply Bobbe Jo Alden

    Martha, I did yoga with you when you had your studio, I have not found anything like you or your practice in the area, I would love to get back into yoga, what/where do you teach, how do I rejoin your practice…

    August 22, 2017 at 5:39 pm
    • Reply Martha Piersma

      Hi Bobbe – I would love to see you again! I will be teaching 4 classes a week in the valley. Tu/Thur at the Lone Rock Middle School music room 7-8 am. I teach a 10 am gentle yoga class at Florence Therapy & Wellness in Florence and beginning September 10 I teach a class called Sacred Sunday and we meet 9-11 am every Sunday morning at Starrett Artist Studio on Main Street Stevensville. Would any of these times/locations work for you?

      September 1, 2017 at 2:06 pm
  • Reply Bobbe Jo Alden

    I would be able to do Sacred Sunday, thanks Martha so glad to be able to do this with you again…have not found anything like you/your teachings since you left….

    September 6, 2017 at 4:45 pm
  • Reply Bobbe No Alden

    Martha.
    So sorry about not coming and practicing yoga with you.
    I will be able to do the Monday evening practice. I will be there this Monday 1/15.
    I would like to discuss some issues with you after class if you have some time.

    January 13, 2018 at 4:04 pm
  • Reply Margo Beebe-Frankenberger

    Hi Martha –
    I will not be able to attend the Tuesday morning class of Gentle Yoga and sorry to see the day change from Monday to Tuesday. Would the Sunday class be appropriate for me? If so, will this be an ongoing class?
    Thanks,
    Margo

    March 5, 2018 at 6:20 pm
    • Reply Martha Piersma

      Hi Margo – I’m sorry you won’t be attending Tuesday morning classes. The Sunday class would be amazing for you! It is an ongoing class and the dates are: March 11 & 18, April 8 & 15. I’ll be reviewing for May. Put it on your calendar! This is the perfect practice for the stage of life we are in – maintaining and even increasing our flexibility.

      March 6, 2018 at 3:11 am
  • Reply Judith Ellis-Tholt

    Are you teaching Monday evening still?

    April 9, 2018 at 3:49 pm
    • Reply Martha Piersma

      Hi Judith! No Monday evenings right now. Sunday mornings 8:30-10:30 am at Starrett Artists and Tuesday mornings at 10 at 105 Ravalli Street. You still have 2 classes that you have paid for. The Sunday morning class will probably move to Monday nights when and if the weather ever turns nice!

      April 12, 2018 at 11:02 pm

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