The Center has recently been blessed with several new teachers and practitioners. We want to introduce each one to you so you can get to know and appreciate all of our staff members. This will be the first in a series of articles that feature first new faces, and then spotlight each staff member in turn. This article spotlights Tammy Vermeulen who will be bringing a “Plus Size Yoga” program to the Center in the new year.
Meet Tammy Vermeulen, yoga instructor
By Janene Lang
“I feel that yoga is for everyone and that everyone should be able to have a positive body image that’s not based on size or present abilities” says Tammy Vermeulen who is passionate about sharing the transformational experience of yoga with everyone. Unfortunately, many can feel uncomfortable or intimidated about participating in classes because of physical limitations or their body type. “I get so much out of yoga, feeling better about myself, there needs to be a broader spectrum of accessibility for people of larger stature or with physical limitations” says Vermeulen.
“Yoga is an individual practice,” says Vermeulen, “I want my students to be comfortable participating no matter what level they’re at.” Vermeulen is developing a class, specifically geared toward this group, modified for accessibility in a way that minimizes the sense of self-consciousness that often gets in the way of starting or continuing participation.
Tammy first became interested in yoga about 13 years ago while working on her bachelor’s degree at Marian University. “I took a spirituality class with Dr. Ketterhagen and then took yoga 1, 2, and 3 at the Center” explained Tammy. “I’ve had my own practice ever since.” Tammy felt the call to teach yoga from the beginning of her practice but it took time to before investing in yoga teacher training was possible.
Her dedication to her practice and her persistence toward her dream to teach eventually brought that desire to reality as she graduated from the Center’s yoga teacher training program earlier this month. The program is a 200 hour, eleven month course of study. Tammy attended classes one weekend a month at the Center for Spirituality & Healing which runs the program in conjunction with the Himalayan Institute.
“Yoga has a spiritual significance for me,” says Vermeulen. “My yoga practice is more than just the poses” she explains, “I’m a very high strung, high energy person and my practice gives me spiritual grounding and that grounding gives me stability both mentally and physically.”
Regarding her plan to offer Plus Size Yoga, Vermeulen says, “Life is movement, I want to get my students moving,” and concludes, “I want people to feel good about themselves and have that positive feeling I have found. That’s why it’s important for me to teach a class like this.”
Tammy Vermeulen is a 200 hour certified yoga instructor and teaches Beginning Hatha Yoga on Tuesday at 5:30 pm at The Center for Spirituality & Healing in Fond du Lac, WI.
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