My name is Michael Ledman and I am a Yoga instructor in northern Minneapolis. I have been studying and teaching Yoga for 13 years. I came to Yoga after a car accident. My doctor recommended that I add more stretching into my already active T’ai Chi Ch’uan schedule and I fell in love with this wonderful gift right a way.
Yoga, which in Sanskrit means union, has its origins shrouded. Evidence links the earliest Yoga traditions back to the beginning of human civilization, at least 5000 to 6000 years. Scholars believe Yoga grew out of Stone Age shamanism. The first archaeological evidence of Yoga's existence is found in stone seals excavated from the Indus valley in India. The stone seals depict figures performing yoga postures. These artifacts officially put yoga on the map circa 3000 B.C.
What I Teach
Yoga is usually divided into three section. Hatha, also known as poses or asanas, Pranayama or breathing practice, and Meditation. I teach all three. There are many styles of Yoga. The one that influences me most is called Kripalu. Called the yoga of consciousness, Kripalu puts great emphasis on proper breath and body alignment. It teaches coordinating breath with movement, and listening to your body. I have also been influenced by T’ai Chi Ch’uan which I have studied and taught for many years. I have also studied Dao-In, a Taoist version of Yoga. These together give me a unique style. Everyone works according to the limits of their own flexibility and strength. Students learn to focus on the physical and psychological reactions created by various postures to develop awareness of their own mind, body, emotions, and spirit. My desire is to give people a tool that they can take out of the classroom and use in every facet of there lives. We spend a lot of time learning how to work faster and to get more done, but as a culture we don’t spent enough time learning how to let go and relax. Everything seems to need to go faster, we need to fit more in, and get more done. Everyone deserves time to stop and find a little peace. This is what Yoga has brought to me, and I hope it will for you.
Classes begin with a passive body warm-up. This warm-up is done every class to ensure all the major muscles and joints are open and ready to stretch. Hatha poses come next. There are usually between 8 and 12 poses per class. These poses are done with an emphases on proper body alignment and are coordinated with each persons natural breath.
After Hatha, a separate section on breathing or Pranayama is practiced. This section focuses on learning how to breath and how your breath can affect your physical and emotional being. The class ends with a lying relaxation/ meditation. The meditations vary from dealing with emotional conflicts to Chakra work.
I hope to see you in class soon!