It’s Summer! Enjoy yoga on the beach [UPDATED]Published 10:30am Thursday, August 9, 2012 Updated 10:30am Thursday, August 9, 2012
Spanning east and west Ottertail County, Wendy Billie teaches ongoing yoga classes in a variety of settings in Perham, Fergus Falls and the Battle Lake area. “A lot of thought goes into a location selection”, explained Wendy. First she determines possible locations. Next, she must go to the location to see if it “feels right”. One of her premiere summer locations began in May on the north side of Ottertail Lake. Right on the beach! If you are looking for a spiritually moving experience, yoga on the beach is definitely worth a try. As eagles dive for fish, or loons swim by, with your toes in the sand you are immersed in yoga’s connection to nature. Wendy claims the energy from the group draws a variety of elements from nature to the practice of yoga.
Life’s undulating journey carries us along many intersecting paths. For Wendy this convoluted adventure of life intersected with Ottertail County for the first time about 12 years ago. Her passion for yoga is evident. “Every morning at 5:30 I start my day by looking at my motto- ‘I inspire people to live authentic lives.’” Through practicing and teaching yoga, Wendy’s goal of exposing individuals to the beauty of yoga taps into the physical, emotional and spiritual. The word yoga actually means ‘union’. It is through the practice of yoga that the union of mind, body and spirit help an individual come alive, allowing us to listen to our true self, feeling pure, without being influenced by judgment.
Wendy began practicing yoga 19 years ago. Initially acquiring a degree as an Occupational Therapist gave her a deep understanding of the workings of the human body. These skills combined with her degree in Psychology allowed her to land squarely in the corporate world, and a desire blossomed to pursue a graduate degree in Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness. After spending 10 years at Pfizer as director of Leadership Development, Wendy walked away realizing she possessed 2 special gifts. She was an insightful teacher, and excelled as a natural coach.
The next leg in her journey led her to northern India to study for six weeks at a yoga institute in the Himalayan Mountains near Nepal. She had always taught fitness classes, but now she desired a deeper connection. It was during this time in India that she had the privilege of crossing paths with 2 private guides. Upon her arrival in India, she thought she would only have one teacher. Her intended guide was a spiritual teacher at the institute, and the other unexpected guide was a swami-a true yogi (an individual who has spent a life moving toward having no desire). Interestingly, the swami had had a vision 5 years prior that he would be guiding Wendy. Without knowing her at all, or having any connection with the institute, he called the institute to see if his student had arrived yet.
Originally, Wendy’s path began in North Dakota. Although she has not returned to ND for 25 years, she has remained close to her parents who moved onto the north side of Ottertail Lake 12 years ago, visiting once a year. The sale of a pontoon boat from a neighbor to her parents, and mutual passing glances as the boat changed hands, marked the beginning of a love story that brought Wendy to Ottertail County to stay. “Love brought me here”. Wendy also expressed that love keeps her here, as she feels she is doing the work she has been called to do, using her natural gifts. “Every day I feel like I am flowing with life’s current not against it. It’s a bonus that the love of my life is here too.”
The style of yoga Wendy teaches is described as yoga flow, linking movement to breath. The practice of this type of yoga on a deeper level connects you with your life. Every class experience carries an imbedded message that flows into the class. The messages are based on dreams or common experiences with friends, family, and lessons from yoga students. Even though she is a yoga coach, Wendy admits she can be thrown off course in life just like anyone else. She often reminds students that life is about how we handle the stress and imperfections. “I get back on my mat and everything is balanced again.”
Like every great teacher, she is humbled by these experiences and reminded that she is also a student. Wendy sees herself as a guardian, respecting the feelings of new and seasoned students by dispelling individual fears and guiding each student toward their own yoga flow. Wendy revealed, “Practicing Adrenazen (intensity refocused) Yoga keeps me grounded with a serene and peaceful approach to life, while still being driven.”
As Wendy extends this chapter of her journey, connecting east and west, she inspires her students to live authentic lives, finding a newly discovered peace. As described by one of her new students sighing at the end of her first class, “this is the most peace I have felt in 40 years”. When Wendy left the east coast in April 2011, many of her east coast friends were concerned about her moving to Minnesota to teach yoga. “They feared I would be going to a closed minded community, unwilling to experience the flow of yoga. That has not been the case at all here in Ottertail County.”
Wendy’s Adrenazen Yoga also offers other services, including private group sessions for groups of friends based on themes like a bachelorette party. She is also a life coach. Clients from around the United States seek professional success guidance and lifestyle coaching. She explained it works much the same as a yoga class, helping an individual ask the questions to discover who they really are. She also holds private individual or small group sessions. In the future Wendy plans to facilitate more group retreats, and even take yoga on the road to destination retreats, keeping Ottertail County as her home base. To intersect with current class schedules and other offerings contact Wendy through her website at www.adrenazen.com.