Hear Me Roar
January 2019 Issue
Photo provided by Karen Verechia
Personal Coach, Yoga Instructor and Thai Massage Therapist
Hometown: West Deptford, New Jersey
Lives on: Hilton Head Island
Family: Married to Buddy for 35 years; one daughter, Dominique (married and living in Rock Hill); and Bronz, a German Shepard mix adopted from the shelter.
You’ve been referred to as the island’s Yoga Guru.
Tell us a little about your life journey:
I started out as an aerobic instructor at Hilton Head Health 26 years ago (I still work there), and then became a certified Personal Trainer and fell in love with yoga. I opened my own yoga studio, Studio V, on New Orleans Road, and have been turning people on to yoga ever since. I studied Thai massage and traveled to Thailand the past two years to continue my education. The human body is amazing to me, and I never want to stop learning more about how to help people move freely and without pain.
Are there side benefits to yoga that might surprise us?
You gain strength in the muscles and bones in the body along with mobility and flexibility. Yoga has taught me to be more patient and compassionate. The practice reduces stress, increases body awareness, and clarity of mind. You become a truer, better version of yourself.
I love it when:
My students keep coming to class. For more than 15 years, the same group of ladies have gotten together to practice at Island Yoga every Tuesday. We are like a family that truly cares and supports each other through the ups and downs. Everyone is welcome to join us.
What does #FindYourBalance mean to you?
Coming home after a long day of teaching and not feeling exhausted because I slept well the night before, ate lean and mean, and reserved energy to play with my dog, listen to my husband, and enjoy a good glass of wine. Work/ life balance is so important. Love your work! Spending quality moments with my family and friends and making time for my hobbies, like art and gardening, also keeps me centered.
Three things always in your fridge:
Organic eggs, real butter, and ginger root.
In 2019 I am determined to Get Started…
Teaching my students Reusi Dat Ton—Thailand’s version of yoga. It’s a form of self care with joint mobility exercises and self massage. On a personal level I want to make more time for sketching; it’s a form of meditation for me, and I find it very satisfying.
My hero is:
My mom Gail. She is the most selfless person I know. She’s patient, kind, and always optimistic —even though life has thrown her many hardships. Gail has been a caregiver all her life. She has a strong faith and has never stopped believing.
Do you have a personal mantra?
“It’s yoga practice, not perfect!” I keep this in mind with everything that I do. I’m never going to be perfect!
Something I need to stop taking so seriously:
Winning the annual Apple Pie Baking Contest I started with my lifelong friends. It’s been six years now, and I’ve never won. They say you can’t win at your own party, but my apple pie is one of the best!
What I’m currently roaring about:
Being an age-defying, energetic, and vibrant grandmother to my four-month-old grandson, Elliot. I’m going to ROCK this Grandma thing!