#yogastory: work hard and relax completely

Little more than 6 months ago I was a semi-retired psychiatric nurse, a 66 year old, with a regular hot Yoga practice; married, with a dog and a hunter’s cabin on 40 acres to tend. Then through my Yoga teacher, Elias Gaitan, and my wife, Helen, I heard about the HotTT. Through a process that I still do not completely understand, Helen and I agreed to send me to a 500 hour Yoga teacher training.

I went from being an old guy working on his home on Pine Mountain, to being a student in the “yoga bubble” in Santa Barbara for two months. Helen became alone on Pine Mountain, tending all the work that we had been sharing for years.


I became absorbed in trying to memorize 90 minutes of dialogue, doing three hours of hot yoga daily and force feeding myself so as not to lose weight too fast.

The program was incredible; Anatomy, Posture Mechanics, practice teaching clinics, Ananda meditation, Synergy partner yoga, Rainbow Kids Yoga, Yin Yoga and Scripture studies, so much fullness.

I did not know exactly what to expect; but, I definitely did not expect to fall in love with a bunch of Yogis and Yoginis, have my heart filled to overflow, and return home an opening person. The blessings of the training continue to flow as I reunite with my bride, processing It All. Healing and opening continue, here, as we deepen our meditation practices, our asana practices and our relationship practices. Helen and I met by just slowing down and looking around at what was present here and now. That same approach has opened up our lives locally.

Here in Cloverdale, at the Senior Center we have teachers offering Yoga, Qui Gong and Tai Chi. We have a meditation group where we sit and also study spiritual texts together. I do not know how I attracted my wife, Helen, or a “big yoga training” or why I have been asked to teach yoga here in Cloverdale. I know that I have deep gratitude to Helen, to my teachers and to Yoga.

So deep; so good, working in this moment; being in my life.
Work hard and Relax completely.

Bruce Johnson


Bruce is a semi-retired psychiatric nurse with a regular hot Yoga practice. Six months ago he signed up for the first HotTT and recently taught his first class.