Mary Strong

Mary Strong
Mary Strong

College athlete turned yogi Mary Strong understands that a more user-friendly practice can help otherwise-intimidated individuals learn to love yoga. Find out how ditching the Sanskrit, and easing up on the spiritual side helped Mary develop a teaching style that’s relatable, therapeutic, and dynamic.

Mary Strong’s user-friendly classes keep people smiling and exploring:

What makes your style of teaching so distinctive?

As a college athlete I turned to yoga to help heal some sports related injuries, and in my first class, I was completely lost and incredibly intimidated when the instructor called out the poses in Sanskrit. Plus, I wasn’t that flexible, and couldn’t relate to the spiritual side of the practice at all; but I did notice that my knee felt better, so I decided to stay with it. Eventually, as my physical practice deepened, I began to explore the emotional and spiritual elements, but I remember thinking: How many other people shy away from this amazing practice because they are intimidated, or don’t think they’ll be “good” at it?

Now that I’m a teacher, I try to eliminate intimidating factors by using language everyone can understand, music to inspire movement, and most of all, provide a safe space for inner exploration.

What kind of an experience do you hope to give your students?

Although I’m happy to give my students what they think they want, which is challenging physical practice, what I want them to experience is what they truly need – patience, self-acceptance and love. You can’t really explain that with words because it’s a process the student needs to feel for his or herself as they practice. When it happens it’s an incredible revelation and everything else falls into place.

Where do you find inspiration? 

When I was building my studio, the words “Be Inspired” kept popping into my head, and it eventually became our tag line. Every aspect of the studio inspires me, and I’m especially moved by the people it attracts. The Green Yogi is a small, boutique studio, so we get to know our students on a really personal level. Watching their yoga journey unfold is incredibly inspiring.

I recently ran into one of my students, and she said, “I just want to tell you how thankful I am for your studio. It’s the only bit of peace in my day.” I started to well up knowing that something I created is making a big difference in someone’s life. I feel so much gratitude for those moments because it encourages me to continue living my purpose.

Find out more about Mary Strong and her studio, The Green Yogi - a neighborhood icon.

Comments

I heart the green yogi!

After moving cross country and leaving yoga studios and teachers I loved, I searched for the ideal yoga studio for me to practice in again. After living in the south bay for a few months I finally found The Green Yogi and all of its amazing and inspiring teachers. I finally felt at home after leaving New York City all thanks to Mary and The Green Yogi!

This studio rocks!

And it all starts with Mary...

Mary

PEOPLE can be divided into three groups: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wondered what happened! Mary Makes Things Happen. That's my girl!!!!!!! xo Mom

It inspired me!

You will never find a yoga studio quite like what Mary has built at the Green Yogi. She has truely created a sanctuary for peace and love, mixed with sweat and laughter. I also came from an athletic background, and Mary's classes eased me into the movement and spirituality of yoga without that intimidation factor that so many people face. She literally changed my life!

Be Inspired

Mary truly has created a space where every day I am inspired by something new, whether it be a fellow yogi, an instructor, or Mary herself of course! I am grateful that she has shared her vision with the world. She is most definitely Strong and Sensational!

Mary Strong is an inspiration

I have worked with Mary for about 2 and a half years now. From the second I met her, I knew she could change my life if I let her. So I let my guard down and allowed her dream of opening a yoga studio to be a place where I could grow into myself and eventually try to inspire others in the way that she does, seemingly, without effort. I don't think the people of the South Bay realized how much they needed a power yoga studio in the area until it was a reality. Now everyone knows each others name "from the studio," everyone walks a little slower and puts a little more love out there.

Mary understands and acknowledges the quest for the Eastern spirituality, while staying true to her power yoga reputation by catering to the Western quest for a toned body. She is compassionate, articulate and beautiful. Her classes are intense, but never patronizing. These qualities make Mary Strong one of my favorite teachers and human beings.

Mary Strong is an inspiration

I've worked with Mary for about two and a half years now and from the second I met her, I knew she could change my life if I let her. I put my guard down and allowed her dream of opening a yoga studio be a place where I could flourish and grow. I don't think everyone in the South Bay knew how desperately they needed a power yoga studio in the area until it was actually a reality. Since then, everyone knows everyones names "from the studio," people walk a little slower and act a little kinder.

Mary combines the traditional quest for Eastern spirituality while staying in touch with the quest for the Western body. Mary is compassionate, smart, patient and beautiful. She is occasionally brutal, but never patronizing. These facts alone make her one of my favorite teachers and people.

Great article! It IS hard

Great article! It IS hard for competitive athletes to relax when they are "working out" (I got injured my first time during yoga because I wanted to stretch further than the 80 year old man sitting next to me. I I wish I took my first class with Mary as the instructor instead!)

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