About Retha Cazel

Retha Cazel Retha has practiced and studied yoga since 1983, and has taught yoga since 1990. She owns Yoga and More, a studio in Corning, NY and has a full teaching schedule...in addition to her studio yoga classes, she teaches at Corning Community College, and at the Guthrie Clinic in Sayre, PA.. Her yoga classes vary from standard posture and breath classes to therapeutic yoga, children's yoga, restorative yoga, pre-natal and post-natal yoga for moms and infants!

Her yoga practice began in Wilmington, NC with Nancy Hayes. Retha's long standing and continuing teachers of influence are from the Iyengar lineage: John Schumacher, Barbara Benaugh, Judith Lassiter, and Rodney Yee. Recently, she traveled and studied 3 months in India with the Iyengar masters: Geeta Iyengar, Prashant Iyengar and Sri BKS Iyengar.

She is an "Anusara Inspired" instructor, using the patterns of asanas and breath as taught by John Friend to enhance the yoga practice to allow the student to go deeper into the postures from their heart for understanding. Retha couples her 14 year Vipassana/Insight meditation practice to enrich her yoga practice and teachings...and realized BKS Iyengars' words: "Yoga is Meditation in Action.

Retha Lynn Cazel, born in Okinawa, Japan has a rich history of eastern philosophy and yoga. She has traveled the world extensively and has lived in Japan, the Philippine Islands and Germany. She holds a bachelors degree in Mathematics and a concentration in Physics. Her mother was an artist and her father was a martial arts expert with black belts in Judo and Aikido, Retha practiced her "Judo" exercises as a young girl; only to look back and see that all of the Judo exercises were yoga poses.

She began her study of yoga - quite by accident in 1983. Yoga came looking for her. A young mother with an eight year old daughter, she had been trying to conceive another child for 3 years, finally the long awaited day came when she was pregnant with her second child. Five months later she was met with disappointment as the child miscarried. Sunken deep into depression over the loss she sought out the activity that has always consoled her...artwork. She registered for a clay ceramics class. It was there she met, her soon to be yoga teacher, Nancy Hayes; Nancy invited her to yoga class and Retha boldly declined the invitation - Nancy, trusting her 20 year experience as a teacher explained the nature of yoga, and noted that some people like it and some people do not - but the exercise class may be worth a try.

It was that prompting that made Retha try her first yoga class, and that was all it took. She liked the challenge, more so, she liked the rejuvenated feeling that she had after class, how she slept that night, the increased energy and well-being that she had for a few days afterwards. The relaxation part was her favorite!

This was the beginning of her yoga journey - and often looks back at the fateful day, and thinks that the miscarriage was a gift, this beautiful baby had come into her world temporarily to guide her forward onto her spiritual path and journey, helping others along the way. A bodhisattva.

Retha began taking her yoga practice and learning more seriously after a couple of years and upon Nancy's suggestion, exploring teachers who had some depth with respect to body alignment. John Schumacher, of the Iyengar tradition, became her role model in 1985 and she religiously sought out workshops and teacher training sessions with John. Her practice continued to evolve with her thirst and love for yoga always present.

She has trained with numerous world class teachers: Rodney Yee, Patricia Walden, Judith Lassiter, Joan White, Ramanand Patel, Felicity Green, Barbara Benaugh, as well as the highly respected BKS Iyengar, Geeta Iyengar and Prashant Iyengar.

By 2004, her students in Corning, NY consistently suggested that she take classes with a man named "John Friend". Her studio scheduled a yoga field trip to Boston to one of John's weekend workshops. It was there she recognized that he was teaching and doing things exactly like she was...except that he had gone deeper into this ocean of learning and had already named this style of yoga, ANUSARA, - to flow with grace from ones heart. He articulated a particular set of principles to work from. It was an integrative yoga experience and teaching method which was very natural for her. She was already teaching from her heart, using her own personal experiences from her body and mind. She has been working with John Friend and Anusara yoga since 2004 and continues to grow and learn from this yoga base.

Yoga & More • 139 Walnut Street • Corning, NY   14830 • 607.962.9642
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