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I began my yoga practice more than 10 years ago at the University of Maryland when a friend of mine suggested that I go with her. Since then, I’ve been hooked. When we moved from the DC area to Shady Side, one of my reservations was that I would have to give up my yoga classes. Then, one day, as I was driving home from work, I noticed a Renaissance Yoga sign and decided to check it out. I attended the drop-in community yoga class on Wednesday night. I am so grateful for that sign – not only did I find a yoga class, I found the best yoga instructor I have ever had.

Since then, I’ve been attending classes with Satyam for over 5 years (and through two additions to my family). I look forward to class each week (even on the most exhausting days) because it is always fun and I know that Satyam will find a way to put a smile on my face and make me feel good about my decision to come.

Being a working mom, I find that there is a lot of pressure to do more things faster and better. Whenever I feel overwhelmed in life, I close my eyes take a breath and say, “Little by little”. This is something I would hear each week in Satyam’s class as he was working with different students and it’s some of the best advice I have ever received. I repeat those words to my children as well when they become frustrated about a task, to remind them that you may not get there today, but you are a little closer than yesterday.

His yoga class has not only helped me to gain flexibility and strength, it has taught me patience, kindness, and the importance of meeting people where they are today. Being in a drop-in class, there are many different people attending each week. Something that always impresses me is that Satyam remembers just about every person’s name. I am so happy to be a part of this community and look forward to yoga each week!

Thank you again,

– Sarah Smith, Shady Side, MD

I’ve been practicing yoga with Satyam for 5 years now. He combines the physical and mental aspect of yoga for an integrative experience. I truly feel part of a community with Renaissance Yoga – I’m not just taking an exercise class.

Well, my wife, Monaca, had been a regular in Renaissance Yoga’s Strength & Fitness classes, and I remember hearing from her what a wonderful yoga instructor Satyam is. But for me, it all started when Monaca and I decided to attend one (of the many) back and shoulder workshops that Satyam organizes.

I had undergone back surgery, and being the impatient patient that I am, I was looking for ways to get back to my active lifestyle, as soon as the recovery time was over. I really liked Satyam’s interactive style of teaching during that seminar, and soon after the workshop I decided to join my wife in Saturday morning yoga classes.

It didn’t take long before I was totally absorbed in Satyam’s class, mainly because he always brings out the best in everyone. I never felt like I was a beginner in his class, even though I was one, and by any measure I still am a beginner!

Satyam has his own, not to mention, very effective way of encouraging his students in practicing yoga. Those who have attended any of his classes are very familiar with statements – such as, “Do what you can with it”, or “…as you are able” – that he uses to help his students go just a bit further.

Well Satyam, I like your words so much that I think I am going to borrow them from now on!

– Reza Biazaran, Bowie, MD

Satyam makes everyone, regardless of ability, feel like an important piece of the whole, which is why his classes are so popular. Many of us have been practicing with him for years, and the classes keep growing. He helps us to laugh at ourselves when we are challenged and encourages us to reach our potential. The seminars are always interesting, exploring different facets of our physical and spiritual being.

Jean Rupard, Chesapeake Beach, MD

I have had many teachers over the years that I’ve been practicing Yoga. But Satyam has struck a chord within me that others haven’t with his teachings. Satyam has a very special blend of teaching with positive energy and a compassion of spirit that is quite refreshing. Each class stands on its own uniqueness, integrity and freshness. His gift of teaching others allows us to cultivate our inner growth as we strive for a purity and clarity of mind, body and soul .

It has been a distinct pleasure for my wife and I to practice with him – we are most grateful.

– Greg Izzi, Riva, MD

Who me, do yoga?

I find myself writing this testimonial for Renaissance Yoga after 3 years of practicing beginning, flow and power yoga with Satyam. I started practicing Yoga 2 months after my 46th birthday and 5 months after back surgery. In addition to back problems, I had suffered from 2 frozen shoulders, hours of physical therapy and a weight problem. After walking many miles through my neighborhood and hours of elliptical time clocked, I found my way into my first community yoga class.

First impressions had me asking myself “what am I doing here with all these tree huggers”, “how can anyone sit cross-legged and why would you”, “do I look as funny as that guy in that position.” Finally laying on my back trying not to laugh or sneeze or fall asleep, I was able to relax and before I knew it the class was over. Not too bad, not too sore, I moved most parts of my body and I did not have to lift weights or run.

After the first month I found myself attending 3 and 4 classes a week. I was allowed to progress at my own pace and did not feel the need to over-stress the back. During the first year of practice I lost 30 pounds and increased strength, endurance, and flexibility.

The second and third year of practice with Renaissance Yoga has allowed me to manage my weight and gain core strength that was required to stabilize my back! Through Satyam’s yoga, I have worked on living a healthier lifestyle which includes expanding my practice to include meditation, growing a vegetable garden, enjoying time with my family, and supporting the community. I still enjoy watching football and eating chicken wings with the gang!

– Mark Pierce, West River, MD

Renaissance Yoga is…..a community of compassionate, caring, supportive individuals from every walk of society…an inspiring teacher who meets all students on their own level and gently guides each one on their personal yogic path…a safe haven and retreat when the world seems overwhelming or life events seem unbearable…a place to explore and expand one’s meditative practice…a setting to recuperate mentally and physically…a chance to push one’s self physically beyond self-perceived limitations…a university of yogic philosophy and history…..calming yet exhilarating, grounded yet limitless…an anchor…a blast…a joy…a gift!

– Annie Johnson, Edgewater, MD

I began coming to Renaissance Yoga, maybe 4 years ago, I started with one class on Wednesday nights.

I have gradually progressed from once a week to 4 and sometimes 5 classes a week, and have grown in so many ways; each class offers something new for me every week. Tuesday’s Abs class followed by some slow deep stretching and balance poses is a perfect combination. The Strength and Fitness classes allow me to challenge myself and learn new poses such as arm balance poses and inverted poses against the wall. Satyam is always open to trying new things. Overall, I feel much stronger and grounded. The unlimited pass is great and I put it to good use!

In addition to the general yoga classes, the Meditation Circle has helped me incorporate meditation into my daily routine. The seminars and workshops are great and I have learned so much, from guidelines for a healthy diet to the subtle ideas of yogic philosophy.

Renaissance Yoga is such a wonderful community; I’m very grateful to be part of it. I have made so many friends and grown in so many ways. It has allowed me to see that “yoga” is so much more than doing poses. For me it has come to help shape my approach to life and living. I’m very happy to share my experience!

– Sharon Brewer, Fairhaven, MD

My experience with Renaissance Yoga has truly changed my life for the better.

When I first started my practice with Satyam, my life was off-center and out of balance. I was totally stressed out emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Now I feel all three aspects of my life are back in perfect balance. Sometimes I may fall down, but I have learned to pick myself back up.

I also enjoy the strong feeling of unity while practicing with my fellow yoginis / yogis and not to forget, the wonderful stories and personal insights that Satyam shares with us after every class.

My life has become so enriched beyond anything I ever could have imagined.

– Sara Gunther, Shady Side, MD

Renaissance Yoga has given me the strength I need to battle chronic pain, has shown me the gifts of presence and stillness, and has revealed the spiritual path of self-transcending love and connection to all living things…a truly transformative experience.

– Mary Beth Shields, Davidsonville, MD

Practicing with Satyam and the greater Renaissance Yoga community has been an important part of my life for many years. It has inspired and informed my daily yoga practice and carried me through periods of stress and depression. It seems that everyone is truly welcome in class, not just by the teacher but by everyone who practices with RenYoga. There is no competitive element to even the most challenging classes – everyone is encouraged to work earnestly for their own benefit and for the benefit of all beings.

These classes nurture the heart of yogic tradition: bringing the body and mind into balance with each other and bringing the whole being to a state of preparedness for a higher spiritual existence. Satyam is an artful teacher who infuses every class with rejuvenating postures, lovingly presented wisdom, and a buoyant sense of humor. Inner knowing and the connectedness of all life is honored in every class. I have much gratitude to Satyam and RenYoga for the consistently compassionate and positive energy that is facilitated in these classes. We have so much fun!

– Frannie, Edgewater, MD

I find so much peace and happiness from my practice with Satyam. Stretching, toning, breathing in a positive sense of awareness, quieting my mind and being one with my inner self.

Renaissance yoga has become a much appreciated and necessary part of my life.

Thank you Satyam!

– Jennifer Gustavson, Shady Side, MD

A mainstream, creature of routine is synonymous with who I am. However, I got whacked so severely by my back, that I needed help getting dressed. Multiple trips to the doctor offered inconclusive causes.

Annie nudged me toward yoga and so I went…completely clueless about yoga.

She said that I would find the “Gentle Yoga” and “Community Yoga” perfect for what I needed. To say I struggled, would be an understatement. I could do few of the moves, but Satyam provided quiet encouragement and support. Satyam seemed to intuitively know what poses or adjustment(s) I needed. So, I began my journey to renewal. Every time I went, I felt a little bit better. I had a private session to learn specific poses to help my condition and my practice. Annie was more than right.

As the years have gone by, I have noticed that Satyam seems to know the level of everyone in class, and provides support and encouragement to go a little bit more, or adjustments to enhance the pose. I believe that is why I made such an amazing recovery. I am almost ready to begin his abs and strength and fitness classes…almost.

In this journey, I found that the stretching in yoga was only the beginning. I also began to learn how to manage the stress in my life, make healthier food choices, and take time for life. The seminars offer a window into ideas that have helped me grow and maintain balance in my life.

So, when darkness comes early, and the days grow cold, and I grow tired after a long day of work…there is temptation to skip yoga…excuses. I don’t give in, as I always find myself thinking during the session, “boy, I really needed that!”

I cannot express how grateful I am to Annie for gently nudging me to Satyam and Renaissance Yoga. It has truly made a difference in my life.

– Mary Hendley, Croom, MD

Some things happen.

For me, Renaissance Yoga continues as a timeless force of change, enough quiet space and exertion to allow the body and mind an equal share.

Thank you all, community, and Satyam.

– Kirk, Edgewater, MD

A little over a year ago I decided I needed to start doing something healthy.  I knew nothing about Renaissance Yoga or the instructor Satyam, but the class locations and times fit my schedule so I signed up. This ended up being the best thing I did all year. I unknowingly stumbled into a very enriching experience. 

I thoroughly enjoy every class and have become physically and mentally healthier by doing yoga on a regular basis. Satyam is a very competent instructor who offers a complete range of classes and seminars to promote a lifestyle that nurtures the body, the mind, and the spirit.  The cost is reasonable and the schedule is very flexible and seems to fit everyone’s needs.

I think the best thing about Renaissance Yoga is that it is a community where parents and children, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, and friends of all ages come together and bond through practicing yoga. It is truly a welcoming community of people who enjoy living. I would recommend Renaissance Yoga to anyone.  

– Merinda Garland, Chesapeake Beach, MD

It is not an overstatement to say yoga has helped me immeasurably in all areas of my life. I began to practice steadily 5 years ago when my youngest child went to kindergarten, first concentrating on increasing my physical fitness. Gradually other areas of my life began to improve as well, as I gained more compassion and patience.

Yoga gives me a place of calm and contentment. I feel much more connected to the world in general and realize that being peaceful and positive are crucial to happiness. Yoga has helped me try to live a more purposeful and meaningful life.

Thank you, Satyam, for your steady instruction over the years. Renaissance Yoga has been my oasis in an increasingly hectic life.

– Nancy Bateman, Dunkirk, MD