Charlie the Yogi has transformed what I thought was capable in my own practice. Embracing open space in my mind and body was one of the cornerstones of my progression. You cannot realize what you are capable of without allowing your mind to let go of what you have already decided is your limit. Charlie preaches finding that empty space, acknowledging it and growing within it to reach new found possibilities. I found myself coming to class with areas I knew needed work, but did not want to go through discomfort to grow. In typical Charlie spirit, he pushed me to find strength through my weakness. The yoga pose that you need the most is the one you practice the least. I have learned so much from this Yogi and am proud to have shared and grown my practice with him.
May all the beings in the universe be happy, healthy and free. May YOU be happy, healthy and free.
I have been practicing yoga with Charles for over 2 years and I'm so grateful for all he has done. I wasn't completely sure what I was getting myself into or what would come out of it, but as soon as I finished my first class I was hooked. His yoga teaching benefits me mentally, physically and spiritually and I really appreciate learning how to translate yoga into a daily part of my life. With Charles, I enjoy the challenge of learning new poses or more difficult steps to the old ones I know. Yoga with him is energizing, aerobic, calming, difficult, easy, relaxing, strengthening and rewarding, but most of all it is fun. My wife and I look forward to taking his class every Sunday morning. Simply put, Charles is the best.
In Charles' classes you are able to experience the body and mind coupling that is yoga. Though it's a group class, he walks through and corrects the alignment of individuals so that each person gets the most out of the class and advance with his guidance. What I really admire while participating in his class is the flow from one movement to the other. It feelings more like a graceful dance. You are able to take charge of your practice, be aware of your breath, and notice what part of your body is benefiting from each movement. Each class strategy changes a bit so that your body does not get bored of repetition. With each movement, Charles gives options for beginners to advance yogis allowing personal growth. Even yogis who are advanced and/or really flexible feel some level of restrain in his class. I always leave his class feeling ten feet taller and light as a butterfly.
In simple words, Charles, you ROCK!
Today, my right elbow was able to touch my left knee (in a seated position) for the first time since my stroke three years ago. It was a profound harbinger of spring. I am a senior person who had suddenly lost a great deal of body function due to a stroke. I have been working slowly and steadily for some months to see if some function could return. And thanks to your class, it did. For me, at this point of my life, this tiny little victory offers great hope. Thank you.
I feel as though Charlies's best quality as a Yoga instructor is his ability to connect to his students. I am lucky to have had my eyes opened into the 'Yoga world' by such a talented and genuine Yogi.
His individualistic approach to teaching is the perfect balance of challenge plus comfort, which creates a wonderful feeling from class to class. His enthusiasm and passion for the practice beams from his presence and is highly contagious. Charlie's eagerness to help others learn is admirable and I look forward to continuing my practice of Yoga with him!
As a complete novice to yoga a few years ago, I was very reluctant to try it. I pictured some weird, freaky-looking people chanting and humming and bending their bodies into weird positions.
My first class with Charles was such a revelation. First of all, everyone around me looked pretty much normal. There were mostly women, younger ones but some older than myself as well (I am mid forties) and one man.
What impressed me the most was Charlie’s warm and welcoming manner, even when at times we thought we couldn’t possibly fit anyone else into the room, he would make room, even if it meant he had to stand the whole time.
A true professional, Charlie always looked out for you, to see that you are performing the moves correctly, and always asked at the start of every class if anyone had any injuries he should be aware of.
His routines were varied, fun and definitely effective. Within a few weeks I noticed a difference in my body (I had a waist after all – who knew??) and soon began to notice things like sleeping better at night and just generally increased my confidence.
I have tried Charlie’s new video which is very much like being in one of his classes. Although the rate of his voice and movements is a bit faster than usual, it does not affect the quality of the workout and the cinematography is beautiful and very relaxing.
I would wholeheartedly recommend Charlie the Yogi, whether you are new to yoga or experienced. You will finish the workout with a sense of peace and happiness and above all, good health. Thanks Charlie!
Dear Friends ~
It is my great pleasure and delight to share with you some very special photos of my process of healing, restoration, and wholeness through the yoga classes for seniors that I began taking several weeks ago. I can only describe these transformational experiences as a precious gift from God for which my gratitude is well beyond words. Every class unfolds like a blossoming flower whose fragrance is deeply spiritual enriching body, mind, and soul.
Our teacher is Charles Polanco Ali.
Because of his gentle and inspiring encouragement and the belief that I can do really do this yoga, I moved from a place of well maybe I can do this after all to now becoming serious about practicing yoga...yes, I am walking a whole lot better, I have much less pain, better balance, more flexibility and stamina, ... loving it all and having fun in the process.
Thank you very much Charles for being my teacher, for taking these shots that I can see the "proof" of my own yoga practice ... and I will be using them between classes.
And much appreciation to you my dear friends and loved ones for your wholehearted support to me on my yoga journey. Enjoy!