Each season we are delighted to feature a member of our community so that we can get to know each other better! Plus, it’s always fascinating to learn unexpected stories about another person’s life.

This season we’re featuring Whole Sky Yoga member Steve Schoen. Those of you who see him in class regularly may know him as “purple Steve”, as he has a vibrant personal style and creative flair.


1) What is your ‘yoga story’, in other words how did you come to find and adopt a yoga practice?

I started yoga with Donna Nicha Cohen many years ago and then stopped when she semiretired. It was a fairly “consistent” two days a week practice. I particularly enjoyed stretching before monday nite volleyball, a serious passion.

2) What does yoga mean to you and how long have you been practicing?

I’m primarily interested in the physical aspects of yoga. The psychological and meditative rewards are a bonus. I have been practicing for about three years. I also do chi gong one night per week with some aspects of yoga.

3) What do you like best about Whole Sky Yoga?

I love coming to WHOLE SKY YOGA. The teachers and the space are great for body, mind, and spirit. Doing yoga in High Falls gives me a sense of a healing community. The atmosphere is particularly POSITIVE with supportive energy to ALL skill levels. At the end of the hour class I feel ENERGIZED.  I look forward to coming as often as I can. The various teachers each have their own styles of teaching but the effects are the same: a feeling of a positive supportive atmosphere that also “stretches” and challenges my abilities.

4) What is your advice for someone who wants to try yoga but feels apprehensive?

I feel that YOGA as taught by WHOLE SKY will be beneficial to anyone who attends. The various postures help to tone the body and focus your mind. Regardless of your skill level you will find that you feel better after an hour or so of class. At 70+ years old, I certainly don’t have the flexibility I once had or thought that I had. I find that Yoga helps to tone and erase many of the pains of “ol” age.


5) Favorite Quote:

“STOP MAKING SENSE”  -The Talking Heads,

and “breath deeply”-Whole Sky Yoga

“No expectations, No disappointments” -Buddah

6) Share an unusual, unexpected fact or story about yourself:

Many years ago when I was going through officer candidate training at Fort Gordon, Georgia we were preparing for an all day marathon with rifle, canteen, and ammunition.  These items totaled over 20 pounds which become particularly HEAVY in the southern HEAT.

Many trucks followed and picked up the various soldiers as they collapsed or gave up.  Before the march an “old” special forces sergeant  of 32 years (at least ten years older than anyone else at the time) stood in front of the formation and said he would be there at the end. He wasn’t as physically fit as most of us but he said something I’ll never forget. He said “your body is much stronger than your mind” meaning that you will give up mentally before you physically need to.

At the end of the day there were only 10 left out of 200 trainees..  We weren’t necessarily the most physically fit but we pushed ourselves to our limits. Yoga gives you a better understanding of your body and mind  limitations.  It makes you feel better about yourself. Practicing in a SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY expands your energy. Yoga gives you lessons and abilities that will last your whole life. It expands your consciousness so that you can appreciate your abilities and do things you didn’t think possible mentally and physically.

7) Anything else at all you want to share with our community:

Steve wrote this brief poem. Enjoy!

thank you for coming to class

Lie down, arms at your sides,palms up, close your eyes..Simon(sara,lacey,julie,nolan,alison,juliana,amy) Says: “you’re it.” This is your time. RELAX. breathing in, breathing out. Relax the skin on your face, the forehead, eyes, mouth, jaw, and shoulders.  if you feel fatigued at anytime assume child’s pose.

An hour or so of various poses.. Some new many revisited.  an hour for yourself of yoga positions that invigorate and expand your mind and body.  A program for a “balanced” life even if your tree “wobbles.”  Take a deep breath- release with an OM.