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To whom it may concern:
This letter is written as a recommendation for Tamara Page as a yoga instructor.
Tamara has taught in our 200 hour yoga teaching training program for approximately four years, since the program’s onset and up till the time she moved out of state. She taught the vinyasa section for seven of our graduation classes.
Tamara has proven at every teacher training program to be a wonderful, inspiring teacher who connected to the students. The evaluations given by the students at the end of the program were always above average to excellent. She exhibited an outstanding knowledge of yoga, the philosophy of yoga and the history of yoga. I think that Tamara would be a great value to any school for teaching classes or teaching to students to become teachers.
Best and blessings,
Director of teaching training program
Yoga Darshana Center
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Allison Dunton and I am an adapted physical education teacher at Brentwood High School on Long Island. My classes are made up of students with both physical and/or emotional limitations. In addition, many of these children come from impoverished or broken homes and have little vision for their futures. Unfortunately, a large number of our students belong to gangs, and teenage pregnancy is prevalent. Despite recent reports of a national decline, the numbers are on the rise at Brentwood.
I take a personal interest in all my students; I try to expose them and inspire them to try unique activities they would not otherwise have the opportunity to try. All of them fall under activities for lifetime fitness- physical activities that promote health and fitness safely from age 10 to 110, cost little, and can be enjoyed alone, or with a partner.
I had heard over the years about the many benefits of yoga and began looking into the feasibility of introducing it to my students. In January of 2002, I was a recipient of the Michael Jordan Fundamentals grant and immediately hired Tamara Page to come to my school to teach my students, as well as myself, the many benefits of the practice of yoga. I was not familiar with yoga and quite frankly, had my doubts. Initially, I was concerned it might be a hippy fad that somehow lasted past the 60’s. But I am also open-minded, and as a physical educator, I could not deny the documentation of its broad spectrum of benefits- everything from increased physical flexibility and strength to enhanced emotional and spiritual growth. I applied my grant winnings to a unique program that included Tamara teaching yoga to all my classes for a 6- week period.
I was apprehensive about the idea of teaching yoga to male adolescents, but I soon saw that my grant money could never have been better spent. Tamara was incredible. She not only was good at her subject matter, but knew how to reach these kids. Reaching kids who at first period are usually still sleeping, who belong to gangs, who don’t see a life after high school, is not easy. It was obvious immediately that I had made the right choice- not only of finding Tamara, but bringing yoga into the lives of these children. The physical benefits students achieved during this period of time were easy to see- definite increase in strength, particularly upper body strength. Flexibility and balance was also easy to see and measure, as was an increase in energy levels. But the non-qualitative results such as increased mental acuity, overall sense of peace and calm were also witnessed and by not only the teachers, but by the students as well. Students who shared little of their lives or their feelings were reporting how relaxed, yet energized they felt, how they were beginning to feel “light” when they walked and confident in situations that were normally stressful for them. The individual stories of the students Tamara inspired through yoga are too long and detailed to write about here, but I will mention one student who in just 6 weeks time made a transformation right before our eyes and one I will never forget. He (Thomas) was non-verbal. Not because he physically was unable, but for emotional reasons, he wouldn’t talk. At first he participated because it was expected, but he did so half-heartedly. Slowly over time he began to show more enthusiasm in his yoga. His class met at 8th period- the last period of the day. A few weeks into the program, there was a snow storm and the students left to go home a few minutes early though Thomas’ yoga class was able to finish before the bell. It was a Friday. On Monday morning, three days later, Thomas sought me out. This in itself was very different- but then he began to talk to me- REALLY talk. In fact, he spoke so excitedly that I had to slow him down! He related an experience he had after leaving the yoga room the previous Friday. He told me that he vaguely remembered walking through the snow to the bus, but didn’t remember getting on the bus. He couldn’t remember the ride home. It was only when he got into his house that he “came to”. He had no recollection of how he got home! He described that he was able to achieve a meditative state of calm and peacefulness in Savasana (the last pose in a series of yoga poses which is restful) and that was all he remembered! This experience did not scare him (we had spoken in class about some of the mental states that can be achieved with yoga), rather he was excited. The entire weekend he felt great and enjoyed being with his family, which I later found out was the cause of much of his pain. After this experience, he was a yoga convert. He also talked now, often and freely up until the day he graduated from Brentwood.
The individual success stories have continued over the years since Tamara came to Brentwood. Now seven years later, the yoga program has grown and I now teach basic yoga to teens in the regular physical education classes at Brentwood. I have recently placed my third order with Tamara’s company for more yoga equipment to keep up with the increasing numbers. The past few years due to student demand, I held after-school classes because the students felt that they weren’t getting enough! My athletic directors have recognized the growing popularity by giving me a new, more intimate room to teach yoga, equipped with wall to wall mats. It is known as the “Yoga Room”.
Throughout the 6-week period, Tamara maintained a balance of enthusiasm, optimism, openness and seriousness of purpose. Her dedication and personal commitment to the practice of yoga was obvious and even infectious. The most amazing aspect for me was that she was able to reach a group of disenfranchised youth and make a difference in their lives- teaching yoga!
For questions or further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact me regarding this truly gifted teacher.
Adapted PE Teacher
Brentwood High School
When I had finished the workshop you gave for cancer patients, I knew that my breathing felt less labored, and I had less shortness of breath. I have a tumor in my lung (4 inches according to the CAT scan) and am often on oxygen to make me more comfortable.
I have weekly chemotherapy with my oncologist, and after completing three weeks of our yoga class, I went for a second opinion in regard to my ongoing treatments. The oncologist said that my pulse, which had been between 90 – 120 beats per minute, for the last year and a half was now 76. My pulmonologist, upon examining me, said that the chart which reflected my history and condition did not match the patient (me) he examined. The pleural effusion was gone, he did not find any fluid in my lungs, and my breathing significantly improved. He strongly encouraged me to continue the yoga and meditation.
As a nurse practitioner, I absolutely recognize, and do not deny the benefit of chemotherapy, however, I am equally aware of the tremendous improvement that your yoga class has had on my breathing and health. The stretching and breathing exercises have improved my posture and remind me to concentrate on expanding my lungs and clearing my mind as I focus on the inhalation and exhalation of my breath.
The meditation practice gives me back the ability to learn to reduce my stress and focus my attention on the here and now, and Tamara, the chanting brings me to a place where I can feel the energy of the hope and promise for my wellness.
Thank you for sharing and teaching me this path to recovery.
I am writing to express my gratitude for the wonderful work you did at our Partial Hospital Program over the past 31/2 years.
Initially when you volunteered, it was to introduce the concept and practice of yoga to patients in our acute care psychiatric day hospital. This is truly a challenging population, but you proceeded with skill, patience and expertise. We became able to offer alternatives/adjuncts to psychotherapy, medication and psychoeducation. I could never have anticipated the positive response from patients ranging from those with schizophrenia to anxiety to depression, regardless of age. Your group each week became most anticipated and truly added to our patients recovery. We witnessed patients making gains in managing anxiety, building self-esteem, living in a more balanced way and managing anger. Many patients went on to continue the practice of yoga, only made possible for the indigent because of your fee reductions.
Additionally, you were good enough to provide a specialized class for mental health practitioners at a reduced rate. As a member of that class I can personally attest to the benefits. I reduced my chronic back pain to the point of not having to take anti-inflammatory medicine and almost eliminated my acute asthma attacks. As I became more flexible in yoga, I became more flexible in life. I felt my stress was greatly reduced, allowing me to be a better administrator and a better therapist. Your class contributed to the wellness of all practitioners who participated.
Again, thank you for all you have done for me personally, for my staff, and for our patients. Please know how much we have been touched by you, and how many lives you have helped. We wish you well in the new year, please stay in touch
Sincerely and with gratitude,
Kathy O’Keefe, MA, CRC
To whom it may concern,
I have administered the Hatha Yoga instruction class at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for most of the past ten years. It is offered to faculty, staff and students, paid for by them and currently taught by Tamara Page for approximately that time. The class has been going on for the past thirty years and is an important part of our campus wellness program of diet, exercise and general fitness. Tamara is a local Yoga instructor with excellent credentials and has run a rock solid program of instruction every week, which has taught many hundreds of participants. I always have gotten the best of feedback from class members.
Our class concentrates on the physical aspects of Hatha Yoga, breathing, relaxation and is an ongoing, mixed level class, beginner through advanced. The spiritual aspects of Yoga are generally left to private study. The program run by Tamara includes special workshops, bringing in outside teachers for advanced study. For my part, yoga exercise is a great way to keep generally fit and is an adjunct to my other sports activities, reducing injuries and improving my posture and stress level at the workplace. I consider it essential for my cardiovascular and arthritis conditions and have had more real results with Yoga practice than with sports medicine doctors or physical therapists. We are very fortunate to have such a skillful and professional instructor available to us at this time and my recommendation could not be more enthusiastic.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
“Yoga for me is a ‘no-brainer.’ Whatever those gurus figured out about the body and its energy flows was right-on. As I first started doing yoga. I could feel the energy awakening and flowing through a body that hadn’t been doing much exercise. Internal organs are awakened and better blood flow means better functioning….and feeling better over-all.
Abolish the thought that you need to be ‘flexible’ or a contortionist doing the fanciest poses because just the effort to do something in a certain direction, will little by little bring you to a better place. This self-acceptance within your own limitations has the power to bring you forward to improving yourself.
I love Tamara’s kind, patient and encouraging ways, which seem to say: “you’re ok as you are now and here is a better place where you can move into.” She has a wonderful way of teaching all levels, like a one-room school house where you can learn from those who are further along but you can really be okay being exactly where you are…..for now!
Tamara has a soothing, calming voice which leads to a deeply restful period at the end of class when lying in shivasana…my favorite pose! 😉
This is the way to do aging!! Sure, I’m getting older, but now I’m definitely also getting better and better.”
All the best,
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory 1 Bungtown Road Cold Spring Harbor, NY
To Whom It May Concern,
The Yoga Program that Tamara Furman has presented to our Jr. and Sr. high physical education students and physical education teachers was excellent. Mrs. Furman is an excellent instructor.
Our students received the instruction very positively. It opened their eyes to the Art of Yoga. Many of our students have continued with Yoga on their own. We now include Yoga in our Physical Education classes and it is taught by our teachers who in fact were taught by Tamara.
Through the guidance of Tamara we have purchased Yoga mats and yoga accessories to make our classes more meaningful and effective. Yoga has definite health benefits and this information has been shared with our students.
We were and still are very thankful to Tamara. She is always available to help us when we need her to come in to our schools.
Jim Amen Jr.
Office of the Director of Physical Education and Athletics
Cold Spring Harbor Jr. /Sr. High School
The Cold Spring Harbor School District