All the people who give testimony here have worked with Jeff Hush and/or Rachel Hedrick since 2011.
Everyone can do yoga. My happiest moments come from being someone’s “first yoga teacher.” Many people come to me “skeptical” about yoga; they think they need to be “flexible” or that they are in too much pain (or too unfit) to do yoga. People who have worked with me at health clinics across Connecticut (2011-2016) have a different opinion. They realize how seriously yoga can improve your health, no matter what your starting point is.
Melissa started taking my Chair Yoga classes in 2013 when she was about 60. She works fulltime in Middletown at an office. She had been living for 10 years with “chronic pain” after “a serious car accident” which left her “wheelchair bound for five months.” I invented Chair Yoga (and now Standing Yoga) to improve health for all ages and fitness levels—for people who are injured, afraid to move, or unable to because of muscular constriction.
Melissa’s chronic pain was not alleviated by years of “pain meds” or “physical therapy” or “chiropractic” adjustments. Then, she said, “I began taking chair yoga classes and discovered I could keep my back pain pretty well under control. Before long, I stopped taking pain meds and physical therapy appointments and found that the chair yoga worked much better for me in that it was not at all painful and at the end of the class I felt very relaxed, which made me want to do it more often.”
I learned firsthand about “movement therapy” by curing my own serious knee problems using dance (with no surgery or drugs) at Wesleyan University in 1978. Since then I have been studying the structure of the body and using its balanced architecture to help myself and hundreds of others. One New York dancer, in his 70s, studied advanced yoga with me for years. Then he had a hip replacement. Through chair yoga and tai chi, I helped him find a new way to live in a different body.
The body has a healthy structure that comes from moving well. When the head and neck stack up cleanly over the ribs and the pelvis and the feet, your spine starts to release its accumulated burden of pains. Breathing deeply through the nose grounds this process. Your shoulders can then sink smoothly into the upper back. Your breath drops down from the chest into the belly. Blood flow increases and sleep improves. Anyone can learn how to do this with simple exercises that often don’t even look like yoga. My job is to make the difficult seem easy.
Try my yoga class once. I can help you discover a new joy and calmness in your own body.
Dan Wilensky, MD
I am a Family Physician in CHC Inc. I attended an introductory session with Jeffrey Hush focused on how we can assist our patients (and ourselves) with yoga and good nutrition. I’ve attended one of his classes and have sent several of my patients to work with him. I find Jeff to be very knowledgeable, a great teacher, and someone who motivates by example. He has a calm manner that helps people relate to him. He can help my troubled patients get moving again. He can guide them to understand from within the connection between mind and body. This insight is critical for all of us and it is the most overwhelming obstacle for many of my patients. I appreciate what Jeff has added to our patient resources at CHC.
Dan Wilensky MD
Steve Macri, 28
My name is Steve Macri and I have been a member of the FAMTUSA team for over 6 months now. With becoming my own health ambassador I have taken control of my life and health, which at first seemed like a daunting task. With the Help of Jeff and Rachel I have motivated myself into becoming the person I want to be. I can now wake up and feel confident and motivated in all my daily activities, and for that I am truly great-full.
Before I began my transformation, I was deeply depressed and angry at the world around me. I could see healthy people enjoying their lives laughing and living what seemed to be a much happier life. I on the other hand took the easy way out and stayed sheltered within my home watching countless television programs and movies. I always had an excuse to why I couldn’t do something and it became apparent that I had settled for a less fulfilling life. My weight had spiraled out of control and my eating habits were shameful. It had gotten so bad that I seemed to have a hatred for anyone who had enough motivation to interact in socially and properly take initiative to better their own lives. I had become jealous of the world and felt like I had let myself down.
The moment this all changed was when I took a leap of faith from the advice of my best friend. She told me about a man who she did free Yoga classes with a few times a week. That man is Jeff Hush. For weeks I discredited her advances to come and join her. I was actually jealous of her happiness and that she was trying to better herself and that I had settled for such a miserable existence. Then one night I finally had enough of sitting on my ass. I took a leap and for me it was a big one. I finally had worked up enough courage to face my anger with myself and do something about it. I started doing Yoga with Jeff Hush in April. Since that first class I have made the effort not to miss any classes offered. This is where my journey to becoming a Health Ambassador began.
I am 28 years old currently and have made a full body transformation, inside and out. I am 100% vegan now and have lost over 25 lbs. to date. I attribute the changes in my diet to Rachel. She, along with teaching Yoga, also pioneered a “Healthy Bites” cooking class. It is a vegan cooking class where we the student gets to try 100% vegan food. Rachel’s knowledge on food and macrobiotic lifestyle is unparalleled. She has helped me formulate a balanced diet with a regiment of recipes. Through healthy eating and movement I have changed my entire life. I have opened up doors to my health that I couldn’t even imagine. I understand this testimonial to the FAMTUSA lifestyle will be taken with a grain of salt, but I truthfully hope whomever reads this absorbs the words I have written.
Jeff and Rachel have been 100% pivotal in my life’s journey of happiness and health. The kindness they show to everyone who wants to better themselves through movement and food is indescribable and the efforts they make to help the world are truly remarkable. Jeff and Rachel aren’t worried about making tons of money or what new fancy electronic they can obtain, but rather, they care about the well-being and health of others. They believe in treating the cause rather the symptom. This in itself is their lifestyle. I am proud to be associated with FAMTUSA and have no plans on ever looking back on my old life.
David Brzoska, 24
(originally from New Britain CT, now in Waterbury CT)
Jeff Hush is truly the best person I know in terms of his exceptional skills in health, fitness, and nutrition. Going to his yoga classes helped me a lot. He meant so much more to me than all of the teachers and special education staff I had when I was enrolled in New Britain Public Schools. Not getting great, positive support with education was a huge problem. These years of schooling were totally miserable. I was very talented in subjects of math and science, but I had trouble in terms of social, communication, and language skills. My family, especially my two narcissistic parents knew about my disability [autism] but did nothing to try to support or help me. All they did was let me struggle in the worst way possible. They had so much anger problems, they laid all their issues on me. They even said to me I needed medication. I was unsure of what they were saying, but I realized they were putting me down in a terrible way. All the advice I got from psychologists, staff at school, and even a psychiatrist from a hospital was to take medication. I had taken these Celexa pills [for three months] and they felt awful once I took three dosages of them. These people know nothing about natural treatments, and thus I felt indebted not getting true positive support around me! I felt stressed out, frustrated, and confused. I did not trust other people, including average, normal Americans, other doctors, and even my family members who eat animal products like meat and dairy.
I always kept going to Jeff and his girlfriend, Rachel Hedrick, an exceptional nutritarian chef and yoga expert who knows exactly what foods to eat and what not. She gave me great advice nobody would ever give me!!!!!!!!! She told me that with my Asperger’s Syndrome to cut out gluten, dairy, soy, and most processed foods. I realized at that moment there were better treatments than pills. Following her advice made me a better person physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and aesthetically. Yoga and vegetarian life made me a much happier human being.
These two people truly understand how to make great positive relationships with others and I feel blessed and honored to know them. The New Britain, Meriden, and Middletown communities truly need people like Jeff to help make a difference with hard-working parents, struggling kids in school, and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. These people are going to miss out on these special Obamacare classes without Jeff. Jeff works extremely hard with people who want to improve their lifestyle and diet, but the Community Health Center does not give him enough appreciation for his hard work, effort, and dedication. Every person deserves credit in the best way possible, and those who have been in Jeff’s yoga class have benefited tremendously with his food and movement therapy.
Rob Hawkins, 34
Hello, my name is Robert Hawkins and I am 34 years young. I have been working with Jeff and Rachel for about 5 months. The previous year, I experienced a pretty bad car accident. I fractured my right shoulder blade, three ribs, two places in my pelvis and my sacrum. I was unable to use the right half of my body for about two and a half months and I lost a lot of strength and flexibility. I was referred to the free Community Health Center’s yoga class by a friend who swears by it. I decided to take a chance and try it out. After just one month of doing yoga, drinking more water, and eating a little healthier, I began to notice a difference. I am gaining back my strength and flexibility and having a better outlook on life. After five months now, I have become more flexible than I have ever been! Additionally, I have started to gain more strength as well. As for nutrition, Rachel’s food class has opened my eyes to a variety of new things to eat that are healthy and also taste amazing. After eating the food she prepared for each class, I always felt better. She has also taught me how to be more conscientious of what I am putting into my body. They have become more than just teachers or instructors, they are two people I am proud to call friends.
GloryAnn, 53 (BSW)
My name is GloryAnn, and I have been an active member of the FAMTUSA team for over 8 months. During the process, I became my own health ambassador.
I have been struggling with severe chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and arthritis, on a daily basis, for years. However, meeting Jeff and Rachel has brought me to another level in my life in which I was able to build confidence in myself. I was able to build a weekly routine practicing yoga and healthy eating. I have built my level of confidence in Yoga, and slowly have moved to different, and harder, levels in yoga, with their support. Jeff, as my Guru, was confident in me and was always so supportive in teaching me even if I had to take a break during the class (or continue on a chair, to modify and ease the yoga) when the level of pain escalated so much I couldn’t keep up with the class.
Prior to attending my yoga class with Jeff and my healthy eating classes with Rachel, I was so discouraged, because I used to practice advanced yoga, but I came to a long pause in my life. I had not met anyone like them with true compassion. I knew that the gym was not going to help me like Jeff could, because he showed a true dedication to all of his students. I was so happy to have accomplished his weekly classes, that I decided to invite my daughter and she started to invite her friends. I felt so blessed and I wanted to share my knowledge with my manager who also participated in his class.
I was so excited that I was feeling better in so many avenues in my life that I introduced the clients-residents I worked with to his class. To my astonishment the clients attended his class and seem to enjoy every session. The amazing thing was that even though they struggled with mental illness and autism they were cooperative and followed Jeff. Jeff was so patient and taught them step by step. The yoga class helped us all to build upon our motivation and allowed us to grow in so many capacities.
My faith in Jeff Hush grew so extensive that I was able to express my joy with others about my team’s progress. Since that first class I have made the effort to attend as many classes as I could. My journey to becoming a Health Ambassador began. I also was supported by Rachel Hedrick who continues to teach me about healthy eating.
Rachel’s cooking class, “Healthy Bites,” was not only a learning process but a fun one. We were able share our knowledge with one another and learn how to cook vegan food and test it. Rachel’s macrobiotic lifestyle is amazing. She helped me realize that yoga and vegan eating is a great combination to a journey of wellness. I hope I was able to empower others to realize that wellness comes in different forms.
Jeff and Rachel have been 100% pivotal in my life’s journey of happiness and health. You will be able to have a remarkable journey just like I have had. Jeff and Rachel are astounding and their goal is to help people in all walks of life. Their focus is to treat the cause rather the symptom. I am honored to be associated with FAMTUSA. Welcome to a new journey of growth, wellness, and awareness.
Thank you so much Jeff and Rachel, GloryAnn, BSW
Ely Figueroa, 34
My name is Ely and I am 34 years old. When I met Jeff Hush I was 29 years old. My friend Emily told me about free yoga classes she was taking with Jeff at the Community Health Center in New Britain. At first, when she mentioned about taking yoga I was hesitant, since I figured in order to do yoga you have to be flexible. Emily told me that Jeff was patient and that he will teach me. I already felt that I was active in working out and truth be told I didn’t think yoga was a “real workout.” I thought to myself I am trying to lose weight and burn calories and felt that if I took yoga I will not see any results. Well, once Emily convinced me to try it out, I did and once I met Jeff I was convinced that yoga was indeed a work out. I remember being also skeptical about taking yoga since I suffered from lower back pain with muscle spasms due to a car accident. I explained this to Jeff and with his calmness and patience, he explained how yoga will benefit me. He properly showed me moves that I can do to alleviate the pain. Once I learned how to do the yoga moves for my lower back I was able to handle other yoga positions.
Since taking yoga my back pain has been very minimal. I have also become more flexible ever since I started yoga. Even with my other workouts, I make sure that I do yoga stretches before and after my workouts.
While taking yoga my friend Manny S. and I were already teaching free boot camp at Walnut Hill Park in New Britain. I had explained to Manny how I was taking free yoga classes at the center and Manny started joining us in the classes. Because Manny and I had started our own movement, teaching the community about health and wellness, we discussed with Jeff why we started this movement. Manny’s wife had a heart condition and that’s what motivated him to start this movement. I partnered up with Manny to help him out in the movement. We had a conversation with Jeff about our community health movement, and Jeff was so happy to hear about our boot camp movement that he helped us out by getting us a space in the Community Health Center. Here we are 4 years later and we still have a successful group of students who take yoga classes and boot camp classes. Thanks so much Jeff for all your help!
Beth B. , (early) 60s
I was in a serious car accident in 2004, which resulted in such injuries as fracture of my left hand, right foot, terrible back pain/sciatica, and permanent numbness in my left leg from the knee down to the foot. I was wheelchair bound for five months.
Doctors who treated me had put me on muscle relaxers and pain meds, which had only made me feel generally lousy and gave me stomach upset. I was in physical therapy for 9 months. Most of which was very painful. I tried chiropractic for a while and then requested more physical therapy treatments. The results were temporary at best and I still continued with chronic pain.
I then saw that there was a chair yoga class being offered at Vinnie’s Jump and Jive and decided to give it a try. Jeff Hush was the teacher; this was back in 2013. I was skeptical at first, but after talking with Jeff about my injuries, he assured me I would benefit from his class. I began taking chair yoga classes and discovered I could keep my back pain pretty well under control. Before long, I stopped taking pain meds and physical therapy appointments and found that the chair yoga worked much better for me in that it was not at all painful and at the end of class I felt very relaxed, which made me want to do it more often. There were still times that I would have flare ups but I still went to classes because Jeff was very in tune to any specific problems I had and was more than willing to help with specific movements and exercises for my needs. I found that the breathing in the yoga classes also helps to reduce stress and anxiety. I took these classes on my lunch hour and found that I returned to work with a much calmer attitude. I also suffer from asthma and found that yoga breathing really helped me in that it opened my lungs and taught me how to breathe deeper. I later joined Jeff’s Tai Chi classes and really felt that I had better balance and control, especially in my left leg which would keep me from falling as often.
I would recommend taking Jeff’s class for anyone who wants to feel better from any chronic pain with less use of pain meds, or just feel generally better and have less anxiety. I have been taking his chair yoga and Tai Chi classes for about three years now.
Eddie De Leon, 44
I once had testicular cancer. I was 17. I was told I only had six months to live. I went through chemotherapy, four surgeries, blood and platelet transfusions, and even bone marrow transplants. Medical procedures lasted two years, and the cancer had spread to both my lungs and the lymph nodes in my abdomen. That’s when I started to pray for the first time. A nurse named Gloria asked me if I ever talked to God, and I replied, “Not really, but it doesn’t hurt to try.” I felt something in my body then, from praying, something that changed me. Later that week, I had a surgery that opened me up, but they didn’t find anything. The doctor was shocked. I have been cancer-free since 1992.
Years went by and I got married; I had a career as a singer singing Latin Freestyle and R & B. Eventually I got divorced and fell into a deep depression. I became anti-social, always in my house, in the dark. I relied on drugs, mainly marijuana and cocaine, to comfort me, to protect me from the stress and emotional pain. That period of my life lasted about 10 years. That’s also when I gained a lot of weight, reaching a max of 278 lbs. Before that I was solid muscle, from lifting weights, and weighed about 200 lbs. normally.
All the depression led me by 2012 to have suicidal thoughts. I voluntarily put myself in the hospital 3 times between 2012 and 2014. Ever since then, I have been seeing behavioral health therapists monthly. I was diagnosed as bipolar. These therapists helped me a lot by opening up a lot of dark secrets in my life that had been shut in for 30 years. I saw the Steve Wilko Show about children being molested and how he defends children who can’t speak for themselves. All the stuff I had blocked out came out and I recognized that I too had been a victim of child molestation at age 8.
In May 2016 I reached the turning point in my life—I knew I had to change my life. A childhood friend of mine had a teenage daughter who suffered from PTSD, also from being molested. This girl ended her life by jumping off the Portland Bridge into the Connecticut River this May. I had earlier wanted to do the same thing.
In June I started to snap out of my old habits; I stopped smoking and drinking. I started once again to do the thing that I loved most—singing. I also ran into an old friend then who was a minister. He had been an orderly in the hospital when I was a young man with cancer. I remember him pushing me around on that rolling bed to get x-rays and other stuff. I hadn’t seen him in more than 20 years. And now here he was, a minister. He offered to help me get back on my feet and introduced me to his cousin who produces music. So I started working on an album. With the minister I shared my life story, just as I’m telling you all here. Now I’m a member of his church called the House of God. I go there faithfully 3 times a week to worship God, to study God’s Word, and to give God glory and praise.
One day at the end of June I saw a poster for tai chi classes at the Middletown Community Health Center. I was interested in tai chi because I had seen it on TV before. I’m very intrigued with Chinese culture and martial arts. I met Jeff Hush on July 6 because this was the first day of his tai chi class. Jeff told me I was the only student who came all 18 days in a row to his noon CHC tai chi classes. At that first class there were about 4 students. I enjoy taking tai chi because it isn’t an exercise that beats on your body. There’s no heavy lifting; everything is smooth like water. It isn’t fast paced. My body could tolerate it because I do have chronic pain in my back and knees. I love the breathing method, inhaling and exhaling through the nose; it relieves a lot of stress for me. These first 18 tai chi classes I took were only 15 minutes long, but they were very beneficial for me. I’m taking baby steps to get my body back.
Every day during those classes, Monday through Friday, I came to CHC 15 minutes early to prepare the floor for tai chi, moving away all the chairs and furniture to open up the space. After those classes I became so interested in tai chi that I started Jeff’s much longer, one-hour classes, in both tai chi and chair yoga. They were at Vinnie’s in Middletown.
Jeff introduced me to Rachel Hedrick, who came to tai chi; she is a certified holistic nutritionist. She taught me what’s good to eat and what’s not good to eat, natural food not processed food, vegan food, how certain foods can help me with pain and with my health. At one class Rachel made vegan Sancocho, a famous Puerto Rican dish, which in the past I had always had with meat or fish. Rachel’s vegan version was delicious, and I ate 3 small plates because it was not just healthy but tasted great.
Within the past two months of doing tai chi (I also do it on my own every day there’s no class), of eating healthy food, of walking my dog 3 to 5 miles a day, and of “consecrating” (spiritual fasting, not eating or drinking for 18 hours straight)—through all these new habits—I have lost 22 lbs.
My goal is to get back to 200 lbs. (to lose about 50 more lbs.) because I have just been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. It runs in my family. My grandfather had both his legs amputated and died of diabetes. I’m the type of man who doesn’t take medicines, who tries to heal himself naturally, and who has strong faith in God. To get healthier I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables now. I love greens and unsalted, unroasted, raw almonds. I don’t drink sodas or fruit juices because they’re bad for diabetes. I cut out greasy and fried foods. I don’t eat a lot of starch; I eat only whole-grain bread now and brown rice instead of white rice. I donated all my fruits in cans, with sugar syrup, to my downstairs neighbor. I cut way back on red meat (big time!). Mostly I eat organic foods because there are no chemicals in there, and I don’t need those chemicals.
I plan to continue doing what I’m doing in my spiritual walk and my natural walk of life: doing tai chi, walking my dog Bambi, and eating the best things I can eat. Now I am learning how to heal myself from diabetes using reading materials from the best doctors (given me by Jeff) and using food and movement practices taught me by Jeff and Rachel.
Joe Dillard, 66
While being in prison and being unhappy with my life, I just kept wondering why I can’t change my life. What is wrong with my thinking? Then I started to watch a yoga show on PBS, each morning, early at 5 o’clock, while waiting to go to breakfast. I could watch it in prison, and the woman teaching yoga was old, about 70. And I tried copying her. Also she would talk about the philosophy of yoga, and that’s where I learned it was so much more than just being in a yoga position or using the body. So I got books and read about yoga and its history. I even learned that massage can be medicinal. That idea stuck with me.
Then I started feeling the healing process from yoga in my own body, and I also started learning about eating healthy. But my vegetarian diet really came from my minister’s instructions. I still keep this clean diet.
This long process of change and yoga and philosophy and vegetarianism all started in prison in 2003. I got more involved in the process until by 2008 yoga was a daily practice for me, while in prison, and so I had made the big change in my life and thinking while I was inside institutions.
And then in January 2015, after serving 5 straight years, I got out and I was determined not to repeat my same mistakes. Less than a month after getting out, I found a free yoga class in New Britain at CHC. Jeff Hush, teacher of those classes, was my first real yoga teacher and the first outside institutions. I found a real community of people in those yoga classes, twice a week for all of 2015. All these people’s backgrounds were so different from mine that I didn’t have to keep hearing about the same old street problems I knew so well. Hearing other people’s struggles so different from mine, I felt lucky that I wasn’t suffering like them. I saw life from another side, which made me feel that I could be successful and realize my dreams and never go back to jail.
I wanted to become a Massage Therapist because that would take me away from the street. I would have my job and my income. Rachel Hedrick, at Jeff’s yoga classes, encouraged me a lot to get a Massage Therapy degree, because she had worked in massage for many years and knew how much it benefited people. So on January 19, 2016 I started my Massage Therapy training, and it’s going great. And I still do yoga on my own every morning, and when I’m not in school, I visit Jeff’s special yoga classes at Russell Library in Middletown and the TOIVO yoga classes up in Hartford.
After taking numerous Chair Yoga classes and some Tai Chi with Jeff, I have found that I slept better, was more fluid in movements every day (not as stiff), had more energy, became more mindful of my health and eating habits and kept my blood pressure low. His classes have helped me through a second occurrence of cancer and chemotherapy treatments, arthritis, bursitis, spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia, a broken femur and numerous other medical conditions due to the aging process.
Although I have taken yoga classes in the past, none of the instructors could compare to Jeff. He is a very caring, attentive and knowledgeable instructor. He is willing to work with his students to help them through any problems they may have. I would highly recommend any of his classes and the fact that he and Rachel are combining healthy eating is definitely a win, win!
Banning Eyre, 60
I have been attending Tai Chi and yoga classes with Jeff Hush and Rachel Hedrick over the past five years. They are excellent teachers. Jeff, in particular, has a gift for tuning into everyone in the room at any given time, learning and remembering people’s names and needs, focusing in on people who are struggling, always clear and reassuring, all the while keeping the class moving at a lively pace. Quite remarkable.
In addition, Jeff and Rachel take time to get to know people’s issues and quandaries. For instance, I have been on a statin for high cholesterol for the past eight years. Jeff and Rachel made me sharply aware of long-term risks associated with these medications, and of the fact that diagnostic approaches have changed recently. By looking at a range of risk factors, not only cholesterol levels, doctors are now advised to prescribe these drugs far less often. I recently changed doctors, and began the new relationship by raising the issues Jeff and Rachel spoke about, and sure enough, my doctor took me off the statin, noting that my overall risk level did not warrant its use, despite somewhat elevated cholesterol level.
This kind of help and care, combined with excellence in teaching a wide range of movement skills, is most impressive, and valued and appreciated by all who attend these classes.
Joan D. , (early) 70s
Chair yoga with Jeff Hush was a revelation. I had tried yoga some years ago with someone else, but the postures were difficult for me because of a short leg, so I gave up. In Jeff’s chair yoga I could hold onto the chair and do stretches that improved my balance as well as my mental well-being. Now every night I do a series of chair yoga moves I learned from him. I also tried a standing tai chi class with Jeff that was gentle but invigorating. He is a great teacher—encouraging, precise, but ready to adapt to what one can do. I have also benefitted from Rachel’s extraordinary knowledge of nutrition and the benefits of healthy eating. She has made simple suggestions that have greatly improved my eating experience and health.
Ying Fei, 46
I started yoga about three years ago with Jeff Hush. At the beginning I was hesitant to go, I felt doing yoga was some kind of “fashion” that people were doing it just because others were doing it. Also, I wasn’t sure if I could do it. But finally, I convinced myself to try. Of course, at the beginning of the classes, it wasn’t easy for me. A lot of poses I couldn’t do, and I wasn’t flexible at all. But the more I go, the more I enjoy doing it.
I have really enjoyed exploring the different styles of yoga taught by Jeff Hush. Jeff was my first yoga teacher—I have tried yoga with a few other teachers—but Jeff is the yoga teacher that suits my pace. Jeff is very knowledgeable, kind and patient. Last year I had a shoulder pain issue, so he would guide me into all kinds of yoga poses to make my shoulder stronger and pain-free. I’m very thankful that I have practiced yoga with Jeff.
My daughter SW, who is 9 now, has also come to yoga with me every now and then, for about two years. Doing Jeff’s type of Family Yoga is a great foundation for her to do ballet and gymnastics. She is very flexible, and likes to be challenged. Yoga also helps her to focus and concentrate in school.
My journey is ongoing and always changing with every yoga practice. I love the fact that I feel better!!
I treat exercise in all forms as an important daily component of my health. I’ve taken Jeff’s chair yoga and tai-chi classes over several years. They’ve helped me maintain and improve my balance, muscle tone, coordination, posture and emotional outlook. As a direct result of the improvement received from these classes I’ve been able to add aerobic and other vigorous exercise to my daily routine. Jeff is a clear and compassionate teacher. He provides precise instruction to a group while taking care that no individual does more than he or she is able. For seniors with mobility and age-related movement restrictions, Jeff’s classes are a Godsend.
My son has “autism spectrum disorder”. He’s now 29. He found tai-chi on his own several years ago. It’s benefited him tremendously. If there had been a program like Jeff’s when he was a teen, it would have been very useful. It is excellent that one of the groups that Jeff Hush is serving is autistic young people.
Marzena Chabowska, 52
My name is Marzena and I’m 52 years old. I attended yoga classes every week with Jeff Hush for about two years at CHC New Britain. I never had any issue with my health but I always liked to be active. Rather than doing some workout at the gym, I preferred to do yoga. When I heard that there was an opportunity for me coming to yoga with Jeff, I decided to give a shot, and I loved it from the beginning. My life without yoga is not the same. I feel great after yoga, relaxed, complete, and I sleep better. Whenever I took a longer break from it, I felt a huge difference in my frame of mind. I also do yoga by myself, and I think that, thanks to Jeff, I have become strong enough to move into more difficult practices.
Nancy and John Makrogianis, 70s and 80s
Chair yoga (taught by Jeff Hush) has provided us, Nancy and John, with a significant health boost. We are both elderly. Our systems were both creaky. Now, with the benefit of these exercises, we are both more limber, especially John’s shoulders.
We attribute our current healthier status to the tutelage of Jeff Hush. He is a master teacher. The sessions with him provide an easy flow of beneficial motions. A great deal of thought and expertise are evident in his approach to the practice of chair yoga. We are both being deprived of a valuable approach to a healthier life (because CHC has stopped Jeff’s classes at Vinnie’s in Middletown).
I (Nancy) would like to add that I first met Jeff (as a teacher) at the YMCA (in 2012). His “non-stop” hour of yoga was so effective coupled with his sincere concern for each student’s welfare. That combination provided for a unique experience. Jeff is dedicated to his beliefs in this very healthy lifestyle. No one should be denied access to a method that improves human life.
We are concerned that this break (since Jeff isn’t teaching regular classes now) from our two-year-plus association with Jeff Hush and chair yoga will have detrimental effects on our well-being.
Let’s get going with our twice-a-week routine! We need it!
Stewart Danziger 68
I met Jeff Hush several years ago at the Middletown YMCA when I participated in a Pilates class he was teaching. When Jeff left the “Y “to start a program of his own, I followed him. The quality of his classes is so high that it was an easy decision to follow him and pay for his classes, when I could have continued at the “Y “for free. Jeff has accumulated a profound understanding of the human body, and brings this knowledge to this Pilates, tai chi, and power yoga classes. It is always gratifying and a joy to work with him in his demanding and excellent workouts.
Mary R. , (mid) 40s
I have been attending Family Yoga twice per week in New Britain since January 2015. Jeff was my first formal yoga instructor. I previously tried yoga on and off since the late 1990s by using videos, which were okay, but lacked feedback. I have learned much more by practicing yoga with Jeff and Rachel. They can answer questions and point out where I need to improve my form.
I find that yoga is low-impact, but still strengthens my muscles. In the spring of 2016, I hurt my ankle playing tennis. I was still able to attend Family Yoga. I performed most moves while sitting in a chair, so that my ankle could heal. With yoga, my body gets a workout and my mind does, too! The rhythmic breathing is like meditation and helps me unwind after the workday.
Jeff and Rachel provide expert advice. They are welcoming to all students, and are especially patient with young children. They show how yoga is easily adaptable to all ages and fitness levels. I have seen participants ranged from 4 year olds to 80 year olds. I’m currently in my mid-40s and I feel that yoga is an exercise I can practice for many years.
Elizabeth R. , 20
I am a 20 year old female who started Family Yoga in November 2014, twice a week. When I was younger I did take a short formal yoga class and have tried various videos to practice yoga. Jeff and Rachel’s yoga class has taught me about staying in tune with my body. I always feel great after every yoga class. I know I just gave my body a good stretch while still strengthening my muscles. Rachel and Jeff have both helped me improve, by showing me new moves, correcting me while in yoga positions, and encouraging me to keep practicing even if I don’t do well in a certain move.
I struggle with staying motivated. These classes with Jeff and Rachel are consistent and I can fit them into my schedule, making it easier to keep up my practice. They also make me want to go back, I have such a good time that I want to continue doing yoga with them and getting better at it myself. I definitely see myself practicing yoga for many more years to come.
My name is Claudine; I am 45 years old. I attended Jeff’s free CHC yoga class 2x per week for about 8 weeks. I had no prior experience in yoga until I met Jeff Hush.
I find yoga to be very rewarding for me because I am able to sleep more relaxed at nights. I find myself a lot stronger strength-wise and have gained some flexibility. I had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand, and now through yoga I have improved the strength of the hand and it is able to tolerate more floor exercise. My right leg—I was able to improve my balancing and strength. This leg has problems due to nerve damage a few years ago from surgery.
Yoga has also helped me with my weight loss. My 12 year old son participated one time—he said he enjoyed the class.
I am a 39 years-old woman who has done yoga on and off since I was about 20. I have practiced various styles with many different teachers in different countries, and I can honestly say that Jeff’s way of teaching is extremely beneficial. He takes the time to see my poses, to adjust and correct, and to push me when he feels I am capable. He is knowledgeable about body mechanics and overall health of the mind and body. Recently I have taken my daughter to his Family Yoga classes. She looks forward to going and enjoys the challenges. He makes the poses fun and suitable for all age groups and abilities. We have both benefited by Jeff’s classes.
Stephen Young, 62
My name is Steve. I was introduced to Yoga 2.5 years ago at the Community Health Center here in New Britain CT. We had an awesome instructor by the name of Jeff Hush, who is no longer with that program. I have learned so much from Jeff in those 2.5 years. Yoga even helped me with a long term chronic condition. I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis 18 years ago, but I have found very little that helped with it until yoga and changing my diet. Sarcoidosis affects your breathing, and yoga has helped me a lot improve my breathing. Yoga also stretches you out. Jeff has also taught me (Rachel, too) about healthy eating, which has helped with my blood pressure. Both my breathing and my quality of life at age 62 have been helped by yoga. I’m in better shape. I have lost weight. My breathing is better, and I’m looking better than ever, even at my age. Thanks to Jeff for his time and patience.