Aside from yoga classes on campus, Linda Littleton instructs Nordic walking classes at the San Marcos Activity Center. Nordic walking is an Olympic sport designed to help skiers practice in drier months.
San Marcos has been exposed to some of Portland’s culture through new total wellness instructor, Linda Littleton.
Littleton is a yoga instructor and also teaches nordic walking at the San Marcos Activity Center.
Littleton, originally from Boston, moved to the San Marcos area this summer after spending five years teaching race and nordic walking in Portland.
Race walking is a long distance Olympic sport that involves short-stride, heel to toe movement, with one foot in contact with the ground at all times. Nordic walking, often called ski walking, is a sport in which competitors use walking poles designed to help skiers practice in drier months.
Littleton started race walking as a way to re-enter the respiratory therapy work force in Portland. With more than 20 years of wellness and athletic training, Littleton knew she could offer something to Portland residents.
“My passions in sports have been always to be ahead of the curve of the aging process and to empower people to keep mobility going,” Littleton said.
Through her training, Littleton found that nordic walking helped health issues such as arthritis, balance problems and hip replacement recovery.
Nordic walking was a recognized sport in many European regions nine years before it began to get attention in Portland.
“I was part of the movement there,” said Littleton. She calls herself the “Pole Pusher” of Portland, as one of the pioneers of the race and nordic walking scene in the city.
She helped start the Portland marathon with Judy Heller, founder of Wonders of Walking, after being certified in race walking through the North American Race Walking foundation and institute.
“She’s very articulate,” Heller said. “She’s also very caring, really willing to work with people where they are and helping them be where they want to go.”
Susan Richardson, an Austin local, met Littleton through a mutual friend and started taking private lessons from her.
“The lessons I got from her weren’t just based on physical aspects of yoga,” Richardson said, “but she really is the type of instructor who’s in tuned-in to who you are as a person and what you need to move forward with your own life.”
Littleton said going into the practice of yoga was an evolution. She started teaching yoga in part with her race walking lessons. She wanted to know why the human body held so many traumas.
“The thing that kept me going was the walking. The thing that healed me was the yoga,” Littleton said.
Littleton said it is a mind, body and soul process that keeps the heart and mind open.
AJ Montrose, local musician, met Linda at the Bakery Jam in Austin.
“She’s turned out to be a highly energetic, focused, spiritual and active person, to say the least,” Montrose said. “She was a magical addition to the south and by extension San Marcos.”
Montrose said San Marcos has similarities with Portland, and Littleton had no trouble fitting in.
“I am just so touched by the love of the community that’s come to me here in San Marcos,” Littleton said. “They were ready and so warm and opening to me as a women coming in, totally brand new, with my practice.”