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  971 NW Spruce Ave Ste 101, Corvallis, OR  |  541-224-6566  |  My Account  |

5:05 pm

What poses are you working on and why?

We asked instructors this question:

I've been shaking for 15 minutes each morning. To release all the crazy injuries, traumas and beasties living my hips and spine. ~Lisa

For me yoga asana is a means to an end. I do yoga to increase mobility and strength and peacefulness of mind rather than as a way of achieving certain poses. I am interested in being able to move my body well in the most functional, graceful, and pain-free ways that I can. The things I am working on most in my practice right now are shoulder and thoracic mobility and pectoral opening. I am also trying to do a pull up and increasing my time hanging from a pull-up bar or tree branch.~Jennie

Hand- and head- stands--having scoliosis, stacking the spine is hard HARD; all my imbalances come to light, so it's been a long and incremental process getting all the pieces together. And now that they are there, I am going to keep them there! Otherwise, I've been working on pranayama and poses that contribute to that best. ~Koa

All of 'em! Those I like, don't like or am indifferent about. I work with them regardless. Virabhadrasana 1 is a special pose for me because it always feels like the first time. ~Kristen

Downward dog is a pose that continues to challenge me.  It is easy for me to hyperextend into the pose, to over arch my back and fall into my shoulders.  Downward dog is a friendly reminder to me to find integrity or stability in my body rather than flexibility. ~Rachel S.

Pincha mayurasana because I love flipping things upsidedown. :) And lots of gentle twists and poses to strengthen and move my hamstrings because I'm caring for an injury. ~Mara

Savasana! Because that's where the magic and the work is. I love and struggle to give myself the space to be still and listen. Also Bakasana because it requires strength and balance in the physical places I'm most interested in right now: chest, shoulders, and core. ~Naomi

To balance this season of transition, both personally and in nature, I am working not on a single pose but on a sense of steadiness. Hence, my practice right now is very regimented:  Arm balances on Mondays. Backbends on Wednesdays. Standing poses on Fridays. Restorative on the days in-between. Formal seated meditation every morning. I don't always follow this prescription, but right now it comforts me.  ~Angie

Triangle, I'm looking for something new! ~Katie

I like practicing Goddess Pose- I find it to be a great lesson in Sthira and Sukha- it requires a patient and sweet surrender as you settle into the strength of the pose. It's mentally and physically challenging, but also very rewarding! ~Olivia 

Patience in all poses and bringing in more inversions at home: headstand and shoulder stand ~Theresa

3:31 pm

Why Yogis (You!) Should Try a Pilates or Core Class

by Lisa Wells

Yoga saved my back and my life. I'm not kidding. I was a mess when I started practicing nearly 30 years ago. My back was literally failing and my life was not so pretty either. I came to yoga to heal my back pain. I was recently diagnosed with spondylolithesis (a broken spinal at L4/L5). Yoga reduced the pain and began to rebuild the failing structure. And to be honest, it didn't 'cure' my spondy and about 10 years later after birthing 2 large babies my spine failed sufficiently to require surgical intervention and stabilization.

Enough of that. Yoga helped a lot, but it didn't take care of all the strength building that I needed, either before or after the surgery. I found that I needed to supplement my yoga with movement specifically focused on building strength in my torso or core musculature. And this is where Pilates comes in. oseph Pilates created a series of exercises that are incredibly efficient at building core strength. Joseph was a creative character and loved working with toys; he adapted hospital beds, household chairs, and wine barrel rings, among other things, to help his clients isolate, strengthen and lengthen their core muscle architecture. With strength in your core, you can return to yoga, or running, or mountain climbing, or simply carrying a baby around with more confidence that you will not injure yourself.

Fast-forward another decade or so and I've accumulated some overuse injuries in my body from my nearly 30 years of yoga practice. So I started looking around again for other complementary movement forms that will help keep my practice sustainable for the next 30 years. And what I found was resistance stretching and functional fitness. The movements from these modalities are helping me rebuild and sustain strength in muscles and connective tissue that I had overstretched in my yoga practice. Overstretched connective tissue (aka becoming too flexible, which for some of us might not look like we are very flexible at all) creates unstable joints. And unstable joints get easily injured and are painful. Resistance stretching brings strength and stability back to overstretched joints. It also safely takes us toward greater range of motion without risking over stretched connective tissues.

All of that is a mouthful to say, come try a Pilates or Core class. Here's the schedule:
Mondays 12-1p Core with Lisa
Mondays 5:45-6:45p Pilates with Theresa (in the small room, please pre-register)
Wednesdays 12-1p Core with Lisa
Wednesdays 5:45-6:45p Pilates with Theresa (in the small room, please pre-register)
Fridays 12-1p Pilates with Mara

And starting in June
Tuesdays and Thursdays 5:30-6:45p Core Yoga with Mara!

12:32 pm

Atha Yoga~Yoga Now by Angela Grace

When I wake in the wee hours of the morning, the darkness comforts me. It is heavy, grounding, peaceful. The stillness is alluring. I turn on as little light as possible to protect my ostensible solitude. Darkness invites me inward, a natural encouragement toward pratyahara, the practice of withdrawing the senses. And as the business of life falls away, if only for a moment, my being is allowed freedom to explore questions such as the purpose of life, and what is it that I really love (different versions of the same question really.) If only for a moment, clarity seeps into awareness.

Yoga does not dispel the darkness. Yoga illumines the darkness.

4:04 pm

Resistance Stretching by Lisa Wells

Resistance Stretching is a one-on-one hands-on approach to building strength and flexibility. It’s personal training that feels a bit like a workout and a massage rolled into one session.  In a resistance stretching session the trainer assesses your body’s strengths, weaknesses and imbalances and then guides your body through strength training while stretching. When muscles are long, strong and balanced, we move with ease and grace, without pain or limitations.

Resistance Stretching builds on current biomechanical understanding, to increase the healthy range of motion of a joint you need to build strength at the end of the range of motion. Therefore, we engage muscles as we lengthen them rather than relaxing into stretch.  Engaged extension is referred to as an eccentric contraction.  When the muscle can be strong eccentrically at full length, the nervous system trusts the muscles to protect the joint, and allows the connective tissue to lengthen further.  This directly results in increased balance, flexibility and range.  Graceful is the word we use to describe bodies with balance, flexibility and strength.

Lisa is studying resistance stretching with Anne Tierney of Ki-Hara Resistance Stretching.  Anne works with professional athletes, from Olympic Gold-Medalists, to NFL teams, MLB players, and pro-Golfers. And yes, while Resistance Stretching is great for athletes, it is also great for you.  The one-on-one hands-on approach is easily adapted to all bodies.

Check out what people have to say after a Resistance Stretching Session:
“It’s like a massage from the inside out.”
“My back pain is gone!”
“I feel stronger and more fluid.”
“Released my quads, my hamstrings, my SI joints, and my groin.  Wonderful work.  I’ll be walking around lighter all day.”
“Wow, that felt good.”
"The technique is definitely effective. It is by nature, safe and personalized. "

"Working with Lisa on resistance stretching was a delightful and dreamy experience that felt like a cross between receiving a massage, and engaging in a strong, nurturing, guided, hands-on stretch sequence. She is intuitive and an expert of biomechanics, a pro at handling and guiding the body through the exercises in this method. I really appreciate how the method asks the practitioner to employ strength to work toward flexibility and greater range of motion; it feels sustainable and has a quality of "correctness" in the body. Like- "yes.... this is really good for me!" Resistance stretching is a wonderful complement to a yoga practice and certainly a complement to athletic pursuits like jogging, climbing, etc. "

Walt Whitmen wrote of love as a "subtle electric fire. . . playing within." While practicing Ki-Hara Resistance Stretching with Lisa, I remembered this quote again and again because my body felt like the love and the movement of Ki-Hara, the electric fire. The technique integrated my joints and reminded me of what it was like to move fully and easefully. I left the sessions feeling sore but liberated because I knew that the limitations and habit-patterns my body has held so long need not be life-long.

Schedule an Appointment Here.

6:57 pm

Five Year Anniversary!

I’m in awe.  It has been a great five years.  We’re a community.  We come together to practice yoga, to laugh, to play, to fly and to cry.  I feel so incredibly blessed to have you in my life and to call this my work.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

We’ll have a day of great festivities to celebrate. Special classes, live music, henna tattoos, and yummy treats to eat and drink. Best of all, Kristina will be here, so please come and give her a hug.  We’ve missed her.  

The revenue from our Anniversary Celebration will go toward one of my favorite things: the Live Well Scholarship Fund.  The Live Well Scholarship fund allows me to say ‘yes’ when someone wants to take yoga but they don’t have the financial means.  Because you are generous, we are able to say Yes to more Yoga for more people.  We thank you!

I’ll be teaching a couple of celebratory classes in the middle of the day. From 2-3:30 being ‘Strong and Gentle Yoga.’ This class is the evolution of my yoga practice: influenced by QiGong, Functional Movement, Resistance Stretching and Feldenkrais.  From 4:00-5:15pm we’ll be ‘Mashing’. Mashing is a unique form of partner bodywork where the 'giver' uses their feet to compress and release tissues of the receiver. It's a great experience for both partners. Bring a friend to work with or make a new friend here.  Get Mashed!


5:39 pm

Atha Yoga~Yoga Now

by Angie Grace

Atha Yoga Anushasanam~Yoga in the here and now; now begins the study of yoga. 1:1 Yoga Sturas of Patanjali

Much has been made of this first sutra of Patanjali’s work the Yoga Sutras. Atha is usually translated as now. I found this definition of atha online, an auspicious and inceptive particle not easily expressed in English. Auspicious and inceptive. We tend to throw the idea of auspiciousness into the past or the future. The sages of the past had it figured out, and we need to realize what they did. Or enlightenment will come after years of two-hour early morning practice. I will be happy then. What if we chose to wake up atha, now? What if we recognized moments of yoga in our daily life atha, now? What if we embody the auspicious nature of existence atha, now?

Today, pause, breathe, and settle into your bones. Then look around you. Repeat aloud or to yourself Atha Yoga. Atha Yoga. Atha Yoga. Notice what draws your awareness.

Yoga Conversations

If you’d like to continue this conversation with Angie, join her the first Saturday of the month starting November 7 at noon. This month, we will begin with an introduction to the Yoga Sutra's of Patanjali. Regular class prices. Feel free to bring your lunch. We will chat until about 1:30. Register here

6:53 pm

Lullaby Yoga with Johanna Beekman

After a busy summer of festivals, Johanna Beekman will return to Live Well Studio on Friday, September 25 at 7PM with Lullaby Yoga—her one-of-a-kind blend of music and restorative yoga. In Lullaby Yoga, Johanna gently guides participants through a series of deeply relaxing restorative poses while singing and playing soothing songs and chants. The music—a blend of original and traditional pieces from a variety of cultures and traditions—facilitates the healing process by providing a luxurious, peaceful space for the mind to rest while the body relaxes, rebalances, and restores itself.

In the class Johanna will be singing several songs from Heart Beats One, her long-awaited, just-released album of original kirtan music from the traditions of yoga. The album, which features guest appearances by Ben Leinbach, Benjy Wertheimer, Girish, Jaya Lakshmi, Ananda, Gina Sala, Daniel Paul, Hans Christian, Bibi McGill, and other esteemed members of the global kirtan community, is being greeted with some remarkable words of praise from musicians, yoga teachers, and others who've heard it: stellar… gorgeous… beautiful... healing… haunting… amazing… extraordinary.... You can read more about the album and hear (for a limited time) all of the tracks all the way through at You can buy tracks there or pick up a copy of the CD in person at Johanna’s class.

Johanna will also be singing and playing at a special RhythmAsana class with Lea Bayles, George Beekman, and Lyris Cooper on Saturday, September 26, 10:30 to noon at the Corvallis Unitarian Fellowship.) RhythmAsana is a unique and joyous mix of yoga, movement meditation, dance and live world music, including (of course) songs from Johanna’s new album.

The Lullaby Yoga class and the RhythmAsana event will be Johanna's only two Corvallis appearances before she goes on a tour of the West Coast with fellow kirtan artist Mike Cohen.

6:19 pm

An Epistemology of Love: The Heart of Retreat

By Katelin Gallagher

I met God today.

What I mean by that is I had the profound joy of meeting and listening to a lecture by physicist and contemplative scholar, Arthur Zajonc. His words spoke to my soul and his deeply embodied presence moved me to holy tears. There is something in him that has let go of pretense, of deceptive separation, of clinging on to that which cannot be indefinitely clung to.

I had anticipated that the contemplative-academic seminar that I am attending to be… you know… dharma “lite,” so to speak. Instead, I experienced in him what was to me, the voice of God(dess).

Arthur has a brilliant mind and ability to lecture. He has been a professor for decades and has published his discussions with the Dalai Lama on the topics of physics and cosmology - one on a long list of career accolades. He also has Parkinson’s, a progressive disease that slowly steals one’s faculties. He spoke of non-attachment and letting go, as a principle of living and practicing. It is difficult to put into words what it is to hear/feel this teaching from someone who must embody it with every breath.

I was humbled to say the least. For a moment, I got a hit of what a this kind of release of grasping…. Grasping to self, to achievement, to love, to life…. might possibly feel like. My heart was overwhelmed with the truth and wisdom of this teaching.

Much of the discussion was on the nature of contemplative inquiry. He spoke of meditation, of relativity and Buddhist emptiness, but also of grace and love. In a paper discussing an epistemology of love, Arthur borrows from philosopher and activist Simone Weil: “Simone Weil writes of the ubiquitous power of gravity, which is everywhere and orders all things – except grace. Grace alone defies gravity’s grasp, but it requires special conditions in order to appear. Weil says, “Grace fills empty spaces but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it.

” Simone Weil evokes the powerful importance of silence, emptiness, openness, the Void. Meditation helps us enter the space of silence and to foster the openness into which grace can appear.”

1- Grace fills empty spaces but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it.

2- Meditation helps us enter the space of silence and to foster the openness into which grace can appear.

What is grace? I’m not sure; I can say what it is for me. It feels like the universe/cosmos is my most tender and personal lover, showing me the truth of life, revealing an intimacy with all things in perfect time. Grace is the conductor of manifest reality, rising up to meet me more precisely than I could ever imagine. Grace is that benevolent force that mirrors to me the boundlessness that is my heart, that which leaves me in a heap of holy tears. Grace is a breeze dancing thru an open window that touches my skin and reminds me to be present to my experience. This presence causes a softening of my skin, a relaxing of my metaphysical heart, and a noticing -- a seeing or way of relating -- that was just prior, absent.

Earlier in the paper, Arthur makes the case that through meditation and attentional stability, we might come to know an object of our meditation so intimately that an experience of love could arise, and that this love arising is truth itself:

“Such contemplative inquiry not only yields insight (veritas) but also transforms the knower through his or her intimate (one could say loving) participation in the subject of one’s contemplative attention.”

One of my teachers, Kira Ryder, patiently and regularly reminds me that yoga is always available. Connection is always available. Love is always available if I take the time and care to experience, to be present with, to see the object of my attention. To let that seeing transform into understanding, and understanding into a knowing that confirms the truth of love.

Perhaps then… meditation is the method by which love can be known. Grace is the force that makes it so and Letting go, letting go, letting go is the space in which it all arises. This is the heart of retreat.

I might suggest that what naturally happens next is an opportunity to experience this embodiment intimately, and know it as an emanation of love itself. An opportunity to study our momentary life circumstances, and know them as possibilities for love itself. An opportunity to feel our friends, lovers, parents and strangers, and to know them as vehicles for love itself. God(dess) is in me (you), in one another and imbues all things. Not as an idea or theory, but as a truth that can be directly experienced. Now, of course, I wouldn’t suggest that someone should be or ought to be experiencing love in all things, with all of his or her will and might. Nor would I suggest that all that is - is just peachy. Heavens, no. To suggest that is to miss the nuance of the point entirely. I’m talking about a more subtle undercurrent that is only detected in the hush of an available mind. As the wise ones have suggested, before grace we have to first make space. Then everything- all of it- all the love that one can fathom arises in the most natural and coziest and personal of ways: uncontrived, unfettered, and undeniable.

While this leg of my trip is nearly through, I don’t worry so much about leaving God. Because surely She is available again and again, in each day in the faces of both friends and foes, in the Divine order of life’s unfolding, and in the earnest inquiry into my Heart.

Kate will be offering a space-making, heart-centered, non-residential meditation retreat August 28, 29, & 30th at Live Well studio. There will be practice for the souls of brand new and experienced meditators alike. Please connect with her directly ( if you’re new to meditation. $175 if registered by 8/12; $200 thereafter; Sign up here.

Reference: Love and Knowledge: Recovering the Heart of Learning through Contemplation by Arthur Zajonc

5:31 pm

Self-Compassion and the Practice of Loving Ourselves by Mara Nery

When we breathe in, we are expanding our lungs to accommodate air. When we practice meditation or engage in svadhyaya we expand our minds and our consciousness. When we practice yoga asana, we expand our physical bodies. And when we practice compassion, gratitude, joy, we expand our hearts. Take a moment to turn inward- what is in your heart? Who or what do you hold in this sacred space? Loved ones, pets, places, and even precious memories reside here. Now look again…. Do you reside there, too?

As yogis, we often practice compassion for others; turning our love outward and extending it to those dear to us, and even to strangers. But how often do we turn that same compassion and love toward ourselves? When a friend comes to us with a burden or heavy heart, we listen, we comfort, we create a safe space of non-judgment and acceptance, and most of all we love them. But when we encounter obstacles, face shortcomings, or go through rough times, do we extend this same compassion to ourselves?

When we offer ourselves the same kindness, love, and acceptance, this is the practice of self-compassion. Next time you are struggling with something, notice how your inner voice sounds. Is it critical and judgmental? Or is it comforting, gentle, and kind? When you have a tough time or are struggling through the muck of it, do you take the time to comfort yourself and create a safe space of non-judgment where you can experience your feelings? Can you accept yourself, just as you are, in this moment? This is the practice of loving and caring for yourself, and believe me, it takes a lot of practice.

Breathe in. Expand your heart to include yourself. Breathe out.

Mara teaches Cultivating Self-Compassion for Health starting 8/27/15. Sign up Here.

2:23 pm

Change Happens

"The only thing that is constant is change" spoke the wise Heraclitis around 500 BCE. Clearly, humans have been struggling with change for a long time.  As we come into August, a number of changes will be happening to the studio schedule.  I wanted to give you a heads up of the details.  You can find specifics in the online schedule (which will include any substitutions) and we have hard copies of the August schedule available at the front desk.

Change #1:  Kate will be on an extended retreat in August and early September and then starting graduate school in October. She will be letting go of her current classes (MTW) starting August 1.  She will be back in  late August for a brief time, subbing some classes for Lisa and leading an in-house urban retreat August 28-30 (see below for more details). She'll return to weekly teaching on Sunday September 20th when she will take over the Sunday morning classes.  We've got great people stepping in to teach Kate's classes:

Change 1a:  Stacey Detwiler will be teaching All Levels Flow Yoga Mondays at 5:30pm.
Change 1b.  Stacey Detwiler will be teaching All Levels Flow Yoga on Tuesdays at 12pm.
Change 1c: Lissy Goralnik will be teaching Level 2 Ashtanga Improv on Wednesdays at 5:30pm. There will no longer be a Wednesday 4pm Ashtanga class as of the first of August.
Change 1d: Jennier Cramer will be teaching All Levels Flow on Mondays at 8:45am.

Change #2:  This is a temporary change, Lisa will be in Italy August 15 to September 8. A variety of folks will be subbing her classes during that time. Check the online schedule for details.

Change #3: Angie has changed the format of the Thursday 5:30pm class to Yoga, Strength & Stability.  This class is a creative mix of Yoga and Strength training for a healthier body.
Change 3a: Mara Nery will be teaching all levels Flow Yoga on Fridays at 8:30am.

Change #4: Angie will be starting a job with the Corvallis School district in September.  She will be keeping her evening and weekend classes but letting go of the Friday morning class. Which leads to:

Humans are generalists.Our brilliance as a species and as individuals is our ability to adapt to a changing landscape. Change builds strength and resilience. Change is good for your body and mind. 

Mix things up. Learn from someone new. Challenge your old ideas. Your mind and body will be grateful in the long run, even if it might feel a little uncomfortable in the beginning. 

See online schedule with re-arranged teachers here
See you soon,

Love! Lisa