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

3:53 pm

Whole Body, Whole Heart

Dear Yoga Students of Live Well Studio, 


I am very honored to have the opportunity to meet you in May, when I come to Live Well to teach a workshop on the 17th. The workshop will be a blending of yoga asana in a hatha flow style, with a bit of story and theory. I’m excited to join Angela Greenwood and others in your community who are teaching and practicing at the intersection of yoga asana with the extraordinarily powerful teachings of yoga’s rich mythological tradition.


We’ll be discussing three fascinating characters from the Hindu pantheon, the Goddesses Sarasvati, Kali, and Laxmi, or Sri. Deities in yoga are such an interesting topic. They can be adored at many levels. There are, as you might imagine, whole schools of yoga steeping in what we traditionally think of as diety “worship”, and by this I mean the religious approach to the icons that asks us to receive the universe as an authority over us, and to engage our yoga as a practice of self improvement, of worthiness cultivation - as a way of righting the wrongs of our  humanity. There is a beautiful quality of love, or bhakti, embedded into these traditions. However, it has been my experience that If we’re not careful, we can turn everything we do into a way to criticize ourselves. “I’m terrible about sticking to a home practice, “ we say,  or, “I’m so BAD,  I should eat more green smoothies.” 


SO here’s a thought - What if, as so many of the teachings of yoga suggest - everything really is Divine? Every one of us, every living being, yes, but also your every mood and preference, your thoughts and actions, you victories and successes, your gaffs and foibles, every imaginable thing? 


This is the proposition of the Triadic Heart of the Goddess tradition. This is a yoga that asks us to receive the universe and our very lives as a both a gift, the no strings attached kind, and also as an invitation to co create our lives in partnership with the energies in and around us. From this perspective, the deities are nothing but aspects of every one of us, and their “worship” a practice of getting to know ourselves, one god or goddess at a time.


We’ll look at some of the many ways that elements of the yoga we do in our regular classes, the biomechanics, the breath based movement and even the way we modify for injuries converse with these ancient wise archetypes, and in the process we may deepen our understanding of how to claim the practice of yoga as our own. How to practice our yoga as a way of living in constant remembrance of our own inherent worth, our deep divinity and greatness.


I look so forward to meeting you there.




4:59 pm

Meditations of a Householder by Angela Greenwood


Meditation has been a consistent practice for me for many years. I have tried many different techniques with varying degrees of success at quieting my mind. I developed the habit of rising quite early in the morning to practice. I have three sons, and learned early on that I would improve my chances of success if I practiced before they woke up.


So it was that I rose at about 5 AM a few days ago. I moved a bit to wake up my body, and then sat on my meditation bench. A few minutes later, one of my cats began to meow. Oh right, I usually feed them before I sit. Feed the cats. Sit. Then noises from the kitchen. My oldest son could not sleep and had decided to make pancakes for himself. Well, at least he’s cooking. Back to the bench. And then very soon a tapping at the door of my meditation space. Seriously? It’s 5 AM! My youngest son had had a nightmare and was frightened . What is a yogini to do? My life would not allow me to renunciate.


There are two great movements in yoga, pravritti and nivritti. In very general terms, pravritti means to turn into the movements of the mind and daily life. Nivritti means to turn away from the same. This is the great debate between the path of renunciates and householders. Renunciates are people who renounce familial life. Householders are the rest of us with families and careers.


“What debate?” you might ask. We all know that true spiritual aspirants are the renunciates off meditating in some sort of metaphorical cave. Patanjali wrote in the Yoga Sutra 1.2, Yogas citta vrtti nirodhah— Yoga is calming the fluctuations of the mind. This is nivritti thought. It is commonly interpreted as willful control of the mind and detachment from the distractions of daily life. It is a powerful path, and is the path most frequently taught.


But is it the only path? The goddess-centered traditions tend to be more for householders. For example, rajanaka yoga teaches that the path of yoga is to engage fully with life. This is pravritti though.


So, what is a yogini to do? I chose to feed the cat, say hello to my pancake making son, and snuggle in bed to hear about the nightmare with my youngest son. Then I put in ear plugs and sat for a brief but powerful meditation session. The meditation continued throughout the day. The sky was bluer, the sun brighter, and people more friendly. I felt completely integrated. Love seemed to ooze from my skin.


There are times when nivritti yoga is appropriate, and times when we are better served with pravritti practices. Of course, the answer is a balance between the two. After all, this is yoga.


Angela teaches weekly Yoga classes, private therapeutic Yoga sessions by appointment, as well as various workshops at Live Well and through RhythmAsana
Tuesday, 5:30p, Flow Yoga level all
Thursday, 5:30p, Flow Yoga level 2
Friday, 8:30a, Flow Yoga level all
Friday, 10a, Gentle Yoga level 1
Saturday, 9a, Flow Yoga level 2
Saturday, 10:30a Flow Yoga level all

View our weekly schedule here.  

5:05 pm

What does yoga have to do with sustainability? by Victoria Jensen

Victoria Jensen graciously shared her perspective on yoga and sustainability at the Corvallis Sustainability recent annual town hall meeting. We're delighted she's sharing with us as well.


Hi, my name if Victoria Jansen and I am a senior at Crescent Valley High School.
    Sustainability is such a vast premise. Over the past four years, I have learned that building a sustainable world, that “going green”, is so much more than just creating environmental solutions and that community plays such an important role achieving a sustainable world.
    This realization came to me in the midst of the chaos of Crescent Valley’s Health Fair last month as I spoke to students about a new program at our school, Yoga at CV. I started Yoga at CV because I wanted to give students hope. Hope that even though life can be rough, there is always a way to pull through. For me, yoga was an escape when I found my mind telling myself I was not perfect, that I needed to change. I wanted people to see that, if you let it, it allows you to think about the world in a different way, have clarity in difficult situations, find solace. But I also wanted to bring people together, break away from the labels of high school, so that students could have an opportunity to identify themselves, and in doing so, be inspired by all the things they have to offer to the world.
    This, in my mind, if the basis of sustainability. “Going green” is about building these communities, these frameworks, so that people can be inspired and so that ideas can be generated. By building these communities, you open doors for creating a healthy environment through social wellbeing.
These interactions are what bring about change. By connecting with other people, you are allowing yourself to experience life and connect with the world around you. Here in Corvallis we strive to create a culture of social well being, to make community connections. By coming here tonight your are doing exactly that. You are demonstrating your willingness to make a difference for the betterment of the planet. And whether or not you change the world, or I change it, is irrelevant compared to the the people you inspire, and to those connections you make.
All the world's environmental problems can, and will solved one day, when we remember the impacts our communities can make, on others, the world and the environment. And when we remember that no change ever begins without the incentive of inspiration.


'Learn more about Yoga CV from this Corvallis Gazette Times article.'  



4:25 pm

Radical Kindness. Extraordinary Service. Unstoppable Love.

If there’s one thing that’s certain- no matter how many times you read the lines in The Yoga Sutras- they are the type that reveal themselves to you differently each time. The two below are the first of this classical Yogic Text - a how-to manual for spiritual progress.  Patanjali, the revered author of The Yoga Sutras, wrote the manual a few hundred years BC and he summarizes the entirety of the path in these two phrases.


Atha Yoga Anushasanam

I will now review for you how we become whole.

Yogash chitta virtti nirodhah

We become whole by stopping how the mind turns.


The key word in the first sutra is ‘Yoga.’  The term arises from the root yuj, which essentially means to connect, unite, or join.  We’ve all heard the colloquial mantra of the 60’s and new age traditions that assert ‘we are all one.’  But notions of one-ness, wholeness, and connection leave a lot to be unpacked.  What does it mean to be ‘one’ with something or someone else?  Does that mean literally?  Mystically?  Karmically? Or that we are somehow of the same essence? What does it mean in real-life and real-time to connect, join or find one-ness? In the upcoming Yoga Sutras Course, we’ll explore the deep philosophical ideas of yoga to ground our understanding in logic and intuitive wisdom and extend these learnings into the areas of our lives where it matters most.


The second line teaches that it is our constant, unchecked, tape-recorder like thinking that must stop for us to find wholeness. If you’ve been around the yoga block, you’ve probably heard this line a dozen times… but hang on a second, there’s something incredibly interesting to behold here and it’s very subtle. Maybe you’ve worked to quiet your mind and started to touch something deeper, more peaceful, and integrated within.  Interesting.  But is that it?   We simply touch a feeling of peace during a good meditation every now and again and we move into the world a little more grounded and friendlier?  It’s pleasant- but not the entire story. Perhaps what is most interesting of all is what is revealed to us about the nature of our minds and the nature of our reality when we get very very quiet. And how what is revealed (a topic we’ll discuss in great length) leads to a felt sense of wholeness or one-ness actually. For real. And not in a pretend or theoretical kind of way.  When what is revealed about the nature of things starts to stick with you and drastically changes the way you think about your day to day interactions… in your career, in your relationships, in your yoga class, etc.  something much greater than pleasantries can arise.  I’m talking about radical kindness. Extraordinary service. Unstoppable love.  Now that, my fellow yogins, is interesting.


Class starts NEXT Thursday 2/27 7-8:30.  Space is limited; please pre-register here

3:33 pm

Presence Begets Presence

This past December, I was in a 15-passenger van with 10 of my closest dharma friends, driving north from NYC to the arctic landscape of Upstate New York. Since we had a far drive, we played our version of car games, starting with ‘What secret superpower do you have?’  Keep in mind, we weren’t being totally silly. There was an earnestness and sacredness to this game… and it forced a kind of out-of-the-box thinking… trying to feel into our subtle, other-worldly abilities that often go unacknowledged.  We all have some special abilities, I think, if we’re paying attention. After pondering this, and feeling a little shy about sharing, I knew undoubtedly what mine was.  When it was my turn I said… ‘My secret superpower is the ability to see and meet holy beings. I like to call them HBs in fact.’  And you might be thinking to yourself, is there a being that ever existed that isn’t holy?  Undoubtedly. But I digress.  So there it is; I’m out of the closet.  You know my deepest lightest magical siddhi secret.  But that’s not entirely what this is about either.  That’s just a fun anecdote to preface this essay.


Every now and again I connect with someone- a teacher or HB of sorts- that stops me in my tracks, makes me feel a sense of awe and wonder, and reveals to me the possibilities of my own heart.  They do this in the most profound yet simple of ways.  A tangible presence of mind; a masterfully cultivated awareness. And this attention lends itself to cutting thru the illusion that plagues our everyday existence and perpetuates our suffering. Cultivated presence is the container in which the most sacred of tender and vulnerable spaces for transformation can exist. After watching this exquisite video of Kira Ryder speaking at a TedX Ojai, I can say (and remember I have a self-proclaimed superpower) that she is a rare, practiced being whose presence brings you into presence. And when you’re present in connection with others- many or one- the veil of illusion drops and the wisdom of the heart unfolds.  I think it could be the most unspeakably extraordinary experience that we can have in our lives: To behold this kind of presence. 


So, I sat down to write something inspiring and meaningful about my upcoming yoga sutras class. And it’s kind of funny, because all I want to write about in this moment- on this day- is the Anatomy of Self Love workshop next week.  (Maybe the HBs that run the joint will give me two spots on the blog this month- ha!). All that is to say is… Go see Kira, revel in the magical space of community that she is creating for us. If you feel compelled to walk the path of awakening in this way, and you were otherwise on the fence, please go next week if you can.  It’s what we’re all here for, right?  To Awaken and to exist in love.  And we need each other in all of our holiness to do it and we need the other HBs too- especially the ones who have seen the rarely-charted terrain and know how to get there. Presence begets presence.


Although I’ll be on my way to a meditation retreat with Miranda-ji the weekend of the workshop… my heart will be with you.  And if you feel so moved to continue this journey of awakening in community thru rich philosophical discussion and meditative practice, then I’d love for you to join me for The Yoga Sutras course on Thursdays starting Feb 27 7-8:30 for more ongoing work in the realms of presence, wisdom, superpower training and above all else, love.  -Kate G.

4:00 pm

Love is Fast Medicine

A few days ago, I woke up a bit tired from a few long days of work. At 55 I don't sleep as well as I used to. I was already a bit cranky. My sons have been grumpy with me lately and that doesn't help. Summer (my younger son) called me at 8:15 asking me to bring his back pack to school which he had forgotten and left in his room. I resisted a bit then relented. I got his backpack and left the house irritated and cold. Half way to school I found myself driving behind a man on a bicycle pulling 2 large trailers. The trailers were piled high with his belongings stuffed into black garbage bags. The wheels were canted oddly on the trailers and he is struggled to move. He rode a block or so, stopped to rest and then moved on. I drove slowly behind him for about 4 blocks. I found myself overcome with gratitude for my problems. All my problems are born of love. Dealing with my kids, or the studio, or preparing to teach class, all of this is born of love. I am so blessed to have created a life of my own design that is founded in love. My frustrations didn't go away, but my attitude shifted. Love is fast medicine. Remembering to look for love everywhere, all the time, makes all the difference. ~Lisa

4:49 pm

Rhythm of Shakti


Many of you know that 2013 was a foundation shattering year for me.  Every label with which I identified myself, every idea I had concerning my future dissolved into thin air quite suddenly.  When I say I know Kali personally, I am referring to direct experience with powerful dissolution.  Kali is that movement in our life that shows us what is indestructible by destroying all that is destructible.  She represents periods of unknowing, depth, and infinite potential.  It is a rather frightening place to be.  


I survived by moving deeply into yoga.  My meditation practice (which focuses on the use of mantra), my asana practice, and my study of mythology were my lifelines.  Mantra helped calm my mind and emotions.  Meditation helped me connect to that which is scared in each of us, that which I name Goddess.  Asana helped keep me strong and flexible.  Mythology helped me externalize, universalize, and interpret my experiences.


My Rhythm of Shakti workshop series was designed with the clear intention of sharing these tools with others.  It is intended as an aid for those wishing to deepen their personal practice and bring about transformation in their lives.  Shakti is the term for the energy of creativity and manifestation in Hindu mythology. It pulses and dances through us and the events in our lives, hence the name Rhythm of Shakti.


Rhythm of Shakti is a series of five workshops.  You are welcome to attend any of them individually, and I encourage you to sign up for the entire series.   Johanna Beekman, George Beekman and Lyris Cooper will join us to lead chanting. Other extraordinary local teachers will join us throughout the series.


The first workshop is a special, by-donation workshop.  All money will be donated to start Live Well's newly established scholarship fund.  Live Well has already received a generous donation of $2000 for the fund.  Let's join as community and match that sum.  If you can't come to the workshop, please consider a contribution.


Dates:  Jan. 25, March 1, March 22, April 26, May 24

Cost:    $45 per workshop or $189 for the series

Suggested donation for Jan. 25 is $45; no one turned away due to lack of funds

Location:  Live Well Studio

Time:  2-5pm



11:52 am

Connection already is, Love already is

If you and I were having a conversation about Kira Ryder and her February Anatomy of Love workshop, it might go something like this...

You:  Who is Kira Ryder and why would I want to take a workshop from her?


Kristina: Kira Ryder is my teacher. Kira is an experienced Yogini, owner of LuLu Bahndas in Ojai, California, rider of bicycles, owner of a loving cat, friend of many, and student of love. Kira will be teaching the Anatomy of Self Love at Live well in February.  I invited her to teach here because I love what I have learned from her and I experience joyful expansion of self everytime I play with her.


You: How has studying with Kira affected you?


Kristina: What a huge question! There are so many answers! In short, it’s created more joy, play, connection, ease, and love, both for myself and for those around me. These are traits Kira embodies and generously shares along with the practices she’s used to cultivate them.


Experimenting with Kira has deepened my awareness and acceptance that ‘Connection already is, love already is, quiet already is, affection already is, whatever my heart desires, already is’ – my job is to tune into their existence, to align within my own heart, to let go of my defenses, and to allow my hearts desire to thrive. Kira graciously creates a space for me to explore practices that bring this reality to light.


For those who know me, this may come as surprise, (or not!). It’s common for me to not be at ease, to have my to-do list running in my head, to have a sense of anxiety about honoring my obligations, to want things complete and accurate and on and on. The moment I heard Kira whisper, ‘Sweetheart, show her some affection,’ my heart softened, my eyes teared, and ease crept through my being. A simple notion delivered with such love and care that I easily made it my own, a mantra I carry with me and a sense of ease I can find when I need it, (with practice of course!).


You:  Tell me more about Kira’s teaching style:


Kristina: Perhaps my greatest attraction to Kira and her teaching is her sense of levity, simplicity, and play. I hold deep respect and appreciation for the ancient texts, yet they are not easy access points for me to learn or apply to today’s realities. While Kira’s teaching is grounded in a vast and deep knowledge of the Yogic and other wisdom traditions, she embodies and inspires a sense of playful experimentation and acceptance that resonates deeply with me. This has allowed me to touch and understand parts of my inner landscape that were previously unknown to me.


You: How does playing with Kira change you?


Kristina: It’s always makes me happier, my heart somehow grows larger, I’m inspired to shed useless patterns, carry more joy forward into my life and community, and be connected to my hearts desire.


I invite you to learn more about Kira’s Anatomy of Love workshop here. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at and we’ll set up a time to visit, I’m happy to share more of my love and respect for Kira and interior treasures she’s helped me discover.





9:53 pm

Happy New Year, Welcome 2014!

2013 has been the year of community.  I have watched Live Well grow and coalesce as more than ‘just a yoga studio.’ We come together for camaraderie, joy, laughter, and for tears, frustration and grief.  We are building and growing traditions together:  from Tuesday Tea and 2nd Thursday dinners to retreats and teacher training. Our lives and our stories yoke us together into to community.  The word yoke evolved from the Sanskrit word yuj, which is also the root of the word Yoga.  Our community is a direct manifestation of our yoga.


My dream is that Live Well offers yoga to everyone, regardless of financial circumstances.  Yoga has been such a powerful tool of transformation in my life.  It has helped me to recover from ptsd, disordered eating, a severe back injury, and many small and various mental, spiritual and physical ills.  I believe many of those who could most benefit from yoga are also the least able to afford yoga.  So, I am very excited that we will be starting a Yoga Scholarship program in 2014.  The first priority for our scholarships will be to help those with joint medical and financial needs who would benefit from private yoga instruction.  Once those needs are met, we will expand the program to help clients whose financial circumstances exclude them from participating in yoga. All proceeds from the first class in Angie’s new series “Rhythm of Shakti” will be a fundraiser for the scholarship program.   Look for more details soon. 


In 2014 we will also expand our suite of community yoga classes to include a Monday Meditation class, from 9-9:40am.  Lisa will guide this practice with teaching on meditation technique and yogic philosophy followed by silent meditation. Teen Tribal Fusion with Antigone will return on Tuesday afternoons, 4-5pm. Community classes are offered free, by donation or at a minimal fee, and no one is turned away for lack of funds. Our community classes include $5 Community Yoga, Free Teen Yoga, Chair Yoga, and Adaptive YoPi.  If you know someone who would like to attend yoga but is unable due to financial circumstances, please have them talk to Lisa and I will try to direct them to the class best suited to their needs.


We are blessed by your presence in our lives and your participation in our community.  May our community continue to blossom and grow in 2014.


Happy New Year!

More Love!


7:32 pm

Winter Remedies and Recipes from Ayurveda

It has been an interesting winter so far.  We’re not used to such a long cold dry spells.   Skin gets irritated, minds get irritated, tempers get irritated.  Ayurveda can offer us a number of remedies to calm the irritation and slow us down to enjoy what winter has to offer us.  Here are some simple suggestions to keep you calm and centered through this dark cold time of year.


For Your Mind:

Warming Winter Tea (with thanks to Matthew Remski for the recipe)

Warm about ½ cup of almond milk (see recipe below or use commercially available almond milks) and ½ cup water on the stovetop


chamomile tea (1 bag or equivalent loose),

cinnamon (1/4 t.) ,

nutmeg (good pinch) or mace (good pinch),

a few cloves,

poppy seed (1/2 t.)

Simmer for 15 minutes

Drink at your leisure

Almond Milk

This is quite easy to make, tastes better than the store bought brands, and does not have artificial thickeners, stabilizers or preservatives.  It does separate, so shake well before pouring.


Soak over night

1 cup of almonds in 2 cups of water

4 dates in ½ cup of water

Drain almonds and rinse well

Place almonds, 2 cups water, dates and date soaking water in blender.

Blend until smooth and as fine-grained as your blender will achieve.

Strain milk from nut meal.  A nut milk bag is the most efficient way to do this, but if you don’t have one a fine sieve will do.

Keep nut milk in a glass jar in refrigerator for up to a week.  Use as you would regular milk, in drinks, on cereal, or for cooking.

Use nut meal in recipes in place of flour. Freeze or dry for later use.


For your spirit

Winter Morning Practice (thanks Madlyne Moeller for the reminder)

When you wake up take a few moments in bed to be grateful.  Grateful that you are in a warm place. Grateful for your loved ones. Grateful for water and power and a good roof.  Add anything to this list that comes to mind.  Think freely of all the gifts in your life.


Sit on the side of the bed and stretch before you put weight on your feet. 



Drink a cup of hot water with lemon juice. Sit quietly for a few minutes before you begin your day.  Have breakfast in silence or in pleasant conversation with family.  Don’t turn on your electronic devices until after this is complete.


Winter Evening Practice

Turn off all screens and electronic devices at least 2 hours before you go to sleep.  Enjoy the company of family, read, knit, play games, make things, sing…


For your skin

Winter Oil Massage

The cold dry weather really irritates your skin. Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It modulates your relationship with the world around you.  When the skin is irritated, everything is irritated. Oil massage, Abhyanga, is the ayurvedic remedy for this irritation.  It is a wonderful gift you can give yourself.


For a winter massage you’ll want a warming oil with warming scents. My own line of oils is available at at Live Well if you’d like to purchase one and it is very easy to mix your own. Of my blends vata oil is a good choice for winter. And, I suggest that you smell them all and choose your favorite. To mix your own winter massage oil use organic cosmetic-grade sesame or almond oil as the base. Add a little castor oil if you have it.  Then use your favorite essential oils to scent your massage oil. For winter warmth you might try cardamom, rosemary, rose, lemon, cedar, chamomile or sage.  And if you prefer your oil unscented, leave the essential oils out.


In the cold of winter start your massage practice with a nice warm shower.  Use very little soap as soap irritates and dries the skin. Allafia Everyday Shea liquid soaps are soothing to the skin and you only need to use a little bit on the parts of you that really need it.  Once your skin is warm and soft with the shower water, use your massage oil to massage your skin.  It’ll take about 2 tablespoons of oil to massage your entire body.  Next let the warm shower water run over you for a few minutes. The warm water will allow your skin to absorb all the oil it can and wash away excess.  Beware that if you put too much oil on your skin your clothing will absorb the excess and you will eventually ruin your clothes.


Lightly pat your skin to dry yourself after your shower.


For your Sinuses:  After showering you can use Nasya Oil (available at Live Well) in your sinuses to keep the sinuses soft and clear.  Put a few drops of Nasya oil on the back on one hand, then use the pinky finger of your other hand to massage it into the lower nostrils.  Sniff lightly to draw the oil into the outer parts of the sinuses.  You do not want to get the oil into the deepest sinuses or your lungs, so don’t use too much oil or snort too deeply.  If you are a regular user of a neti pot, Nasya after neti will keep your sinuses from becoming overly dry. 


Happy Winter to All!