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

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2:23 pm

What do you remember about your first yoga class?



How much I hated savasna and how I thought I was hot shit for getting my rump to the floor in half pigeon, but then the teacher came around and gently showed me I was all wrong and, with good alignment, was actually a good ways from the ground. ~ Naomi

I was worried about keeping my bodily functions in check. hee hee. also. it was quiet and challenging. ~ Kate

I don't remember my first yoga class--I started at home. I think the first must have been at a temple in Nairobi, Kenya, and thinking this is not like the book... but feeling grateful to see and connect with another part of the city and its people I wouldn't've otherwise. I thank my grandmother for taking me--it was her book that first got me trying yoga, in Kenya.  ~ Koa

My first yoga class was at a Bikram studio in Denver. I remember sweating like crazy during class then eating an entire Chipotle burrito afterwards! ~ Heather

I remember feeling like I was HOME! ~ Sharon

Forgetting to breathe! :) ~ Mara

The teacher threatened to separate me and my best friend. We were 16 and giggling. It was Bikram. ~ Katie


Being instructed to keep my bum and belly soft.  Ouch for the lumbars!  Oh, how times have changed ~ Susu

My first yoga class was a Chicago Park District community class. I loved how it challenged my brain and body to communicate and work together. And I remember being SO excited to go back for the next class! ~ Olivia

I remember being so tired and blissed out that I had a hard time signing out of the studio! I think I spelt my name wrong. ~ Allissa

I cried during Savasana. I knew this was powerful stuff and I had to learn more. Nine years later I completed by 200 hour RYT. ~ Donna

About 28 years ago my first yoga 'class' was via a book (I still have it) and after going through all the postures i wrote this on one of the pages: "This is hard! Be careful"  Which is probably why i now cue correct alignment like a fiend. ~ Jaromey

I was a sleep-deprived freshman in college, just 18 years old (23 years ago!). I remember falling asleep in savasana and being startled awake when class was over. ~ Jen

I remember the Yoga Room in Berkeley and the fabulous Richard Rosen.  I remember it was hard and that I couldn't stand up from Prasarita Padottanasana.  I remember laughing at myself. ~ Lisa

I was surprised that I had to take my shoes off & kept them close...  Everyone was laying on pillows (bolsters) and I worried that I was showing up for some weird adult nap time. ~ Kristen

Feeling really awkward about wearing spandex in public! ~ Lissy

It was a very dedicated Iyengar class. I was thinking “When are they going to let me move; oh my gosh I have so much to do!” ~Kristina

I fell asleep in savasana and was totally relaxed even though the class was in a gym and weights were clanking. ~ Theresa


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4:37 pm

MEDITATIONS BEFORE KADDISH


MEDITATIONS BEFORE KADDISH

When I die give what’s left of me away
to children and old men that wait to die.
And if you need to cry,
cry for your brother walking the street beside you.
And when you need me, put your arms around anyone
and give them what you need to give me.

I want to leave you something,
something better than words or sounds.
Look for me in the people I’ve known or loved,
and if you cannot give me away,
at least let me live in your eyes and not your mind.

You can love me best by letting hands touch hands,
and by letting go of children that need to be free.
Love doesn’t die, people do.
So, when all that’s left of me is love,
give me away.

MISHKAN T’FILAH

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5:05 pm

Summer Solstice Yoga with Jennie Cramer


“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.” -Joseph Campbell

The dance of the Earth around the Sun is the steady rhythm around which life revolves. The blooming of flowers, the buzz of the bees, the mating and birthing rituals of Nature's creatures, are all tied inextricably to the movement of Earth around the Sun. For humans, something happened in evolution when we rose up on two legs and our consciousness evolved beyond the automatic pulsations of Nature. From this departure came opportunities to make decisions about what we "want" as individuals, beyond just the need to reproduce and pass on our genetics to a new generation. From this evolution came incredible potential as well as the inherent human struggle for joy and peace of mind and heart. For me personally, the farther I allow myself to depart from the inherent rhythms of Nature, intertwined deeply into the strands of my oldest DNA, the greater that struggle becomes. Each of us can find greater steadiness and ease in our world when we honor our inherent connection the rhythms of Nature and sync ourselves with the energies of the seasons.

For me, this means creating a yoga practice that ties my bodily rhythms to the world around me. A sunrise practice is different than a sunset practice. A full moon practice is different from the new moon. A summer practice is different from winter. Each year, in rhythm with the seasons, we can reset and reclaim our natural rhythms as we celebrate the season to come.

To honor the coming summer, please join me in my home garden for a very special summer solstice yoga practice. We will celebrate the energy of the sun, the gift of long days and starry nights, and the growth of the fruits of the Earth and fruits within each of us. We will practice together on Monday, June 20th from 5:30-7:00 p.m. just as the sun reaches the highest position in our sky. Pre-registration is required and the address will be sent to attendees only. Suggested donation of $5-$20.

Register here

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4:30 pm

What books are you reading? What yoga or meditation books would you recommend?


Our instructors answer:

"Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles" by Gabrielle Bernstein and "The Journey Within by Radhanath Swami" ~ Mara

"Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert and rotating through the yoga anatomy books by Ray Long (our library is a great resource!)~Theresa

"Light on Yoga" by B.K.S. Iyengar. There are always new poses that I discover in the chapters. It also inspires me to keep challenging myself in my practice by giving me a fresh viewpoint, or a new way of moving through a pose. ~ Sydni

"Talks with Ramana Maharshi"... such inspiring words towards true happiness ~Jaromey

Tantra Illuminated & Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World. I recommend The Yogi's Roadmap by Bhavani Maki ~Kristen

I just finished a novel: "A Thousand Saints", and started the nonfiction book "Salt: A World History". Next up is "Great Tide Rising" by local Corvallis writer Kathleen Dean Moore. Ashtanga must-reads: "Guruji: A Portrait of Sri K. Patthabhi Jois Through the Eyes of his Students", edited by Guy Donahaye and Eddie Stern and a new book by my teacher Kevin Kimple and local professor Stuart Sarbacker: "The Eight Limbs of Yoga: A Handbook for Living Yoga Philosophy."  ~Lissy

"The Pacific Crest Trail: Northern California" (a guidebook on the PCT).  I recently finished a great book titled "Training in Compassion" by Norman Fischer.  He is a Zen Buddhist and this book is his reflections on the lojong slogans, a traditional Tibetan Buddhist practice for cultivating compassion.  Poetry I am reading right now includes a slim volume of Rumi poems titled Night & Sleep, lovingly loaned to me by one of my students. ~ Irene

I am reading:  "Alone: 4,000 mile search for Belonging". By Brian Heron.  (My Brian).  Facing many losses in a short period of time, Brian set off to visit all the significant places in his life.  On his bike.  It's awesome. ~ Sharon
 
I'm reading the "Story of the Human Body" and "Temporary Autonomous Zones."  Neither is literally yogic, but both are very Yogic. My all time favorite meditation book is "Being Peace" by Thich Nhat Hanh. ~ Lisa

"The Kiss of the Yogini" by David Gordon White ~Angie

"12 Years a Slave" and "Crime and Punishment" ... I'd love a recommendation to lighten this load! ~ Koa

"Teaching People, Not Poses" by Jay Fields. I also enjoy my monthly subscription to Yoga Journal magazine. ~ Olivia

I just ordered "Leaving my Father's House" by Marion Woodman and "The Redemption of the Feminine Erotic Soul" by Rachel Hillel.  I just finished "Tuesdays with Morrie"... and I've got at least another handful that I'm paging through, including "The Mind's Own Physician: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama on the Healing Power of Meditation" ~ Kate G.

Reading: "There is no App for Happiness by Max Strom" (amazing yoga & breath teacher). Recommend: "Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates" & "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz ~ Katie Z.

I'm reading "Rising Strong" by Brene Brown. ~ Rachel B

 

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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




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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!

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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.

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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.


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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!

Lisa


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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


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