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

7:02 pm

Mamalates for "Getting Back to Normal" After Pregnancy, from Rachel Brinker

The following comes from our wonderful Mamalates teacher, Rachel Brinker, on her blog.

adobestock-83345640Many women do not feel a sense of "normalcy" in their body in the weeks and months following pregnancy and birth. At six weeks postpartum, a woman* may receive an "all-clear" from their medical provider to return to normal physical activities, but she may feel unsure about how exactly to do that, since very little in her body feels normal to her.  Breast changes (in weight, function, tenderness, size, etc), a soft belly that feels empty and rearranged, an abdominal incision for some, a pelvic floor that is still recovering from the marathons of pregnancy and childbirth, and the difference between the daily activities of caring for a newborn versus the daily activities of a person who is pregnant, versus the daily activities of that person before she got pregnant--each of these brings a huge physical change, and thus, a huge change in the way the core functions in providing stability, balance, and support, for that body. 

The body, amazingly adaptable and resilient, adjusts to these changes, but over time.  How long does it take? It is different for each person, but for many people, the physical adjustment period post-birth feels much longer than six weeks. Many people find that it takes closer to a year to feel like they've recovered an internal sense of "normalcy" within their own body.

Moving too quickly back into "regular" activities (running, cross-training, weight lifting, even some types of yoga) in the postpartum year without first building back up to a strong and stable core, and understanding how to stabilize joints that are still feeling "loose" from pregnancy hormones, can create more problems down the road, such as hip, knee, and back pain, diastasis recti (the larger-than-optimal separation of connective tissues between the right and left sides of the abdominal muscles), pelvic pain or prolapse, and incontinence. 

Mamalates with Rachel Brinker  is a natural movement and Pilates-based class designed to meet you where you are--a postpartum mom, with everything that comes with that-- and offers a opportunity to build core strength that not only fits well into your life (pre-crawling babies can come with you!) and your schedule, but also acknowledging the body you have in this moment: a body that is in a state of flux and contraction, or returning, after a vast and miraculous expansion. 

‚ÄčThe postpartum time is unique-- there is no other naturally occurring event in life that creates such drastic physical change to the body in such a condensed amount of time as pregnancy.  It is important that the exercise classes or movement practices you use during this time acknowledge and understand the common issues and potential risks for injury that exist in a newly postpartum body. In Mamalates, the exercises and movements you learn are offered with the intention of seizing this moment of flux and change in the physical body to optimize your core strength, your balance and alignment, and to alleviate some common symptoms of this time of life.  In taking the opportunity to slow down, realign, and rediscover core movements that may have felt distant, impossible, or dis-connected, we hope to make the re-entry into "regular activities" an experience that comes with ease, less discomfort, and less risk of injury.

Mamalates classes at Live Well Studio are safe for all bodies, especially those recovering from cesarean birth, birth injuries, and those dealing with diastasis recti, incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse. 

Come move with us!

*Not all pregnant and birthing people identify as women. All birthing bodies are welcome in Mamalates classes, regardless of gender.

Sign up now for the next  six-week session, which starts January 4!
Click here to find our more information about Mamalates and Rachel Brinker.

7:03 pm

Meet Marilyn Sambhavi Polo!

MarilynMeditationHi! I'm Marilyn Sambhavi Polo, an East-Coaster who has happily made Oregon home for 6 years. 


For 20 years, I have practiced, studied, and taught meditation, yoga, and Ayurveda. I am a Sivananda Yoga trained instructor and lived on their ashrams around the world, serving as a karma yogi and assisting in teacher trainings.  


Professionally, I teach 4th grade at a Corvallis bilingual school, and in a career, I was an academic researcher of psychology & psychiatry. I've taught my 4th graders mindfulness meditation daily and yoga weekly for 3 years and am eager to share my enthusiasm and practical approach to developing a daily meditation practice with the Live Well community. 


My years of living in the bustle of New York City, maintaining a very demanding career, trying to nurture my personal life all while trying to sustain a yoga practice have offered me unique insights to building and growing a personal practice that is meaningful to the individual. I invite you all to join the course. Feel free to message me with any questions.  I hope to see you there!  Peace.


Enjoy the Silence: Practical Applications to Meditation runs Mondays & Wednesdays, Oct 8 - Nov 7, 7:30-8:30p. 

6:54 pm

Rest your nervous system. Nurture Resiliency.

Resiliency Yoga with Angela Grace

KoaATom stock 1I am so excited to offer this weekly class as part of a yoga program I'm calling Resiliency Yoga.


Resiliency Yoga is the natural outcome of my studies with the NeuroMeditation Institute and of current pain science.


Each weekly class will include gentle movement, calming breathwork, and meditation.


Here's the twist...all the techniques we practice will either be Quiet Mind or Mindfulness practices. As defined by the NeuroMeditation Institute, both Quiet Mind and Mindfulness practices illicit slow brain wave patterns.


I chose the name of this program very intentionally. Dictionary.com defines resiliency as the power or ability to return to the original form...after being bent, compressed, or stretched. It is also defined as the ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.  


Any manner of trauma such as persistent pain, health issues, grief, anxiety, or prolonged stress restrict your nervous system's capacity to navigate everyday life. They diminish your resiliency, but don't despair. You can rebuild your vitality.


It works like this. Trauma increases your nervous system's threat sensitivity. Once your physiology has dealt with a trauma, it remembers. Your nervous system resets to detect threats more easily and activate your emergency systems more rapidly. It's the once bitten, twice shy philosophy in action.


This becomes a problem when your nervous system readjusts to make a heightened state of arousal the new normal. When this happens, your nervous system reacts to non-threatening physical sensations and environmental circumstances as if there were an emergency.


Quiet Mind and Mindfulness practices produce an increase in alpha and theta brain waves respectively. The slower brain waves shift your nervous system to a calmer state allowing you to rest and recover, allowing you to nurture your resiliency.


Please join me for this extraordinary, healing practice.


Starts Wednesday, October 17, 4-5p
This is a new weekly class.


7:21 pm

Each moment is the right moment

I’ve been on a lengthy reading hiatus, sparkedsam-austin-629578-unsplash_copy
by a teacher who reminded me of the power of listening within to hear what can seem like the hearable. It’s been a wonderfully comforting time, listening for what inspires and calls me forward.


I recently wondered when, or if, I’d end this hiatus. Our world has so much stimuli, the reduction in input has been sweet and nourishing. And it occurred. I recently came across Ravi Ravindra, one of my teacher’s translations of the Yoga Sutras. Hiatus over.


This small yet enormous foundational Yogic text, feels Divinely appropriate at this time of transition. Add to this the energy and uplift of the summer season which can feel like a calling to go and do and be out and about, I was rewarded with comfort on page one with Sutra 1.1. Here, now, is the teaching of yoga.


Ravi’s wise commentary includes, “Yoga does not require sitting on a cushion in meditation and it is not limited to a specified hour or a particular posture. Each moment is the right moment and the present moment is the best one.”


Yoga is this moment whether we are doing the dishes, tending a garden or hiking up the South Sister. The practice of being present, being here now, is the gift of yoga. May your summer be blessed with the gift of presence, for this is where what can seem un-hearable, can be heard.


~Om Shanti,


7:11 pm

Sonic Journey for the soul

Sat Nam, Live Well Yogins!

Are you looking for a way to expand your yoga practice?photo-1505151394-dcbcfdb646a7_copy

Interested in trying something new and a little different?

Why not take your meditation to the next level?


Join us for the upcoming Sonic Journey, and discover what a sound bath is all about! 


The experience is like a sound massage for your body, mind, and spirit.  Yes, you will hear the sound, but you’ll also feel it.  Allow the waves of sound to gently wash  over you and deeply relax. 

This is a wonderful opportunity to cleanse the mind, and let go of noise and clutter in your life.  It’s effortless - which is why a lot of people like it.  All you have to do  is to show up.  Bring an open heart, an open mind, and allow yourself to receive.


What happens in a Sonic Journey? 

We set the stage for your sound adventure by warming up with gentle yoga, quieting your mind with visualization, and clearing your energy channels with breath work. Now you’re ready to take the ride and let your journey unfold in a way that’s unique to you. Simply follow the sound and see where it takes you.


How does it work?

Everything in and around us is vibrating at a particular frequency, whether we can hear it or not.

Our very thoughts, words, and emotions all carry unique vibrations.  We create our world and define our experiences based on those vibrations.  With sound, we can positively influence how we feel and function, because those vibrations affect us on a cellular level.

Sound helps facilitate shifts in our nervous system through entrainment - a method of synchronizing our fluctuating brainwaves by providing stable frequencies our brains can attune to. It then becomes possible to down-shift from our normal beta state (waking consciousness) into alpha (relaxed consciousness), and even reach theta (meditative state) or delta (sleep; where internal healing can occur) states.  

Sound also provides a pathway to stillness much like mantra and pranayam help you to arrive at stillness in meditation.  It allows you to effortlessly drop into a state of relaxation, letting go of your analytical mind so you may connect with your spiritual self.


What will I hear?

All kinds of instruments!  Singing bowls, bells, chimes, a gong and possibly something we invent between now and then.  (Mark’s hatching some new ideas even as I write!)

The gong is especially good at engaging your nervous system, by offering combinations of overtones and undertones that create endless branches of sound instead of melody based music.  Because the logical, analytical part of your brain can’t “figure it out,” it often lets go, allowing you to drop deeper and deeper into the sonic experience.  

The singing bowls stimulate various chakras and parts of the endocrine system to which they are attuned, bringing forth deep rejuvenation and potential for transformation.  Quartz bowls amplify the sonic energy and can revitalize your system on all levels - physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

Sound baths are a truly unique experience - one that Mark and I are thrilled to share with each of you!  Please join us for the Sonic Journey and immerse yourself in the fusion of movement, breath and sound. Let’s share this experience together!


Please reach out if you have any other questions, I’m happy to answer them!

Namaste and be well…



7:07 pm

The Core, Pilates, and You

from Lisa Wells

starpicJoseph Pilates was an enormously creative man.  He started by training himself, then he worked withinjured WWI vets and finally with professional dancers and the elite of NYC. Pilates created a movement and exercise lexicon that can be adapted to almost any body type to increase physical performance and decrease physical pain. Pilates exercises are great as a home workout or in a group class and are  supplement any athletic regime. They will help balance the bodies of yogis, dancers, runners, tennis players, horseback riders, golfers and athletes in general.

Whether you want to learn the Pilates lexicon more thoroughly for your personal practice or to teach, this Pilates Teacher Training is a great opportunity to deepen your understanding of the practice. In addition to the exercises themselves we will learn a tensegrity-based view of human anatomy that explains how Pilates (and Yoga) simultaneously create strength and increase range of motion in the body.

The class will include supplemental functional fitness and eccentric loading exercises for shoulder and hip stability so that you can easily create a whole body workout. As you come to understand the ‘how’ of Pilates, you can become as creative as the man himself, with masterpiece workouts built from your fundamental knowledge and tuned to your or your clients needs.

6:25 pm

Yoga and Pain

By Angela Grace

pablo-heimplatz-243278In preparation for my workshop on yoga and pain, I have been studying about the nature of pain and
how it affects our nervous system. Pain captures our attention and protects us by activating our emergency responses. That’s how is should be. We want this physiological response active when there is acute tissue trauma or any immediate danger. However, what do we do when pain remains though the threat has abated? Is there a noninvasive, non-drug mediated method to deal with persistent pain?

Our bodies are so amazing. Once your physiology has dealt with a trauma, it remembers. Your nervous system resets to detect threats more easily and activate your emergency systems more rapidly. It’s the once bitten, twice shy philosophy in action. This becomes a problem when your nervous system readjusts to make a heightened state of arousal the new normal. When this happens, your nervous system reacts to non-threatening physical sensations as if there were an emergency.

There is a way to break this detrimental cycle. The solution is to reset your nervous system, to remember that you have a physiological relaxation response that counters your fight or flight response. Your body is indeed amazing.

Two books I highly recommend are Relaxation Revolution by Herbert Benson, MD and The Open-Focus Brain by Les Fehmi, PhD. Both emphasize the power of the mind to bring about healing. Both books provide techniques for resetting your nervous system to a calmer mode and alleviating persistent pain. I also highly recommend attending talks by Dr. Kevin Cucarro. He is a physician who holds talks on pain science in Corvallis. These healers, along with many others, are voicing similar ideas. All pain is real. Pain always functions to protect. We can change our pain experience. Yoga techniques address all three elements of a pain experience.

You can completely change how you experience pain.

I am so excited to share this information. I have been using these techniques myself to help with headaches. The techniques have transformed my experience of pain.

In the Yoga for Pain Resiliency workshop, we will use simple yoga poses, breath work, and meditation to build resiliency in relating to pain. The following is an example of an open focus meditation that we will use in the workshop. This meditation is particularly helpful with headaches.

First, sit in a position that is comfortable for you to maintain for about 10 minutes. Lying down is just fine as long as you can remain alert. Close you eyes and notice how your breath moves in your body. What part of your anatomy moves first on your exhale? What part moves first on your inhale? Just notice with no need to change anything. Observation is always the first, and most powerful, step. Observe your breath for five rounds of exhale and inhale.

When you are ready, explore the following guiding questions adapted from The Open-Focus Brain by Les Fehmi, page 64. 

Can you imagine the distance or space between your eyes?

Is it possible for you to imagine the space inside your nose as you inhale and exhale naturally?

Can you imagine the distance between your nose and your eyes?

Can you imagine your breath flowing behind your eyes as you inhale naturally?

While remaining aware of the boundaries between the space inside and outside these regions, can you imagine the space freely permeating and flowing through these boundaries?

            Stay with your observations as long as you would like. When you are ready to conclude the meditation, slowly open your eyes. Move slowly from your meditation seat.

6:51 pm

Renew your practice: The Guru Within

from the mind of Jocelyn Fultz, with the lovely guidance of Lisa Wells and Kristina Ender


Yoga is everywhere. Even in pop culture. I saw  “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” last week. I was reminded again of  how similar to eastern thought the concept of “the force” is. Death and rebirth are explored from many perspectives. Characters struggled with destroying old and decayed ideas in favor of fresh, new ideas, some from untested or questionable sources.


In Sanskrit, Guru means “one who dispels darkness and brings forth to light”.  Sound like ‘the force’ to you? Luke needed Obi Wan and Yoda to help him bring out the force, but really, the teacher was always within him.  They pointed at the moon, but the student had to look to see the moon.  Similarly, if we choose to work with a guru or teacher of any sort, we are learning to listen to our inner Guru, our own voice, and what we can learn from our lives and ourselves.


Listening to our inner guide and following our own direction can be challenging, even at the best of times. The turn of a New Year is a sweet opportunity to refocus our minds, to be moved and inspired by our inner teacher. Practice and discipline, or Tapas in Sanskrit, are required. Tapas has its root in the Sanskrit verb Tap, which means “to burn.” You might have heard teachers describe this as a sense of heat building in the body, or Tapasya.  We can also apply this concept to a disciplined practice of listening to our inner Guru building heat and stoking the fires of our own light, or if you will, our connection to “the force.”


In 2018 may we practice listening with intention. Develop discipline without rigidity. Ignite our desire for our unique personal practice. Renew with vigor our lost habits and recharge from within.


Wishing you a blessed year.