Dear yoga community,
Happy full-on Fall! One of my students answered “how are you feeling?” recently with “confused by the darkness!” And indeed, lots of us feel the darkness coming quickly this time of year. I used to dread this feeling – of the cold and wet and dark season hurdling upon us – but over the past few years I’ve been working to more purposefully embrace the darkness. So this season, we’ll again in class be looking at the opportunities that come with the season asking us to slow down and go inward.
I am so grateful to all of my students – those who have become part of my every week and come without fail, and those of you who just drop in when you can. If you haven’t joined us recently, please feel free to contact me if you have requests or need ideas on how to make class work for you.
Finally, bringing a second kid into our family has turned out to be a non-linear equation – although parents’ memories are notoriously bad, I am sure that the daily joy and work of parenting has way more than doubled in my life. All this is to say, I don’t put up posters any more to invite people to yoga classes! So if you have a chance to forward this on, or tell friends and neighbors about our classes, I’d love your help.
Here is the information about upcoming classes. Please take note that there is no class next Monday… Happy Halloween!
At the Mount Baker Community Club, Mondays, 6 – 7:15pm
Both the Yoga Sutras and Buddhism teach that we create much of our own suffering by clinging to pleasure and avoiding pain. In this six-week series we will look at how yoga practice might help us notice our patterns of grasping so that we can find freedom from our self-created suffering.
In this late fall series we will also continue making a little more space for meditation, as well as finding the joy of synching our breath and movement. As always, all bodies and experience levels welcome!
All are welcome in this class regardless of ability to pay. My suggested price is $60 for all six classes – you can pre-register here – or $12-15 for a drop-in. To pay for the full series, you can either pay online through paypal or bring cash/check on the first day of class. Class is every Monday night at the Mt. Baker Community Club.
Information, prices and registration for Monday night yoga here.
Gentle Yoga Thursday Mornings
My class at Lotus has been growing steadily, and I look forward to seeing many of you at 9:30 Thursday mornings! In the gentle classes we’ll be examining some of the same themes as Monday nights. If you haven’t checked out Lotus, its on Rainier right across from the Columbia City Bakery.
New Years Day Yoga 2017!
It is now officially a tradition! Join me in this body-positive New Years Day celebration of who you already are. Resolutions are welcome if they serve you, but come to this class also ready to celebrate being alive in your already beautiful body, perfect in your imperfections, with your strengths and shortcomings, brilliance and pettiness, solidity and fragility, sorrow and joy. The two-hour New Years morning class will include yoga asana, optional partner practices, restorative relaxation and meditation. Bring a journal, cozy socks, and a friend! Details to come – mark your calendar!
I sit down to write this while holding the fullness of both/and awareness. I am grief stricken by the most recent rounds of violence in our country and abroad. I am joyful as I share the fun of summer berry picking with my kids, even triumphantly getting a wheelchair out and into blueberry bushes. I am hopeful as I see children understand justice and empathy with such ease, like it is a deep part of their DNA. I feel blessed to be part of community that cares about caring for each other and the planet.
I am sitting with the question of what yoga has to do with dismantling racism and other forms of marginalization and violence – some days I think I know, and other days I try to be patient with not knowing. I am so grateful to my yoga practice and community for reminding me that I can hold all of this – including time to grieve, time to take care and time to act.
My previous life and training as an organizer and educator sometimes trickle into my yoga teaching. I especially love popular education, a practice based on the belief that each and every person has important wisdom, so an instructor’s role is to create a space where everyone can learn together and from each other. In my classes I want to facilitate students not just connecting to themselves, but also sharing what they find inside with each other. I often ask students to speak at the beginning of class – even if it is just to share names and a tiny bit about their day. Recently I’ve asked more – in one class I invited students to shape class in deeper ways by teaching along with me. And teaching me. I have been grateful to all of you who moved toward the challenge, who allowed yourselves to move into vulnerability by sharing some of your own wisdom.
So as we move further into summer I look forward to seeing you in yoga class. We will keep practicing grounding, deep listening, and joyous movement. And we will look for the places where we can take risks, allow ourselves to be vulnerable, and move toward a yoga practice that seeks inner and outer freedom for ourselves and all people.
Below is the schedule for the rest of the summer As always, I welcome your questions, reflections, or feedback.
Community Yoga Late Summer Series
July 25 – August 30
At the Mount Baker Community Club
Mondays, 6 – 7:15pm
The current session runs through this Monday, July 18. In the late summer session, beginning July 25, we will come back to a focus on sitting – wonderful seated twists and folds, as well as sitting in stillness for meditation.
Information, prices and registration here.
Thursday morning Gentle Yoga at Lotus Yoga has grown, and I love seeing so many regular faces. Gentle class brings together a great mix of experiences: people looking for a quieter, more reflective practice; people healing from injuries; people adjusting their practices to the new needs of their aging bodies; people looking to compliment athletics or more vigorous yoga practice other days of the week; and people who simply have Thursday mornings free! I am especially open to requests in this slower-paced class. Join us every Thursday, 9:30-10:45am
March 7 to April 19, six-week series with no class on April 12.
We will be focusing on twists and feeling into the energy of spring.
Please pre-register here ($60/six classes). And you can always drop-in ($12-15/class suggested, or pay what you can).
Classes are 6-7:15pm at the Mt Baker Community Club.
I continue to teach Gentle Yoga at Lotus Yoga Thursday mornings, 9:30-10:45 am, focusing often on a similar theme to Monday class.
Also, I am excited to be getting back to leading another workshop for parents of kids with disabilities and special needs on April 3rd at the Seattle Children’s Playgarden. Please share the information with anyone you know who might be interested. There is a flier below and more information here.
Finally, I am excited about the many ways the yoga world is currently grappling with our role in healing and working toward racial justice. Laura Humpf is leading a series called Heart Conversations, every second Wednesday of the month, at Rainier Beach Yoga. She says, ” Come explore the practice of deepening our awareness of ourselves in order to be better allies in the world. These facilitated discussions will focus on yoga philosophy as a tool for our internal process and awareness as we look at the isms (racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, etc.) that affect ourselves, our relationships, and our world.” I hope to join these evenings, and would love to see you there. More information is on RBY’s web site, here.
I wish you all well, and may you enjoy all the emerging buds and beings of early spring!
This coming Monday, Oct. 26, we begin a new 6-week community yoga series at the Mt. Baker Community Club. Our physical focus will be on stability and flexibility in our hips. And we’ll also explore the second of the Yoga Sutra’s ethical principles: Satya, truthfulness. What does it look like to be honest with ourselves about our strengths and limitations and needs while we practice? And how does this practice give us the strength to see and speak our truth in the rest of our lives?
The short version for the Monday Night series is:
Oct. 26-Nov. 30 – Hips and Satya!
$60 for six classes
Pre-registration HERE is helpful if you plan to take the series (pay online or first day of class)
Drop-ins always welcome, $12-15 suggested price
Mt Baker Community Club
Also! I am back teaching Thursday morning Gentle Yoga at Lotus Yoga in Columbia City, 9:30-10:45 am. If you haven’t been to Lotus, it is a beautiful studio and a welcoming community of students. I often have a similar focus to my classes each week, so if you happen to have Monday evenings and Thursday mornings free, the classes often compliment each other.
I feel especially called to think about truth and voice as I’ve witnessed the events unfold around People of Color (POC) Yoga in Seattle – first the virulent attacks, and now a lot of community support and conversation about how to heal. I wrote about it, and others have written great reflections as well. (Links to those articles are below.) People are planning community discussions about diversity and safe spaces in yoga, as well as thinking bigger about how yoga could be part of the healing (rather than perpetuation of the status quo) around racism in our country. I’ll update my facebook page and announce in class when those events are happening. And there is a petition circulating in support of POC yoga that is included below as well.
When People of Color Say They Need Their Own Yoga, White People Should Listen, by Krista Hanson
Why We Need Safe Spaces in Yoga, by Susanna Barkataki
Petition: Solidarity With Seattle for POC Yoga
I am excited to announce that I have returned to teaching Gentle Yoga on Thursday mornings (9:30-10:45) at Lotus Yoga in Columbia City (upstairs, across from the bakery)! If you enjoy a slow, fun and introspective yoga practice, join this wonderful Thursday morning crew. I want to extend so much gratitude to the Lotus community for supporting my maternity leave, and especially to Julie Fournier who covered the class while I was out.
The Mt Baker Community classes continue on Monday night. We have two more classes remaining in this series on balance. The next 6-week series will run Oct. 26 – Nov. 30
The next Community Yoga series in Mt Baker starts this coming Monday, Sept. 14!
In this series we will focus on balance. Each week we’ll explore a different balancing pose or set of poses, while also investigating yoga’s tools for mind, breath, and emotional balance. This is an all-levels class, so there is no expectation that you can already do any complicated poses! Just bring your whole self to class – the parts of you that are already balanced and centered, and any parts of you that might be trying to hold up too many things at once.
Class is at the Mt. Baker Community Club, Monday evenings 6-7:15 pm. Cost is $60 for the series (six classes, 9/14 – 10/19) for those who pre-register here. Drop-ins always welcome, with a suggested price of $12-15.
I call this a “Community Yoga” class because I strive to make it as welcoming to all people as possible – we welcome people of all sizes, ages, abilities and disabilities, all genders and sexualities, tight hamstrings or super stretchy bodies, light or heavy-hearted, and regardless of ability to pay. If there is anything I can do to make the class better meet your needs, please let me know.
PS – In support and appreciation for all of Seattle public school teachers, yoga classes are FREE to striking teachers.