Sher Cappa Is Back September 4th, 2019!

Yoga with Sher
with Sher Cappa
Wednesdays 2-3PM
PA location
Sher Cappa is back and her new class will begin September 4th!! This will be a specialized class, focusing on making safe modifications and accepting individual limitations, making accommodations for current physical abilities, and gradually (and safely!) improving on these abilities.
In order for Sher to offer individual assistance, this class will be limited to 10 students. We ask that you be especially mindful of holding a space for yourself in this class. If you cannot make it, please sign yourself off the roster, or let us know at the desk (360.452.6121)

Let’s Talk About Health & Wellness (FREE Info-Session at Poser YOGA)

Let’s Talk About Health & Wellness
with Mary Bailey & Candi Griffith
Thursday Aug 15th
7-8PM
Port Angeles location

We are so excited to be able to offer a space for these ladies to share their wealth of knowledge! These two women have many, many topics they are passionate about and we’d love to offer a FREE info-session once a month. We’ll give this first one a try and see what the response is!

We’ll launch with a conversation on DIGESTION.
-Supporting the Stomach and Spleen
-Keeping your Digestive Fire Burning
-The Root Cause of Acid Reflux and Heartburn (this will surprise most people)
Did we mention… IT’S FREE!!

Why YOGA? with Danica Hedin

When I was 4 months postpartum with my daughter, my assistant manager suggested a Yoga Mamas class, taught by his wife, Deirdre Frank.  I had been looking to do a class where I could bring my baby to participate with me, so I decided to try it. I have tried many different workouts at many different places, and never felt like I was a part of the group. Poser YOGA has been the only place where I’ve ever felt like I’m truly a part of a second family. (It was in that class where I met another wonderful woman, Jenny Houston, and her little girl Waylen!)

I felt nervous when I went for the first time, but it quickly dissipated after meeting Deirdre. I’ve since told her, if she hadn’t been so nice and compassionate, I probably wouldn’t have come back. My first class left me feeling amazing, and it was then that I decided that yoga was right for me. I have practiced regularly for over 2 years now, and it’s the only thing that has actually stuck with me. It resonates with me. Through yoga, I have met and taken some classes from some incredible teachers, and I am proud to have them in my tribe, and as friends.

I have always been prone to anxiety, especially through my teenage years and into adulthood, and it was exacerbated after an unfortunate circumstance. Practicing yoga has helped me heal through trauma, combat my postpartum anxiety (I experienced it with both of my children), and anxiety in general. It has become more than a workout. It has be come a lifestyle that I utilize every day whether through asana, meditation, or interacting with people. I choose to be more compassionate because of what yoga has taught me. It has also helped me be a more patient woman and mother, even in my most stressful times. In those moments, I can count to ten and slow down my breathing, and all is a little better.

Yoga has given me a feeling of confidence, and a new found appreciation and respect for my body. No longer am I ashamed of my size , stretch marks, or body type — I am now proud and humbled at what I can do. It has been one of the best confidence boosting things that I have ever done for myself. Yoga is truly a passion for me. When I am unable to show up to the mat, my day feels incomplete.

Why should others do yoga? For the simple fact that it will change your life! It may not seem like it at first, but eventually it will happen. Yes, physically it will change you too, but more importantly it will change your whole mindset. You will feel more compassion towards fellow human beings, and things that used to bother you will not seem as important. (If that makes sense?) Plus you will meet so many wonderful, like-minded people.

To people who are wondering about yoga, and are afraid they don’t have time, I say this, “Whether you show up for 5 minutes or an hour and 5 minutes, it does not matter as long as you’re showing up! Every little bit makes a difference.” Sometimes I only have 5 minutes for a quick flow or meditation. And it truly does make a huge difference.

About six months into my yoga journey, I decided I wanted to share this with other people by becoming a yoga teacher. And since a young age,  I have thought about being a therapist. So I thought, why not combine two of my passions and become a yoga therapist?! It is my nature to be caring and compassionate, and I am the type of person who tries to help people when they need it.  My main goal through this process is to help adults and kids who’ve been through traumatic situations, or are living through personal struggles. I’d like to use yoga as a healing tool… to help them feel better.

In May of this year, I took my first class through YogaFit, and my journey towards becoming a yoga teacher began! It will take some time but I know I will get there. I am excited to see where my next chapter in this yoga journey will take me!

A little about me… I am nearly 36 years old, married, and a mother to two fantastically awesome little humans named Orion (5) and Thea (2.5). My children are among my greatest accomplishments in life. When I am not on my mat you can find me hanging with my kids, reading, or in the outdoors enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

 

A Gentle Reminder Re: Studio Etiquette

Just this past week, we had four separate students request that we address the noise levels in the room while waiting for class to begin. Understandably, many Yogis seek a quiet, zen-like space, and this might be their only opportunity to decompress throughout the day. Out of consideration, my immediate reaction was to enforce a ‘no chatting’ policy. However, one teacher made a very good point: We practice Yoga, in part, to let go of the things we can’t change, and we seek to find comfort amidst the uncomfortable. On some days, the energy is much more boisterous, and I think we can all agree that this level of noise is a little too much. We do want to instill though, that Poser is a place where like-minded people gather, and we want to promote and encourage this flourishing community.

Moving forward, let’s all be mindful of our conversations and be aware that there are others in the room.

Yoga certainly has a culture all its own, and sometimes expectations are subtle, so don’t worry about it if you’ve been left unaware!! Perhaps a quick read-through of the tips on our ‘Studio Etiquette‘ page will serve as a good refresher for all of us.

Namaste, and I love you.
Jenny xx

PS:  For more, here’s an article you might like:
“Quieting Your Mind in a Noisy Environment”

 

Falling in Love With Yoga… Again. by Brooke Cole

The other day I was filling out an application to attend a work related training that specializes in helping people overcome job related stress and trauma. The application asked to list any specialized training that I had that could be useful for the position. I listed my yoga teaching and practice, including how long I’ve been doing both when it suddenly dawned on me that I’ve been practicing yoga for 18 years! 18 years! While it may not seem like that big of a deal to some, the fact that I’ve been dedicated to anything for that length of time truly amazes me. You see… I’m one of those types of people who has spent a lifetime searching for some greater purpose whether it be an educational degree, a rewarding career, a fulfilling workout regime, or a place of residence that I can truly feel at home in. I have wanted to be an actress, a forensic scientist, a helicopter pilot, and have lived in many different parts of the country and even world. Yoga has been with me through it all. While I may not have practiced the physical form of yoga every day for those 18 years, the philosophy and teachings have been with me every single day since I started practicing. That’s quite an accomplishment for someone like me that tends to float through life, bouncing off of one dream to the next, and often gets bored with routine.

All of this holds a particular relevancy to something that I’ve been experiencing lately on a personal level in regards to my workout routines. Like many women out there I have struggled most of my life with developing a positive body image of myself. I poke and prod, and judge, and cringe when I stare at my reflection in the mirror each day and compare myself to unrealistic ideas. I try to combat those feelings and thoughts of inadequacy by sometimes jumping aboard the latest fitness bandwagon, by pushing and forcing myself into routines and programs to reach self-imposed goals; goals that don’t really have a functional purpose in everyday life, but rather hold me to a self-inflicted standard of beauty all in the name of vanity. You see, I’m not working out to train for anything. I’m not an athlete or a competitive sports lover; in fact I’m quite the opposite. I pride my solitude, like strolls through nature, and would rather play for the enjoyment of it all rather than the competitive need to win. But most of all I’m just a woman that wants to feel good when I put on a pair of shorts. So I give in to all the media bullshit of “try this fad, and you’ll see these results”, or “take these supplements and eat these foods to shed fat”, and while these things may work for some which is great… surprise, surprise, I eventually get bored. And that’s where I am. I’m bored with my usual cardio and strength training routines, bored of going to the gym, I’m bored of boot camps, bored of home workout videos, bored of trying to shed the pounds with fad diets… but more importantly, I’m bored and tired of doing something that feels burdensome and doesn’t make me happy.

And so the other day as I attempted to re-boot my enthusiasm to get back on track with my fitness routine, I found myself struggling big time. Then out of nowhere I heard this little voice from deep inside ask, “Why the fuck are you doing this then?” And the only answer I could come up with was, in order to look good. Not feel good, but look good. And that’s when the insanity of being obsessed with how I look on the outside hit me. It doesn’t matter how good I look on the outside. If I haven’t cleared the shit thoughts about myself cemented deep within my brain, and cellular tissues; no amount of burpees, dead lifts, or fad diets is going to help either. Enter my yoga practice, which I sometimes neglect to focus on, doing other activities like running, or pushups, or burpees (I really hate burpees) and indoor cycling, while mind you… hating every minute of it. But here’s the thing… never have I once felt that way about yoga. (Okay maybe once or twice during a Bikram Yoga class when I secretly wanted to rip my instructor’s face off for barking “more, more, more” at me, but Bikram Yoga is a whole other beast). With that one exception, I’ve never hated going to my yoga mat. It’s like that funny meme that floats around the Internet, ‘”I regret going to yoga”, said no one ever.’ Lately I find myself gravitating towards my yoga mat like a Rebel Starfighter being pulled to the Death Star by a tractor beam. But for some barbaric reason, over the past several years, I have put losing weight, which I really don’t need to lose that much of, ahead of my yoga practice… and I’m tired of doing that. Which got me thinking about the New Year, and I what I want it to look like for myself.

One of the reasons yoga has become such a powerful force in my life, is because of the physiological and psychological changes that come with a regular practice. In class the other night, we discussed the power of our thoughts and belief systems that we have about ourselves and how yoga can help to change that. We have about 60,000 thoughts a day, 95% of them are the same that we loop over and over again, while 80% of them tend to be negative. We spend our waking hours in a conscious stream of thought in what is called Beta brain wave activity. The majority of our thoughts however, are unconscious, or thoughts that can only be accessed or changed during Theta Brain wave activity and are harder to change during Beta activity. These thoughts shape much of how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. It’s helpful to think of an iceberg to understand the magnitude of this. A very small piece of an iceberg representing our conscious or Beta thought patterns is seen above the surface of the ocean. But if we go deep underwater, we find a much larger portion of the iceberg representing our subconscious or Theta thoughts. This is where the power of yoga comes in. In yoga we spend much of our class linking our breath with certain movements, and enter into a Theta brain wave state. By accessing those thoughts in our yoga class, we have the ability to start changing the thought streams that persist in our consciousness that don’t serve us, and replace them with more nurturing, positive ones.

So for me, this New Year ushers in the awareness and resolve to start doing more of what I truly love to do, by spending more time at the base of the iceberg and not worrying so much about the surface appearances. From now on I’m working out to initiate real change, not just the superficial change located at the exterior or tip of the iceberg, but rather the stuff that lurks at the bottom and has me believe that I’m fat or unworthy. This year I resolve to do more of what I love to do, and let go of the shit that brings me down. (This means you burpees). I resolve to dedicate myself to be the best person I possibly can, and let go of norms and standards that are imposed on me by an image-obsessed, commercialized, profit hungry world. The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said that, “a good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”  Well, that’s going to be me from now on… a good traveler. A traveler who recognizes what makes me happy and what doesn’t… and if it doesn’t… giving myself the permission to let that shit go, and do more of that I love.

Namaste lovelies… and Happy New Year.

Ouch, That Hurts: Blue Yoga Mat by Tracy Fitzwater

I’ll be the first to admit that my attendance at yoga can be sporadic. I try for once a week, and am generally very happy with twice a week, and if I make it to a third practice, it’s both great and somewhat unusual. And because I’m retired, I don’t have a schedule that makes sense to anyone but me. However, when I want to go to yoga, I’m there. And it was going well for me until I got injured.

I’m not exactly sure where I got hurt, but I know it was from overuse. In addition to yoga, I also work out at Cageworx, and on Tuesdays, I zip over from the 4:00 yoga class to the 5:00 fitness kickboxing class, and I also go to the Wednesday & Friday noon classes.  While yoga is mostly gentle, and very introspective, fitness kickboxing is just the opposite. There is loud music, it’s very active, and there is hitting and kicking accompanied by a lot of sweat. It’s a different bunch of muscle groups, and much like yoga, it’s fun to see improvements. In yoga, it’s holding chair longer or level arms in Warrior II, while in kickboxing, it’s hitting the heavy bag harder and improving on various kicks. And, for me, improving my biceps. Such a small thing, but my accomplishment nonetheless.

The injury happened at home, but it was for a sort of prideful dumb moment – I was showing off my new, improved push up to my husband. I was part way down, and all of a sudden it just hurt – what just happened?! That put a stop to that push up in a big hurry, and I didn’t think too much about it until a couple of days later when my entire shoulder and collarbone hurt. And since I’m not a fan of  pain, I quit going – to everything.

So now what? The shoulder and other connected parts are feeling better, and I haven’t done a pushup since then. I ice it down when I need to. I’ve pretty much stayed home, and gone back to walking. But the problem is, I miss yoga!! I miss kickboxing!! I miss exercise that makes me sweat and contemplate life!! It’s absolutely no fun to get injured, and while I know I have to take it easy, I want to go back. And more than that, I feel disconnected from the studio and the people who are also practicing with me. I feel part of this particular community, and I didn’t realize how much I had come to rely on, and appreciate this. As I listen to my body, I’m ready to reconnect….back to the mat. Back to yoga twice a week, and kickboxing fitness twice a week. Back to my version of a schedule.

 

WHY YOGA? by Tracy Fitzwater

How did I come to yoga, and stick with it for two plus years? I had dabbled in yoga, first after I graduated from college and moved to Port Angeles, and then a few years ago at the school where I taught before I retired. Both of those experiences were fairly short-lived, but the idea of practicing yoga didn’t go away. I believe I liked the idea of practicing yoga, and once I began going to yoga class, I realized that yoga is much harder than it looks.

My son’s girlfriend, a dedicated practitioner, invited me to my first class at Poser Yoga. I think she paid for my attendance that day, but I’m not really sure. Downward Dog absolutely killed me – trouble getting into the pose, shaking arms, desperate thoughts, and that was just the first one that day! However, I went back. I’m kind of surprised I did, to be honest, because the physical part of yoga wasn’t all that much fun. It was very challenging.

But then something started to happen, and yoga became more than the poses. One day the question was asked – what do you want out of yoga? I realized I didn’t want to be one of those old ladies who fall over, break my hip, and that’s it – down and out. I wanted balance and strength, and if it wasn’t too much to ask for, a bit of grace. I’ve never felt totally comfortable in my body; maybe this was a way to find that acceptance. And, I wanted to be a retired person who lived long and healthy, and I had a good feeling that yoga might be part of how I reinvented myself.

When I go to yoga now, my head is in a very different place. I practice, for the most part, with my eyes closed. I focus on my breathing. I’ve gotten a lot stronger, and so some of those poses that get held, Downward Dog, Chair, Warrior I and II, are very manageable and holdable – I’m not begging in my mind for release. And if something is too much, I have no problem dropping into Tabletop or Child’s Pose; I’m not competing with anyone. I’ve come a long way since that first session.

What would I say to someone thinking about starting a yoga practice? It’s harder than it looks, but it’s very doable. Your practice is unique to you. Use the props, and don’t feel as if that’s cheating – it isn’t. Appreciate breathing, and don’t be surprised when your breathing gets better, too. Wait for the quiet in the practice, and not just in the studio, in your mind. And appreciate the community that comes together – that final clearing breath, the collective Om, and Namaste bring it all full circle. It’s an hour that really does honor the divine in all of us.

And that’s my yoga story.

 

Candlelight Yoga, December 3rd

Okay everyone, you’ve been waiting patiently for this…

It’s time to slow down.

Give yourself permission to rest. Blowing through life will not earn you a medal. Rest your head, rest your heart, rest your bones, dear One.

 

Embrace the change of season, conserve your energy, stoke your inner fire, and go deep within.

Join Brooke Cole and Jenny Stewart Houston for a Restorative/Yin Yoga session, followed by a guided Nidra Yoga meditation and warm tea. You’ll be so glad you did.

Pssst…. The first 8 to reserve with payment will get $5.00 off! Register here!

{Monthly Members, this one is on us! Please let us know if you’re planing to come, and we’ll reserve your spot. Don’t sign up online, or it’ll charge you!}

Sunday, December 3rd
5-7PM
$25/ticket

What do you get when you practice with Ann Carlson?

I asked Ann to describe to me what she feels her students get from her when they come to her classes. And in thoughtful and delicate fashion, Ann delivered MORE than I could put into a poster. Here are her words, and you’ll soon see why a class with her is unlike any others at Poser YOGA.

“I like to think it’s the marriage between my eastern and western Yoga training that make me unique. My first training, with two very experienced and revered “western” Yoga women was a wonderful foundation to begin my teaching path. They covered the entirety of the Yoga practice/lifestyle, with lots of emphasis on anatomy and energetics which translates in class to what my teacher calls “evolutionary sequencing”. Meaning there is a rhyme and a reason for each pose, pause, breath, and movement.. strengthening and lengthening muscle groups in a way that feels cohesive and makes sense to the body, limiting the risk of injury and hopefully giving the class a sense of fluidity and grace. From that strong foundation I moved on to my 300 hr training in India, where I studied “Sattva” Yoga, Sattva meaning WHOLE. I deepened my understanding of the power of mediation, pranayama, and kriya in addition to asana and how to use these to break through old patterns, habits and “bio-memory”… things we store in our body over the course of our life. I weave these practices into my classes for what I consider to be a well-rounded and thoughtful practice, a nice marriage of the West and East. I’ve never taught the same class twice as I like to keep it fresh and base my classes on the energetics of the current environment we as human beings inhabit. I also like for my students to learn something in class outside of how to do a pose; for example during a side stretch I might say “the major muscle being stretched here is the QL in your low back, which bears a lot of weight throughout our daily lives sitting and hunching over and in front of computers or in our cars, it loves to release that tension and tightness”. Ultimately, my goal isn’t to get students into fancy-looking poses, it’s to help them get to know and understand their bodies on a deeper level, noticing more subtle layers within themselves and ultimately cultivating the witness or observer of themselves. We’re talking mindfulness here. I want people to come to their mats to feel peace, to notice when the shadows inside them arise, not to judge themselves but to accept their experiences with grace and ultimately bring more mindfulness not only into their relationship with their bodies but their every day life.”

And let’s close with a quote that resonates with Ann, and completely embodies her (if might add!!) from her 200 hour teacher, Gina…

Don’t wait. Carpe diem! Life is precious and fleeting and we must fearlessly face that which keeps us from our potential. Do the hard, hard work to transcend those regressive patterns NOW. Seek the teachers who guide us toward that transformative edge. And at the same time, infuse your life with leisurely pursuits, see the humor in this journey, and get your butt out into Nature. What an essential teacher she is!!

GETTING BACK TO OUR ROOTS Series: A Yoga Journey with Ann Carlson

Yesterday our dear, kind-hearted teacher Ann​ shared her thoughts on the most recent national tragedy, and how she turns to Yoga to help calm the flurry of emotions and fears. Thank you, Ann. Your perspective is on point, and such a good reminder that we truly DO get to choose the thoughts we think, and how we respond to things that happen around us and to us. Love and light to you, and to all beings.

 

GETTING BACK TO OUR ROOTS Series: A Yoga Journey with Ann Carlson
It’s a tough Monday. I’m walking around my house and can’t seem to finish one task. My mind can’t focus as the events in Las Vegas last night are so fresh, Tom Petty’s death is strewn about all over social media, Port Angeles is scheduled to slide into the sea any minute now (earthquake woes), natural disasters everywhere, my cramps are worse than ever today and I don’t have the energy to cook (I’m hangry). There are so many things wrong in the world today, so much fear, so much negativity. It’s easy to fall down the worm-hole of it all, feeling hopeless and helpless. I think it’s valid to feel those low-level energies, they are the first steps on the path of renewal, action and hope. Another struggle I often feel is white/first world guilt. When I see the tragedies happening all over the planet, all the people suffering, I can’t help but think “why me?” Why do I get to live comfortably? Why is my life so easy? It doesn’t seem fair at all.

Enter Yoga.

Yoga has taught me that opposites are necessary. That without darkness there is no light. That life is hard, and bleak, and terrible sometimes but that love wouldn’t feel so good, powerful, strong and healing if we didn’t also have the experiences of fear and hate. Yoga can help transmute those low-level energies into new awakenings, new perspectives. So today instead of walking around feeling helpless, unworthy of my good life, frustrated at the world; I stopped. I sat and I put my hands on my heart and I bowed my head and cried. Instead of trying to analyze and label and wonder “Why” I let the feelings come through my body and out my teary eyes, I felt my heart get warm and I connected to a space bigger, more spacious that is overflowing with love. Love for myself and love for the world. I felt hope. I felt the weight lifting. I opened my eyes and felt almost instantly re-charged by my little love/cry mediation. Because what yoga teaches you is that it doesn’t always have to look like a pose, you don’t even have to move to be “doing yoga”. You can live every minute of every day practicing your yoga. Practicing mindfulness. Witnessing your experiences without judgment and reaction, moving from a place of connection to your truth is very powerful; and your truth is always love. It’s been my experience that things like forgiveness, hope, love, compassion and empathy; they’re stronger than their lower counter parts. They aren’t going anywhere, either. They will always be there to grab a hold of in the face of fear and tragedy. If you’re new to yoga and reading this, you might be attracted to yoga because of the physical benefits, but the coolest part about it in my opinion is the way it will start to show up in your life outside of class. We practice patience, non-judgment, self-acceptance in our physical practice, so we shouldn’t be surprised when that compassion starts to change our lives outside the studio. The world can always use more love and light, and it starts with cultivating it inside ourselves so we can give of it freely to others.