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.

OH-SO-GRATEFUL

Good morning, Dear Ones!

We are all so lucky to have one another, and though life can get tough, and confusing, and challenging, and especially bleak at times, we have each other to lean on.

Every day that I step into our little Yoga studio, I know I will be met with smiles, kind eyes, understanding hearts, and even hugs — sometimes all you gotta do is ask!

STUDENTS: Your courage to be vulnerable; your dedication to your practice; your willingness to go deep, even if it’s dark… I admire you and acknowledge you.

TEACHERS: Your full hearts; your talents and wisdom; the time you give; the love you give… I thank you and appreciate you.

Together, our community is UNIQUE, and INSPIRING, and STRONG. We are moving mountains, one breath at a time, one heartbeat at a time.

We are changing the lives of everyone we meet, because we are taking the time to be with OURSELVES — our thoughts, our perceptions, our judgements, our limitations.

We are willing to say, “I’m perfectly IMPERFECT.”

We are willing to ride the waves of our HUMANness and experience the entire spectrum of emotion.

We are willing to do the ‘work’ it takes to find peace in our hearts, and fluidity in our relationships.

We are NOT willing to numb ourselves to the woes of life.

We are NOT willing to compromise our happiness and our faith in love.

We are NOT willing succumb to our fears.

Thank you for being here, and thank you for contributing to ‘us’.

Thank you for being open, and receptive, and available, in ALL areas of your life. Someone you know might need you right now.

We are FAMILY.

xx JSH

IT’S TIME TO GET ‘REGULAR’!

We’re making it even easier to maintain a regular practice! Choose from two monthly options, and begin your journey towards transforming your LIFE!! We now have a mini-membership option for our Once-a-Week Yogis!! A financial commitment might be just the motivation you need to help you develop and/or maintain a regular, weekly practice! And we’ll be thrilled to see you more often, GUARANTEED!!

  • 4 classes per month; use them how you like, ideally one class a week
  • Pass will reset to 4 new classes each month; use ’em up, no rollovers
  • Membership perks apply to this pass too
  • Savings of over $200 a year, compared to Single Class drop-ins
  • Take a leap, and invest in YOU!

“If you practice Yoga once a week, you will change your mind. If you practice twice a week, you will change your body. If you practice every day, you will change your life.” ~Unknown

Ask us in studio and we’ll get you started!

Revised Autopay Conditions:
1. Cancel anytime (w/ written notification 30 days in advance); cancellation fee applies if you cancel before 6 months
2. Option to freeze; minimum of 3 weeks; 2 weeks advanced written notification

GETTING BACK TO OUR ROOTS Series: A Yoga Journey with Brooke Cole

As both a teacher and student of yoga, I am constantly looking for new ways to feel inspired about my practice, and in turn inspire others. While I appreciate what social media has done to promote the benefits of a regular yoga practice, I worry that in the rush to look good and to take snapshots of advanced poses in exotic locations, that we water down the real essence of why we practice asana in the yoga philosophy. We practice asana to explore all the subtle layers of our physical being that have developed over time to reveal that deep resting place of who we really are. Aristotle once said that, “knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Yoga helps us to get there by learning acceptance, compassion, and gratitude for who we are. When we truly know ourselves, we deepen our understanding of our place in this world, our purpose within it, and our relationship with others. In the rush to perform advanced asana, we miss out on the opportunities to explore those deeper, more subtle layers. In striving for the ultimate pose, we miss out on the exploration of those built up layers, and how they ever came to be in the first place. Our bodies hold our stories. Avoiding and denying those stories just calcifies them deeper. Rushing to the end result of an asana, without exploring the imperfect bits of who we are is not yoga, it’s denial. Doing a bunch of poses without any deeper reflection is not yoga, it’s a workout. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s important to recognize the difference. Because unless we truly dig deep within ourselves, get uncomfortable and “workout” our inner selves, our outer-physical self is just a shell, an empty vessel full of denial destined to repeat the same unconscious stories over and over again. A flower doesn’t bloom from the petals down; it blooms from the roots up. This is the true essence of yoga. We go within to understand without. To explore this further, and overcome my own denial I’ve been using props a lot more in my practice. In doing so I’ve been able to sit with those deeper, uncomfortable layers that I tend to run away from with more awareness and compassion. By acknowledging and embracing them breath by breath, I give them the freedom to change and evolve. Advanced yoga is not advanced asana, it’s advanced awareness. As Eckhart Tolle stated, “awareness is the greatest agent for change.” 

GETTING BACK TO OUR ROOTS Series:  A Yoga Journey, with Jenny Houston

This is me, in 2003, back when I thought Yoga was ALL about the physical practice. I was invited to participate in a Yoga competition, because my physical postures were so ‘good’. On the outside, yes, it appeared as though I was ‘good’ at Yoga. But ask me to meditate? Ask me to sit in stillness for more than a few minutes? Ask me to participate in a slow, methodical Yin Yoga class? No way. At this time of my life, I was very much about how my Yoga looked on the outside. And I won’t even begin to tell you what my Yoga looked like in my daily life, off the Yoga mat. I was in my 20s… need I say more?

And that is okay.

The physical practice was appealing to me, and that is what initially drew me to Yoga. And for that, I am grateful.

A short while later, I followed one of my favorite Yoga teachers to another studio that she taught at. I stepped out of my comfort zone, and tried other styles of Yoga. I was rattled, and I was angry. I was asked to hold back, and not sit in my flexibility. I was asked to ‘be’ with the discomfort of not PROVING or SHOWING how far I could go. “Yoga isn’t a competition, even if you’re only competing with yourself.” I didn’t like that. Why wouldn’t I do standing splits, if I knew I COULD do standing splits???

My internal pot was getting stirred up, and it was very uncomfortable.

Maxing out our bodies isn’t what Yoga is about. Pushing and forcing to the point of exhaustion and/or injury isn’t what it’s about. Of course there are times when we might want to test our physicality, to see what is possible, but this should never be the norm. As our lovely teacher Brookesays, “Advanced Yoga is not advanced asana, it’s advanced awareness.” And advanced awareness is so much broader than the scope of our Yoga mat.

I was soon discovering that my Yoga practice was shifting to what was going on with me, on the inside. All the thoughts, and feelings I had about my practice, and all the thoughts and feelings I had about myself, my life, and every single interaction I had with another human being. I started to see myself from other people’s point of view, and I didn’t always like what I saw.

This was when I realized that my Yoga practice was just beginning, and I was barely scratching the surface. I was peeling back layers of assumptions, flaws, perceptions, and guilt. Gosh. It wasn’t easy, but man it felt good to let it go.

What’s interesting, is that a few years after that Yoga competition in 2003, I ran into the fellow who got 1st place. I asked him where he was currently practicing, and he said that he quit Yoga altogether, shortly after that competition.

He said, “I got bored. I could already do everything.”

My jaw dropped. Embarrassingly so. If you know me at all, you know that I wear ALL my emotions on my sleeve. I was flabbergasted! And to be truthful, my heart instantly broke for him.

“Oh, no!” I said, “That’s too bad! Because that is when it really starts to begin!”

These days, I can barely get my butt into a class, nevermind standing splits! My challenge is in finding peace with the fact that life isn’t all about me. Life doesn’t move as swiftly for me as it used to, and for now, having a little one means I don’t get to be as productive as I’ve been in the past. My physical practice is close to nonexistent most weeks, but when I pay attention, I see opportunities to practice Yoga in any given moment. A deep breath. A side stretch. A twist. Another deep breath. A change in perspective. A letting go of judgement. And… another deep breath.

Letting go of what I think my Yoga practice SHOULD look like isn’t always easy. And sometimes for me, it can be 100 TIMES more difficult than standing splits.

Do You Worry? Don’t Worry, Worrying is Normal

Does anyone else worry? That’s probably a silly question… everyone worries!

How many of you worry about crossing bridges over rivers that don’t exist, that run between mountains that aren’t even there yet? In other words, how often are you stressing about the future, and situations that may or may not even happen? And conversely, how many of you are agonizing over things that you have done in your past? Agonizing over things that you can never, ever change?

We all do it. It’s human nature. Whether we are coming from a place of fear or love, our expectations about how things did or will end up, can cause significant amounts of stress — physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

Sure, it’s human nature, but what if there is something we can do about all this worry?

There seems to be a common misconception that people who practice Yoga have no worries. Well, the secret is that people who practice Yoga know that there is a way of MANAGING these worries. For an hour of our day, we have an opportunity to focus on the present moment – – we bring our immediate attention towards our breath, and the physical sensations we are feeling in our body. It is impossible to worry about the past, agonize about the future, AND be in the present moment, all at the same time. It just can’t happen. It is completely liberating to be in the moment, and to let go of everything else, if only for a short while.

“Be a warrior, not a worrier.”

If you’ve ever been to a yoga class, you’ve likely practiced Warrior I, Warrior II, and Warrior III. The Sanskrit name for these poses is Virabhadrasana, which is a combination of the words Vira meaning “hero”, Bhadra meaning “friend”, and Asana meaning “seat or posture”.

What if being a Warrior simply means PROTECTING ourselves from living in the past or trying to predict our future? What if being a Warrior might mean that we are STRONG enough to hold ourselves accountable for the thoughts we think? What if being a Warrior is to have the COURAGE to be exactly in the moment, and let go of things that have happened in our past and/or things that might happen in our future?

On the surface, Yoga can be deceptively simple. One simply breathes and holds his/her body in a pose. But when we delve deeper into the layers of these poses, we soon discover there is meaning in every movement.

We all have those times in our lives when life seems unbearable. When our hearts, or our bodies are broken. When we don’t feel as though we can move forward. We are completely weighed down by our emotions, and our suffering. It is especially crucial during these times, that we have a way to manage our emotions. When we practice Yoga, we can BEFRIEND ourselves, and ultimately SAVE ourselves from relentless pain.

Being a ‘yogi’ isn’t about existing in a permanently blissful state. Being a ‘yogi’ means being able to navigate the often complicated world of relationships and emotions. We become true Warriors when we understand how to ‘fight’ our battles with the proper weapons.

If you are struggling, and looking for a way to manage your overwhelming emotions, at first glance it might not appear that this is a good time to start something new. However, this might be exactly the perfect time to become your own hero, your own friend, and to successfully navigate these rough waters.

Do you have questions about Yoga? We are here, and extremely happy to help!

Yoga at a Studio, or Yoga at a Gym?

People who want to practice yoga have a choice, and in most respects, it boils down to individual preference. Oftentimes, a person looking to start yoga is not aware of the differences between yoga that is taught at a yoga studio, versus yoga taught at a gym or fitness center. One might think that ‘yoga is yoga‘, however this isn’t always the case. If you are on the fence, and not sure where you want to take your first yoga class, or if the yoga class you’ve been going to doesn’t quite suit your needs, please consider these following points.

AFFORDABILITY:
You get what you pay for. It is more expensive to go to a yoga studio. Small studios have large overhead, and bear the expectation of offering yoga exclusively, whereas gyms end up being less specific and more of a one-size-fits-all kind of environment, which gives them volume and numbers, and cheaper rates. Gyms are able to offer a lot of choice, but as a result, have less control over the quality of those choices. Classes at yoga studios are taught by highly certified instructors who’ve dedicated large amounts of time and money towards their certifications — these people deserve to be paid fairly. Also, at yoga studios you have access to workshops, intensives and seminars, and other things ‘yoga’ (ie: Kirtans, meditation groups, breath work, and other spiritual aspects). These extra offerings are not cheap, especially when taught by specialized, guest instructors. (Most yoga studios will offer pay-what-you-can classes where a portion of the proceeds are given to charity. This option makes practicing at a yoga studio affordable for even the most shallow of pockets.) Gyms commonly employ instructors who’ve attended weekend trainings, open to anyone, and the certifications are handed out to everyone who made it through the day. Worst case scenario: you’ll come across teachers whose training is limited to taking a class or two and/or watching a few videos online!! If this is okay by you, I’ll say it again… you get what you pay for.

 

TYPE OF INSTRUCTION:
What kind of a student are you and what do you expect from your teacher? Do you value progression and improvement or are you simply looking to stretch out your body? Do you appreciate having specialized instruction and modifications for your ability, or are you okay with general instruction that may or may not apply to everyone in the room? Are you concerned with the longevity of your yoga practice, or are you dangerously forcing yourself into poses that could potentially cause strain and injury? Are you even aware that there are many layers and variations to all yoga postures and it’s about making the pose fit your body, rather than the other way around? Do you know that ‘yoga’ isn’t just limited to a physical practice? Are you looking to get in and get out, or do you prefer a class that is longer than 30 minutes? At a yoga studio, you can expect a teacher to weave in a theme, a piece of writing, or other elements that encourage reflection, deeper thought and/or spirituality. And you’ll be asked to breathe, a lot. Going inwards makes some people feel uncomfortable, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be asked to do any of this kind of stuff at a gym. Be warned, if your instructor ‘skips’ Savasana, they aren’t teaching yoga. True yoga teachers know that this is the most beneficial part of the physical practice.

 

ENVIRONMENT:
Is it a fair assumption that those with a gym membership are looking to lose weight and build muscle tone? Can we at least agree that Ego plays a large part in this type of ‘body beautiful‘ fitness? Yes, yoga classes are offered at gyms, however, your class will be taught to the majority — those who want to lose weight, tone their body, and look good. Also, at gyms there tends to be a level of disrespect for the class structure as a whole (or perhaps it’s just ignorance); it’s common for students to arrive late and/or leave early. At a yoga studio, you’ll be asked to arrive on time, stay through Savasana, and please leave your Ego at the door… and this is where the really juicy stuff begins to happen. You’ve likely heard of people who’ve felt an energetic release, immense relief from pain of past injuries or general wear and tear from life, a deeper connection with them self or another person, people who cry in class…among other things you might call ‘hippy-dippy woo-woo‘. Let’s be honest, are you wanting to do some stretches that look like yoga poses, but you don’t want to do the ‘weird stuff‘? Then a gym is probably the place you want to be. And that is completely OKAY. Just don’t say that you do YOGA. 

 

COMMUNITY:
At a yoga studio, you will probably meet people who are just like you, or at the very least, people who are much more similar to you than the general public. Gyms, on the other hand, house people of all sorts. This is not to say that all aren’t welcome at a yoga studio. I pride myself in saying that we offer our services to anyone who wants them. It just turns out that those who want our services, are similar kinds of people; people who are willing to tune out external noises, and listen to their own body, their own breath and their own thoughts. It’s scary, it’s vulnerable, it’s meaty. And so worthwhile. Over time, yoga will begin to feel more like a lifestyle, and so much less about the physical poses and the ‘cool factor’. And when you’re surrounded by people who are there for similar reasons, you’ll feel an immense sense of trust, safety, and support. 

As an owner of a yoga studio, I’m faced with many challenges my ‘pre-owner self’ wouldn’t have anticipated. I find myself analyzing these challenges, and I try to look at them from many angles. Through this process, I am better able to define what it is that WE offer, and as a result, we can better serve the needs and wants of those who have chosen a yoga studio setting. Primarily, we sell yoga. We offer high quality instruction, from certified teachers. Our students have the benefit of personalized attention, and a variety of modifications, which makes any given class safe and suitable for many levels and abilities. Our space is clean, it’s quiet, and for the most part, we are an adult specific facility. (We do have Kids’ Yoga once/week, as well as an All Ages class where our younger yogis can attend with an adult.)

Truth be told, if you want to learn French, go to France. If you want to learn yoga, go to a yoga studio. (Yes, I’m biased.)

Over the years, I’ve come to see that many people who are interested in some form of yoga, and delve into the practice, will eventually crave more of what yoga has to offer. Not all yoga is the same, however, no one’s life path is the same either. I see gym yoga as a gateway. In fact, I include gimmick classes like Beerga and Goat Yoga (which I’ve reluctantly offered) in this realm as well. My stance is that whatever inspires and encourages a person to try yoga for the first time, lends itself to the greater offering of yoga. Gradually, sitting still and tuning inward will get less and less uncomfortable. And it won’t be long before the noise of the screaming kids, and the bouncing basketballs, and the distraction of those latecomers won’t be okay. And your gym yoga won’t be enough. You’ll have questions, and you’ll be searching. And us yoga studios will be waiting for you, with open arms and our themes and our deep breathing and our OMs and our Savasanas and our Namastes… and you’ll feel perfectly at home.

This article was partly the inspiration for my writing today… “Don’t Call It Yoga”. Here’s my favourite part, and I encourage you to read the full thing. I found it quite comical, and to the point.

A peaceful mind creates a healthy, vital body. A body forced into asana as part of a workout can damage and strain the body, and inflate the Ego; both of which can cause a chaotic mind… By all means do yoga postures and exercise your Ego, but don’t call it yoga!

 

 

*Disclaimers:

I’ve taken the liberty to speak in general terms with this article. It is rare, but you will find wonderfully talented (and fully certified) instructors who teach yoga classes at gyms/fitness centers, and consider yourself lucky. And, when you eventually find yourself wanting more than gym yoga… make sure you ask this teacher which yoga studio(s) he/she teaches at!

We are primarily a yoga studio, however we do offer variety by way of dance and Zumba classes. And you can bet that these instructors are held to the same high standards as our yoga teachers!

I’m very aware that us ‘Westerners‘ have bastardized Yoga altogether., and I’m pretty certain that everyone in the East is pointing judgy fingers at ALL of us.

Ultimately, I can’t blame uninformed students. I was completely clueless about yoga when I first got started. The responsibility falls on facility owners. Please don’t claim to sell yoga if it’s only a watered down version just to get more clients or appease your current clients, or to appear trendy, or to offer something you think people want. Get informed and take the proper steps to do it properly if you do indeed want to sell it, or better yet… stick to selling what you DO know.

 

Blue Yoga Mat: Fresh Air Yoga by Tracy Fitzwater

I’m not an outdoorsy person, unless you count reading in the shade. When I was a teenager, I failed to see the point of laying out in the sun baking; I usually burned, and I couldn’t read, so why bother? I have actually done some things outdoors, like cycling, hiking, and skiing, but up to this point in time, all of my yoga has been done indoors in a studio, or on a tavern floor. That was all changed recently.

 

International Yoga Day, June 21st, Webster’s Woods

I joined a few other yogis to practice yoga on the first day of summer. If you have never been to Webster’s Woods at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, I highly recommend visiting. The small meadow is highlighted with a 7-foot tall highly polished stainless steel sculpture, “Pi a la mode”, or Pi, and was created by Micajah Bienvenu of San Juan Island.Yes, it’s that symbol for 3.1416…., used in math in the calculation of circles. Our shared practiced focused us on this gate to the meadow. We began with a guided Mantra chant with Kalei Myers, from Sacred Roots-Kundalini Yoga, and while I can’t say I was able to completely follow the chant, it was a great way to set the stage for our practice. Our two teachers, Brooke Cole and Jenny Houston, led us through a series of poses, and we ended with another Mantra chant, this one very energetic. Being out in the woods, with a blue sky with zero clouds was a great way to practice. It wasn’t too hot, the trees sheltered us from the wind that had been blowing all day, and the added bonus of watching the visiting World War II planes on their flight path to the airport just made my practice all the better. I liked the idea that I was sharing my practice, not just locally, but globally. And bonus, I won a prize – a Poser YOGA decal for my car!

 

Pop-Up Yoga: Goat Farm

I’m not going to lie – I kind of had to talk myself into this one! I had seen a video a year ago about goat yoga in Oregon, and shared it on Facebook. I thought, yeah, right – goats? Well, who takes an idea and runs with it? I think we know to answer to that question, don’t we? So on the second hottest day of the year in Port Angeles, I found myself at a small farm off Black Diamond Road. It was suggested that we bring a towel instead of a mat, and clothes that wouldn’t be bothered by dirt, which was possibly a way of saying goat poop. The goats, cute little 10-week old babies, were waiting for us in the barn, while we were ready in their play area/pen. When the door opened, they seemed as stunned to see us as we were to see them! I sensed a small pileup at the door when the goats in the front saw all of us laying out in their space, but once they got over the shock of seeing us, out they came. And they were cute and curious little critters, and after they milled around for a bit, they got smart and headed to the shade. One little goat ended up on the mat of a lucky little girl, who had it all – a goat AND shade! It was hot, hot, hot, with a relentless sun, and Jenny could probably see us melting in front of her eyes, so we didn’t quite make it through an hour, which was a relief! The next time I have the chance to do this, I’ll do a couple of things differently. The first is I will bring a mat – a towel is a poor substitute for a mat, mostly because I kept sliding around on it. Wearing shoes would have helped with traction. Second, I would seek out a shady spot if possible, and that’s not available, I would wear a hat. Finally, have water on hand. I did, but my metal flask got so hot I had to put it under my towel just so I could touch it.