“I started Yoga when I started chemotherapy… ” A Yogi Story

“I started Yoga when I started chemotherapy, January 2016. I hadn’t ever done Yoga or chemo before, so it made sense in a way. My daughter found Senior Yoga at Poser YOGA and said I needed to do it. My daughter is always right. My doctor also said, “The more you do, the more you will feel like doing.” She was right too.

The first pose I mastered was Final Relaxation. My second was Child’s Pose. The 6-week session was over before I knew it, and the second series rolled into a third and fourth. In Senior Yoga I found a caring community of women who were quick to praise progress and accomplishment, and quick to offer compassion for injury and bereavement. Laughter and love. In Yoga I found a way to distance myself from the physical and emotional clamor of chemo. I found a place, if only temporary, of neutral space and quiet where I could find my inner strength. Surprising what happens when you only breathe.

Yoga is non-judgmental and teaches self-discovery and appreciation. I went to each class with whatever I had that day. I valued my flexibility and recognized my balance wasn’t what it used to be. I was always the one in class facing left when everyone else was looking right. Over the weeks, Supported Fish and Happy Baby poses became part of my muscle memory.

My chemo ended in August and more 6-week sessions rolled by. Firmly in remission in January 2017, I ‘promoted’ myself to Beginner Basics, seeking new challenges. Warrior One was difficult enough on its own; why did there have to be a Warrior Two? And Exalted Warrior and Humble Warrior? While trying to coordinate all of my limbs into a balanced and cohesive pose, I thought of other names of the pose, like —- Warrior, always remembering to breathe.

Two classes a week, not one, steepened my learning curve. I accepted my Tree Pose would have a ‘kick stand’. The first time I did a Downward Dog that felt like it could be a resting pose was sublime. I squared my hips in Warrior One, and kept my back arm lifted in Warrior Two. Yes!!!

In Poser YOGA’s Summer Challenge I won two free classes and decided to try two new classes. You are supposed to leave every day concerns at the door to the studio, but reality intrudes in the form of prior commitments. Restorative Yoga was serene, but weekend time slots don’t work for me. The schedule and rhythm of Slow Flow was better. Time to ‘graduate’ out of Basics, even if it meant a later dinner.

Always willing to push, I dared myself into a Strong Flow noon class. Note to self: walking and biking do not build upper body strength. I rendered a graceful Side Plank Twist into a flailing corkscrew disaster that safely ended in only a resounding ‘thud’! Child’s Pose for me for the rest of that sequence. Humbling, and an opportunity to improve.

For now I will switch between Slow Flow and Strong Flow as they fit my schedule. My daughter, now a certified Yoga instructor in Los Angeles, and I are attending a weekend Yoga retreat in Ojai for my birthday in February. As she said, “You have three months to get in shape, Mom.””

We’d like to acknowledge Sara Becker, for sharing her story with such courage and vulnerability. What a journey this amazing woman is traveling, and we are so pleased to be along for the ride. We’ve watched her progress from Senior Yoga to Strong Flow. Yoga is reversing the aging process and she continues to get stronger every day! It’s never too late to start Yoga, and Sara is a perfect example!

In January we have some exciting changes coming for our Senior Yoga series! We will now be offering two levels, which will allow us to provide more precise instruction, based on what our students need and want.

If Senior Yoga seems right for you or someone you know, please follow this link for information and/or registration: https://poserstudios.com/senior-yoga-sher/ or call us at 360.393.0977.

*Sign up by the end of November and get our current rate of $55/series. In December, our prices will be going up.

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

Get Your Poser YOGA Apparel!! Deadline is OCTOBER 27th

Hey, hey, hey!!!!

We’re getting ready to order more Poser YOGA apparel for our shoppe and we’re giving you an opportunity to choose the style, colour and size YOU want!! We’re sending out the order at the end of the month, so the deadline for personal orders and payment is: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27th.

All pre-orders will get 10% off…. and members get 15%.

The catalogue will be available at the studio, as well as order forms. Below are links to the catalogue and the order form if you’d like to prepare your order beforehand, and bring it into the studio. (Click on the image.)

 

 

 

 

WHY YOGA: Rachel Storck

Rachel Storck is a bombshell of a Yoga Babe. Beautiful, strong, and so very sweet. She’s been on our team of Karma cleaners this past summer and she’s been such a delight to have as part of our Poser family. She will be leaving for the winter, and our fingers are crossed that she returns next summer! Please take a moment to read her story. It’s touching, honest, and thoughtful. She truly IS a badass, in the best of ways! Thank you for sharing a little part of yourself, Rachel. Your story will inspire others, in ways you might never know. xx

Why Yoga? 
My journey to Yoga has not been especially exciting. I was interested in learning a new craft, some physical fitness, and a way to quiet my thoughts and mind. Also, I just thought it’d be badass to be able to do some of these poses. Have ya’ll seen some of these?! Seriously. DAMN. I have been practicing when I have time (on and off) for a few years now, sometimes Youtube-lead home practice and sometimes at a class. What I really want to share is a much more recent experience of what Yoga has done for me.

I am an intelligent person. I am resourceful and capable and giving and amazing. I love to celebrate the joys and strengths of being a woman and all the inspiring women around me. I like to laugh in the face of culturally constructed beauty standards telling me how to be my most beautiful self. Despite all of this, a parasite of negativity wormed its way into how I felt about myself, about my body. I kept focusing on what was wrong with my body- getting chubby in my stomach and thighs. It just continued to bother me. The worst part was that my intelligence and fiercely feminist beliefs were still in place, telling me that my size did not matter; however, I just couldn’t bring myself to feel that way. The gap between what I had always thought and what I actually felt was distressing me. If I truly believed that my body was worthy of love, then why did I frown every time I looked down? And believe me, my divine spark was telling me how fabulous I was, I just didn’t quite fully believe it. It’s a hard thing when your brain and heart are contradicting each other.

I was doing Yoga before this happened. And so I continued to do Yoga- if anything is supposed to help this, it’s Yoga right? I went to class. And another class. Another. Etc. And for a long time, nothing changed. It took a lot classes and a lot of work mentally before I started believing in the goodness of my body again. But I did! Yoga did that for me. Yoga gave me the opportunity to take time to just be with my body without insane beauty standards. I got to feel the strength in my thighs right there under my hands in a seated pose or working to hold me in a warrior pose. I got to reacquaint myself with my tummy- oh yeah, she’s there, but guess what she works hard too! Every class was a small reminder that taking the time to be there was an act of kindness to myself and that I was absolutely worthy of that, that my body deserved that.

I love my curves, my big ol’ butt, and that little extra jiggle. I can’t run as long as I’d like. I can’t really do more than one chaturanga properly. But here’s the thing that Yoga has put into perspective- the goals that I have cannot be reached without the support of my body. My body and I are together in this. Yoga helped me to regain the confidence in and love for my body that I had lost for a little bit. Yoga gave me the space, opportunity, and time to reunite my heart, mind, and body.

“These curves are kickin’
These thighs are strong
I love this body
That’s my song!”


Care to Share?
Have you had an ‘a-ha‘ moment? A shift in perspective? Why do YOU practice Yoga? Please tell us more… (psst…you’ll get a mini yoga photoshoot out of it!!)

We’ll Miss You Diane!!

We’d like to extend a warm and loving send-off to our dear teacher Diane who leaves for Europe this Sunday! She taught her last class this morning, and it’s all starting to sink in that her departure is REAL!

Diane, you’ve been a top-notch team player… extremely supportive and willing to step in to substitute for any one of us teachers, eager to share your love of Yoga (and Latin dance!!) with our community, and such a gem of a lady who’s warmth will make anyone smile.

We hope your adventure is filled to the brim with exciting tales! We can’t wait to read about them, in a way that only you can tell a story!

Best of luck, and warmest wishes, from your Poser YOGA family!!

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

Individually Unique, Together Complete.

Our differences are what make us unique. With a PLETHORA of experience, training, and knowledge, your Yoga education is limitless at Poser YOGA!!

Coming the first week of October, we’ll have a few teacher changes:

The kind-hearted and silly-sweet Sara Shearer will be taking over the Monday night Slow Flow class at 530PM. If you haven’t met her yet, you should definitely put this class on your calendar… you won’t regret it!! And our delightful and loving Yoga Mama Deirdre Frank is returning from her maternity leave, and you can find her Tuesday nights; she’ll be taking over the 7PM Restore!! This class never disappoints, and neither will Deirdre! We’re so happy to have her back!!

A big, big thank you to Brooke Cole for covering these classes temporarily while we found permanent solutions!! Your dedication and loyalty to this Poser family does not go unnoticed, and we are so lucky to have you. Squeeeeeze!!!

Click on our Schedule tab to see all our regular classes.

Heated classes are in ACTION, and it feels “Oh, so gooood!!”

I’ve been waiting, and waiting to get these heated classes off the ground. I thought I had to have everything in perfect place before I did, because I have a very specific vision. And then a friend said, “What if you just get started, and let all those other pieces come together when you’re ready?”

I’ve been in a pretty deep schlump, for quite a while. Weighed down by the stresses of running a business, dealing with fatigue from lack of sleep and chasing a busy toddler from room to room, feeling like I have less and less in common with my friends the more my life changes, and feeling completely overwhelmed with too much to do, and too little time.

You guys, I haven’t stopped VIBRATING, and class ended hours ago!!! I am utterly overflowing with excitement and gratitude and, I’ll say it… relief!!

I’m overjoyed, to see that it doesn’t matter if I have all my ‘hot yoga ducks’ in a row. We don’t have the showers and beautiful change rooms, we don’t have the expensive infrared heating panels, and we don’t have the sophisticated exhaust system and fancy thermostat where I can control the temperature and humidity with the touch of a few buttons…. YET!! But I’ve got the space, I’ve got the training, I’ve got the desire, and I’ve got people like you who just want to practice Hot Yoga!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you… for helping me unfold this dream! And isn’t it cool that you benefit from it too? From what I’m hearing so far, you’re LOVING these classes…

I’m so proud. ❤️

A Fond Farewell, by Diane Urbani de la Paz

If yoga teachers were Disney characters, I would be Goofy. 

Teaching over the past year at Poser Yoga, I’ve said oh, so many goofy things. I’ve come very close to falling out of various poses, including ones I’ve done thousands of times. 

At the same time, I’ve felt enveloped in a sense of gratitude — for those poses, for the studio and especially for you yogis. Morning after morning and on many evenings, you agreed to go with me on that unpredictable journey called a yoga class. 

As you know, it isn’t easy to slow down and breathe deep. But when we get together, si, se puede. Thank you for this. 

Now I’m heading into the great unknown: My husband Phil and I are setting out Oct. 1 on an extended trip to Europe, where we will work on a book together. It’s about the love affair between his father, who served in France and Luxembourg during World War II, and his mother, who received daily letters from her young husband while he was overseas. 

We are coming back to Port Angeles in December, but for how long after that we don’t yet know. So I must resign from Poser Yoga on Sept. 30. 

There’s no other way to say it: I hate leaving this place. 

I’ve been working since I was 15, so I’ve seen a lot of dysfunctional environments. I don’t have to tell you that co-workers can be nasty-competitive, self-absorbed and full-up with negativity.

Poser Yoga and its people are none of these things. Instead, founder Jenny Stewart Houston and teachers Karlyn Langjahr, Ann Carlson, Sher Cappa, Brooke Cole, Deirdre Frank, Wendy Greer, Sara Shearer, Ashley Zawrotny and Zumba sergeant Kaila Calmell-Armantrout have given me sustained, calm encouragement. 

These are steely women; also very flexible but not into showing off. 

They’re funny and self-effacing, too. I once asked Wendy, “Did you get to a point as a teacher where you felt like you’d found your groove?” 

Yeah, she said, but “then I f— it up again.” 

Mind you, I’ve never seen Wendy f— it up. I have seen her rock the house with her teaching, time after time. But when you’re up there, one mistake can feel like a disaster. You keep going, and thank goodness there’s another chance, another pose, another inhale-exhale right there to see you through. 

So I’ll say it again, and I’ll keep thinking it as I think of the yogis at Poser. Thank you. Thank you for teaching me about yoga and life.