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!!

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.)

 

 

 

 

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

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

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.

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.