January 18, 2013 § Leave a Comment
There are still 4 spots in our yoga 101 class that begins monday 1/21. We recommend taking this class before taking any other classes at the Shala.
details: 5 weeks, 1st 3 weeks just mondays at 7:15, last 3 weeks also meets wednesdays at 5:30pm, cost is $120
And here is one of my favorite teachers, Eddie Stern, from Ashtanga Yoga New York, explaining a little about ashtanga.
“How can I help people have their own experience of what yoga is for them and not what I think that it might be?” Eddie Stern
January 17, 2013 § Leave a Comment
December 21, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Please join Katie Scanlon, Shala owner and Lululemon ambassador at a special candlelight yoga class sponsored by Lululemon Athletica and dedicated to creating a kindler, gentler world one breath, one person at a time.
Details: Sunday, December 23. The class will be held at 1017 W. 1st Ave (next to Tangerine Boutique in the Oddfellows building) from 6pm to 7:30pm. The class is complimentary, although donations will be accepted to benefit 2nd Harvest Food Bank.We hope to see you there.
My partner in crime for life and I always talk about the “why” in things. He is the CFO for the city of Spokane, a father of 5 and also finds the time to study yoga asana and philosophy. And we often talk about why we practice yoga. And as much as possible he makes decisions and choices about the finances of our city based on the “why” behind them.
And he encourages me to do the same whenever I decide to add a new class or workshop offering or change something at the Shala.
And as we approach the holidays as a community still reeling from the news of violence and loss from last weeks shooting in Connecticut. I ask myself again, why do we practice yoga?
Last week while I was teaching my mysore class it came to me again. Yoga requires again and again the courage to begin at the beginning, with varying degrees of proficiency day after day. It is a daily lesson in both noticing and attending to what it is that’s being asked of us, one step at a time.
It teaches us to repeatedly return to the task at hand.
During asana practice the task at hand is to “do” breath, vinyasa, gaze, bandha. Off the mat the task at hand might be getting out of bed when we are overcome with sadness or grief, or facing a stack of mail when we are wrought with worry or anxiety, being there for a friend…
In the midst of suffering it is normal to feel powerless and disconnected. And to question, doubt and worry about what to “do”. And to wonder as Peg Mulqueen did in her blog “No Practice Ever Wasted”: “How could I possibly make a difference?”
So during these next few weeks of holiday activities, school vacation, visiting family, we hope that you take the time to notice what each moment is asking of you. We hope that through your practice you feel you are “doing” something positive in the world and we are grateful for these opportunities we can practice together.
We hope you hold close to you all of your blessings. For gratitude, love and compassion will mitigate the suffering of those in pain.
Tidings of peace to all.
December 14, 2012 § Leave a Comment
When I got here I was lucky enough to start teaching ashtanga at FSG – which is no longer here but was in the same space that Lila Yoga is in now– I’m not sure how anyone got wind of my class – but I’m eternally grateful to Elizabeth McElveen for that.
There was a small group of students, and I started teaching them Ashtanga yoga from the beginning, not mysore style, but led through the beginnings of the primary series.
Lars has his own story about how he ended up in my class and what that first class was like – and I’ll let him tell that – but essentially Lars started doing ashtanga yoga at the tender age of 59. Which I just love!
I think we can sort of get stuck in the groove of thinking that we’re set going down some path at the age of 40, or 45 or 60 or whatever… and that’s just the way it is.. especially when it comes to our bodies - it can seem so overwhelming to imagine physical change…
and I love Lars for lots of reasons but one is because he is a walking, ujjayi-breathing “eff that” to that arcane idea!!
So when it came time for me to try to open a shala dedicated to the ashtanga practice and I left FSG – Lars and that small handful (Gunner, Judy, Michiko, Karen, John, Colleen) I’m talking small… were the ones who made that happen.
and.. they were always there… and Lars was always there. Practicing religiously… and often frustrated, oh so annoyed when I’d paint the studio orange, only to repaint it turquois… then move the stereo from the front to the back.. then to rearrange how I wanted students… etc etc..
and, over the years I got to know Lars better and better. I eventually went to his house and learned about his gardens, his bees, his calligraphy, and his art. I met his partner, and learned about her weaving, metal working and other wonders.
Lars even went to India before I did — which was so amazing because it brought all of us closer to the source and energy of our practice.
And then one day he let me in on his plan.. he told me he wanted to build a shala. He said he’d like to build this building and make it represent the beauty of yoga and nature, inside and out, that there would be two yoga studios, and that there would be living space for visiting yoga teachers and students. That he was going to build this… and what did I think about it.
At least that’s how I remember the beginning of what is now referred to as “Haystack”.
Haystack is the 6,000 plus building you may have noticed being built stone-by-stone just to the west of the South Perry district at 731 S. Garfield. When it is finished it will have four ground-floor studio apartments. Above the apartments are two yoga rooms that share a large reception area. and above the center reception area is a 5th third floor studio apartment. More later on details about the building and our move …
November 27, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Thank you so much to Jennifer Pignolet from the Spokesman who wrote an excellent article about our Fogis class. It is on the front page of todays paper! Here is the link to read it online. Due to the response from this article we’ve added a brand new session which will start Monday 12/3 and will be held downtown in the Lululemon Athletica showroom. To join you can email me or register directly online by clicking here.
There is this persistent and long running rumor that Ashtanga yoga is “designed for teenage boys”.
Huh… that’s funny…. my experience with Ashtanga for the past 15 or so years and the experience of most of the practitioners I know is quite the opposite.
In fact, and my favorite group of yogis would back me on this: **anyone can do ashtanga yoga.**
The group I’m talking about is my class “yoga for geezers, yoga for old fat guys, FOGI’s… yoga for silver foxes”… whatever you want to call it or them – it’s on tuesdays at 4:30pm, it’s been on tuesdays at 4:30pm, it’s the ashtanga standing sequence and closing sequence, with some modifications (but not many).
And these folks are definitely not teenage boys; and they have the wisdom and the battle scars to prove it. Yet they been practicing the ashtanga yoga sequence, consistently, religiously even, once a week, going on 3 years. And I am astonished and inspired every week by their progress and growth.
It’s true though that it would be far easier for a teenage boy to commit to Ashtanga, practicing daily and advancing through the series. But I know that’s not what makes Ashtanga – Ashtanga. I remember Sharath talking about the practice when I was in India. And he repeated what Guruji often said about how anyone can take practice and receive its benefits. He quoted Yoga Sutra 1:14 “Practice becomes firmly grounded when it has been cultivated for a long time, uninterruptedly, with earnest devotion. (Sa tu-dirghakala-nairantarya-satkara-adara -asevito-drdhabhumih)”… hmmm nothing in there about age.
There is no doubt too that embarking on a yoga practice, taking those first steps into the hippie-dippied incense world of a yoga studio can be intimidating for some. Add to that our busy lives, aches, pains, injuries and stiffness, and you quickly have all the reasons you need for not trying yoga. Like all excuses, they soon become our truths – we sure as heck aren’t teenagers anymore and moving forward, changing, healing, growing can feel just beyond our grasp.
So how can yoga help us move past our excuses and limits? First of all, yoga works to re-wire, and re-set brain-body patterns – this means bad habits developed over a lifetime can change. And… yoga is a science – one that has proven over hundreds of years to work. In yoga, you work with your body to heal your mind, and your mind to heal your body through the different practices.
So yoga has more to do with cultivation and being consistent – and little if at all to do with age.
Sharath said that yoga is like a plant which keeps on throwing forth shoots and growing. All we require, at the beginning, is a seed. And the seed need not be more than a feeling of interest in the possibility of living a more meaningful life, a more deeply connected or integrated life, encompassing all aspects of who we are .. and it doesn’t matter if your 17 or 71.
November 20, 2012 § Leave a Comment
2012 will go down for me as the year everything simultaneously fell apart and came together all at once!
And it was all precipitated by my husband of 9 years and I deciding after 3 years of deliberating, to end our marriage. Here is an essay I wrote from the last night I slept in the house we lived in together with our kids.