Ritualizing your Yoga Practice to Create Calm and Consistency

Every morning I drink a cup of water out of one of my (many) favorite mugs while I stand and look out the window (seeing how the lilac grows) and let the hot water kettle get my coffee water boiling. After that I put on a wiggly song and get my coffee brewing and stretch out my shoulders and sleep-stiff body while I wait to push down my coffee and have a hot cup all ready to go. Often the little blonde and pink bobbed heads of my daughters are milling around me, a dance partner might join in, and the kitten threads my ankles as I find a forward fold across ancient wood floors. I’m present. The interruptions, voices, and little lips stealing first sips are all part of the ritual. My presence, reverence, and deep breaths invite them in. 

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Using the lessons of yoga to dig out from feelings of shame

By Sondra Matara

The line at Costco was long, and as I settled in for the wait, I defaulted to the modern day way to mentally check out – I took out my phone. As it lit up with new messages and notifications, I saw one message that made my heart immediately sink into my stomach: I realized I had sent out a glaring mistake in one of my own professional communications. It had gone out to thousands of people, and had clearly been noticed. My sense of embarrassment went through the roof. My chest tightened up, my face grew hot, and I couldn’t focus on the mundane task I was in the middle of. I was immediately the center of my own “shame storm.”

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How can you play with your practice?

By Laura Orso

When I first began practicing yoga, it was at a gym. I had heard yoga was good for back pain and decided to give it a try. It was sweaty, and I wasn’t very good at it, but I kept going.

Eventually I fell in love with the practice, and I started exploring the variety of places that I could practice in. I went to a couple of studios, played around at home and outside, and noticed how different each of these experiences were. From the temperature of the room, to the music, to the practice itself, they all were distinctly different. None of them were better than the other, they were all unique–like trees, like people, each with their own gifts.

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Do you rush to judge? Why this habit may be self-sabotaging your own happiness

By Michal Retter

I don’t like to classify things as “positive” or “negative” because I believe that in the greater scheme of things, if we pull away from judging the circumstance as is, we often find an intelligence at work. There’s often an eventual purpose in a “bad” thing. Furthermore, sometimes a “good” thing quickly turns bad in light of just a few extra details.

When we were young, many of us could have sworn that we knew exactly what we wanted and made choices that felt so “right” only later to regret. And of course some things didn’t feel good at all, but have allowed us the position we hold today.

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Why practice inversions?

By Cat Enright

When I was a girl, I loved hanging from the monkey bars and reclining back over the swings.  I have always loved going upside down.  In a healthy environment, children intuitively take themselves through a wide range of body postures.

Unfortunately, as adults, we stop doing many things that are good for us and we may become afraid to do them.  Inversions might be one of these things.

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Bridging your yoga practice from the work you do at the studio to your everyday life

By Minta Allred

From an individualistic society to an interdependent world

In our world today, I find it more important than ever before to acknowledge the way we view “self-care” and essentially how we treat the practice of yoga. When I first began practicing, for me personally, it fell under the umbrella of “self-improvement.” I knew almost nothing about the philosophies of yoga and so from my point of view I saw it as another opportunity to grow and “better myself” as a person.

It was through extensive study and practice of the vast lineage of yoga, that I learned that yoga was actually not at all about self-improvement. I learned that it was about self-discovery and self-awareness, and most importantly, I learned it is 100% about self-acceptance.Read More

Practicing satya and saying NO to plastic

By Gentri Watson

In March of this year I gave birth to my first child, a beautiful baby girl that lights up my entire universe. Motherhood has offered me more soul gifts than I could have possibly fathomed, and as my heart swells with a love deeper than I knew I was capable of, my mind scrambles to keep up with the millions of ways I want to care for her. This love for her has uncovered in me a passion that is fuller and more vibrant than ever for the world we live in because she is now in it.

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Yoga Teacher Training Changed My Life…and I don’t Teach Yoga

By Sondra Matara

“Reach your right hand forward as your left reaches back, drawing your inner thighs up towards your pubic bone.”

It was my voice, but it felt like it was coming from someone else. The words seemed to come from the heavens and flow outwards from my mouth, and as I watched a roomful of yoga students moving in unison doing the movements as described, I realized I was doing it! I was teaching yoga!

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Hiking + Yoga: Take your Trail Adventures to the Next Level

By Trina Stiles

I love to hike, almost as much as I love yoga, and summer in the Pacific Northwest opens up so many exciting places to explore on trail by foot. Each time I get out on a trail, whether solo or with my family and friends, I am thankful for this amazing place that I get to call home and grateful for my body to carry me.

To me, hiking is a moving meditation. It brings me relief from stress, clarity of mind, and inspiration for my spirit, all by taking one foot in front of the other and absorbing the nature around me. Although it is a great cardio exercise, hiking can be physically taxing and sometimes my knees or back complain, especially the next day. That is when I am grateful to have yoga help me out. It prepares my body physically, gives me relief while on the trail and stretches me out after the hike is complete.

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Finding your yoga practice

by Katie Cassidy

I have had the great pleasure of managing the studio for over 5 years, and have been a student here since 2009. It is a joy to witness and hold space for all of the students who pass through our doors each day and to watch their commitment to yoga grow and deepen. Everyday I have the chance to talk with people who are new to yoga and have questions about how to get started. For those of you who are regular students, I’m sure you hear similar things from people in your life and this may provide a few answers for you to share with them. Here are some of the common questions and concerns that I have heard over the years and the answers that I share.

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