The Four Desires and your New Year

by Elizabeth Ruff

Oh, tis the season for intentions and resolutions. Yes, here is one more reminder that it is important to live your life with focused energy! I have been studying for the past seven years with Yogarupa Rod Stryker, and a big part of his work that has spoken to me in is teaching comes from the ancient Vedic teachings he calls the Four Desires. Allow me to give you a brief summary in this blog, and if you are so drawn to learn more I encourage you to get his book entitled the Four Desires.Read More

Meet the maternity subs!

With the 3 OMS baby boom underway, we will be welcoming 3 lovely ladies who will be taking on some of their classes while Dani, Minta, and Gentri are on leave. Just a reminder — Dani’s leave started at the end of December, Gentri is planning on teaching through the end of January, and Minta until mid-late February — but of course, this can always change! Be sure to check the online schedule for the most accurate class and teacher listings as we move through the next couple of months.

All three of these new additions have been subbing classes here at 3 OMS regularly and teach at other places around town, so you may know them and have experienced their excellent teaching and caring presence already. But if not, here’s a little bit about each and what you might expect when you attend their classes. We are so grateful for them stepping in to support our community during this exciting time!Read More

Ease holiday travel discomfort with yoga

by Irena Lambrou

Wow! It’s December, the holidays are upon us! And with holidays come travel. Many students ask me about yoga when traveling. I get it: airplane bucket seats that compromise the natural curves of your spine, heavy foods and airplane foods, as well as the stress of the holidays that can most certainly raise our blood pressure–insert yoga, please and thank you!

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Holiday supply drive

We believe that healthy children and families are at the heart of a healthy community. When basic needs are difficult to obtain, this impacts the ability for children to learn and thrive in school. This holiday season, we will be collecting donations of personal care items to support the Family Resource Center located at Shuksan Middle School, and open to all Bellingham families.  The center helps link families with local resources, human services, and access to basic needs in order to support and uplift students and families in times of need.  This initiative is part of the Bellingham School Districts Family Support Services which includes the Family Resource Center, homeless support program, health services, counseling, mental health supports, suicide prevention, social emotional learning, wellness and more.Read More

Chipp’s secret to a breakfast that lasts

by Chipp Allard

When you teach and practice physical movement, you need a breakfast that is going to sustain you for hours, not something that is going to leave you hungry again right away.  Smoothies, juices, shakes, protein bars–you name it, I have tried it. I spent years experimenting with different forms of my morning meal, only to find myself still searching. I didn’t want something too heavy, that would slow me down; and I can’t be hungry, because then I am weak, tired and grumpy- not the right mood to be in while teaching yoga! Read More

What is mindfulness?

by Cat Enright

You probably hear this word, mindfulness, almost too often now, and may still wonder what it means. According to John Kabat Zinn, founder of the Center for Mindfulness Medicine at the University of Massachusetts, mindfulness is “paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”

Before practicing mindfulness meditation, I assumed that the practice was mind-centered because of its name, and was happily surprised to learn that it is body-centered. “Paying attention” is also known as feeling: feeling your body, right now, with a minimum of judgment or commentary. This might mean feeling the sensation of your feet on the ground or the touch of your breath inside your body.Read More

Checking your phone again? Try this instead.

by Sondra Matara

pssssst! Did you know that cell phones and other wearable technology aren’t allowed in class with you? (if you are on-call for medical reasons, please discuss with your teacher prior to class). Yoga is a practice of connection…and DISconnecting with our phones for 60-90 minutes is great for mind, body, and soul. Need some help with letting go? Read on!

I just spent the last four hours working on trying on fixing some computer issues. Four. Hours. And the time just flew by. I can’t remember the last time I was so absorbed by something that I had such one-pointed concentration for so long. The ability to focus so acutely on one thing is the first step in successful meditation, and is called dharana (one of the eight limbs of yoga) in Sanskrit. In today’s world, where we all feel the impulse to constantly be reaching for our phones, looking at our Facebook feed, and checking our email, the ability to concentrate is increasingly more difficult and rare. Lucky for us, though, it’s also something we can practice. Read More

From model to self-love evangelist: my journey to ELM

by Minta Allred

When did you stop thinking you were beautiful? Have you ever thought about this question before? I first heard this question when I watched a Ted Talk by the Global Director of the Dove Self-Esteem Project at Unilever in London, Meaghan Ramsey, called “Why Thinking You Are Ugly is Bad For You”.

I came across this Ted Talk while spending a normal work day researching body image and the impact it has on our sense of self-worth, our relationships, and ultimately how we show up to life each day. Back in 2006, at just 17 years old, I moved down to California. After an attempt at city college, I ended up modeling and acting in Los Angeles. Coming from my background as a homeschooled gal from Orcas Island, this was quite an extreme. I always loved challenges! But oh wow, I was not prepared for the challenge ahead.Read More

Beat the heat with this cool smoothie

by Sondra Matara

We are so blessed here in the PNW to have what must be some of the loveliest summers in the country. Not only is the weather pretty amazing, but we are blessed with so much abundance in produce this time of year! One of the best ways to take advantage of both, is to blend up a cooling smoothie. Stay hydrated, beat the heat, and enjoy the fruits and veggies of the season! Here’s a current favorite:Read More

Busting through fear with yoga

by Sondra Matara, 3 OMS Director of Marketing and Community Builder

I have been reading Deepak Chopra’s Why is God Laughing, Here’s the line that has stuck with me:

“Either you’re a person wondering if you have a soul, or you’re a soul who knows that being a person isn’t real.”

Whoa, heavy stuff, right? That line hit me like a ton of breaks, right in my third chakra (this is the solar plexus, aka the spot right underneath your sternum where your ribs separate, aka the “bread basket.” This is the place where we hold our self-identity and fears). So much of our lives are fear-based, but the reality is that we cannot predict the future. Read More