Amy Robinson: Owner & Founder of 3OMS Yoga Studio
When I was a little girl and someone asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I didn’t even know what yoga was. In fact, after watching my Dad run his own business, I was clear I didn’t want to have that stress. Yet, I feel like my whole life led me to where I am now.
Owning a yoga studio is a blend of running a business, a spiritual community, and a school. From my father, I learned about business and customer relations (and the importance of work/life balance). My Mom, a spiritual guidance counselor, taught me how to get in touch with my center and dreams. I was voted most likely to be a teacher at Seattle Prep where I attended High School so teaching must be in my nature!
I was born and raised in Seattle to a large, loving Irish-Catholic family as the oldest of 4. When I came to Bellingham to attend WWU in 1993, I felt a deep sense of HOME and so I stayed. I sought out yoga to heal from trauma, though I wanted to squirm out of my skin, I knew I needed Yoga.
With my idealistic nature and degree in Ecology, I set out to help save the Earth. After a few years working in that field, I realized it was interconnection that fascinated me, and the humans that needed saving. India called to me, and I spent a few months traveling and living in an ashram to experience the birthplace of yoga. I returned home to marry Cameron, my college sweetie. In 2001, our 1st daughter Soleina was born and she inspired me to become a doula and sign up for my first yoga teacher training with Ana Forrest.
For 20 years I have helped support people through transformation—birthing babies and becoming parents, healing through yoga and connecting to community. When I opened 3 Oms Yoga in 2009, I envisioned a Yoga Community Hub and I feel honored to have witnessed thousands of people come through our doors, some for a short time and others who are still with us.
As I prepare for my youngest daughter, Auriah’s graduation from Bellingham High School, I’m curious about the next chapter of my and (my 3rd baby) 3 Oms Yoga’s Life…
Gentri Watson: Yoga Teacher
As a teenager I battled anxiety, depression and an eating disorder; I was in desperate need of holistic help. I found a Rodney Yee yoga VHS tape in my mom’s junk drawer and decided to give it a try. Like any first-timer, I was confused and challenged by the foreign movements and breath instruction, but it helped me sleep so I stuck with it for a couple months. The seed of yoga was planted.
I found my way into a Bikram Yoga studio at 19 and started going regularly, appreciating the heat, intensity and focus it demanded. Eventually I grew tired of the repetitive nature of that practice, and while it served as a nice distraction, I was still battling my demons fiercely. One fateful day while I was living in Boulder, Colorado I arrived late at the Bikram studio and missed my opportunity to attend class. Needing a yoga fix, I remembered there was a different type of yoga studio down the street and went there instead. That was my first vinyasa class and since that moment, I don’t think a day has gone by that I haven’t had yoga on the brain.
I started practicing every single day, sometimes two or three times per day. I was in love with the grace of flowing between poses and the stillness in between; the fire that burned in my muscles during those long holds and the rush of endorphins after back-bending. The physical changes were notable, but there was a deeper shift that started to happen. I no longer had a belly full of anxiety, and the inertia of self-doubt that had been holding me for years started to loosen its grip. I felt like I could move forward. The critical voices in my head were quieter. My self-love was growing. The act of showing up for myself to practice every day and breathing intentionally was like finding the medicine I had been needing for a very long time.
Through the practice of staying in poses through discomfort, I started to feel at home inside myself. I learned to sit in my feelings and recognize the value in them, no matter how enormous or petty they seemed. I grew the courage to stop numbing myself, and over time stopped engaging in self-destructive behaviors. My practice was to feel. It was, at first, overwhelming, as years of buried emotions started surfacing, but I learned to balance them and had yoga as a healthy way to cope. I learned to be ok with feeling messy and needy. I accepted my humanness, stood tall in it, and this empowered me.
I knew I had to share this practice and completed a 600 hour teacher training in 2009. My relationship to yoga continues to evolve and while it’s all become so familiar, there is new wisdom to be gleamed with every practice.
I practice because it grounds me in my body when my thoughts are running in too many directions.
I practice because it holds me in remembrance that I am an instrument of the divine with a powerful purpose in this world.
I practice because it reminds me that I am a strong and loving human.
Yoga helps me to be more compassionate and grounded in all my relationships. It’s a practice of self-love and presence, as we can only be present with others to the degree that we are present with ourselves. As time goes by and my awareness deepens, I grow increasingly aware of the way my thoughts affect my life. I’ve gained a potent recognition of the way prana (life force energy) is governed by thoughts/consciousness and am continually working with yogic techniques to clear my internal pathways, to evolve into the best version of myself that I can be.
Cat Enright: Yoga Teacher & Yoga Therapist
When I began practicing Iyengar Yoga in 1989, I could feel that it was therapeutic but had no skill for articulating this. Like a new lover, I just knew it felt good and wanted it in my life. This sweetheart has stayed loyal, and the richness of the relationship has only become more satisfying, on every level. I was so comfortable with my years of experience, I started teaching in 1996. After pursuing all of the approaches around at that time, I dove deep into the Iyengar system.
My first class of the 500-hour teacher training in San Francisco, was my introduction to Judith Lasater and restorative yoga. I was confused: wasn’t I supposed to sweat and sculpt my physique? Shouldn’t it be harder? Calming my pitta temperament was a novel idea. I loved the therapeutic depth of my Iyengar education, and apprenticed with Judith for a year.
I made the pilgrimage to India, and studied with the Iyengars, but couldn’t reconcile the harshness of the system with the sweetness I knew I needed.
My first daughter was born 3 months after I graduated from the Iyengar Institute with my 500-hour certificate, and I kept up my practice. A blessing of pitta is the will to keep commitments. Two years and another daughter later, I found my home in Bellingham.
Apparently my karmic path had already been forged, because I was welcomed right into a popular Iyengar studio as a teacher. My dive went deeper, as I continuously studied and trained, passing the rigorous assessments, branching into prenatal yoga and pushing my body to its limits. My experience of this system assumed the practice of 10-minute headstands, deep, challenging backbends, arm balances, with a high value placed on physical performance. I injured myself and I healed, again and again, but no one told me to go more gently.
I eventually left the Iyengars and found SaraJoy Marsh’s Yoga Therapy training and commuted to Portland for a couple of years. I’d already premiered my yoga therapy practice, and the 800-hour training provided that new world of richness I’d been seeking. My Iyengar background was the therapeutic foundation that gave me a head start in this field. During my studies, I regularly participated in yoga therapy sessions, receiving the practice as I honed my skills.
I love this work. It allows me to draw from the wells of wisdom that speak to me: anatomy, poetry, movement, chanting and singing, mindfulness, spiritual philosophy, art therapy, pranayama, and deep listening. I get to use my knowledge, experience and intuition. It is such creative work, observing a client’s voice tone, body language, word choice and subtle cues, then crafting a practice to meet their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual imbalances. I see folks heal. I hold space as they crack open and witness their grief, their losses. I create a safe place for them to be completely vulnerable. I have midwived clients through many of life’s transitions: births, deaths, leaving jobs and marriages, injuries and illnesses, and helped them to remember their inherent perfection in the process. I get to cheer them on as they recover themselves. I feel honored that clients trust me, and gratefully humbled that I can help.
Sami Sacry: Yoga Teacher
Sami and her family moved to Bellingham in May of 2021 from Colorado to embrace life in the PNW.
Sami’s yoga classes are a soulful embodiment of somatic regulation, blending rich philosophy with safe asana, pranayama, and kriya. Her yoga practice stems from a deep devotion to the past, present, and future teachers who have and will guide her on her journey. She completed her 200-hour yoga teacher certification in Colorado and is continuing her studies to complete a 300-hour yoga teacher certification.
Sami has an intense love of all that is gardening and herbalism related. She and her husband kept over 50 hives at various organic and regenerative farms in Colorado for 10 years while producing and selling tasty honey.
“I have churned the earth with great herbalists and learned more than I can express from Gaia’s annual seasonal shifts and the moon’s monthly cycle.
Through observation, I have developed a humble and keen appreciation for the magic and science of nature. I specialize in customizing herbal teas and tinctures which provide nutritive, mental, and spiritual support.”
Sami is also a licensed esthetician with a holistic approach to skincare. Sami’s passion is steeped in cultivating radical self-care, having a sound understanding of ingredients in products, and knowing the interconnectedness between inner health and one’s skin.
When she isn’t teaching yoga at 3 Oms, you can find her wandering the woods on her bike, conversing with the chickadees about the coming solstice, writing content for her marketing job, or hanging with her children.
Michal Retter: Yoga Teacher
Once upon a time (2001) I joined a women’s-only health & fitness club in Yelm, WA. I found myself enjoying the group exercise classes! One day, the owner of the club asked me to start teaching yoga classes there. Surprised, I explained I wasn’t a teacher, had no yoga credentials, certificates or licenses to teach. She waived, “Never-mind all that, you are a yogi, you know the yoga, you must teach!”
Truth be told, I had asked the existential question and requested divine guidance at that time in my life: “Life, what is it I am meant to do here?! What is worthwhile? What is my purpose? I seek enlightenment! How do I get to that state of being, please?”
Now, this very chic, fit, and good-looking businesswoman telling me I am meant to share yoga teachings & practices with women in a club! How did she know that? Nevertheless, I took her up on it and started down the pollen path.
I have been a certified and registered teacher with the Yoga Alliance since 2006. I sought to learn from some incredible and outstanding yogis of our time, on this side of the planet of course! Ravi Singh, Todd Norion, Gary Kraftsow, Ana Forrest, Sarah Powers, Aadil Palkhivala, Rod Stryker, and Shiva Rae to name several. I have completed a 200HR Teacher Training with YogaFit, a 500HR Teacher Training through 8 Limbs Yoga (which included Prenatal yoga as well as Trauma-Informed Yoga), and a 50 Hr Yin Yoga Teacher Training with Bernie Clark in Vancouver, B.C. Most recently I completed an online 40Hr Healing Yoga for Cancer Training with Cheryl Fenner Brown, C-IAYT.
For almost two decades I have been teaching yoga classes- most currently at 3OMS, Whatcom Community College, and the Bellingham Athletic Club. All kinds of folks benefit from yoga stretches! And almost all age groups-from 16-86!
As I look back at myself as a long-time student of yoga, the classes I enjoyed attending most of all were Kundalini yoga- because my interest & curiosity has been based in consciousness and energy. Prenatal yoga and my daughter’s birth were utterly a spiritual experience for me – my egoic mind completely moved out of the way to let life do what it does – grow and become.
There is one more type of yoga classes that is epic for me: the type that is both personal and transpersonal. Personal– because I seem to matter to myself and transpersonal because I find myself in a state of unbound & unconditional love. Like the saying- to see and to be seen. I have found this experience in every style of yoga class- when facilitated by a great yoga teacher! What makes a great teacher is their ability to facilitate the space for one to be in themself, in-love. When one’s mind is relaxed and quiet for long enough, and one is “at home” or comfortable inhabiting their body, this is contentment. Some people even sense an energetic radiance. And a reverence for life follows.