Winter Quarterly Newsletter
We are offering drop-in classes to fill the gap between the end of fall term and the beginning of winter term. Check out the schedule and drop by for some classes.
Northwest Yoga Conference
February 10 - 12, 2017
Lynnwood, WA
Cannon Beach Yoga Festival
February 24 - 26, 2017
Cannon Beach, OR
Clemmons, NC 
March 25 - 26, 2017
We are excited to offer 1 new class this winter. A Level 3-4 class with Hope on Wednesdays at 7:00 am.

Check out the schedule and call to register. 503.223.8157.

Join Stuart for his 11th annual Tuscan retreat, May 11 - 18, 2017. The retreat takes place outside the town of Castelfiorentino.
This weeklong class series taught by Julie Gudmestad will take place July 31 through August 4,2017. Register early to secure your space.

 
A Note from Julie Gudmestad
Though I don't remember who said it, we've all heard the saying "The only sure thing in life is change," after death and taxes of course. We've recently had a big dose of change in our country, which has pleased some people and terrified others. Those who are terrified may be feeling grief, fear or anger, and these strong emotions can effect our health and physiology, as well as our sense of well-being.

Remember that your yoga practice can help you adapt to changes, even the unwelcome ones. During asana practice, we set up an environment of controlled challenge, in which we work to stay calm and centered even while working on difficult positions and alignments. Breath awareness is our most powerful tool to help stay relaxed even while dealing with challenges: smooth, steady breathing is associated with a calm, quiet state of the nervous system. But breath holding or fast, shallow breathing is part of the fight-or-flight response, which is associated with fear, defensiveness, and anger.

During the busy holiday season, you may not have time for a lengthy active asana practice. However, I encourage you to find a few minutes to practice some quiet breathing, as studies have shown that changing the pattern of your breath changes the state of your nervous system. As you ease out of the fight-or-flight response, your relaxed state of mind will help you clarify your priorities, stay centered, and act from a position of compassion as you work to create the world you'd like to see.

 
As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to contact us.

Namaste,
Julie Gudmestad 
Yoga Tip

Calming Breathing

With a little creative thinking, you can find a few minutes during your day for some quiet breathing. My favorite time is first thing in the morning, before my mind has had a chance to engage with plans for the day. But any time will work, including sitting in your car when you arrive a few minutes early for an appointment, or as a punctuation at the end of your work day.

Ideally, find a quiet place where you'll be undisturbed. Breath flows most easily when your chest is open: lying on a rolled blanket (see below) or any other gentle supported backbend are good positions. You can also practice sitting, but please don't slump! If you're sitting in the car or other unsupportive chair, roll up your jacket or use a small pillow to support your spine and help open your chest.

Now bring your awareness to your breathing. Start by simply noticing your breath pattern, including the speed, location of breath movement, and any jerkiness or holding. Start to smooth out the pattern, eliminating any rough places, so that the breath becomes more fluid with no stops or starts. In fact, you can visualize a circle: the inhale begins at the tailbone and goes up the back of your body. When you've completed the inhale, without forcing, the circle is at its apex at the top of your head. Then begin exhaling as you complete the circle, forward and down.

It takes practice and focus to make a smooth circle all the way around. Be sure to keep the breath relaxed, as it should not have a strained or muscular feel. It's better to make a smaller circle than to force the breath or run out of air.

When you finish and continue on with your day, be sure to notice how these few minutes effect your perspective of the world and your interactions with other people. It's important, even in times of change, that we keep our ideals in mind and work to practice what we preach.


Teacher Training

Teacher Trainees 2016
Our most recent Teacher Training group spent a day of service at the Portland Memory Garden this past November. The Portland Memory Garden is designed for people with Alzheimer's disease, as well as other memory problems. The trainees spent the day spreading mulch, planting new plants, transplanting existing ones and generally getting very wet and muddy. There was no complaining, only laughter, fun and memories as they immersed themselves in practicing Seva (selfless service).



Continuing Ed Courses

For Yoga Teachers and Teachers in Training:

Keep an eye on our website for the list of Continuing Ed workshop offerings for winter term. If you are interested in finding out more about our upcoming offerings, please email us with your interest and we'll make sure you hear about what we have coming up. Please title the email 'Continuing Ed Classes' to help us route it to the right place.


Farewell to Terry Waddell

Terry Waddell
Many of us have grown to love Terry as she has taught at Gudmestad Yoga Studio for the last several years. I'm sad to tell you that she has decided to retire from teaching and will be leaving us at the end of this term. Please join me in wishing her a fond farewell, and much happiness as she enters this new phase of her life.

As we say goodbye to Terry, we welcome Suzanne Mills, who will be taking over Terry's classes. Look for more on Suzanne in the next newsletter.
Winter is the season of going inward. It is a time of reflection and darkness. As our plants are conserving their energies for spring, using this time to restore themselves, so they are ready for the resurgence of energy in the spring, so can we. Savor the darkness. Rest. Restore yourselves so you will be ready for the light and energy to return in the spring. It will be here before you know it.

See you soon!

Janice Gega
Gudmestad Yoga