Fall Quarterly Newsletter
Fall term classes are filling fast. The 11-week term begins the week of September 19. Check out the schedule and call 503.223.8157 to enroll.
Sept. 9 - 10, 2016
Knutsford, England
Sept. 11, 2016
Manchester, England
Oct. 22 - 23, 2016
St Paul, MN
Feb. 10 - 12, 2017
Northwest Yoga Conference Lynnwood, Washington 
We are excited to offer 2 new classes this fall.
For early morning people, a Level 2 class with Hope on Tuesdays at 7:00 am.

And a Level 3 class with Rachel on Mondays at 9:30 am

A Note from Julie Gudmestad
As summer winds to a close, we always look forward to the return of students in September for the start of fall term. Some have had wonderful summer adventures, whether traveling or right here at home, enjoying Oregon's mountains, lakes, or ocean beaches.

Unfortunately, some students return to class with injuries, having crashed a bike, fallen on a trail, or strained muscles lifting suitcases. When you come back to class with a new or recurrent injury, it's important to remember not to "push through the pain". In our PT practices, we've worked with many injuries that started out as a minor problem, but were made much worse when our client continued to run with a strained calf muscle, or finished cleaning the garage with back muscles already complaining about too much lifting.

It's also possible to overdo while practicing yoga. If you come to class with an injury, or become aware that something doesn't feel right in a pose, it's a good idea to ease off, or even ask the teacher for a milder version or an alternative pose. It may be counter-intuitive, but some soft tissue injuries should not be stretched. Instead they need strengthening: see the yoga tip below for a good back strengthening pose. We've seen students aggravate hamstring tears and some back injuries by continuing to stretch, even though it was painful. Counter to popular thinking, stretching is not good for everything that ails you!

Once again, I'm reminded that practicing yoga revolves around being present and learning to listen to our bodies: listening is the meditative aspect of asana practice. When distracted, we're less likely to hear our body's message that we're pushing too hard or stretching too far. As we learn to focus and listen, we make the choices that help us avoid injury. Over time, we move toward optimal health and wholeness, our true goal in yoga practice.

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

Namaste,
Julie Gudmestad 
Yoga Tip

Salabasana

Here's a little free advice about preventing back injuries: keep your back muscles strong! Of course, yoga is here to help, with numerous back strengthening options, so your back is ready when you have a strenuous project to complete.

We often prescribe Salabasana, or Locust Pose, to give the back muscles a good workout. Not only is it effective, it's also simple, appropriate for students of all levels, and doesn't require special props. It's easy to add after your daily dog pose. Just come forward to plank, let yourself down to the floor and you're ready to go. In the process, you could throw in a few push-ups (from the knees or the toes) to build arm, shoulder and abdominal strength, and finish lying on your belly on the floor.

While you're face down, place your arms up overhead next to your ears. Be sure to keep your gaze on the floor, so you won't hyperextend your neck. To prevent your legs from turning out, lift one leg at a time (imagine a string attached to your inner thigh lifting it up), stretch it out of the hip, and set it down with kneecap facing straight down.

Now you're ready for the opposite arm and leg lift variation of Salabasana. Lift one leg, from the inner thigh, while you keep the front of the hip on the floor. Hold it and lift the opposite arm, and your head, continuing to look at the floor, not the wall. Stretch the lifted arm and leg out away from each other, and hold for 20-30 seconds, breathing smoothly. It's not necessary to lift the arm, nose and leg more than a few inches: in fact, if you lift too high, you're more likely to feel low back discomfort. Repeat on the other side, and do a few reps on each side to build endurance.

This variation of Salabasana makes the two sides of your back work independently, insuring that you balance the strength on left and right. Most of us are stronger on one side than the other, and the weaker side is more vulnerable to strain. Practicing Salabasana regularly is just one more way that yoga helps us remain strong and healthy for a lifetime.


Continuing Ed Courses Starting Soon!

Attention Yoga Teachers and Teachers in Training: We Have Something Special Coming Up For You!

We are excited to announce that we will be offering special focus classes starting this fall, designed especially for yoga teachers and teachers in training. We want to be your continuing education "go to" by offering topics that will help you develop further as a teacher while creating a support network with other teachers. 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.


Laila's Adventure

Laila in Yosemite
Heading into the mountains is a lot like practicing yoga... it's like coming home to yourself. I've always had a soft spot for physical adventure and in 2010, I traveled half way around the globe to visit the Himalayas. Lately, I'd been hearing about the John Muir trail in Yosemite. Only a 12 hour drive away, it was so much easier to get to than the Himalayas and almost as spectacular!

We spent 11 days on the trail. I took some time to do my yoga practice each day in this rugged terrain. I look forward to seeing you all again when fall term begins!
Yosemite
It's hard to think about fall when you are harvesting tomatoes and cucumbers by the basket full. There's still so much to do this summer! I have to admit that I am looking forward to the slight cooling and quieter nature of autumn... and the return of our regular term classes.

See you soon!

Janice Gega
Gudmestad Yoga