Spring Quarterly Newsletter
The 8-week spring term begins the week of April 2. We still have openings in some classes. Call to sign up. 503.223.8157

We are offering several Special Focus classes for spring: Healthy Breathing on Sat. April 14; Yoga for Hands & Feet on Fri. April 27; Balance & Bone Density on Fri. May 4; SLO MO Yoga on Sat. May 5; Yoga for Gardeners on Sat May 12; and Home Practice for Beginners on Sat. May 19.
Join Julie Gudmestad for this weekend workshop, taught for the first time in Portland! Sat. April 28 and 
Sun. April 29. 
Continuing Ed credit available.
March 24-25, 2018
Herndon, VA
Health Advantage Yoga

April 28-29, 2018
Portland, OR
Hips, Pelvis, Low Back

June 2-3, 2018
Knutsford, ENGLAND
Knutsford Yoga UK
We are pleased to be offering a series of yoga philosophy classes with Jaime Mathis.

Intro to Yoga Philosophy
Sat. April 21
Deepening into the Sutra
Sat. May 12
Deepening into the Gita
Sat. May 19.
CE credit available

For Spring we are offering: 
The Art of Teaching Restorative Yoga with Hope Fyfield
Sun. May 20 from 3 - 6pm.

Also for Teachers is the Hips, Pelvis, Low Back Weekend Workshop with Julie G.

If you would like to be notified of our CE workshops, email us at info@gudmestadyoga.com to request to be added to the mailing list. 
A Note from Julie Gudmestad
We often encourage our students to set up a "well-balanced" yoga practice. A curious student might ask, "what does that mean?" There are actually several ways we can apply the term "well-balanced." It's good to have a mix of active and quiet poses, of energizing and restorative, and of strengthening and stretching.

Taking a closer look at muscle strengthening poses, you'll want to make sure you're evenly strengthening antagonists, which are muscles that have opposite actions. A good example is the biceps, which bend the elbow, and the triceps, which straighten the elbow. Interestingly, yoga has many poses that strengthen the triceps--the "push" muscles we use in poses like downward dog, plank, and handstand--and not many poses that work the biceps. You may want to do a little weight lifting with a small dumbbell, bending the elbow to bring the weight near the shoulder, to maintain biceps strength for activities such as lifting bags of groceries and other household tasks.

Another important set of antagonists is the hamstrings, on the back of thigh, which bend the knee, and the quadriceps, on the front of the thigh, which straighten the knee. Yoga has plenty of poses that strengthen them both, including the bent-leg standing poses, bridge pose, and other back bends. However, there is a common yoga imbalance in this set of antagonists: I'm referring here to a stretching/flexibility imbalance between the hams and the quads.

Many yoga practices and sequences contain a variety of poses that stretch the hamstrings, and relatively few, or even none, that stretch the quads. The resulting imbalance can contribute to knee and low back pain, and even the hamstring tears we hear so much about. To help prevent some of these problems, shift your practice to include some lunges in every practice. Lunges are great hip flexor and quad stretches, and they are easy to incorporate after you do your daily dog pose. See the yoga tip below for a lunge that specifically stretches the quads.

As you look at your practice with an eye to balancing the poses, remember that the poses that are more challenging for you are often indicating an imbalance: a tighter place can be frustrating to stretch, so you may avoid it. Similarly, weak muscles can make a pose seem much harder. Wise yoga students will include poses that may be less "fun" in their weekly practices, thereby helping to correct imbalances in strength and flexibility. Onward to a well-balanced yoga practice!
As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to contact us.

Julie Gudmestad 
Yoga Tip

Proposal Lunge

One option for a good quad stretch is to come down on bended knee in the Proposal Lunge, as our teacher Hope so aptly named it. Position yourself so your left hip is directly over your left knee, when viewed from the side, and front (right) leg has the knee over the ankle. If you have balance challenges or feel tippy, set yourself up with a wall, chair or block on the left side and place your left hand there to steady yourself. Be sure to place some padding under the knee on the floor.
proposal lunge
The key to getting a good quad stretch is to posterior tilt your pelvis. In other words, lift the front pelvis and internal organs up off the right thigh: it helps to place your fingers on the front pelvis bones and show them how to lift up. Also, press down the left thigh bone fro m hip to knee, which helps engage the hamstrings to pull down on the sitting bones and increase the posterior tilting action.
Visualize and feel the quads lengthening up the front of the thigh, as you practice your best relaxing breathing. Hold the stretch for a minute, and gradually increase your hold time to 1.5 or 2 minutes. Longer holds and regular practice--at least a few times each week--will add up to changes in the length of the muscle. Over time, you'll improve the quad flexibility so that you are well-balanced in the flexibility of these important antagonists, the quads and hamstrings.

Teacher Training 

200-Hour Alignment Based Teacher Training

rachel lundberg
Please join Rachel for a free information session on 
Sunday, April 22 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm  about the upcoming teacher training that begins June 8, 2018 and runs through December 8, 2018. See the training schedule details by clicking on the website link below.

Rachel will teach a free short yoga class as well and share information and handouts. There will also be a Q & A session. 

Go to  lundbergyoga.com for more information and to enroll.

Stuart Stark 

Stuart Stark
We are very fortunate to have a loyal group of yoga students at our studio. As the years go by, these loyal students grow older and may develop problems associated with aging. In the past year, I have seen a number of our students for physical therapy following hip and knee surgeries. We physical therapists know that your pre-surgery physical fitness has a great deal to do with a successful outcome. I have seen consistently successful results when working with patients who were actively practicing yoga prior to surgery. 

Besides the obvious advantage of being more flexible and strong, yoga students often have an improved kinesthetic awareness. That ability to know where you are in space gives them a real leg up (sorry!) in their recovery, as does the capability of isolating muscle groups ("lift the notch of your breastbone", "press down your big toe").  

After learning the basic exercises that all post-surgical patients learn, the folks that I work with are motivated to return to yoga class. We gradually replace their post-surgical exercises with modified versions of standing poses to help prepare for their return to class. Focusing on balance challenges in our yoga practice is also very helpful in regaining function after a joint replacement.  

I recently heard a good story from a patient who had been practicing yoga for 15 years. She developed a serious problem that required multiple brain surgeries and a month-long hospital stay. As she eventually started to return to activity, the hospital's physical therapist remarked that her core strength was surprisingly good for someone who had been bed ridden for so long. "I know why", she replied. "It's my yoga practice!"

Spring is in the air! The buds are swelling and the daffodils and trilliums are beginning to open. It's so exciting to the senses after the long winter. Every day there is something new coming back to life. The time is here for planting seeds and sowing intentions.

Janice Gega
Gudmestad Yoga