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Spring Update

Beth Paxson
Dear PYC Community,
We embarked on a new leg of our journey this week, into the virtual world of Online Yoga! We are deeply grateful to all of you, who have been curious enough to sign up for a class-link, lay down your yoga mat in a room at home, and bravely explore the possibilities of receiving our instruction remotely!!

Personally, it has been another steep learning curve, this time in the realm of technology. Though some glitches did occur, it is clear from your feedback that many have found comfort in the classes. Thank you all for your patience & compassion as we navigate through some of the rough patches of this first week of drop-ins.

April 1 marked our "commencement of occupancy" at 6840 SW Macadam (not an April Fool's joke!). The space looks wonderful, the POD from the Kelly building was delivered today, and we put up a new sign announcing our new space (as you can see from the photo!).
signage at the new studio

While we are holed up in our homes, awaiting the decline of this current crisis, we are grateful there is a way we can provide a connection to community, our support, love, and the reassuring sound of your teacher's voice. Perhaps, if nothing else, one way to find a sense of "normal" in these moments of unsteadiness in our history.

Beth Paxson


online classes practice space
Thank you to everyone who has participated in and provided feedback for our online drop-in classes this week!! This has been a learning experience for us all, and we appreciate your patience as we navigate this new virtual system. 

Here are some things to remember as we move forward with term:

Payment: We are respectfully asking students to pay at least 24 hours before your first class starts. This is in an effort to give everyone access to their classes in a timely manner and make the launch of these online classes as smooth as possible. About 24 hours before your first class, Amelia will send the link to everyone who has paid.

*** Please check your SPAM and JUNK folders in your email! Sometimes the link gets caught up there. ***

Accessing class: These classes will be taught in live time. Please SAVE the link and Meeting ID/Password for your class. This is a specific link and meeting ID for your day/time/level. The same link will get you into class each week.

Waiver: You will be asked to sign a new waiver that covers your participation in online classes. This can be accessed through your account on MindBody when you log in, or can be signed remotely by contacting the office.

Makeups: We will be recording each class and posting them on an unlisted youtube channel. Within a couple of days of the class, we will be emailing these links to the students registered in class. You will have access to them for the entirety of Spring term. We hope these links will help make up for some lost time in the studio this spring. We could all use a little extra practice these days!

Online class etiquette: Please leave your microphone OFF during class. This helps mitigate background noise and improves video quality. Teachers will check in periodically to offer the opportunity for questions. There is also a "chat" feature where you can communicate with your teacher directly. You do not need to have your camera on. Fewer cameras streaming at once improves the video quality for everyone.

Props: Our style of yoga uses a lot of props; if you don't have your own, get creative! A rolled up towel will serve as a breathing roll; a belt, bathrobe tie, or scarf can be used as a strap. For blocks, consider a stack of books, or a sturdy pillow or bolster to squeeze between your legs. It's helpful to have a chair and a few blankets handy, if those are accessible to you as well.

Optional community time: We will provide 10 minutes after class time for everyone to turn on microphones and cameras and see each other! We are social creatures, accustomed to chatting in the prop room and while putting on shoes after class. Separation from one another is difficult. Practicing together from a distance will help us feel a little more connected.

Beginners Sequence To Do At Home From Hope

foot on chair pose
For those who don't mind getting onto the floor

Lie flat on your back, hands behind head or our to side. Bend your knees, bring your knees to your chest. Engage belly muscles, press low back to the mat. Take knees out to just above the hips. Hold for 60 seconds. You can make this more difficult with toe touches, taking knees a bit further away from your chest. Keep your low back firm. Take your feet back to floor before relaxing. Take 2-3 relaxed breaths. You can repeat if desired.

Roll over onto your belly. You can put a folded blanket under your belly if that feels better on your low back. Do a posterior pelvic tilt by pressing your pubic bone into the mat. Maintaining the pelvic tilt, inhale, exhale and draw shoulder blades together first, then lift your head and shoulders away from the mat. Keep that pelvic tilt! Hold for 60 seconds, lower upper body to mat before releasing the pelvic tilt. You can repeat if desired. Relax for 2-3 breaths after.

Stand near a wall or counter top if desired for balance assist. Have an appropriately sized prop for your foot - maybe a chair or a footstool. Shift weight onto one foot and lift the other onto the prop. Stand tall! Center your up heel on your prop, take your tailbone back only if you need more stretch. Breathe! Hold 60-90 seconds, then repeat on other side.

If you don't mind lying down again, lie down on your mat for a short savasana. If you would prefer, can sit on your chair and lean forward to put head and folded arms onto table or countertop.

For students who would prefer to stay upright

You can modify this pose by taking back heel up the wall. Bring a chair close to touch for balance as required. Step one foot forward, one foot back. Square up your pelvis. Do a strong posterior pelvic tilt, inhale, exhale and bend the front knee to a vertical shin. If your back heel is down, you'll feel a calf stretch. Breathe and plant your feet, keep that pelvic tilt. Repeat with other side.

Stand near a wall or counter top if desired for balance assist. Have an appropriately sized prop for your foot - maybe a chair or a footstool. Shift weight onto one foot and lift the other onto the prop. Stand tall! Center your up heel on your prop, take your tailbone back only if you need more stretch. Breathe! Hold 60-90 seconds, then repeat on other side.

This can be modified to counter dog, chair dog or floor dog. This is a
lovely symmetrical pose after two asymmetrical poses. Place your hands on the
counter, pinky fingers down, or kneel in front of the chair and clasp front corners of chair seat, or be on hands and knees, hands out in front of your shoulders. At the counter, step your feet back to open shoulders, aiming for a long feeling in waist, belly and backs of legs. On the chair or floor, curl your toes under and take your hips up and back. Same lengthening feelings. Hold 60 seconds (or several breaths).

Lie flat, perhaps with knees elevated on a chair or blanket roll. Breath and relax for at least 2-3 minutes, maybe longer.

Closing from Amelia 

The Gudmestad/Paxson Yoga vision has always been about making yoga accessible. Bringing our practice into the virtual realm is just another way of facilitating that accessibility. It has been a joy to see each and every one of you online for drop-in classes, answer your questions on the phone and receive your feedback over email. I look forward to seeing you again in person.