People come to yoga for so many different reasons: to feel just melty after a few minutes in savasana, to improve quality of sleep. To get stronger and more flexible so that they perform better in their favorite sport. To find 5 or 50 minutes of stillness. To see what funny jokes or inventive poses, sequences or insightful poems the teacher may bring. To test the body, or the mind. To get some exercise that day, that week, or over that lifetime. To try something new for fun, or to do something that may aid in recovery from an injury. To wrap the tongue around a strange, new Sanskrit word or to wrap the mind around a strange, new way to witness a pose, a moment or life using the body. To burn enough calories so that they can enjoy that chocolate croissant. To enjoy some time with a close friend or relative. To look inside the self to find answers to bigger questions. To be a beginner. To do something familiar and reassuring, and yet learn something from it. To sing, to dance.
I come to yoga for all of these things, though not all of them on any given day, year or decade. The first four I listed are consistently valid for me, these days!
I want people to come to my classes because they offer space to be themselves, in a room where they find warmth and companionship. There, they can find challenge, but also compassion and humility. It’s so important to become -and continue to be- aware of who and where you are, and I hope my teaching facilitates this.
I bring to my classes six years of teaching experience and 25+ years of yoga practice, plus some great music and sometimes a poem.
I also bring a near-lifetime of activity in the outdoors: I run, hike, climb rocks, ski and snowboard down hills, and ride my road bike. I played rugby for 11 years and briefly studied a martial art. On the other hand, I’m a bit of a culture/art nerd: I love theater, music, film, travel and great food. And, I work as a web designer, for the majority of my work-week hours. All of these experiences inform my approach in the studio, with regard to self-care, inspiration, enthusiasm and curiosity.
Most of my lifetime yoga practice and class attendance has been in Iyengar style, though I’ve also briefly studied Kripalu and Bikram. I continue to take Iyengar and Vinyasa classes, and practice the same at home, most evenings. Occasionally I join a Kundalini “Gong Bath” class, as I find the musical/sound component and spinal warm-ups to be very effective tension relievers.
I teach 60-75 minute Vinyasa or Flow style classes, though I am also comfortable teaching restorative or beginning yoga. My cues are in plain language – not a lot of Sanskrit- and are very alignment-focused. In the Vinyasa classes, I play music from a variety of genres (see below). There are always at least 5 minutes of relaxation at the end of all my classes. Props are your friend, and are available at my studio classes.
Classes Taught by Arah
- Mondays, 7:30-8:45pm and Thursdays 5:30-6:45pm at Saint Paul Yoga Center
- Join the conversation in Facebook, on my Yoga page!
Recent playlists for my classes have included tracks by Jane Winther, Jai Jagdeesh, Hindi Zahra, Claudia Brücken, PHOX, Glass Animals, Robert Plant, Hidden Orchestra, Girish, Lindsey Stirling, Sylvan Esso, and Ludovico Einaudi.
Recent Training/Workshops Taken
- August 2011: Breath, Bandhas & Dristi Workshop, with Lynn Thomasberg
- December 2011: Yoga Nidra with Shira Charis
- February 2012: The Art of Physical Adjustments, with Shira Charis
- February 2012: Hands-On Yoga, with Evie Oberdorfer
- February 2012: Introduction to T’ai Ch’i, with Deanna Reiter
- June 2012: Hip Opening Workshop with Ben Vincent
- November 2012: Catch Your Breath: Techniques & Poses to Improve Health, with Dr. Alane Lucht
- November 2012: Sanskrit Sounds, with Priti Tandon
- February 2013: Introduction to Meditation, with Deanna Reiter
- Spring 2013: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, with Alex Haley from University of MN Center for Spirituality & Healing
- Fall 2013: Yoga Philosophy studies, with William Prottengeier
- April 2014: Meditation Teacher Training, with Tara Cindy Sherman
- October 2014: Iowa Yoga Festival workshops with Sadie Nardini & Tyler McCoy (sequencing), Mara Healy (philosophy), Tao Porchon-Lynch, Briohny Smith & Dice Iida-Klein (handstand clinic) and Hemalayaa (ecstatic dance)
- October 2014: Yoga from the Ground Up: Feet and Knees and Hips, Oh My! with Julie Gudmestad
- December 2014: Fascia and the Hamstrings, with Scott Anderson
- January 2016: Keeping the Spine in Mind with Wendy Brom
- February 2016: Intro to Aerial Yoga, with Stephanie Kinney
- April 2016: Minneapolis Yoga Conference workshops with Dianne Bondy (How to Build More Body Positive and Inclusive Classes), Christina Sell (backbends), Indu Arora (Svara Yoga), Kia Miller (kundalini and mantra), Tommy Rosen (kundalini and mantra) and Lisa Diers (body image sensitive yoga)
- June 2016: Magical Mudras, with Coleen Elwood
- September 2016: Body Image Sensitive Yoga Training, with Lisa Diers at the Emily Program.
- Ongoing practice: At home! Also: in studio with Ted Roseen, Paul Busch at St. Paul Yoga Center, or with other teachers in the Mpls.-St. Paul area.
Blog Posts About Yoga
I’ll write about yoga every few posts or so on my weblog, Helen’s Loom, which you can explore via some of the navigation tools on the edges of this page or by visiting these “yoga” pages. Some topics I have covered include:
- Asana: Get All Dinosaur On It
- Ayurveda: Chocolate, Chakras and the Holidays
- Drishti: Forest for the trees
- Intention: BodySMOOCHES, Bursting
- Iyengar Yoga: Hippy Chick
- Kirtan/Chanting: Ganesha, Grant Me Refuge
- Meditation: They Are Green, A Meditation Advance
- Mudra: Yoga for Your Hands: Mudras
- Music for yoga: My Yoga Playlist Kungfu
- Om: It’s Intimidating
- Pranayama: Nadi Shondhana
- Sound and Yoga: Pistachios, My-ness and the Holidays
- What is yoga? Skill in action
- Yama and Niyama: Some Guidelines, Rat Race, Heavy Things: $121
- Yoga conference/festival experiences: Iowa Yoga Festival 2014, Minneapolis Yoga Conference 2016
- Yoga mats: Yoga Mat Love and Favorite Yoga Mats in 2014
- Yoga retreats: Summer Camp in January, Yoga Retreat 2: Press Reset
Thank you! I hope to see you in class.