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 twelve 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. I work as a user experience design, for the majority of my work-week hours: I try to make digital experiences work well for people. I have two big, loving dogs who teach me a lot about communication and love. All of these experiences inform my approach in the studio, with regard to self-care, inspiration, enthusiasm and curiosity.
Much of my experience has been in the Iyengar tradition and then, starting in 2007, also in Vinyasa Flow. My initial certification was in Vinyasa Flow, and I’ve taken subsequent alignment, philosophy and meditation workshops. Occasionally I attend a Kundalini “Gong Bath” class, as I find the musical/sound component and spinal warm-ups to be very effective tension relievers.
Yoga Class Description
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 live 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 friends, and are available at my studio classes.
Yoga Classes Taught by Arah
- Mondays, 7:30-8:45pm, currently virtual and sometimes in studio, for Saint Paul Yoga Center.
- Fairly regularly, I substitute teach Restorative Yoga at SPYC, Sunday mornings at 11.
- Updates to my class schedule (cancellations or classes I’ll be subbing, etc.) are regularly shared in my newsletter and posted on my public-facing Arah Bahn Yoga Facebook page.
Yoga Newsletter from Arah
I will use this to inform subscribers on class updates and to share yoga-related stories and news. You can check out a sample and subscribe to my newsletter here.
Music for Yoga
Currently, I don’t teach with music. This started in 2022 as a way to simplify teaching via Zoom but I’ve really dug the quietude. However, I often practice at home with music! I enjoy tracks by DJ Drez, Deva Premal, the Dogon Lights, Benjy Wertheimer, Ishq, The Big Red Machine, Tycho, Eivør, Lord Huron.
Yoga Training Completed
- April 2010: 200-hour Teacher Training at CorePower Yoga, Saint Paul
- July 2011: NETA Group Fitness Instruction Certification
- April 2014: Meditation Teacher Training, with Tara Cindy Sherman at Yoga Center of Minneapolis
- September 2016: Body Image Sensitive Yoga Training, with Lisa Diers at the Emily Program
- October 2018: 300-hour Advanced Teacher Training at Minneapolis Yoga Training (formerly known as Yoga Center of Minneapolis), with Kevin Kortan, Tara Cindy Sherman, Jennifer Davis, Betsy Weiner, Attila Pegan, Asavari Manvikar
- November 2019: Nourish & Rejuvenate – The Art of Practicing & Teaching Restorative Yoga, with Judith Hanson Lasater
Yoga Workshops Completed
- 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
- 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 (SomaYoga) 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
- May 2017: Exploring the Psoas, with Moya Matthews
- January 2021: Return to Center, with Jason Crandell
- 2020-present: Ongoing Vedic chant practice and study with Kevin Kortan
- Ongoing practice: At home! Also: in studio or online with Lisa Bracken, Ted Roseen, Kevin Kortan, or Mary Bue.
Arah’s 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, Eat to Feel Better
- Bhagavad Gita: Love, Steady Effort and the Nature of Divinity
- Chanting: Breathing: heavy
- Drishti: Forest for the trees
- Intention: BodySMOOCHES, Bursting
- Iyengar Yoga: Hippy Chick
- Kirtan/Chanting: Ganesha, Grant Me Refuge
- Maya Koshas: Why do we have to do Yin again?!
- Meditation: They Are Green, A Meditation Advance, Ganapati for 40 days
- 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
- Yin Yoga: Why do we have to do Yin again?!
- 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.