What makes Karma Yoga special? We are a community-owned yoga studio with vinyasa yoga, yin yoga, tai chi, qigong, and high intensity interval training (HIIT) classes. Our goal is to provide an accessible and secular space for yoga practice, which at its root, is much more than just the physical practice.
What is yoga? Yoga derives from the Sanksrit word for 'yoke'. In the same way that two oxen are yoked together and must remain calm and focused through the exhaustion of field labor, or two chariot horses through the chaos of war – the yoga practice yokes together our minds and bodies through our daily lives.
What type of yoga do we practice? At Karma Yoga, most of our classes are the Baptiste-style vinyasa Journey Into Power, unless otherwise noted. We have several Advanced Vinyasa classes which are focused on technique and are a great opportunity to deepen your practice. The rooms are heated to the low 80s during the spring and summer months, and low 90s during the fall and winter. Our goal is to provide enough heat to be comfortable and for the muscles to relax, and also allow the body to stay in season.
Yin Yoga and HIIT. In our aim to balance and unify, we want to provide a strong yin yoga and HIIT program. In yin yoga, we hold poses for 3-5 minutes and focus on working our connective tissue such as ligaments, tendons, bone, and fascia. As teachers come on board, we hope to add more yin classes to the schedule. On the other end, classes such as HIIT Pilates (High Intensity Interval Training) are practiced on a mat and provides high-intensity, targeted exercises incorporating yoga poses.
Tai Chi and Qigong. There are many cultures and ways of practicing this mind-body union. We have selected Tai Chi and Qigong because they are complementary to the yoga practice, and a good option for people with limited range of motion. The Tai Chi classes begin with a short standing meditation and closes with the first third of the Zhengmanqing’s 37 Yang Style Taijiquan. Qigong is a standing practice that incorporates stretching and deep breathing, and closes with a short standing meditation. To learn more, please email email@example.com
Services and Amenities. Studio mats are complimentary, members may also store mats overnight.
Wellness, Workshops & Special Classes. A yoga membership includes 25% off wellness services, workshops such as Yoga Nidra, or special classes by visiting instructors with a new type of class to try. We are currently recruiting nutritionists, massage therapists, acupuncturists, and other wellness providers for space on our workshop schedule. Please send referrals to firstname.lastname@example.org
Art & Workspace. Art and making is such a great way to engage the mind, hands, and heart. We have workspace available and encourage artists to consider joining our space. We hope to display local art in our lobby and hall space for sale. Please send referrals to email@example.com
Safe and Secular. One of the most important aspects of a mindfulness practice is safety. The physical practice of yoga and especially the mindfulness practice of meditation, can bring us into deeply vulnerable spaces. It is natural to feel intense and deep emotion come up during practice, or even the body may release bodily gases or muscle spasms. It is also natural to not feel much at all. Since religion, faith, and spirituality are deeply charged with history and complex emotion, we want to maintain a clean and secular space for people to safely cleanse and release accumulated karma.
So what is karma? Karma is the common name for the Buddhist concept of sankhara, our accumulated knots of craving and aversion that lead to suffering. The Buddhist world concept is that we are reborn into many lives according to our karma at death. Even in this life, we generate karmathrough our actions and intention. The practice of mindfulness and the physical asanas can help us clean our karma.
Is Buddhism a religion? Buddhism in its original founding is a practice, not a religion. Over the last 2,500 years, the original technique of vipassana meditation has been mixed with Hindu deities and beliefs, morphing into the religious form of Buddhism we see today.
Who is the Buddha? Buddhism is based on the life story of Siddhartha Gautama over 2,500 years ago in modern day Nepal. While many hundreds of years have passed, and the truth remains obscured by time, the general consensus is that Gautama Buddha sought enlightenment through the practices available at the time, such as ascetism (starving one’s body and living in the forest) and mantra meditation. It was his discovery, that vipassana meditation, scanning the mind over body sensation, was the only way to sever the karmic connection, attain nirvana, and escape the cycle of rebirth.
Whoa, rebirth? It is said, that during deep meditation, we become aware of our past. Sometimes memories from childhood flash vividly as if it were happening in the present. It is said that in a similar way, we also experience memories from past lives. Much of the Buddhist practice is centered around experiencing for yourself. If this concept of rebirth arises, or other concepts from other practices arise that do not make sense to you, you may simply work around them – or you may practice inquiry, seeking not answers but discovery through observation. There is no pressure to accept what does not make sense, and questions are always welcome.
Memories and Trauma. Meditation should be carefully practiced by those with trauma backgrounds. It may be to too overwhelming to become vividly immersed in certain memories or process difficult physical sensations. If you have a trauma background, please let your meditation instructor know or reach out firstname.lastname@example.org, if you are having meditation-related difficulties, inside or outside of your practice at our studio.