All Posts from March, 2010

You have to lose your balance to find your balance

March 31st, 2010 | By Tania Ketenjian in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Bernal Yoga has been dropping all kinds of wisdom seeds these past few weeks. I haven’t had a chance to reflect on some of the magical things that have happened there recently like Carlin’s class from a couple weeks ago, when she led the class through a 108 heart openers (108 is a very special number in Buddhist tradition) or when KT reminded us that we had to “lose our balance to find our balance” or, possibly most bittersweet of all, when Thomas led us through headstand reminding us how straight our back can look to gently balance it over shoulders, head and forearms. The bittersweet part is that Thomas will be leaving the studio, his last class was last night, Tuesday March 30th. He lives in the East Bay and the commute is just too much. We will miss your humor and vigor and excitement and support Thomas! You were such a brilliant addition to the Bernal Yoga crew.

One of the best things about this studio is that every teacher, regardless of the style or level of the class, reminds us that where we are is the perfect place to be. We don’t need to push ourselves beyond the limits that are most comfortable for us. And as KT said this morning to a room full of early risers, “You are your best teacher”. So listen to that inner wisdom. That’s precisely what we are asked to do when we hit the mat: dig in, look inside, trust and move.

Times are a changin’ a bit at Bernal. Thomas is leaving and Grey Wedeking is coming in. Grey will be teaching an intermediate/advanced class on Tuesday nights at 7:30. KT will be taking over Thomas’ slot and there’s a special offer coming up for those committed to 7 a.m. yoga. I can tell you, it’s an amazing way to start the day!

I will end with this, words of wisdom from within the walls at Bernal: “Others can only know you as well as you know yourself.” Yoga is a path to deepening that knowledge.

We miss Savonn….but her spirit lives on at Bernal….

March 1st, 2010 | By Tania Ketenjian in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Savonn Wyland, co-owner of Bernal Yoga and yogi extraordinaire, led another two hour Yoga Dive-In session at the studio this past Sunday. The last time she did this was in December and it happened to be the day before I was leaving for India. The experience of that class stayed with me throughout my trip so when I heard that Savonn was back, it was hard to restrain my excitement.

I have a sense many people coming to the workshop have that same feeling. There is a very focused attention Savonn brings to the studio and her students follow in suit. For the first hour, it was almost as if we were breathing in unison, the focus was so strong. And moment by moment, through vinyasas, standing poses, arm balances and back bends, Savonn guided with clarity, consistency, demonstration, grace and strength. It’s interesting to have taken class both from Savonn, and Bill, her brother and co-owner of the studio. They both have a sense of calm they bring to their classes, this idea that they are completely comfortable teaching and guiding, and this sense that they truly love what they do.

In fact, it is with that foundation that many of the teachers at Bernal thrive, and what makes it such a special studio.

Similar to the last Dive-In, we did positions I had never tried before: We did a headstand with a block on one of our feet while moving our legs around trying to balance the block, we did variations on back bends using the wall and we did shoulder stand, being reminded that although it may be uncomfortable, it is so good for our inner body (like our lymphatic system, who knew!).

Savonn was always there to demonstrate, support, guide and adjust and I was reminded of just how wonderful it is to come to class (as oppose to practicing at home). With the right teacher, there is such a deep sense of support and safety, as there are in many Bernal classes.

The class began with a poem about the importance of realizing that every moment is new and fresh, a chance to relinquish the past and be with the present. It ended with the invitation to be a warrior in this wild and ever changing life. For those of us in class with Savonn, we walked out feeling empowered to be just that.