It’s almost 3 AM and my alarm will be going off soon, but I haven’t slept a wink. I typically look forward to rising well before the sun and sipping my favorite coffee, while getting ready for the early AM yoga class at Super Yoga Palace, but not today.
You see, I started practicing yoga 15 years ago after my youngest was born. There was a little studio close to my house with one class that I knew for certain I could take and be home before the baby would wake. I was dying for some self care, and if that meant I had to be on my mat at 5:45 AM — well, I was desperate.
Little did I know then the impression those 60 minutes of magic made on me would change my future forever. 5 years later, I went on pursue a yoga teacher training certification and began the adventure of Super Yoga Palace.
Moving and breathing gave me such energy, clarity and inspiration. Some yoga methods really appealed to me because of my background in gymnastics, some to the tired mamma that I was, but on any given day yoga was SO FUN and made me feel SO GOOD.
I’ve never prescribed to just one yoga modality, and certainly not to any one teacher, as many do. One of the methods I really enjoy practicing and teaching is Ashtanga yoga. Ashtanga appeals to the Enneagram 3 in me. It’s a prescribed method that doesn’t change, but you can always advance. There are a lot of vinyasas to work up a sweat and enough weird postures to keep me interested. The primary series is a method that helps to purify the body, so I always feel absolutely amazing post-savasana.
Ashtanga is the foundation of Power Yoga and Vinyasa Flow, two very common styles to teach in a group setting. Because of my preference for the practice, Ashtanga has been a big part of SYP and our teacher training program. That being said, I’ve ALWAYS omitted the extracurricular opening chant and guru devotion that is common in this lineage practice. Ashtanga, for me, has always been about movement, breath and feeling really, really good.
In the fall of 2017 there was an unearthing of stories about sexual misconduct amongst well known teachers in the yoga community, which included the deceased father of Ashtanga yoga. This sickened me greatly. At the same time, I have been very vocal in our studio that yoga has never been about any one man or their method. Super Yoga Palace has always embraced many modalities as a path towards healing. However, by not making my position vocal on a public forum, I have hurt some that have experienced deep trauma in their own lives and, in turn, I have been perceived as unsupportive towards victims of abuse. I just read and re-read an email from a former student that shook me to my core, and this is why I can not sleep.
I want to apologize for not making a statement sooner. As a neighborhood studio that has never taken themselves too seriously (our name is Super Yoga Palace, after all!), I feel pretty small and unorthodox in the yoga world. But.. if this makes a difference for one, then it’s worth it.
I do believe the stories of the students abused at the hands of Pattahbi Jois. Super Yoga Palace will continue to teach “method only” from various modalities, as we have in the past. We will take extra measures to ensure that the promotional copy of our classes, workshops and events deliver our intended conscious language. We are currently in conversation to offer continuing education hours for our yoga staff on trauma informed yoga technique. As of this posting, there will be a mounted resource in studio with contact information to RAINN, the nations largest sexual violence organization. We are also in the process of updating, clarifying and publishing our policies and procedures.
Those that know me and SYP well have heard my heart and vision on more than one occasion for this independent wellness haven. I will do what I can to help protect those that need this space the most.
With all my heart.