I’m not what I would have considered a yoga person….by Lori Blake

When I moved into the Hillsdale area of SW Portland I still wasn’t driving and I made a trek through the neighborhood to make an internal map of what was available. One thing I found was OmBase Yoga. To me this was a potential gold mine. I waited until I got settled into my new place and my obligations settled down to approach this resource, the beginning of the new year.

On the 3rd day of January I was standing at the bus stop ready to head downtown when I got a intuitive tingle. I looked down the hill and asked, “am I supposed to be doing something else?” I saw the egg-sign on top of the building where OmBase lived and noticed that I had started inching away from the stop, heading toward, to be overly dramatic, destiny. When I arrived, cold and self conscious, I met Vittoria, one of the owners. She spoke with me for a few moments about what I was looking for and when I wanted to start. Turns out there was a class with Louise L. starting in a few minutes and Vittoria, in a quite motherly way, could tell that I should just get right in there. And so I stopped hedging and did. Sublime. Kismet. Warm and wonderful. I have attended classes several times a week since.

While I have yoga in my background I’m not what I would have considered a yoga person. I’m not all that bendy, considerably over weight and pretty cranky about exercise in general. But I do know one thing about yoga that OmBase also knows – its not all about exercise, gear and yoga butts. It is about, but not limited to, body awareness. When I practice yoga at OmBase I consider what I can do in the moment. I have bursitis and rotator cuff issues in my shoulders as well as cranky wrists and stiff knees and stubbornly inflexible hips. Some days these issues are more active and I spend more time in savasana. And many days I start off with the class and move into my own process as described by my body and what it thinks and feels it can or needs to do that day. This flexibility to do what I need to is invaluable because many times I just can’t do what the class is doing. And I know I shouldn’t push it. But more than that sometimes my body wants to release in other areas than the class will be addressing that day.
And more than the day to day, I’ve been attending classes for nearly six months. My internal¬†commitment has waxed and waned but I kept coming as often as I could, even through the harder bits where I just didn’t see the point. And I worked through those rough patches without having to restart my practice. Enormous. I know this is also due to the encouragement and support of the people at OmBase.
Another aspect of support that I found invaluable from OmBase that many people try to separate out of their practice, and is certainly possible even at OmBase, is the uplifting spiritual support. As I said, yoga isn’t strictly about form and firm, bendy bodies, but an internal practice of emotional and truthful internal self observance that can be considered spiritual in nature. At the beginning of each session the teacher includes a practice of yoga that I don’t know the terms for; affirming, uplifting and humble words to inspire your routine that day. Leading into the rest of your day. I find this practice as important as the rest of the yoga session. I find that the words from Todd or Louise are truthful and inspiring and set my objective for the day.
I have felt many times that OmBase was magically put right where I could walk to it on a daily basis. That the content of this yoga business has been directly informative of my needs at this time in my life. And I’m surely happy to share it with everyone else who can go there because, as has been mentioned, all of the other yogis in this practice feed and inform my or your practice.


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