Archive for the ‘blogs’ Category

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

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

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.


Shaina’s Chakra workshop is coming up! Starts 10/30/11

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

The first time I taught a Chakra workshop, was in Peru to a group of 15 men and women who were on a spiritual retreat. I was supposed to be assisting my friend and yoga teacher Chaitanya. Knowing that I was knowledgeable on the subject, he asked me to accompany him in place of his wife Saranagati. The workshop was held at some of the most famous Incan ruins in the Sacred Valley.

Above the terraced mountainside, about 15 of us gathered, looking down upon the valley below. It was just before sunset and we were all nestled alongside a small stream, amongst the crumbling remains of an Incan empire. The scenery was breathtaking.
Chaitanya took his time diligently setting up crystals, singing bowls, paulo santo and chimes. Finally, it was time to begin. Everyone was seated in a circle, eyes beaming with anticipation. Chaitanya turned to me, leaned over and whispered in my ear, “You teach it”. “What!??”, I exclaimed. “You teach the workshop”, and he smiled. I grimaced back at him, and hesitantly nodded my head in acceptance. Shit, I thought, how did I get myself into this predicament? There was no time for hesitation, everyone was looking to me for an experience, one that I had not in any way prepared for. I prompted everyone to close their eyes and begin connecting with their breath and their reason for being there, at which time I did the same. I asked for guidance and to pretty please not be humiliated.

Teacher Feature • Interview With Louise

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

How did you get into yoga?

I started taking yoga in college. Although I felt a connection, I put yoga on hold as life brought a teaching career, family and a move to Europe. My search for yoga continued when I became ill about 9 or 10 years ago. Nothing that I was doing allopathically was helping, so I started looking for other ways of healing.

I’ve always been very athletic, participating in many sports throughout my life. After many injuries, my chiropractor said, “I think it’s time you put down the weights and start using your own body as a weight.” He suggested that I do yoga, and so my search began.

Because I was a type A athlete I went straight to Bikram and, for several years, took weekly classes. Next, I studied Ashtanga and several other power yoga classes. I knew none of it was working. In fact, these classes were making me feel worse. I went from teacher to teacher. I knew that there was something missing for me in these classes, yet knew deep down that yoga was my path. I now realize I hadn’t found my teacher. Then I found Todd.

How did you find Todd?

Divine intervention! My dis-ease had become so severe I could barely walk. I needed help with basic needs such as showering and going to the bathroom. When I could walk to my car I drove to a gym that had recently opened near my home. I had heard they offered yoga and asked if there was someone who taught a really gentle yoga class. They guided me to Todd.

I went into his class and, immediately, my whole body relaxed. I lay in Savasana for a month, not moving, just breathing. For the first time in a yoga class, I could finally be whoever I was. I didn’t really know this then. All I knew was it felt good to lie down and breathe.

I continued taking classes with Todd and got to the point where I attended his classes every day he taught. Also, I did all his immersions and continued this way for several years.

What changed for you after a month of Savasana?

I could move! I could do one movement and then more and, finally, was able to do the entire class. At last I was finding my own way through yoga as opposed to being told what to do, and that’s what hooked me. The path had been opened and there was no turning back.

How did you start teaching?

I’m a retired school teacher, I taught for 28 years, every level from pre-school through college through adult ed – so teaching is in my blood. I know that I’m here to be a teacher, something I knew from a very young age. After several years with Todd an idea sprouted – what would it be like to teach yoga? Then one day Todd asked me, “When are you going to start teaching?” I told him I was thinking about teaching at senior centers, but wasn’t sure how to go about it.

I think that every yoga teacher has a story about how they became a yoga teacher. I believe we all have a definitive moment when the calling is clear. My husband and I had gone to, of all places, Las Vegas. My son and his ex-wife had invited us there. This was the last place on earth I wanted to go, but we went.

We were at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and I was going up and down some outside stairs, using them like a Stairmaster, and walking around the property. There was a woman sitting on the stairs. After awhile she said, “I should be doing what you’re doing – exercising.” I replied, “I have to move my body, that’s the way I am. I just love to be in motion.”

Every time I came by she had something else to say so I finally stopped and we continued talking. She asked what line of work I was doing. I told her I was retired but trying to figure out what the next phase of my life would be. She persisted by asking if I had any concrete ideas. I responded by saying, “Well, I’ve been thinking of teaching yoga at senior centers.”

As we talked more we discovered we were both from Portland and I discovered that she was in charge of Senior Services for Oregon. Suddenly, without hesitation, she took out her phone, dialed a number, which was the Robison Home in Portland, and said, “I have somebody here who wants to teach at a senior center, are you guys interested?”

That was it! The path was made clear. I came back to Portland and started volunteering at the Robison Home, one day a week. I didn’t want to commit to teaching for money yet. One volunteering day became one volunteer and one paid day. Then it became three paid days and one volunteer day. After a recent article was published in the Jewish Review, highlighting my work at the Robison Home, my yoga teaching grew even more. Every week I get at least one phone call asking me to teach at a senior center. There is such a great need for this kind of work.

At the same time I was teaching at the Robison Home, I started teaching a gentle class at The Yoga Space in Portland. That studio moved and Todd invited me to teach at his home studio, Sacred Onion. I now teach the Easy Does It class at OmBase on Monday and the Restore & Renew class on Friday.

What would you say your approach is as a teacher?

I took the teacher training course with Erich Schiffmann, who is Todd’s teacher. What I learned from Erich was, the first thing you must do to become a yoga teacher is learn to meditate. From your meditation practice comes inspiration for a personal yoga practice, and from that comes inspiration for teaching. That’s my approach. I use all my past yoga experience, along with Todd’s mentoring and Erich’s teacher training to guide my teaching. However, more than anything, I use inspiration that comes from daily meditation practice.

What I do at the Robison Home and other senior centers and at OmBase was not taught to me. I simply get online, open up and inspiration comes through. This is what I learned from Todd and Erich, to find my own voice. I believe a teacher, no matter what the subject, must find their own voice, their own inspiration.

What is it that draws you to working with seniors?

All I can say is the idea just came to me one day. Let’s call it inspiration! This is what meditation does. It clears your mind. It sweeps everything clean so that creativity can come through. My belief is that inspiration gives birth to creativity.

I am 63. At the time I did my teacher training I was 60, so I’m a senior. I know what it feels like to age in our culture. Also, I saw the agonizing way my mother died and feel that if she had had something that was a support for her, her death may have been different. However, most of all, my work with seniors was inspired from a place deep within.

How would you describe your classes at OmBase?

Because of all the physical challenges I have faced throughout my life, I have learned about the body and I have learned how to adapt yoga poses to the needs of people who find it challenging to find a class that would meet them where they are. Students comment that they’ve tried what was labeled a gentle class, yet it wasn’t gentle enough but that my class is.

I can truly tune in and understand – energetically, physically, emotionally – what the student needs and meet that need. I would say my strength lies in adaptive yoga, adapting yoga to the needs of people with specific health and emotional issues.

Do you have a general intention around what you hope your students get from your classes?

LouiseIt changes as my own practice unfolds – as I understand myself more, where my physical challenges come from and the feelings they bring up. At first the classes were more focused on the dis-ease. Now it’s more like, let’s honor your scoliosis and also look underneath it. Let’s look beneath the scoliosis and see what that brings up.

Students say that my class is the first yoga class that they’ve been able to do because of the meditative quality and the way I adapt poses to fit the needs of each participant. My class is not for someone who wants to work out. It’s for someone who really wants to go inward and perhaps discover things about themselves that might make a difference as far as how they feel about their physical, emotional and spiritual body. This being said I have never felt stronger in my physical body as I do now. My sense is that this deep work – using asanas, meditation, and the breath – allows the body to function at an entirely different level which promotes healing, strength and peace.

My target population is made up of seniors, people with mobility issues, and people with specific physical challenges that haven’t been met in other yoga classes or other exercise classes they’ve tried. Many have been fearful of starting yoga. Yet in my class they feel support and connection.

What I am truly trying to help people discover through yoga is their own innate wisdom. My experience has shown me that by tapping into our innate wisdom we come to know who we are and, in doing so, find purpose in life. How I plan a class, how I am inspired is by tapping into my innate wisdom. That’s what I want to share with my students. Basically it’s about finding that place of peace, that internal wisdom, and from there your life can change.

My hope is that students will develop a relationship with their physical, emotional and spiritual selves. As students develop this relationship, they come to see their bodies as allies and are able to work with and not against any physical/emotional challenge that come their way. Life becomes smoother somehow and with that comes an acceptance of the good and bad, the smooth and rough, the hot and cold. All experiences come to be seen as teachers along the path. Yoga becomes one’s life and one’s life becomes yoga.

What do you get from teaching your classes?

Much, much more than the students get! First of all, it allows me to tap into my innate wisdom, it allows me to completely shed everything and just be this vehicle, opening up to the universe and transmitting the gift of yoga that I’ve been given. For me yoga is not just about the asanas – that’s part of it, but it’s so much more.

All my life I’ve had physical and emotional pain, but when I’m teaching, I have no pain. When I’m not teaching the pain has been reduced to background noise. It’s no longer roaring in the forefront. Most of all, I get the opportunity to see the same change that has happened within me, manifesting in others. I witness others tapping into their inner guidance and, as they do so, their lives change. This is the gift I receive every time I teach.

News from OmBase – May 31st Edition

Saturday, June 12th, 2010
OmBase Door Treatment

OmBase Door Treatment

Have you seen our BIG egg??
We finally got some window treatment
done and LOVE the results.
Most of you that have seen it seem to as well.
Todd said you’re cracking the egg
every time you open the door….

Opening to The Flow of Change
with Emily Trinkaus
TUE 6/1-6/22 – 7:30-9 pm $48

Emily Trinkaus

Emily Trinkaus

This class series starts Tuesday June 1st…there might still be a spot or two left!

This class series combines Yin Yoga, writing and astrology!

You can read more on that here.

Emily also offers
BodyTalk & Astrology
at OmBase!

Emily is now at OmBase on Fridays, seeing clients.

If you are interested or curious about what she offers, check out her site
This month’s special and more

Yoga Immersion
with Todd
M/T/W/Th/F  6/7-6/25

Cost: $150-$225 sliding scale  pre-registration required

Todd Williamson

Todd Williamson

This is the year for change.

The change is happening, and we’re all immersed in it – you’re immersed in it –  Spending just a bit of time with others who, like you,  are curious about, and more consciously choosing for – uncovering and discovering – something new – a new way of being –  will afford you an ease now, during these times which otherwise may seem daunting and fraught with overwhelming challenges. In allowing yourself to be supported, you invariably align with, and tune into your Self, and so find yourself supported by the very change you felt at odds with… Open to the magic…

Read this excerpt from what current immersion students received prior to the first class:

“If you were to go to a new town, and have someone drive you around from place to place for a few weeks or months.. or even years… then suddenly one day they were not (t)here to drive you… would you know how to get where you are going? And the salient thing that is important here, with respect to this practice, is not to memorize a particular route… but rather to learn to feel how you navigate… and then start to practice those skills – this new found awareness- more and more of the time…. it simply entails a willingness, a gentle persistence, some measure of curiosity, and some courage…. these things you have now, and we’ll be practicing using these over the course of the next three weeks…. in order to re-awaken them, stretch them, lean into them bit by bit, until they feel ready to be used ‘out there’ in life”.

Some of the last immersion’s participants kindly allowed us to post their blogs here. The Yoga of Getting Unstuck.
And here Yoga Immersion, A Journey to Myself.

Please note: no drop ins during this immersion – participants must register for the whole immersion, though your schedule may not allow you to attend each and every session. Space limited to 14 immersers (not including your guides…who take up no space)

JRo is coming back!
June 2-9



Good News!
JRo has extended his stay till June 9th…there are some spots left still after June 5th.

JRo will be here in June, and he’ll have Clairvoyant reading and healing sessions available.

Ro came last year for a visit and before you know it he was all booked up. He’s getting booked this time too, so hurry up and call if you want a session w/him. He will be seeing clients at the studio (with the exception of one day possibly at our home).

From JRo:” Your body is energy and our lives reality based events. Learn how you occur right here right now as life. And learn how to change it, guide it and ultimately let go”.

Download a Flyer about JRo

Readings are $100 for at about 1.5-2 hrs (please bring cash)

to book a reading:

send us an email:
or call her Vittoria’s cell 971.506.6789

Yin Yoga
with Todd
Wed 7:15-8:45 pm

Cost: by donation

Yin Yoga

Todd will be teaching this drop in class permanently.

You can arrive like to any other classes, and either use your class card or pay a donation.

Come explore what Yin Yoga is all about. Whether you are new to yoga in general, or a seasoned yogi, this is a class you’ll get a lot from.

One of the interesting things about the yin approach is that it benefits the more active person (runner, biker, etc) as well as the less active person (couch potato).

Satsang Sarong…..
come and be embraced
with Todd
SAT 6/19 – 6-8 pm

Cost: FREE

Satsang Sarong

Satsang sarong is simply a time to come together. This evening includes a meditation, talk, sharing, questions. We’ll spend some time sitting together, perhaps in a guided meditation, perhaps in silence.

Once we’ve sufficiently woven the fabric of connection together to feel it (tuning in), we’ll spend some time being immersed in that energetic field, and share. There may be discussion, perhaps some sharing, and there’s time for questions and answers… it’s a time for us to explore a bit more this thing we do when we come together for class, and not be so busy with the poses.

Come just before 6, as we’ll do a meditation and would prefer no late comers. Namasté

A gift taken and shared:
four weeks, four classes for change

gift of yoga

gift of yoga

Please give yourself this gift and by so doing give the gift of continued sustainability to OmBase.

Share the gift by helping to provide for the need.  Read the blog post.

There will be a sign up sheet at the front desk, where you can put your name down each week and receive a free gift at the end of the 4 weeks!

Just a little incentive for you to come and participate!

Coming in JULY . . .

Intro to Yoga
w/Todd, Adriana, Stasia and Vittoria

7/6-7/27 every TUE 7:30-8:45 pm

Cost: $48/ Pre-registration required

Alana - Upward Facing Dog

Our last intro was very successful, so we’re having another one in July! Please let your friends know…

This class series is an introduction to Yoga for all beginners out there!

Basics of yoga, breathing, introduction to props, as well as individualized attention to what each student needs.

Lunar Yin series
with Emily

M/W/F 7-8:15 am

Cost: 90-$108 sliding scale. Pre-registration required. Sorry, no drop-ins.

Lunar Yin

Lunar Yin

This is a 3-week series offered the first 3 weeks of the month and meets M-W-F from 7:00-8:15am.

We typically spend 3-5 minutes in each supported pose, gently melting into the tight places and inviting them to unwind.

The benefits of this practice include increasing the range of motion in the joints, and improving the flow of energy through the meridians, resulting in a feeling of more “space” in the body and more overall vitality.

While we hang out in the poses, Emily will share her astrological insights about the current phase and sign of the Moon. Knowing where the Moon is helps us “go with the flow” instead of “pushing the river,” which is what this practice is all about!

Please email/call OmBase if you want to sign up for either of these events, or others. |

You can mail a check, sign up at the studio or sign up online.

For a PDF flyer on this series, go here.

Our lending library is online!

Lending Library

Lending Library

Thanks to Emily, Virgo organizer extraordinaire, she posted every book we have online, here.

You can check out books and videos the same way, by writing your name in the check-out binder at the studio, but now you also have the option of browsing our library online, read an excerpt of the book (via an Amazon link), post a comment, and more.

We’ll be adding reviews of the books in the next few weeks.

The other change is that we’ll be charging $1 x week for DVDs, as we need to replace them occasionally, and that will help.

Books will be due 3 weeks from check out date, DVDs only one week at a time.

You will get email reminders when your item is due.

Virtual shots of Om Base

We’ve posted some fabulous 360º shots of the studio on our website. You can scroll (slowly!) to see in every direction!

Thanks to Jeff Freeman for the photography!

Reviews needed!

Review us!

Review Us!

We’d like to ask you to post a review as reviews really help other students decide whether or not come to visit us!

You can go to our contact us page, and click on the pop-up window that comes up over the map (click OmBase or Reviews). It’ll take you to a Google page link where you can post a review!

You can also go to Insider Pages here to post a review.
In addition, you can post on Yelp too here.

Thank you!

Teacher Feature • Interview With Adriana

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Interview With Adriana
from 4/10

How did you get into yoga?

I got a job working at a yoga studio, at the front desk. Before that I had done yoga on and off, though I was mostly in dance. Because I had experience working at a dance studio and for non-profit organizations, I got the job working at the yoga studio even though I didn’t have much experience in yoga.

One of the perks of working there was that I could take yoga classes, and of course I was encouraged to take classes. I was at a point in my life where I really needed the practice, the inward practice. I was really shifting. I was a little bit of a party girl. So I kept doing yoga, and the more I kept practicing the more I was interested in the philosophy behind the practice. There were a lot of books available, so I started reading books and doing more practice and reading and reading.

I was doing that for maybe a year, and then they had a yoga teacher training program at the studio. I told them I wanted to do the course, not necessarily because I wanted to be a teacher, but because I was so interested in the practice. By the end of the training I was asked if I wanted to teach classes, and I did. I was already teaching belly dance classes, so it made sense to do that. But I still never felt like I was ready to teach yoga — I still felt very much like a student myself.

And then one of my teachers, who followed a path called Himalayan Yoga, was going to an ashram in Rishikesh India to do a 40-day silent retreat, and asked me if I wanted to go. So I went to India with her after my teacher training. This was intense, three months of ashram life and the daily practice of yoga.

What do you feel like you got from that experience?

I don’t think you have to go to India, of course, to study yoga, to follow this path, and develop spiritually, but it was really nice to be at the birthplace of yoga and in an eastern part of the world in general. I had been to Thailand, too, and there’s a different quality of being there. Even though there’s so much chaos, there’s more of a sense of peace.

It was nice to be in an environment where you could really focus on your practice. Everyday, we would wake up at 5:00 in the morning and do meditation and yoga practice. And in India, when you say “yoga,” it means the spiritual practice, it doesn’t mean the physical practice. Here when you say “yoga” to someone, they think of the asanas, the postures.

So we would do maybe five to ten poses in a class, but each pose was held a really long time and there was always a relaxation, and the focus was always more meditative and spiritual. That’s the goal, there’s no other goal. The reason why you do practice is to concentrate and to bring yourself into a place where you can sit in meditation for long periods of time, keep this temple healthy and functioning, keep the nadis open and the energy flowing, and that’s it.

Do you feel like that changed your own practice and how you were teaching?

Definitely. Although I already had a sense of that approach even before, from my reading. Before I went to India I read The Autobiography of a Yogi, and I’m really glad I did because it hyped me up to go there, to read about Yogananda’s life, which to me was very inspiring. And when I came back to Toronto, I started going to the Self-Realization Fellowship, the SRF, which Yogananda started when he came to the West. I started reading more of his specific teachings and that was it for me, I knew that I was going to follow his path.

I started looking for an ashram, because SRF didn’t have an ashram. You could go to the headquarters in Los Angeles and become a monk but I didn’t necessarily want to become a monk, but I was looking for a place that was based around Yogananda’s teachings where I could go and immerse myself in them. And I found Ananda, Church of Self-Realization in Northern California, so I went there for three months and studied.

While I was there I took initiation into the Kriya path and was starting to prepare to get Kriya initiation, which I got a year later at Portland Ananda. Kriya is a pranayam technique that’s given to advanced yogis — even though I don’t think of myself as an advanced yogi. But you have to be on the path, you have to be practicing and you have to want to make this part of your life. Pranayam means life-force, and there are certain exercises to control the life force in the spine, so you can dissolve the seeds of karmas and develop spiritually.

How would you describe your yoga classes now?

For me, yoga is a spiritual practice. It’s got great physical benefits to it, and if some people are into doing yoga because they want to feel physically better, that’s great. But I feel like in my class, I want them to leave with that feeling that they’re not just doing a physical practice, that there’s something more to it. That they came to find out that they’re more than just this physical body, and to have more introspection with that.

So I try to bring that into my classes — through how I teach the postures, and that the postures come alive because there’s this life-force moving through your body, and that’s the reason why you’re able to move into these postures. And through the breath, of course, through meditation practices, and through savasana, relaxation techniques.

How did you get into belly dancing?

I was a natural dancer — dancing was something I always loved to do. When I was in my mid-teens I was doing different forms of dance classes, and they were fun but they didn’t capture me. And then I saw this picture of a belly dancer in the Yellow Pages. She was wearing a two-piece costume and it was very exotic-looking, and there was something about the picture that seemed familiar to me and yet new and exciting. I thought, I don’t even know what it is but I want to do it.

So I went to the class that was advertised and I loved it instantly. I did that for maybe about a year, and then I found a flyer for this other teacher and I was ready to leave the first teacher. I went to Yasmina’s class and from the moment I walked in, I felt that whatever I thought I had learned before was nothing compared to her style of teaching and her knowledge.

She was very much a spiritual person — she was a Buddhist, and had been a Wiccan before that. So her reasons for going into belly dancing were very spiritual and very sacred, and her desire was to have belly dancing seen as a true art form. Before that it was seen as more of a cabaret act done in nightclubs. She wanted to elevate the art. She had a ballet background and she had envisioned this whole dance company with really well-trained dancers and choreography and dance productions and live music.

I came in at the beginning of that, when her small troupe was just doing little shows here and there, so I kind of grew up with Arabesque and with Yasmina’s vision. And she did it — she got the well-trained dancers and live music and we did major productions and toured across Canada and did shows in the U.S.

I danced with Arabesque for about ten years, and by the time I was ready to end my career with Arabesque and move here, I was in a place where I was ready to settle down. I had met Karl and we were loosely thinking about having a family and I was ready to move to the West coast and get into more of an inner life. At that point too I had my own artistic endeavors and wanted to explore being an artistic director and choreographing, which I had done for myself but not for an actual troupe setting.

What about pre-natal belly dance?

By the time I left Toronto, I was doing more workshop-type events at wedding showers and baby showers. I would go to someone’s home, someone who was pregnant or who was going to get married, and do a one-hour workshop and perform. And I thought, from knowing the background of belly dancing, How perfect! Traditionally, it was a fertility dance, and women did these movements to prepare for birth, and also as a celebration and dedication to a goddess. It’s a really feminine dance.

I really enjoyed it, so my intention when I came here was to do more of that rather than a regular type of show at a nightclub. And then I got pregnant, and everything changed again really quickly. We ended up moving to Bend, Oregon, so I stopped the little troupe I had started and stopped teaching classes and went to Bend to have my baby.

Then I got really interested in pre-natal belly dancing. When we came back to Portland I had been looking for a place to teach, and I approached Vittoria and I became her apprentice for pre-natal.

What are the benefits of belly dance for pregnant women?

Many of the movements in belly dancing stem from the navel area and they help to open and strengthen the hips. It conditions all the muscles necessary for pregnancy and birth — the pelvic floor, the thighs, the hips, the belly. And there are a lot of movements that help to move through contractions, these undulating movements. There are certain movements they call the birth dance, actually, and a lot of women will naturally do these while they’re in labor and it’s nice to know, before you go into labor, what these movements are and how to use them through the contractions. And then after you have a baby, it’s perfect, because it’s low-impact exercise to help you get back into shape.

And also there’s a creative element to it, and it’s a beautiful way for women to embrace the fact that their belly is growing bigger. Late in my pregnancy I felt awkward or I felt clumsy, I didn’t feel feminine with my huge belly. So belly dancing is a nice way to feel graceful and feel feminine still, even at your largest point.

Pregnant women could go to a regular belly dance class, but I know for myself that pregnant women like to be among the company of other pregnant women. And in my classes I’m very specific with the movements. I have knowledge of certain movements that aren’t suitable for pregnant women, and I target the movements that are very beneficial and that they can do daily, and for any trimester.

Do you bring yoga and belly dance together?

When I started with belly dancing I was a performer and I loved performing and I loved sharing that with people, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But when I started doing yoga, doing more of an inward practice, I started bringing that element more into my dance. I started feeling like, these movements are for me and I’m doing them for my own spiritual practice, and also to share with others, but it’s very intimate as well.

So I try to bring that element into it, when I teach belly dance. To feel like, there’s no goal in mind when you’re belly dancing. It should feel good, and if it doesn’t feel good, you shouldn’t do it. If you have this goal in mind that you want to be a famous belly dancer or something, it could happen, and that’s a great goal to have, but enjoy the process, just like in yoga.

The other way around — even though hatha yoga is meant to balance the masculine and feminine principles, to me yoga could still be very masculine in its presentation, very linear. And with doing belly dancing for so long, I tend to bring more fluidity to the practice.

That’s why I like to call my classes “flow” classes — even though they’re not necessarily vinyasa flow classes, there’s still this flow movement I like to bring into the way I teach yoga. And in the way I practice now too, not to be so strict. Especially in the pre-natal yoga, there’s this totally feminine quality to it, the round movements, undulating and flowing.

Teacher Feature • Interview With Vittoria

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Interview With Vittoria
from 3/09

1. How you got into yoga & started teaching

How did you get into yoga?

VittoriaI went to a yoga class one day and was completely swept away. It was 1991. I had practiced some yoga before, just a class here and there. But when I took this class I was ready, and pretty much started going to yoga every day in a few short months.

What kind of yoga were you doing?

Power yoga – so it was a sweaty, pretty intense work-out. I think that’s what really got me into it, because at the time I had to have the purifying, intense physical experience. If I had gotten into something more gentle I wouldn’t have been affected the same way. I continued to practice really purifying yoga – sweating, but also emotional. It was very cleansing on so many levels for me.

And then I tried different things over the years – Ashtanga, Kundalini, Forrest yoga with Ana Forrest- different classes with different teachers. I was in L.A. so I had a chance to take classes with lots of different teachers. And then I just continued on for about 8 or 9 years before I started teaching.

What got you to start teaching?

I had been in a transition for some years. I had gone from having a steady job and being married to getting a divorce and leaving my job as a photographer. My life and sense of self had been completely shaken. Discovering yoga opened my eyes and my heart and helped me connect to myself in a much deeper way. I had to share it with others!

Todd had just started teaching and somehow – I don’t remember exactly how, I think it was something that had been brewing in my head for about a year – somehow one day I had a chance to sub his class.

I got really panicked and tried to find a sub for me – a sub for the sub. In the end I went and there were 17 people in the class and someone came up to me at the end and said it was the best class they’d ever had. Which was very strange – I was surprised because my voice didn’t quite come out, it was stuck somewhere inside of me…. The universe put this person there to inspire me to continue to do more.

A year before I found yoga, I was going through a big shift. I would call it a “spiritual awakening” even though it sounds very new agey…. I was unable to be in the world – hold a job or make ends meet – but in a spiritual sense it was amazing – I would hear voices at night, and I would hear music. And then I found yoga and then the year after that I found Ammachi, my Indian guru, who completely changed my life. I spent a month with her traveling the country, and I would say it has been the most important month of my life in terms of spiritual growth, discoveries about myself and about all the questions I had about the meaning of life.

How would you say the yoga complemented or added to your spiritual life?

Practicing yoga helped my body get physically clean and also more vital and grounded! I spent a large part of my early life not in my body. Yoga really helps you make a connection to where you are NOW, and it was a shock to my being, as for various reasons I had not wanted to be here NOW.

Getting into my body also helped me feel emotions I hadn’t felt before and helped move out physical trauma trapped in my cells from the past. Yoga can really help move this stuff out. Sometimes you don’t even know what is moving out – you’re crying, you don’t really know what’s happening, but it is a good thing anyway, and I knew it was.

A lot has changed for me since then and it continues to change, even in the last couple months. I just feel tremendous blessings that I found yoga because I feel like it’s the one thing that somehow ties everything together for me. It has changed my outlook in life completely: something about breathing deeply all these years has definitely affected my brain! (in a good way!)

When you teach now, what’s your intention or hope that your students get from your classes?

What I like to do in class now is to get people in their bodies. I find that we’re so much in our heads and we’re not present for most of what life has to offer. Our minds are always off somewhere else, mostly a place that isn’t real, a place we create in our heads! So my focus for my students is to help them get them in their bodies, and then just feel their bodies move and stretch. Get out of the mind! The benefits are felt right away. Most people will say “Oh, yes, my back feels better” (or my neck, my shoulders), and that’s great, but students also leave smiling, with an open heart. They talk to each other after class, share a bit about their lives, and feel more connected with others. Lives change that way, in the small ways that we almost don’t notice, but that are very powerful.

When you say, “help people get into their bodies” – what does that mean and what does that do for people?

I can tell you what it does for me. From my experience, right away it brings oxygen to the brain. We’re all oxygen-deprived because we sit a lot and in our lives we just don’t move that much. I think that for someone who is very active, it’s a different story. But typically a lot of people who come here are stressed, tired, fatigued – and stressed again! – and they feel tight, uncomfortable, and their bodies are contracting with age.

So, getting in the body first helps them feel better physically because they are breathing deeply and the “brain cloud” lifts. Then from this clearer place they can quiet the mind and have a sense that “I’m here in this moment, not tomorrow, not yesterday, but right here.” It also helps people cope with what life throws your way. We spend a lot of time “reacting” to what happens around us, instead of moving from our center. When we feel better physically, it translates also to our mental well-being and we can live in our center more and more. That translates to more peace and compassion (for others and ourselves) and less drama.

Why do you think people avoid getting into their bodies?

I honestly think it’s ignorance and habit. We don’t know how to be in our bodies, because we are not a society of people that is used to be in our bodies. As babies we are in our bodies, but even kids these days are in school and sit a lot, and computers and video games cause young adults to be still and not move much. I remember seeing a native guy in Hawaii – he looked like he was the trunk of a tree, like he was growing out of the earth, you could see he was totally in his body. So I think we are actually trained to get out of our bodies and then that becomes the norm.

2. Your work with pregnant moms

How did you first get into working with pregnant moms, pre- and post-natal?

Vittoria and babyI was subbing, I had been teaching for only a year, and the owner of the studio I was teaching at said, “Can you sub a pre-natal class?” and I said, “No, I can’t, I haven’t had a baby, how can I sub a pre-natal class?”

And she said, “No, I think you can do it.” And it was really her belief in me that made me think, really, I can do it? And I think she obviously saw I had the interest, so I taught that class and I loved it.

I started going to all the pre-natal yoga classes in town. That’s how I learned – I kept taking classes, taking notes, and practicing and eventually, maybe 3 years after that, I started teaching my own prenatal yoga class and word got around. Then I realized I had to teach post-natal because I can’t just leave them now that they’ve got their babies. It evolved from there.

I came to Portland 9 years ago and started teaching pretty much every week. And I realized there was more to pregnancy than just yoga, so I went to massage school and got my massage license. I have had a private practice since then, first at home and now here at Om Base, which focuses on Women’s Health at any stage, but especially the pregnancy & postpartum stages. My Interest to offer more to pregnant women kept growing, and so I became a childbirth educator, and I teach infant massage classes for parents. It continues – every year there’s something else – very exciting!

So it’s been about 10 years now that I’ve been teaching pre-natal and now I finally feel I have knowledge that needs to be shared. It’s been fabulous for me to have learned all that – and most of it I’ve learned from them, from talking with moms and listening to the aches and pains, and the emotional, loneliness after you give birth. So I learned from that and now I love to share what I know, helping moms to be and new moms feel empowered and enrich the experience of motherhood.

Vittoria & Bailey

Why do you love working with new moms?

I love to share that special time in their lives. I feel very honored and grateful that I am part of their lives during this incredible change. Most of them are first-time moms – maybe only 30 or 20 percent are second-time moms. The first pregnancy is so amazing because there’s only one for each woman. It’s a great time and it’s also a really tough time for some women because they feel like everything is changing. And that’s not talked about. It’s expected you should be glowing and if you don’t, well, then keep it to yourself! I I like to bring that up, and in class we share that, which is a relief for most women who often feel they have to pretend they are happy when maybe they are not.

It’s amazing to have women share with each other while they’re pregnant, what they’re going through, and they feel so supported by being in a place where they can say whatever they feel like, not just, “I feel great.”

There’s also something magical about pregnant women; it’s like a portal opens, and they are in the spiritual world and the physical world – they’re so connected to spirit. They’re more psychic, they’re more in tune with their bodies, it’s like they can check in with that spirit world so much more easily. I love to encourage that & inspire them to tap into that feeling, and allow moms to feel their emotions, and also to inspire them to be silly and child-like, bringing that energy we so need today into our lives.

Teacher Feature • Interview With Todd

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Interview With Todd
from 3/09


How did you get into yoga?

Back in the 80s I did a little bit of yoga when I was in the Bay Area. It was a small class and our teacher taught Iyengar, and it was really fun. But after a few months she moved to Nashville to become a singer, and that was it for yoga for me.

Fast forward to the beginning of the 90s. I was in Hawaii, living on Lanai, and I had an old friend from San Francisco call and say he was going to do a weeklong Ashtanga workshop on Maui right next door. He wanted some company and asked me to come over, and I said what the heck. I went over there and before the workshop he showed me a couple things – a head stand, downward dog – and I said, how hard can this be, right? This is going to be fun!

So the first class – whoa. I think there were 40 people in the workshop, 38 of them were women, none of them under the age of 40. There I was, Mr. Tri-Athlete, and I was sweating like you can’t believe – there was a pool of sweat around me. And I looked around the room and not one of these women was sweating, just glowing. It looked so easy for them! And I was like, how is this possible? I’m in shape and I can hardly get through a class.

But I walked out of that class and I had an epiphany. I went to this little town right down the street in upcountry Maui. I guess we started at 6:30 in the morning so it was still early when I’d get into town. I’d see the early risers of the jet set people – the people who don’t have to have a job, a lot of them live in Maui – drinking their cappuccinos and lattes. I looked around and I felt so alive. And I didn’t get that same feeling from these people. So I thought, what do I want to do with my life?

I was just coming out of the wine business looking for something else to do. I had gotten out of the wine business because I had this dilemma where I loved everything about wine except the more excited I got about it and selling it, the more people would drink and get inebriated and it moved them out of their bodies. And I wanted to help them get in their bodies. So I got out of the wine business and thought – yoga – that would be really fun. I hadn’t even thought of teaching, I just thought: yoga.

So I finished that whole week and I felt really great, and then I moved to Encinitas where this teacher – Tim Miller – lived. And I started studying with him and I did that for almost a year, and then I moved to L.A. to study with the next teacher.

todd and group

How did you start teaching?

Ana Forrest got me into teaching. I had been taking yoga with her for a number of years and she said, it’s time for you to teach. And I was like, I can’t do any of the things you do, how can I teach, what can I teach? All my teachers were like Cirque du Soleil people. And she said, no, you have to teach, it’s time for you to teach. So I started subbing for her when she wasn’t there, which, thinking back on it, was really kind of her.

That was the start and it was a long road because I could teach her yoga, but it was a long time before I got to find out what my yoga was.

I found out my work was actually different from her work, but because I also work a lot with energy, I found an affinity with her there. I think Ana is amazing in how she works with energy and weaves that in with physical yoga. She was the first person who really taught me how important it was to set up a safe space to work in. That was an invaluable lesson that I got.

So how did you find your own style?

Basically, from having an injury. I had a number of injuries doing yoga primarily because I was doing someone else’s yoga and not my yoga. That little realization took a long time to click. I had hurt my back and the way that Ana was recommending that I work with it wasn’t helping. So I stopped going to her classes and I stopped going to all classes with any teacher and I just started doing my own yoga for a long time. I was still teaching, and then I was doing my own yoga.

And then I had guidance to drop into one of Erich Schiffmann’s classes one day, just kind of out of the blue. I went into his class and it was remarkable because I would say the day I went in, well over 50 percent – even 70 or 80 percent of the things we did in class – were things that I had been doing on my own, which no one had ever shown me how to do. It just blew my mind. It was like another epiphany – this stuff is legal, I can teach this stuff? Because I was doing my yoga at home, but then thinking I have to teach “real yoga.”

That was a huge opening for me and I went to every class I could with Erich. After going a few months and getting to know each other I started hanging out a little at his house and doing yoga with him. He really helped me find my yoga and my voice – which I didn’t really get completely until I moved away from LA. I still do a lot of things like he does, but it’s shifted, and that’s a consequence of moving away. Then it became more about learning from my guidance and from my students.

How would you describe your own approach to teaching yoga?

I would say what’s different is not so much teaching to the pose. There are other yogas that do this. Erich didn’t teach to the pose, but you would find yourself deeper in the pose that you’ve ever been – so that’s where I got my introduction to this approach. And with yin yoga, even though they have particular poses, it’s not about the pose. The focus is different, it’s not about how you look in the pose but how you feel in the pose.

So with BLIS yoga, the kind of yoga I do, the focus is not so much about getting into a pose or trying to fix something that’s happening in your body, but it’s really about reorienting your awareness, learning to be curious about something else, a different focus. And when you start to shift your perspective, your experience changes and literally your body changes.

So we might have a class where people might come in with different complaints – a hip problem, shoulder, whatever. Without teaching specifically to whatever the complaint is, by everyone shifting their focus, everyone leaves class feeling different – feeling, wow my shoulder feels better, my hip feels better. It’s really about what you’re choosing to focus on.

From a teacher’s point of view it can be a scary thing to jump into because on some level, if you’re not teaching a pose and how to get into it, then what are you teaching? But it’s really shifting so you’re helping people discover and uncover what their yoga is, and it’s going to be different from week to week, from year to year, depending on a lot of different factors that affect where you are and how you’re holding tension in your body.

As you learn to communicate with your body, to be with it and not work against it, you have a different relationship with yourself and invariably a different relationship then with everyone around you. It’s a very subtle thing at first but it has very dramatic consequences – in a good way. It’s not a quick fix because we’re not focused on fixing anything, but it works.

todd  and jay

What do you hope your students get from your classes? Is it about that shift in perspective, discovering their own yoga, or coming back to their bodies?

Everybody comes in looking for something different, so I don’t really want the same thing for everybody. But at the end of the day, if somebody can feel better in their body and start to give themselves permission to follow the path of least resistance or to have the capacity to begin to communicate with their guidance and their intuition – that would be the ultimate thing for me. Because then everything else is taken care of, because then things feel good, and you do more of it.

It doesn’t have to look like doing yoga everyday, coming in on your yoga mat, but yoga can become when you’re writing, when you’re cooking, when you’re driving your car. Are you doing things that support you and nurture you and feed you? So if people start to work with that vocabulary or that awareness, then I think I’ve done a good job.

It seems like what you said about the safe space is a big part of what you’re doing – coming into your class I feel like it’s safe to totally relax and drop in.

That’s a fundamental requirement for this kind of work. There are other modalities and a lot of ways to access it, but fundamentally that’s the most important thing. Because if you don’t feel safe, you can talk about all these things, but it’s not happening, people can’t access it because it’s too scary.

As Erich Schiffmann says, “Be brave, relax.” It takes courage to relax. Because you’re asking people to let go. The very things they’re holding onto are their belief systems – the things they believe keep them safe and protected and supported. And you’re asking them to relinquish those things – there’s nothing scarier.

So for me, every time I see somebody willingly let their guard down, let their defenses down, when they begin to relinquish that even for a moment, I get to witness a miracle. That to me is a miracle because that’s what’s keeping them stuck. They have to feel safe enough to do that. If you feel safe enough, everything else follows.

And how do you create a safe space? You have to be really clear as a teacher what your intention is and you have to hold that intention. As my guides talk about it sometimes, it’s like, if I dare to wear my light and be bright, then anything coming into that light has to also be light, and anything other than that light can’t be in the space. So if I’m really clear energetically about how I set up the space, just with my intention, then that’s the energy that comes into the space and anything else gets left outside.

There really is no formula. It’s more about where someone’s heart is, where their interest is, what they are ready to do. So for me, I have to be willing to open my heart and be vulnerable. I have to be willing to be in that safe space I’m asking everyone else to be in. That’s really scary at first but that’s where I want to hang out all the time.

The fact that I can set up the space – and make a living being in that space – for me is the biggest gift ever. So I’m really grateful for my students because they give me a reason to be in that space.

That’s one of the big differences on not having the emphasis on the pose and doing it right – when I’m in a class like that I freeze up.

That’s one of the reasons a lot of the time we do our whole practice with our eyes closed. If you do have permission to try it a little bit differently, if you close your eyes and don’t look at your neighbor, you can start to feel like it’s just about you. You don’t have to replicate what you did last week or 20 years ago when you used to be flexible. It took me years to get to this point because it’s so strong in our culture. To get a reprieve from the committee in your mind and spend a little bit of time just being with your body right where you are – that’s the healing, and then things shift. Things appear to disappear, the complaints just vanish. It seems like it’s magic, but it’s just the way it works. It’s a new way of being with something.

So I think that people learn by being in the space – that’s how I learn – by being in the energy. What does it feel like? So you might read or hear about this, but it’s an experiential thing. If you just jump into the energy or come on in and be in the energy a while, you start to understand it by experiencing it. And then you can start to live it. And in living it you’re extending that gift to others, which is how we all help each other.

todd cross-legged

To shift into Om Base – what was your vision or intention in opening the studio?

Vittoria and I had a studio a number of years ago in Sellwood and we ended up selling it to our business partner. It was a tough thing to move away from – we put a lot of emotional energy and time into it – but that allowed us to buy a house over here and then we had a little yoga studio in our house and we were very happy with that.

The idea of opening another commercial space wasn’t something either of us wanted to do. I had no interest in it at all. But one day one of our old neighbors came to one of Vittoria’s classes and said she was driving home and saw this space for rent and thought we should take a look at it. And I thought, what’s the point? I don’t want to do it.

But then a funny thing happened. I work with my guides a lot, and my guides said, well, before you throw out the whole idea, how about putting this energy on and wearing this energy for a little bit and see how this feels. So I put the energy on and the energy was basically a glimpse into what we would call the future – it was the energy of what this space is about and what it feels like. So I was able to feel what it would feel like to be in a space like this, with this design with this intent, and it blew my mind.

For the longest time my guides have been suggesting that I teach what I teach differently, and I had no idea how to get there. It was like I was on one side of the Grand Canyon and they were saying, get on the other side, and I had no clue how to do that. And suddenly, when I put this energy on, I was on the other side. It was amazing! And of course I want that – I want more of that – to feel supported in every way I could imagine in doing exactly what I want to do, and more of it. I couldn’t even articulate the differences but it just felt divine.

So that was it. We looked at the first space and it just didn’t work out. But while we were looking at that first space, which is very close to here, I was talking to a friend of mine who had heard there was something coming up for rent, so we called them and heard about this space, and that was it.

It wasn’t something that I was planning to do. I was given a vision and the people appeared to help create and support that.

News from OmBase – May 1st Edition

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Purple Flower

new bloomings

This newsletter is brimming with newness!

We’re teaching the first Intro to Yoga we’ve had in months;
Movie Night continues, a new bike rack has been installed,
JRo‘s coming back in town, Emily‘s teaching with Todd,
Yin Yoga moves to another night….plus lots more!

We are still interested in finding out how yoga
or OmBase has changed your life,
so please send in your comments!

Yin Yoga
with Todd

Mon/Wed/Fri 5/3-5/21
7-8:15 am

Cost: $90-$108 sliding scale / pre-registration

Yin Yoga

Todd & Emily are co-teaching the Yin Yoga classes in the morning!

Join them for a fabulous time, and and a great stretch! More on Yin Yoga here. (scroll to end of page).

To register call/email us at OmBase, or stop by to make payment by check or credit card (you can also pay online, just be aware that it the most expensive option for us, as we get charged 3% w/any online transactions).

Intro to Yoga
with Todd, Adriana, Stasia and Vittoria

5/4-5/25 every TUE 7:30-8:45 pm

Cost: $48/ pre-registration

Alana - Upward Facing Dog

This class series is an introduction to Yoga for all beginners out there! 4 different teachers to give you the basics of yoga. Todd, Adriana, Stasia and Vittoria will alternate teaching on Tuesdays all month.

Basics of yoga, breathing, introduction to props, as well as individualized attention to what each student needs.
Pre-registration required. Min 5, max 10 students.

Please email/call Om Base if you want to sign up. You can mail a check, sign up at the studio or sign up online.

BodyTalk & Astrology
offered at OmBase!

Emily Trinkaus

Emily Trinkaus

Many of you already know Emily, as she’s been with us from the beginning (and before that!).
Emily is now at OmBase on Fridays, seeing clients. If you are interested or curious about what she offers, check out her site.

Her new blog is chock full, and you can read on making the most of Mercury retrograde!

You can contact her directly for an appointment:


Emily also starts teaching at OmBase this month!

Family Yoga!
with Rachel & Lauren

SUN May 23 at 2:30 pm

Cost: $10/adult, $5/kid
Please pre-register for this class!

Rachel Plies & Lauren Clark

Many of you have asked about this class, so here it is being offered as a one time event.

Rachel and Lauren have fun with kids and families, and this promises to be a great class for all ages. Kids, parents and grandparents welcome!

Read more about Rachel and Lauren at BoundlessMotion.

JRo is coming back!
June 2-6



JRo will be here in June, and he’ll have Clairvoyant reading and healing sessions available.

JRo came last year for a visit and before you know it he was all booked up. He’s getting booked this time too, so hurry up and call if you want a session with him. He will be seeing clients at the studio (with the exception of one day possibly at our home).

From JRo:Your body is energy and our lives reality based events.
Learn how you occur right here right now as life. And learn how to
change it, guide it and ultimately let go

JRo, ( pronounced J-row) lives in Haiku, Maui, and has been doing Clairvoyant reading/healing and energy work for over 30 years. Currently JRo travels and brings what he does to different locations throughout the mainland U.S.

Readings are $100 for at about 1.5-2 hrs (please bring cash)

to book a reading:

send us an email:
or call her Vittoria’s cell 971.506.6789

Download a Flyer

Classes changing….

Todd Williamson

Todd Williamson

Yin Yoga on Tuesday pm moves to Wednesday

The evening yin yoga class moves to Wednesday night this month (and might remain that way) as we are introducing a new class for beginners on Tuesdays. Please look for the Yin Yoga by donation class on Wednesday night at 7:15-8:30 pm.

Sun 10 am class moves to 9 am starting in June!
We did this last year too, to give you more time to get on with the summer activities but still come to yoga!
See you at 9 am on June 6th!

If you want the Tuesday & Thursday 6:30 am classes to continue, please come and take them more often. There’s talk of discontinuing those classes by June if not enough students show up each week.

Bike rack is in!

Maria hugging the new bike rack

Maria hugging the new bike rack

Yes, that’s Maria hugging the rack . . . Riding your bike to OmBase is a whole lot easier now!

The first time you ride your bike to class, and park your bike at the new corral, let us know when you sign in, and you can take that class for just $5, or use your class card and bring a friend for free.

Remember that if you have a class card and ride your bike to class (walk or take public transit) you can stamp your card.. and after collecting 10 stamps we’ll say thank-you to you with a free class on us!

One of our students, Maria, an avid biker, was the first to use the new racks (parking there about two hours after they had been installed!) and happened to be there when Dave Johnson (from the Hillsdale Biking Coalition) was taking a picture, and here’s what we learned about Maria,

My name is Maria Cahill and I ride from my home  (which is also my office for a sustainable land development consulting business) in Multnomah Village. Biking is one of my personal and professional commitments to a healthier environment and a healthier me. I rode over 1000 miles last year just for business related meetings and site visits in addition to my private errands and events. I’m excited to see the new bike racks!“.

There is also a little blurb on about the bike rack!

Thank you for coming to class!
Can you post a review?


Loiuse in headstand

Many of you were inspired by our call in the last newsletter to come back, and you did make it back to Om Base. Thank you! We are grateful for your support. We’d like to ask you to post a review as reviews really help other students decide whether or not come to visit us!

You can go to our contact us page, and click on the pop-up window that comes up over the map (click OmBase or Reviews). It’ll take you to a Google page link where you can post a review!

You can also go to Insider Pages here to post a review.
In addition, you can post on Yelp too here.

Thank you!

Our lending library is online!

Lending Library

Thanks to Emily, Virgo organizer extraordinaire, she posted every book we have online, here.

You can check out books and videos the same way, by writing your name in the check-out binder at the studio, but now you also have the option of browsing our library online, read an excerpt of the book (via an Amazon link), post a comment, and more.

We’ll be adding reviews of the books in the next few weeks.

The other change is that we’ll be charging $1 x week for DVDs, as we need to replace them occasionally, and that will help.

Books will be due 3 weeks from check out date, DVDs only one week at a time.

You will get email reminders when your item is due.

Movie Night!



The second Saturday of each month we’ll be having a movie night! A movie projected on the large wall of the yoga studio!

(Because of the warm weather and the need for air conditioning = noise, we’ll probably stop for the summer though)

When: Sat 5/8 @ 7pm
A movie about Ammachi

We aren’t sure which one yet, but considering she’s coming to Seattle at the end of May, it’s appropriate.

Read more about Amma and her incredible life and devotion.

We’ll accept a small donation to help defray heat/light costs, as well as the price of the DVDs.

Sorry, no kids and no snacks…. 🙁

We love to hear from you!

Send us your stories & love letters (long and short) about how yoga & OmBase or a specific teacher has helped you improve your life, healed your body, quieted your mind, and whatever else!

We’ll post the long stories on our blog, to inspire others.

“Hello Todd,

I wanted to thank you for your generous support yesterday. I am always amazed by your incredibly giving spirit! Many times I arrive at your classes feeling bereft, hurting in some physical or emotional way and come away feeling light, supported and centered. You have a gift, my friend, and I feel blessed that I found you! Thank you.

Blessings”. ~ NB


MORE Teachers Interviews!

Emily was kind enough to devote a lot of time to interview the teachers at OmBase, and we have some of those interviews online now. Soon we’ll have to interview Emily, as she’s going to be teaching too!

You can go to  Our Family and then click on “Teachers.”

Teacher Feature

Adriana’s interview has been added this month. Adriana also wrote a blog post this month about Prenatal Dance & Yoga.

Listen to Todd’s Meditation

If you’ve missed Todd’s meditation, you can now listen to it whenever you need it…

Coming in June!

A gift taken and shared: four weeks, four classes for change. Read the blog post.

Virtual shots of Om Base

We’ve posted some fabulous 360º shots of the studio on our website. You can scroll (slowly!) to see in every direction!

Thanks to Jeff Freeman for the photography!

Namasté to you . . .



I wanted  to share some photos
of flowers that I just captured,
so here is a link for you to enjoy!

(click on ‘slideshow’ at bottom left for best viewing!).

Happy Spring!

News from OmBase – February 1st Edition

Monday, February 1st, 2010


Our new classes this past month did fabulously well, surely in part because of our $5 drop in offer. We know many of you will keep coming back to OmBase to continue taking those classes and others as well!

And because so many of you appreciate the lower price, we’ve decided for now to add one $5 drop in class each month. Please read on for more about this, as well as other new offerings!


Sound Meditation & Toning Circle
with Dagmar

THU 7:30-9 pm
starts 2/4/10

Cost: by donation

Dagmar Luenser

Dagmar Luenser

During this weekly offering, we start with a sound meditation, where you simply sit or lie quietly and allow the gentle sounds of bells, crystal bowls, Tibetan bowls and chimes to soothe your body and mind. Then you are invited to tone together as a group, where you are encouraged to use your voice and let sounds come through you.

Toning is the elongation of a note or tone using breath and voice. It is an active vocal healing meditation that can help you re-discover your authentic voice, reduce stress, restore balance and connect you with the deeper rhythms and vibrations of your being. No singing experience is required.


Dagmar is a gifted sound and energy healer with a private practice in SW Portland. Trained in shamanic work, sound healing, Spiritual Response Therapy and Reiki, she helps individuals come into balance and connect more deeply to their soul’s path.

Dagmar Luenser
503.490.3671 or


Guided From Within: Tools for Revelationary Living
with Jay Fields

SUN 2/7 – 7 pm

Cost: FREE!

Jay Fields

Jay Fields

This event is a talk Jay will be giving. Please come early to get seated. Chairs and zafus available, or bring your own cushion.

From Jay:

“I will share with you the Revelationary Living Cycle, a model that I created that is based on Erich Schiffmann’s approach to yoga and on the theories of deep ecology and integral education. A mixture of personal stories from my life and my work with clients, current research, and simple experiential explorations, in this talk I will reveal how:

· The Revelationary Living Cycle is concerned with how to be more consistently in tune with your relationship with Spirit and offers simple tools for how that connection can inform your every day actions.”

Feel free to email Jay with any questions you may have.


February’s $5 class
with Todd

WED 7:15 pm

We have decided to offer the $5 drop in class every month for a while!

Todd Williamson

Todd Williamson

Take advantage of this month’s class: Wednesday’s Blisyoga with Todd every Wed at 7:15 pm.

About Blisyoga:

Typically starts with a 20-30 minute guided meditation, breathing, and sounding  followed by some gentle movements to warm up.

Often we’ll stay on the floor for most of the class, but each class is different and we may find ourselves on the bars. We use a lot of props, as they lend and offer support in a wider range of movement possibilities.

Many, if not most of the movements and poses may are different from what you may have learned in more classic hatha and vinyasa style classes.

Mixed levels

For more on BLIS Yoga, please see our class descriptions. More at BLIS Yoga.


Annie Meyer‘s art
NOW at OmBase

Annie Meyer

Annie Meyer

You can see Annie Meyer’s art hanging at our studio now!

Annie is a local artist Todd and I found a few years back and we love her art!

From Annie:

“I consider myself a painter, but work in 3 different mediums: Painting (primarily oil and acrylic paintings), monotype prints, and ceramic tiles. Essentially my work is the same theme, but expressed differently due to the difference in mediums. My subject manner is the human figure, and abstract French Landscapes. I have been drawing the figure since high school, and I work directly from a live model.

All of my work is original. I have no reproductions.”

Everything that is hanging at OmBase is for sale, so ask the front desk for more info, or check out Annie’s website.


Calling all old calendars…

Megan Hooker

Megan Hooker

Have you seen Megan’s work at OmBase? She makes lovely recycled cards out of calendars!

What better way to recycle your calendar? Knowing that somebody, somewhere, is receiving the image you’ve looked at for months….

If you still have a 2009 calendar (or older!) that you have no use for, please bring it to OmBase and we’ll get it to Megan.

Favorites are nature, pets, scenery of any kind.



Hawaii, here I come?

Kailua rental

Kailua rental

You all know Joanne in a sense, as she’s the architect that designed OmBase.

You can see the beauty she has helped created every time you come to class.

Joanne has a sweet rental home in Hawaii she wants you to know about. You can go here to find out more.


News from OmBase – December 4th Edition

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Holiday Cardinals

Holiday Cardinals

This news arrives a bit later than usual
and finds us into the holiday season already!

Please see the front page of our website
for Special Holiday Classes and canceled classes this month.

May your holiday season
be blessed with love and peace


Winter Solstice Shamanic Sound Healing
with Dagmar

2 hr event
SUN 12/20 6:30-8:30 pm

Cost: $25 prior to 12/13, $30 after

Dagmar Luenser

Dagmar Luenser

As we approach the longest nights of the year, the magical time that in German is called the “hallowed nights”, you are invited to a Winter Solstice Shamanic Sound Healing event with Dagmar.

Dagmar will lead you through a sound journey to help release blocks and discordant energies, restore a sense of wholeness and well-being and connect you with your own inner guidance. Through the sound of her voice, shamanic tools and instruments such as drums, rattles and singing bowls, rituals unfold that awaken your heart’s intelligence and serve as a gateway to transformation and awareness.

Dagmar, who moved to Portland from Germany 7 years ago, is a gifted sound and energy healer. She draws her inspiration not only from her European roots, but from a universal and multidimensional understanding. Through the sound of her voice, shamanic tools and instruments such as drums, rattles and singing bowls, rituals unfold that awaken your heart’s intelligence and serve as a gateway to transformation and awareness.


NEW Classes coming up in January!

Deep Clarity Yoga
with Stasia

TUE 7:30-9 pm

starts 1/5/10

Stasia Bliss

Stasia Bliss

A great relaxing class for the ones of you that can’t make an earlier time.

Bring yourself into a deep and abiding sense of bliss and renewal at the end of your day.

Allow masterful poses, dynamic breathing, and inner vision to soak your being with the graceful experience you crave and turn your night time into the deep rest you deserve.

To give you more incentive to come to class, Stasia’s class will be $5 drop in for the entire month of January!


with Todd

WED 7:15-9 pm

starts 1/6/10

Todd Williamson

Todd Williamson

Todd’s finally teaching BLIS Yoga at nights, so all of you that love his classes but don’t like to get up early, can now come to this one!

It’s a little longer too, so you can go straight to bed when you get home…

Typically starts with a 20-30 minute guided meditation, breathing, and sounding  followed by some gentle movements to warm up.

Often we’ll stay on the floor for most of the class, but each class is different and we may find ourselves on the bars. We use a lot of props, as they lend and offer support in a wider range of movement possibilities.

Many, if not most of the movements and poses may are different from what you may have learned in more classic hatha and vinyasa style classes.

More at BLIS Yoga.


Classical Hatha Yoga

with Adriana

FRI 5:45-7 pm

starts 1/8/10



Adriana will be taking over the Friday night slot with a new Classical Hatha Yoga class.

Learn to focus through the classical hatha yoga sun salutations and other flowing vinyasas, which link breath with movement as well as the classical hatha yoga asanas (postures).

Classes are open to all levels, however you are encouraged to work at your own pace.

Check out the full description on the class schedule page. Adriana’s class will also be $5 drop in for the entire month of January!


Prenatal Belly Dance & Yoga
with Adriana

SUN 12-1:15 pm

starts 1/10/10

Prenatal Belly Dance & Yoga

Prenatal Belly Dance & Yoga

Finally, another option for the moms-to-be that love to come to yoga on Saturday!

Adriana is offering bellydance and yoga for pregnant women of all levels and in any trimester.

With ancient roots in fertility rites and goddess worship, it has deep spiritual significance for women and has undergone many cultural migrations; an ever-changing and evolving art.

No prior belly dance or yoga experience. Come and have fun!

This class w/Adriana will also be $5 drop in for the entire month of January!


Updates and changes in the New Year

January, February & March

Yin Yoga

Yin Yoga

Yin Yoga Series M/W/F 7-8:15 am $81-90 sliding scale, or

use your class card or drop in for $14.

A Yin Yoga Series is offered each month, 3 times a week (M W F) for the first three weeks of each month. It is now also open to drop into for the ones of you that cannot make it as often.

Typically, it will always start the first Monday of each month and end on the 3rd Friday. It’s always 3 weeks on, 1 week off.

Starting in January, registration for the AM Yin Yoga Series will be at the front desk — pre-payment required for the discounted price — or, you may choose to drop in when you can, and simply use your class card.

The dates are listed on the class schedule page for the entire term (3 months).


Sacred Nourishment:
A group health counseling class

with Jenna Abernathy

WED 7-9pm
begins 1/27/10

Cost: $395, register by the new year and receive 10% off. Sign up with a friend and you both receive an additional 10% off!

Please notice this class is off-site, address below.

Sacred Nourishment

Sacred Nourishment

Come prepared to transform your relationship with food and yourself. Increase your vibrancy as you learn how you really can trust your body.

This class is packed with tools to help you reach your health and life goals including: new healthy foods, mindfulness meditation, group support, easy cooking ideas, reflective writing, and much more. Handouts, samples, an extensive lending library, and other materials are included.

This is a 5-month program of 10 classes starting Wednesday, January 27th and continuing on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month from 7 to 9 pm.

Space is limited.

Jenna Abernathy

Jenna Abernathy

Call Jenna at 503.235.3499
or email
Class Location:
Portland, OR 97211

Check out Jenna’s site:


Free Lecture!
with Jay Fields

MON 1/4/10

Felix’s Motion Massage Studio
1829 NE Alberta St.
Portland, OR 97211

From Jay:

Jay Fields

Jay Fields

“My presentation is about the confluence of ecology and yoga, relationship and consciousness.

I will share with you the Embodied Living Cycle (ELC), a model for psychospiritual development that I created based on Erich Schiffmann‘s approach to yoga and the theories of deep ecology and integral education.”

Please read more on Jay’s blog.


Practice Time
THU 4:30-5:30 pm

OmBase Studio

OmBase Studio

Reminding all of you that prefer an earlier time to do yoga, and are comfortable doing a practice without a teacher, we still offer a practice time on Thursdays 4:30-5:30 pm.

A time for you to come and practice! Studio is open, come on in. Again, there is no teacher instructing (although there may be teachers there practicing). Take advantage of the open time to do your own meditation or yoga practice inspired by others doing the same.

Try it out!

A small donation of $2-4 for heat/air
and other maintenance costs is welcome.