Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ 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.


Starting and quitting… by Janet

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
Purple FlowerI realize it was almost 3 months, not two since my last yoga lesson.  I start things and quit things.  Not really a “quitter” but I get diverted and attached to so many things that I just get tuckered out.  I was so ready to dismiss yoga when my doctor advised me on it.  I wasn’t thrilled about it.  I figured I’d be the “fat lady”.  But what I’ve learned in such a short time is that yoga is not really about my body but about my health and my mind.  It’s about allowing myself a time to reflect and reach out.  It’s not about what I look like but more about my need to heal, not just physically either.  And I’m not about my body either.  I’m overweight.  For now.  I’m not dieting, I’m healing.  We’ve gone through so much these past few years.  Death and illness and huge change.  I stored my pain and stress.  And now I’m taking care of my body, mind and spirit.  I’m not the “fat lady”, I’m the “work in progress”.
I have never looked forward to anything or wanted anything that was related to exercise. I love rollerskating but it was always a bit of a chore.
But yoga… I miss it when I can’t attend.  I looked at my mat and cried one night because I wanted to continue to feel good.  Like all the strides I had made were just melting away.. I know they didn’t though.  And now I’m more healthy and will get more benefit from it.  I didn’t realize how sick I was.
I thought I had TFO Syndrome.  Tired, Fat and Old.  I tolerated pains that most wouldn’t.  Maybe that’s a Mom affliction… But I needed to have my gallbladder removed and due to the arthritis medicines they had started me on just when I started yoga, it made me bleed horribly.  Which put me in a weak state.  Then stuff didn’t work otu well after surgery.  Did the whole colonoscopy scare and tests, which last week came out find.  I have a hernia from the surgery incision that is a bit of a bummer but I hope to have that taken care of.
 It was a great return class to yoga.  Bhakti was very giving and I like her.  She says, “yummy spot” like you [Todd].

Interview with Cass: “I teach people how to breathe”

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

How did you get into yoga?

I had a friend take me by the hand and take me to my first teacher’s class and say, this is what you need to do. Because I was in a lot of turmoil at the time and fell into it. I started doing her class probably two or three days a week to begin with, and saw what it did, and then I did her class five days a week for a few years. That was in 1986 or 87.

What did it do for you?

Grounded me, first and foremost. And took me to a space that we all have inside that I didn’t know about for a lot of reasons. She was a very powerful teacher, and completely opposite from how I teach, but she sure had the key to that space.

What kind of yoga did she teach?

She was teaching everything. That was the great thing about her — I wouldn’t have stuck if it wasn’t. You were exposed to everything. At the time, nobody taught Pranayama at the beginning of the class. And nobody taught Pranayama unless you’d been doing yoga for one or two years.

She taught Pranayama in every class, which is what resonated with me. I most of the time tell people that I just teach people how to breathe. And she picked up on that too. When I did a little bit for her, she knew that was where my strength was at.

How did you get into teaching?

In a meditation class one night a guy who was teaching at a senior center asked me if I’d be interested in taking over his class, and that’s where it started. I’d been studying with Diane for about five years. And I started doing that, I took over his class, and then it became two, then it became three, then it become two more somewhere else. Then I taught through PCC for a long time.

Then I had a back surgery, and I thought I wasn’t going to teach yoga anymore.

That means you’ve been teaching for over 15 years?

Probably closer to 20. I started teaching in Tigard in 1991. On and off, but mostly teaching one or two classes in the past ten years or so. But then for a long time I taught five or seven classes.

Do you feel like what or how you teach has changed over the years?

Somewhat, but not really. Mostly I teach people how to breathe. It changes depending on what’s going on out there and with my body and that sort of thing, but the breath focus doesn’t change much. Most people live in their head and I consciously with the breath try to bring them back in through that direction.

In the interim I studied with a Tibetan Qi Gong and T’ai Chi teacher for a long time, so I bring in Qi Gong and T’ai Chi and yoga. But they’re all the same thing, they just have different names, they all talk about the same thing, they all have different names.

I say I teach yoga, and I do — it’s the union of the physical and the mental and the energy and the emotional through the breath. That’s the yoga I teach.

What can people expect from your class at OmBase?

The focus is using tools that I try to pass on for deepening awareness of how you work. You work different from how your neighbor works, mostly due to life experiences, and to know that there’s not a right or a wrong way to work. It’s just finding a way to find your center, which to me is the breath work, and everything else follows from there.

If somebody needs a very energetic class in order to focus and pay attention, then they’re not probably going to enjoy my class, because I’m pretty laid-back. It will hopefully bring you into center and give you some tools to work with in your daily life.

My main focus has always been, not that you have to find a set time to do a practice, but that you use what you have. When you’re in the kitchen, do you remember to breathe? I used to do tree pose while I was washing my dishes looking out the window at a field. It’s not about setting aside 45 minutes to do a practice. It’s about checking in. How are you breathing while your day is going on? Have you stretched? Have you given yourself permission to massage your neck? Most of us don’t even go there for a long time.

You mentioned your back surgery — did you use yoga in recovering from that?

I used my breath. Mostly I walked because I was in a really rough transition. I used my breath work a lot, matched it to my step, and walked and walked for months.

I think prior to that I had invested the thought that my yoga might keep me from having to have back surgery. There are just things that happen in your life that you agree to go through, and it helped me in how I went through it and how I emerged from it. The breath definitely carried me through. I needed the breath to keep me here, keep me grounded, keep me walking. I needed to put one foot in front of the other to decide whether I wanted to stay on the path or not. It was a long path.

Anything else you want to add?

Yoga can be anything you want it to be. You can take it as deep as you want, you can keep it as light as you want. And it can look however you want it to look, it doesn’t have to look any particular way.

It’s just one system that shows you a way to flow through the stream of life. There are many. And there are many combinations, and I use them. If I thought it was an either/or I wouldn’t probably be practicing yoga.

But I often say that if it weren’t for yoga and swimming they would have locked me up a long time ago. It’s been pretty magical for me in many aspects of my life. It’s been an amazing ride and continues to be.

Cass teaches “Easy Does It” at OmBase on Wednesdays at 12:30

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.