About Gretchen - The details on me, my practice, and my community.
I completed my 200-hour RYT training with Sarah Trelease at Yoga Bhoga studio in Portland, OR, training in Hatha (emphasis in Vinyasa) yoga, including asana, pranayama, meditation, philosophy, and anatomy.
I teach flow-based classes for all levels of practitioners, and I love introducing yoga and philosophy to beginning students. Most of my teaching has been just that, though focused with young girls (elementary through high school ages and often through Girls Inc.) and introducing them to yoga and body awareness and love through movement.
I had hip surgery in December 2013, and I’ve been so grateful for all it has taught me. With training from physical therapists, Pilates instructors, and yoga practitioners, I’ve had my eyes opened to the different struggles everyone faces with their body and the importance of strengthening and supporting before movement. All my classes and instruction take this into account. I love working with people who think yoga may not be open to them due to skeletal structure, inflexibility, or injury.
When I’m not practicing or teaching yoga, you can normally find me writing and editing for Cogitate Studios (the editorial company I co-run), reading, running, or watching bad television with my photo-bombing cat, Hyphen.
Yoga is about more than just moving your body. It’s about all eight limbs of yoga, and it’s about learning what your body needs and what it does. When I struggled to love my body–when I struggled to even accept my body–yoga helped me, and my goal is to help others realize what a blessing our bodies are. When I decided to become a teacher, I wanted to do so to help young girls figure out how to be at home in their own bodies. As I’ve been on this journey, I have been humbled to realize how many of us, man, woman, boy, or girl, struggle with this. It’s an honor to get to show people the absolute wonders that their bodies are.
Sangha is a Sanskrit word meaning “association” or “community.” It’s an important concept in Buddhism and one with a very specific meaning, typically used to denote those in the monastic order. I use it here to mean those in my community, the people who have helped me and help me still on my own path. As Chogyam Trungpa said, “The sangha is the community of people who have the perfect right to cut through your trips and feed you with their wisdom, as well as the perfect right to demonstrate their own neurosis and be seen through by you. The companionship within the sangha is a kind of clean friendship-—without expectation, without demand, but at the same time, fulfilling.”
There is love enough in this world for everybody, if people will just look.
~ Kurt Vonnegut
Blog - My blog is about my personal experiences with yoga, both on the mat and in life. Sometimes I update it a lot; sometimes I get busy and it falls by the wayside. I hope whatever is there is of help or inspiration to any readers. While I typically write about life, recovering from surgery, the eight limbs of yoga, and other randomness, I'm happy to address any questions or asana tutorials as well if requested. Namaste.
I'm only starting out day two of my 30 days of aparigraha, so I've not been challenged too much just yet--I will admit to seeing two different things yesterday that for a quick second made me think, Oooh. Twenty bucks? That's cute. I could buy...Oops. Nope. But I suppose that's to be expected; I'm having to retrain my brain to remember how much I have and how little I need that thing I just saw. I
I have a problem. I am a consumer. You may be thinking, Um, okay. Aren’t most of us consumers in this society? Yes. Absolutely. I, however, am beginning to realize I’m a consumer on a level I’m not comfortable with. Let me back up a little. For those who don’t know, I work from home. I’m a freelance book editor and writer, so I sit (mainly on my couch)
Gallery - In the future, I'll be posting asana series for specific things (sitting at a desk, low-back pain, etc.). Please contact me for requests. For now, please enjoy some photos of me with mentors, at festivals, and of my practice on and off the mat.
ओं मणिपद्मे हूं
Schedule and Contact - Gretchen currently teaches private lessons, at middle and high schools, and volunteer teaches whenever possible. For the summer, she is proud to be part of the SUN program at Harvey Scott School K-8. Email her for details and availability.