Humbly wedged between the commercial hustle and bustle near the corner of 9th and Circle in Corvallis is an oasis. Every Thursday at 4 p.m., anywhere from 5 to 20 teens make their way to Live Well Yoga Studio. They enter the single classroom, grab yoga blocks, bands, and mats, and spend the next hour focusing on breathing, holding postures, and relaxing their minds and bodies. Anyone aged 13 to 19 is welcome. The class is free.
The class is slightly revised to be more welcoming to teens than adults—it moves a little faster, has a lighter atmosphere, and emphasizes movements that take advantage of the capabilities of younger bodies—but the yoga is the same. The concept behind the class is that teens learn best and are freer in the company of other teens. The lack of financial obligation also means that students have no external pressure to attend—there’s less nagging when parents aren’t covering the cost of the class. For teens whose schedules are primarily dictated by parents and schools, this freedom can be greatly empowering.
People of any level of yoga experience or ability can participate—even physical limitations do not impede the benefits of yoga. The studio is situated between four different bus lines, so participants can get there from almost any part of town. Comfortable clothing is preferable but not required; however, shoes must be indoor-only if they are worn during class (often participants are barefoot).
by Mica Habarad