I still remember the first time I walked into that dimly lit room, waiting a second for my pupils to adjust before I could see what was happening. There were about eight other people, all in different positions on the floor – some rolling on their backs like a ball, some attempting to bend as far forward as they possibly could, some just sitting cross legged with their eyes closed.
Clingy-clangy chime music played over a stereo in the corner, and the instructor who was setting up her mat said, “Welcome,” with an all-knowing tone of voice.
I slipped off my shoes at the door, grabbed a loaner mat from the stack in the corner, and proceeded to lay it out in the very back of the room so that hopefully no one would be able to see that I didn’t know a Chaturanga Dandasana from a Samasthiti. Moving from pose to pose as best I could, at the end of class I was left feeling invigorated. Every bit of my entire body felt loosened up. I wasn’t sure why I felt so great, but I instantly became hooked.
That was 16 years ago, and ever since, I have tried to maintain a somewhat regular yoga practice. Although life ebbs and flows from cycles of practicing every day to as little as a few times a month, every time I finish a yoga class, I still feel that same invigoration and sense of well-being. Some styles of yoga offer a workout that leaves you feeling like you just left the gym, where as other styles have more meditative or restorative approaches. Fortunately for you, there is a plethora of different yoga studios in Corvallis with teachers who offer a variety of styles.
Some Like It Hot
Willamette Valley Power Yoga (WVPY) was established in 2014, but all four co-founders have been teaching yoga in the community for years before that. At their studio, they specialize in Baptiste Yoga, a Vinyasa style yoga created in the 1940s and popularized in the modern era by Baron Baptiste. Vinyasa style yoga emphasizes the connection of the breath and each pose.
At WVYP the room is heated to 90 degrees, which is less than Bikram yoga, but still enough to get quite a sweat going once the practitioner starts moving from pose to pose. Power yoga is well suited for those who are looking for a challenging, yet highly rewarding practice. Their advice to someone who is wanting to get into yoga? “Come just as you are, no need to wait for this or that to fall into place: You are ready now!” With a new student special of 30 days for $30, what are you waiting for?
Some Like It Even Hotter
Bikram Yoga is what is commonly referred to as “hot yoga.” It is practiced in a room that is heated to 95-108 degrees. If that sounds like a delight to you on cold winter days, then stop into Bikram Yoga of Crovallis, located in Southtown. They teach a 90-minute beginning series done in a warm room.
“I know how transformative yoga can be, so when I see students embody the teaching I am truly inspired,” Elizabeth said, a teacher at Bikram Yoga of Corvallis who has been practicing yoga 5 days a week for the past 18 years, and has been teaching in Corvallis since 2002.
If you’re ready to give it a whirl, they have a two-week special for new students for $29, or an online special of $59 for your first month.
A Longstanding Institution The Yoga Center of Corvallis was established in downtown Corvallis in 1990, and has remained in the same spot ever since. They teach Iyengar Yoga, a style that emphasizes correct alignment in each posture. Janet Hochfeld, the founder and owner of the center, stresses the value of the specific instruction offered in Iyengar yoga. “One’s mind becomes focused and present. Body awareness improves along with strength, flexibility, stamina and a calm and peaceful state of mind.”
In response to inquiries about discounts for new students, college students, and seniors, the price has been reduced to $10 per class.
A Little Bit of Everything
Live Well Studio, located in Northern Corvallis, offers a mixture of instructors who teach a variety of styles. They have more active classes such as Power Flow, Hatha, Vinyasa, as well as Gentle Yoga and Chair Yoga for those wanting a more restorative practice.
They also offer classes in Yin Yoga, a highly restorative style where poses are held for longer periods of time with the goal of stretching and releasing tension in the connective tissues between muscles.
Their advice to long time yogi’s looking to develop their practice is to be an eternal student. “Assume nothing. Develop your inquisitive mind.”
Want More? You’re in Luck
These are just a smattering of yoga studios in Corvallis. There are still many that we just didn’t have room to mention here, but I encourage you to do your own research, including visiting lots of different classes, in order to find the studio that is right for you.
If you want to break the ice, there are also a lot of free online resources for learning yoga. My favorite is doyogawithme.com, which offers yoga classes in a variety of styles, and most classes are free. That being said, the benefit of attending an in-person class can’t be matched, so I highly recommend just getting out there and giving it a whirl. Namaste!
By Ashley Rammelsberg