More Than One Way to Stretch

yogaWith January coming to a quick close and most New Year’s resolutions gone with the wind, one could get a little tense. That’s OK, because as much as Corvallis loves the color orange and talking about precipitation, it seems we’re most passionate about lining our streets with yoga studios.

If you’re embarrassed at your physical or mental inflexibility, dying to get away from your kid’s temper tantrum, or looking for a way to get that sexy revenge body we’ve been hearing about, you’ll have no problem finding your fix in town. To help narrow it down, we put together a list of five interesting yoga studios to check out.

Rasa Yoga Shala: Located in a sleepy, dreamy part of Southtown near Crystal Lake, Rasa Yoga Shala is a warmly lit home studio. Instructor Emily Barry’s classes tend to be a mellow flow with little guidance, encouraging more independence—they are recommended for those familiar with yoga practices as opposed to beginners. Emily’s classes are taught five times a week and run $12 per drop-in, but only $11 if you bike or walk. Class packages are available.

Bikram Yoga of Corvallis: It’s not always easy to crawl out of bed and put on pants, let alone make your way to a yoga studio. During this winter abhorred by all, Bikram offers the incentive of a heated studio. Prepare yourself for a 105 degree closed room with a carpeted floor. Though the heat may be daunting at first, your muscles will take to it gleefully as they melt, allowing for flexibility you never knew you had. The style of this practice doesn’t vary; every class is 26 poses, each pose done twice. It will be in the same order every time. It will even be cued in almost the same way. You’ll sweat your water weight and yesterday’s stresses right out, but not due to a flowing movement; never once will you find yourself in downward-facing dog. If you’re one who thrives on measuring progress from day to day, someone who runs with routine, this may be your outlet. The drop-in rate is $17, but for all class packages and memberships, a full-time student discount is offered.

Willamette Valley Power Yoga: One of the newest studios to join the army, WVPY offers a style of yoga Corvallis hadn’t seen prior to its opening last spring. The clean, bright studio teaches a vinyasa flow in a heated room—around 90 degrees—and incorporates a balance of both inner and outer work. Classes are adaptable to all levels, from the brand new to the wizened pros. Plan on hearing the occasional 90’s hit while holding plank pose. Also, plan on sweating… a lot.

Livewell Yoga: A mid-sized studio with what feels like church ceilings, which is appropriate for such a congregational affair. Livewell offers many classes including yoga, Pilates, meditation, and even an hour-long class devoted strictly to core work. They also provide many class times, making regular attendance possible. Their class selection has something for everyone, including an all-levels class offered throughout the week. Keep in mind that challenge level also depends heavily on the teacher, so shop the directory for an instructor whose style sounds good. A drop-in class will run you $18 or $20 with a rental mat. New-student deals offered.

Pro tip: Le Patissier is a two-minute walk from here.

Goat Yoga: Finally, a proper way to combine livestock with low-impact exercise and meditation. Lainey Morse has created goat yoga, which is exactly what it sounds like; baby goats cuter than cartoons wandering around while yogis stretch and hold Warrior I until their thighs scream. Sometimes those bleaters will lie on your mat. Sometimes they’ll lie on you. Though yoga is known to alleviate depression on its own, the addition of soft nuzzles and tiny hooves in the open-spaced class can only amplify such benefits. Having to relocate from her Albany barn where classes were being held, due to zoning issues, Morse is currently in talks with OSU to set something up in our area. There are literally about 1,200 people on the waiting list, so best to sign up today—10 years from now when your knees give out and your joints pop with every step you take, you’ll be on deck to get in.

By Leah Biesack