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In This Issue
Yoga Tip: Normal Lumbar Curve
Laila's Iyengar Certification
Farewell Roger David
Fall Term


The 11-week Fall term begins Monday, September 24th. If you're not already signed up for a class, we still have limited openings. Give us a call @ (503) 223-8157, to check on class availability.


Yoga U Course with Julie Gudmestad


Key Yoga Muscles: The Role of the Psoas in Yoga Asana and Postural Health.
Join Julie for a 2-part online course on the psoas, one of the most important muscles in yoga poses and for long-term back health.

The psoas muscle is a key hip flexor. The way that we use the psoas in our yoga practice can either help keep the psoas healthy, strong, and flexible, or it can perpetuate harmful imbalances that can contribute to low back and pelvic pain.

In this 2-part online course, Julie Gudmestad will show how you can balance and harness this key muscle in your yoga practice to create greater structural balance and freedom of movement. You will learn why the psoas plays a key role for our long-term back health; how to observe common psoas imbalances in yourself or your yoga students, and key therapeutic approaches to create a balanced psoas.

This is a rare opportunity to study with Julie online in the comfort of your own home. The course includes two live online presentations (lecture with slides), as well as a 20-30 minute online video yoga practice that you can do at any time. The two live sessions are recorded, so you can listen at any time. To register, go here:    



Little Known Teacher Fun Factoids

We're going to try again. No one correctly guessed the featured teacher in the Summer E-Newsletter correctly. So, we want to give you one more chance. Put your thinking caps on and consider these hints...



1. Who spent 2 summers changing light bulbs in grocery stores, banks, and office buildings for a maintenance company?


2. Whose family was the first on their block to have a remote control for their TV in 1960?


3. Who had an accident on way to taking driver's test for the first time?  



4. Who, in 5th grade, was the only student asked to participate in all 4 extra curricular activities - glee, dance and drama clubs, and orchestra?   


Look for the yellow ballots at the front desk. Ballots accepted until November 1, 2012. Winner will be announced in the next e-newsletter coming out in December.


We just found out that...

The Oregonian will publish a special section later this
year of:  
Best of Oregon Wellness/beauty." They're seeking online nominations for several categories, among them, "the best yoga studio overall" and "the best yoga teacher for beginners." 

Got a favorite studio and/or beginning teacher to nominate? To submit a nomination, click here. A simple ballot will appear for you to fill in (takes less than 30 seconds!). We hope you'll participate!


Thinking about a Yoga Getaway in the new year?

Why not join Julie, January 17 - 21, 2013 at the San Francisco Yoga Journal Conference. Check out her offerings. 


Want To Be Our Neighbor?

Do you know anyone who might be interested in renting our downstairs office space? 1,500 sq ft, 6 offices plus a waiting room and reception area. $1,800 a month.
Contact our broker, Chris Ingraham, if interested @ 503- 249-1706 (office) or 503-784-1969 (cell).


Gudmestad Yoga

Fall Quarterly Newsletter


"See you, in September." Remember the old end-of-summer song? School's about to start, days are getting shorter, backpacks getting heavier with notebooks and you're buying new pencils (or should I say new iPads?). It means the end of summer adventures and time to settle down and start learning.

For those of us who are no longer in school or engaged in formal training programs, how do we keep our brains stimulated and our learning faculties sharp? Yoga, of course, can be a wonderful vehicle to keep learning for a lifetime. We learn new words, new movement patterns, and new awarenesses as we apply ancient yogic philosophies to our modern world.

And, if you're mourning the end of the adventures of summer, look no further than your yoga mat. We love to have "yoga adventures" as we discover the amazing possibilities of human movement and the ability of the mind, body, and spirit to heal.

We look forward to seeing you in September.


As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to contact us.




Julie Gudmestad


Yoga Tip: Normal Lumbar Curve

One of the many benefits of a yoga practice is that we can take our lessons learned on the mat and apply them to our lives off the mat. Some of the best yoga lessons learned are kinesthetic, which means learning by feel, and learning the normal, healthy low back curve is one of the most important kinesthetic lessons. In many poses, including downward dog, most standing poses, and inversions, we strive for a normal curve in the low back. The normal lumbar curve is in extension: a little bit of back bending. Feel this curve on hands and knees when lifting head and tail and let the low back sag down mildly.


However, in our Western lifestyle, many actually practice flattening the normal curve as they sit slumped in chairs, car seats, and couches. Feel this flat back while sitting on a chair. Slide the hips forward toward the front edge of the seat and lean back onto the back of the chair. You'll be sitting on your tailbone with your spine flexed and the normal lumbar curve actually reversed.


Now let's get a feel of the normal low-back curve. Still sitting on the front edge of the chair, come off the tailbone by rolling up onto your sitting bones while bringing head and shoulders over the hips. It helps to have knees lower than hips by pulling your feet back behind your knees, which is why we often practice good posture in class while sitting on a block (Virasana) with the knees deeply bent and feet pointing back behind you. Bringing the body to vertical centered over your sitting bones, place a hand on the low back at the level of the navel. Roll a little forward or back on the sitting bones until you have just the right soft curve forward (toward a backbend) in the lumbar spine.

Learn to maintain that normal soft curve on and off the mat, while practicing triangle pose or working at the computer, and you can have a healthier and happier low back for a lifetime.


If you found this yoga tip informative and yearn for more in depth articles about anatomy and yoga written by Julie, click here 

Laila's Iyengar Certification

We are excited to report that Laila passed the first level of the Iyengar Yoga certification in late August. This is the first of two assessments in order to be fully certified as an Iyengar instructor. She's been working hard for several years to reach this milestone in her teaching career.

Photo right: Laila doing garudasana (eagle pose).

Laila's studies began in 2000 when she began taking classes at Gudmestad Yoga Studio. Since then, she's studied with numerous Iyengar Yoga teachers, both locally and nationally. Her local teachers included our own Julie Gudmestad, Iyengar certified for 25 years, and Julie Lawrence and other teachers at the Julie Lawrence Yoga Center. One of the highlights of Laila's studies was a 5-day workshop with senior Iyengar teacher Patricia Walden in 2011.

After years of study, plus completing a two-year apprenticeship, by summer of 2012 Laila was ready to go up for assessment. The process involved a written examination on philosophy, a demonstration of the 31 asanas and 2 pranayamas from the first syllabus, and then a 40-minute demonstration of her teaching to a small class of students.

Laila plans to continue studying and practicing Iyengar Yoga, as she feels the process has informed and improved her teaching. Life is about learning and developing along this journey and she is excited to share it all with you.  

To learn more about the Iyengar certification process go to:  


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"By the practice of yogic discipline, one is led towards spiritual illumination. A sadhaka is one who practices, applying her mind and intelligence with skill, dedication, and devotion."  

-B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, pg.101)   


Farewell Roger David

We'll be missing one of our longtime and loyal Gudmestad Yoga students around here this fall. Roger David, prominent ophthalmologist and co-founder of Eye Health Northwest, husband to Patty, father of 3 and grandfather of 7, died suddenly of a massive heart attack on a week-long bicycle trip through Montana in August. Three of his yoga teachers share their reflections...


Photo: Roger and Laila at Crater Lake. 


From Laila Deardorff: I met Roger in 2004 on the Oregon Bike Ride. He came up to me and asked: "Don't you teach yoga for Gudmestad Yoga?" From that point on, for each of the several week long rides we'd participate in together, we would plan to do a tandem pose. He was always up for a challenge and would give any pose a try. It was the day before his last, when he found me and said, "how about doing sirsana (headstand) this year?" I suggested, instead, we do trianga muhkaikapada paschimottanasana. He looked at me bewildered, but responded: "I'll have to google it and get back to you!"


Roger had a love for life and an enthusiasm that was infectious. He made you smile with all his energy and curiosity. He will be so missed.



From Beth Paxson: "I am very grateful for the gift of having connected with Roger. Initially, we were fellow students in Michael's Athlete I class.  Our passion for yoga followed different paths and in time, I transitioned to a teaching position at Gudmestad Yoga. It has been both an honor and a privilege to have had the opportunity to be Roger's yoga teacher for the past many years. He always brought a special enthusiasm and energy to any class he ever attended.


There was an element of Roger's personality, so often lost as we age - the ability to retain a childlike curiosity about the complexities of life (...and yoga!). That curiosity seemingly always allowed him to humbly experience our weekly practice with a 'beginner's mind'. It is an interesting way to keep things fresh, and new and exciting!


My most recent, and sadly my last interaction with Roger was at one of our summer classes in June, and I want to share a memory that really epitomizes the joyful energy he always brought to class. Sometimes for summer classes, I will begin by asking the students how they are feeling, and if there is anything in particular they would like to work on. As you know, this can produce quite a bit of banter, as people propose and veto pose ideas, and all. It was at that point that Roger piped in..."It doesn't really matter WHAT we work on! It's ALL good!!"


So, we wound up doing a nice, "all-around practice". After class, as Roger so often did, he came up to me with that special Roger grin, and said, "Great class!! That was EXACTLY what I needed!" His smile and his words seemed to express this notion of awe, like somehow I had magically understood precisely what his body needed in that moment, on that day.  


"It's ALL good" and "that was exactly what I needed" are two classic 'Roger phrases' that depict how I observed, and sense he lived his life. It is with a deep sense of sadness and a huge heaviness in my heart that I share how much we are going to miss his presence on Wednesday nights.  

Roger's positive energy and enthusiasm for life, and yoga, will be with us in spirit always.

From Michael Sylvester: Roger David was a student in my athlete's classes for many years. Always quiet and with a smile on his face and always interested in the life around him. I think I learned just as much from him as he did from me which is what I had said to my students was the meaning of Namaste - we learn together.

(Memorial donations, in Roger David's name may be made to this charity he volunteered with: Hospital de la Familia Foundation, P.O. Box 12981 Berkeley, CA  94712)


Dear Students: We love it when you come back after summer. We hear your stories of summer adventures. The lobby is filled with hugs and smiles for yoga friends who've been missed during the last few months. There's always a sense that while it's really nice to have some "down time" away from the weekly commitment of your yoga class during the summer months, it's equally nice to return. 

This fall, we started asking our new students how they heard about us. From time to time we think maybe we need to promote ourselves to the community and wonder what's the best way to spread the word - to get our message out about our unique yoga style - blending tried and true Iyengar methods integrated with physical therapy modifications. And you know what? Turns out it's been you all along. Yup, more of our students come to us from friend referrals than from any other source. And we thank you. And  we promise to continue to offer you great teachers, who offer individualized attention in manageable class sizes. And so we say... "Welcome back dear students!"



Nari Maidl
Yoga Coordinator
Gudmestad Yoga
Gudmestad Yoga Studio    3903 SW Kelly Avenue, Suite 210    Portland, OR  97239 

phone: 503 223 8157

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