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In This Issue
Teacher Fun Factoids
Yoga Tip: Stretching
Yoga Through the Decades
Spring Term begins April 1st


Some classes still have openings. If you'd like to join us, call (503) 223-8157 to register.


Spring Special Focus Classes


Check out our offerings for one-time 2 hour classes. Some of the offerings are;  

Yoga for Golfers,  

Yoga for Gardeners, Yoga for Balance,

Body Mechanics,  

Yoga for Runners (1.5 hours) and  

Yoga for Cyclists.  


We are also offering;   

The Mysterious Psoas, Foam Rollers,  

Build Your Arches and Home Practice classes for each level of practice.


Download a flyer and registration form 


Stuart's Italy Trip


Join Stu for his 7th Annual Tuscan Yoga Retreat, June 3 - 10, 2013. For more information regarding travel & to download flyer with full details click here 


Anatomy Awareness in Asana

August 5th - 9th, 2013
Portland, OR

For more info about this week-long workshop and to download a registration form click here 


Little Known Teacher Fun Factoids

And now for another of our teachers. Can you guess who it is?

1. Who road raced motorcycles up to 125 mph?

2. Who was designated a Westinghouse Science Talent Search winner in high school?

3. Who sanded cars in an auto body shop between college years?

4. Who went to jail for reckless driving?

Look for the yellow ballots at the front desk. Ballots will be accepted until May 15th. Winner will be announced in our summer newsletter.


We're the Best!!!

Gudmestad Yoga Studio (best yoga studio) and Betsy Allen (best yoga teacher for beginners)  were honored as "Reader's Picks" in The Oregonians' BEST OF 2012 (11.17.2012) edition.

Thank you Oregonian readers for letting all of Portland know who you think is best.

Downstairs Space For Rent

If you are interested in renting the office space on the main floor of the studio, please give us a call at (503) 223-8157 
Gudmestad Yoga

Spring Quarterly Newsletter


As the first warm and sunny days of spring are coaxing you to come outside and get some sun on your face, you will notice that the world around you is awakening from a long winter nap. Plants are sending up new green shoots and spring flowers are appearing. Songbirds are returning and animals are coming out of their dens. The hibernation is over!

While winter is transitioning to spring, pause and take a look at your yoga practice. Are there parts of your body or practice that have been in hibernation? Perhaps whole groups of poses (such as backbends, or ab work) have fallen out of your regular sequencing. Or, are there parts of your body that have been neglected in recent months?

If you can see some holes in your practice, try following spring's sterling example and start re-awakening and refreshing your practice. Remember, one of the primary goals of asana practice is to bring awareness and vitality to all parts of your body. As we practice a wide variety of poses, and include every body part, you move closer and closer to wholeness. Yoga means union, and union means that your whole body is united in health and wholeness.


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



Julie Gudmestad


Yoga Tip: Stretching

If you have some body parts that have gotten stiff and tight over the winter--perhaps due to neglect--it's time to expand your stretching repertoire. Regular stretching provides many benefits, including maintaining normal joint range of motion, stimulating blood circulation, and promoting that sense of well-being that we all love after yoga. Unstretched muscles gradually get shorter, and tighter, and they can be more vulnerable to injury.

If you are adding a new stretch, or resuming an old one that you haven't done for awhile, be sure to start gently. Don't let your ego get ahead of your body by trying to force your muscles to suddenly resume their previous flexibility. Instead, be honest and start with your body as it is today. Begin where you are, and you will gradually improve with practice.

Stretches are most effective when they are held for a longer period: try for two minutes. Don't push the stretch to the point of pain, as pain causes the muscle to contract to guard against injury (pain tells your nervous system that injury is occurring). Try to set up your position so feel a moderate, gentle stretch, which invites the muscle to let go, relax, and lengthen.

Studies have shown that your body takes literally what your mind is saying or visualizing, so be mindful about what you say to yourself and how you picture your body. If you are picturing your hamstrings as tight bands, and repeating to yourself that they've always been tight and always will be tight, your progress will be slow to non-existent!

Instead, try visualizing that the muscle you are stretching is gradually lengthening, like pulled taffy. Repeat a positive mantra: Breath by breath, my muscles are gradually getting longer and softer. Focusing on your breathing during stretching is always helpful. Focus especially on the exhale, which, like a slow sigh, is the natural time of letting go. Not only will breathing and positive visualizations help your muscles lengthen and become more flexible, but you'll also notice that your whole nervous system is calmer and quieter at the end of your stretching session.


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

Yoga Through the Decades

Although it may seem that most of our students are "middle aged" (however you may define it!), we are happy that students of all ages call Gudmestad Yoga Studio their yoga home. And, we thought it would be fun to hear from one student, representing each of the decades - 80s, 70s, 60s, 50s, 40s, 30s, 20s and teens, about why yoga is important in their life. So, in their own words...


Carol Fyfield (83, retired "renaissance woman" and current Meals on Wheels volunteer for 30+ years)      


I was inspired to start yoga by a beautiful person who was a yoga teacher. I continue to remain as strong and flexible as possible - to slow down the slowing down. 


Mary Beth Van Cleave (75, retired elementary school principal and current partner with Grace, her golden doodle, as a Pet Therapy Team, spreading joy at a senior center and convalescent home)      


I feel more than blessed to be strong, flexible, confident and optimistic. I give much credit for enjoying life at 75 as much as I do to my beloved yoga teachers who are the best in their field and who care enough to really know me. Thank you all!!! 


Liz Kellogg (63, school psychologist and ultra runner)      


I have practiced yoga at Gudmestad Yoga Studio for 12 years to improve my flexibility and balance, to minimize running-related injuries and to address problems caused by scoliosis. I'm fortunate to attend classes with my life partner because we can process physical challenges and changes we notice, and this also makes maintaining a regular home practice both more interesting and more likely. 


Merrill Hendin (53, school principal)      


I've been practicing yoga, on-and-off for about 20 years. It is something I always come back to for the peace of mind, flexibility, and all around good feeling I have when I do yoga. Now that I am back for physical therapy at the studio, I have a feeling that I will be starting classes again when I'm able. I look forward to getting back to regular yoga practice at Gudmestad Yoga Studio where I know I will be in good hands! 


Alex Gorodisher (40, engineer)      


Yoga was instrumental in rehabbing me from a major accident. I started yoga in my early 30s for stretching and said I wanted to ignore the rest of the stuff. But the rest of the stuff gave me the breathing, body awareness and focus to get me through the bigger challenges life has thrown at me. 


Stephanie Edman (35, massage therapist and bicycle fitter)      


I began attending a regular yoga class because after years of cycling my muscles were so tight I was having daily back pain. Over the years I have found that a regular practice provides a calm place for me to discover balance not only in my body but with my mind and that mindfulness has bled into all aspects of my life. I am so grateful to have found a yoga home at Gudmestad with such insightful teachers. 


Alison Reilly (25, social media manager)      


I do yoga because I feel like a new person after every class! Even after a year of class with Michael, I'm still surprised by its ability to positively affect my mood and change the way I feel. 



Kathrina Bisceglia (18, student and musician)         


I know that many people my age would not be interested in spending time each week stretching and breathing in yoga class, however, I have found it to be a rewarding investment! I not only feel wonderfully relaxed and free of tension at the end of class, but I gain ideas on how to keep my body feeling balanced the rest of the week, too, which enables me to enjoy and live an active life to the fullest. 


Settling In

It all started a few days before Christmas with a phone call from Julie asking if I would consider helping them out at the front desk. I thought about it for a bit and then said 'ok'. The first days were crazy trying to learn everything in the handful of days before Nari was to leave. But everyone was so nice and had such supportive, encouraging things to say to me!

So I decided to stay and see if I couldn't bring something of my own to the front office. I'm settling in, here for the long run. It should be an adventure! 



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

phone: 503 223 8157

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