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In This Issue
Yoga Tip: Plank Pose
Stuart's Yoga in Tuscany Review
Betsy's Summer Fun
What I Did on My Summer Vacation, by Laila
Fall Term begins September 23rd


Join us for our Fall term. There are still a few openings available. Call (503) 223.8157 to sign up.


Special Focus Classes for Fall

We will be offering a few special focus classes this fall with topics like:

Yoga for Stiff Athletes  

Yoga for Balance  

Foam Rollers  


Yoga for Shoulders 

Yoga & the Pelvic Floor


Home Practice   

Yoga for Headaches  

Yoga for Depression  


Back Care Basics   




Preparations for Backbends 



We will have more information available the first week of classes. click here to see the full schedule.  


Julie's Upcoming Workshops


This fall Julie will be teaching in Paradise, CA and at the Yoga Journal Conference in FL.


New Neighbors

We hope you will join us in welcoming our new downstairs neighbors, Rain & Shine Holistic Healthcare.

Their practitioners include a naturopath, two acupuncturists, and a massage therapist. We are looking forward to building close relationships as their clients join our classes and our students partake of their services.

We envision that this teamwork can work to the benefit and greater health of all.
Gudmestad Yoga

Fall Quarterly Newsletter


From my perspective here in late August, I notice that summer is already waning away. Minute by minute, the days are getting shorter. Evenings are getting cooler and summer fruits and vegetables are gradually ripening.

And, I'm hearing another seasonal phenomenon as our yoga students are anticipating the start of Fall Term in late September: the annual reporting of the yoga that did NOT get done over the summer. Believe me, I do understand the draw of hikes, bikes, and kayaks. The yard work, vacations, and summer visitors. However, instead of focusing on the shortage of practice time, let's take a look instead  at options to help prepare your body for the start of class.

Following nature's model of gradual seasonal transitions, set yourself a goal of just 5 minutes of yoga each day. Many students don't understand that even a few minutes a day really do help. You'd be wise to include some strengthening and some stretching poses in this plan, whether you do a little of each every day, or focus on strength one day and stretching the next.

I also like a plan that works the lower body one day and the upper body the next. For example, in about 5 minutes, you could do a couple of standing poses (Warrior 2, Triangle) followed by some leg stretches. The next day you could do dog to plank to dog, followed by a couple of chest and shoulder openers lying on the roll. If plank is one of those poses that you prefer to forget, keep reading to learn about its many virtues. Hopefully you'll be inspired to add it to your practice!


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



Julie Gudmestad


Yoga Tip: Plank

Yes, plank pose is a lot of work, whether you do full plank or knee plank with the knees on the floor. But there's a good reason it's so much work: plank strengthens several important muscle groups at the same time. If you're doing full plank, the quads are working to straighten your knees. The pectorals, deltoids and triceps muscles in your chest and shoulders work hard to bear weight on your arms, and unknown to most students, the abdominals work just as hard to support the middle of the pose as they would in crunches or curls.

chair plank Depending on your current level of strength (not last year's or next year's), you can practice plank with your hands on the wall (easiest), a table, a chair seat, or the floor. When your body is more upright, there is less weight on your arms. The closer you are to parallel to the floor, the closer you are to putting the maximum weight on your arms. Pick an option in which you feel challenged but can maintain good form, which is a straight line from heels to hips to shoulders to ears. No sagging in the middle!

Plank at wall heels up
For a good strong plank challenge, try practicing dog pose with your heels on the wall. Start with your heels down the wall to stretch your calves, then put your heels up the wall, with your toes and balls of the feet on the floor. Keeping firm pressure through the heels into the wall, which helps straighten your knees, shift forward into plank. wall dog heels upShift back and forth between dog and plank a few times, and gradually lengthen your hold times, which will build endurance as well as strength.

full plank Remember, a little plank practice a few times a week will not only help you prepare for class, you'll also be building the foundation for more advanced poses like sun salutations, inversions, and back bends. Whether you progress to these more challenging poses or not, maintaining your strength as well as your flexibility is a key part of yoga as well as essential to maintaining optimal musculoskeletal health.   


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

Stuart's 2013 Yoga in Tuscany Review

Our recent (in June) week-long yoga workshop in Tuscany was a real success. The participants found interesting things to do after our morning yoga classes including visiting Siena, Volterra and a museum in the town of Vinci where models of Leonardo's inventions were displayed.

Izella cookingIzella (our cook) led a cooking lesson one afternoon, then we sampled the results of the tri-colored linguine and biscotti that evening. Our host, Giulia had a lovely surprise one evening when two musicians entertained us with Italian folk music under the pergola, before our al fresco dinner. Pizza night was a highlight as Nonna Giulia and Renato kept the pizzas coming out of the outdoor wood oven faster than we could eat them.

musiciansWe look forward to returning next year from June 2nd - 9th, 2014. Mark your calendars! Click one of the photos here to link to this year's photos:

Please call or email with any questions about our next trip.



Betsy's Summer Fun

After last summer's travel to Europe, I stayed a little closer to home this summer. At the end of May, I shared a very relaxing road tripping time with former fellow staffers - Anne Simmons and Nari Maidl, to my brother Rocky's small winery in Sonoma, and then back to Bend to see where Nari settled.

Betsy and Bob Back in Portland, I welcomed my brothers - we are all outdoor enthusiasts - for visits in July and August, and together we explored some of Oregon's amazing natural beauty - hiking and kayaking along the way. Of course staying closer to home this summer also meant more time to devote to my #1 passion - my garden.

Betsy and Rocky Here Betsy is pictured with her brothers, Bob (at right) and Rocky (at left) enjoying Eagle Cap Wilderness and Mt. Hood. And (below) pots in her garden!

Betsy's flowers



What I Did on My Summer Vacation, by Laila

I managed to take a fabulous 5 week trip to travel to Norway and France this summer. In Norway, my husband, daughter and I visited my 90 year old mother-in-law, Elsa, and my brother-in-law, Lars.  Lars has Down Syndrome and had just had a total hip replacement so I put my physical therapy skills to work on him. Unfortunately, Elsa came down with shingles and was quite incapacitated the entire visit, but it was good we were there to care for her.

full car Then, my husband and daughter drove me to France where I met up with 9 friends from Portland. We cycled for 2 weeks through the Pyrenees, Provence and the French Alps. Our trip was timed to coincide with 3 stages of the Tour de France and we were able to see these unbelievable cyclists whiz by us.

Laila and her daughter If you'd like to see more pictures of the trip, click on one of these photos.

Looking forward to seeing you in class soon!   

 the group

Left: Laila's cycling group of friends



Hello Fall season!

The summer is winding down and I'm really looking forward to the changing of the seasons. I love the vibrant colors of fall and the transitions to something different. I'm ready to see all our students coming and going and telling stories of their summer adventures.

Hope to see you in class soon!



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

phone: 503 223 8157

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