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In This Issue
Yoga Tip: Savasana Two
Working with Cyclists


We have drop-in classes happening Monday, Dec. 16th, through Friday, Dec. 20th.  


A Restorative practice on Monday, Dec. 23rd.  


$14 per class. Join us if you can.    


begins January 6th


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


February 28th - March 2nd, 2014.  


World-class instructors, world-class location.

Julie will be teaching at the festival again this year.



She traveled to California to be assessed and tested over a 3 day period. The Iyengar certification is the most rigorous and challenging of any school of yoga.

We are so proud of her!

She joins Julie and Laila in becoming Iyengar Certified.


August 4th - 8th, 2014

in Portland, OR.


You will learn to identify structures visually, by palpation and by 'feel', because you have gained the foundation to understanding the anatomy underlying these structures.   


Coming up June 2nd through June 9th, 2014. At Hillltop Chianti Country Estate in Castelfiorentino.

Now is a great time to consider joining Stuart in Tuscany for a week of yoga and adventure!
Gudmestad Yoga

Winter Quarterly Newsletter


Here's a little winter quiz for you:
What do too much sitting, depression, and holiday exhaustion have in common?

During the depths of winter, we are prone to any or all of these conditions, and they all contribute to shortening or compression of the front body. With the short, dark days, we tend to stay inside more, often sitting, and often sitting slumped. And if you're exhausted or depressed, it's hard to find the energy to sit or stand tall, and you may end up curled in a C-shape whether sitting, standing or lying down.

In fact, most Eastern healing disciplines teach that humans have important energy channels in the center of our torsos that conduct our vital energy up, down, and throughout our beings. Living in a rounded or slumped position actually puts pressure on those energy channels, like a tourniquet, limiting the flow of energy. While depression and exhaustion contribute to the compression, the compression contributes to the feelings of low energy.

As I write this, with the memory of a big Thanksgiving dinner fresh in my mind, I can also tell you that  slumping also puts uncomfortable pressure on your digestive organs, which may contribute to digestive problems. Remember how you'd like to lie down after that big meal? You can fix the compression problem by lying down with your front body open, instead of curled up in a ball.

Fortunately, yoga has many poses for front body opening. Some poses are very gentle, supported restorative poses, and some are active and challenging back bends. In honor of winter, I offer this gentle, chest/abdomen-opening version of Savasana. You'll find it's perfect after a big meal, an exhausting day, or for just a few minutes of quiet time before your next holiday event.


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



Julie Gudmestad


Yoga Tip: Savasana Two

To enjoy this simple and spacious version of Savasana, gather two firm blankets, and a third to use as a cover to ward off the floor's chill. Fold the two firm blankets into long, narrow rectangles about 11-12 inches across and 2.5-3 feet long. Stack the blankets, and turn the end of the top blanket under to form a pillow, or use a separate pillow, for your head. Lie down on the blankets as illustrated in the photo, with your hips on the floor and your low back curve supported by the end of the blankets.

Position the pillow so that your chin is lower than your forehead, which lengthens the back of your neck and directs your gaze down and inward. You may place a rolled blanket behind your knees, and then let your legs relax (they may turn out). Open your arms to the side, with your hands several inches from the blankets, and with palms up.

Now breathe and relax, and savor whatever amount of time you have to spare. Even a few minutes helps to open your lungs and heart, takes pressure off your digestive organs, and allows your vital healing energy to flow through its channels, revitalizing body, mind, and spirit.      


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

Working with Cyclists

After working as a physical therapist in an outpatient orthopedic setting for over ten years, I was introduced to yoga based therapeutic exercises by Julie Gudmestad in 1990. Having occasionally with cyclists early on, my interest was especially piqued when Michael Sylvester recommended that I trade in my old mountain bike for a road bike. According to Michael, not only would I enjoy cycling more, but I would gain an understanding of the challenges that the cyclist presents as a patient. This turned out to be very true. That was over 15 years ago.

How the cyclist ends up in my treatment room can vary. There are times when Michael, who works as a full time professional bicycle fitter, will see a client for a fitting. If the client mentions a physical limitation they are dealing with, Michael will make as many changes to the bike as possible. Sometimes after the evaluation, he concludes "There is only so much I can do to change the bike. For the rest, you need to see Stuart." Michael will often accompany the patient and contribute to the evaluation.

Other times, after I have seen a patient and created an exercise program to decrease their symptoms, if they are cyclists I will often direct them to Michael for professional fitting. When possible, I will attend Michael's fitting of the patient. We are always learning from each other!

I have found that thirty years of orthopedic therapy experience, cominf from a yoga perspective and understanding what being on a road bike feels like, combines well into effective treatment for the cyclist.

I can't end any discussion about cycling without stressing the importance of safety. Wear your helmet, obey traffic rules (we arepart of the traffic too!), and be aware of your surroundings.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot - Have Fun!
Stuart Stark, PT

Winter is almost upon us

We just finished our restorative week and it was lovely to see and feel the quiet that everyone had as they emerged from their classes. I hope that some of that quiet stays with you all through the holidays.

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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