Yoga Pagosa Grand Opening Tomorrow
Glenn Walsh | 1/5/07
Yoga Pagosa, the most innovative attempt yet to create a home for yoga in Archuleta County, opens tomorrow, Saturday January 6, by offering nine free classes led by many of Pagosa's favorite teachers.  Yoga Pagosa is located in the Uptown City Market Plaza.  No reservation is required, and there is no limit on the number of classes one can sample.  Gift certificate drawings will be held at the end of each class and special discounted class coupons can be purchased for future sessions which bring the per-class cost down to $6.

The owners and teachers' cooperative at Yoga Pagosa are attempting to establish a dynamic but stable place for yoga in Pagosa in a signature American way:  by bringing yoga to the middle of the mall, every day, in a comfortable setting which includes a unique heated cork floor.  The teachers' backgrounds are diverse: Olympic caliber athletes, national Karate champions, bestselling yoga authors, ultramarathoners, and moms and dads who pursued their study and years of intensive practice for physical fitness and peace of mind until they found themselves in the front of the room teaching.   Classes are offered each day for the absolute beginner, those recovering from injury or illness, and the yoga enthusiast who wants his or her limits challenged.  Private classes can be arranged for those who desire a one-with-one introduction to yoga.  The prices for private introductory classes quoted to this writer were reasonable bordering on downright cheap.  The Grand Opening slate of classes and teacher biographies follow:

Grand Opening Schedule:
7am RisenShine Laura Evans
8am Grace & Alignment Sherry Ponder
9am Strong Yoga Flow Tina Marie Valles
10am Pre-Natal Laura Simon
11am Mommie & Me Laura Simon

Midday Break

3pm Yoga Eric Sellers
4pm Moon & Sun Salutations
Margaret Burkesmith
5pm YogaFit Heidi Malano
6pm Kundalini Blue Lindner

Yoga Pagosa Teachers
margaretMargaret Burkesmith

Margaret Burkesmith was introduced to Yoga over 10 years ago.  During her first yoga class, she realized that Yoga was the key to health and longevity, and that it would enable her to move forward in life comfortably with more balance and flexibility in all aspects: physical, mental, heart, and inner spirit.  Her at-home daycare inspired her to teach yoga to children, and then to adults.  Teachers who Margaret has practice under are Laurie Shoemaker, Jonji Provenzano, Stephanie Kristal, and Nikki Taylor.  She has also attended workshops and conferences that included Yoga Vision and the Yoga Conference in Tempe, AZ.  Margaret believes in the philosophy that we are perfect, just as we are, right now.
Teaches Sunrise Yoga and Yoga Flow

Laura Evans Yoga TeacherLaura Evans

Laura has been studying yoga since 1989, and teaching since 1996. She enjoys sharing Yoga as a practical way to build inner and outer peace and strength. With foundational training in Anusara, Iyengar, and Kripalu methods, she brings a lot of heart and precision alignment to her teaching. Currently she endeavors to teach the traditional Tantric Yoga of the HImalayan Institute as taught to her by her teacher Yogarupa Rod Stryker. Laura is also a licensed massage therapist, certified pregnancy yoga teacher, and loves to share and teach melodic yogic chant.

Teaches Yoga Basics for a Better Back, and Yoga Works

Kat Katsos Yoga TeacherKat Katsos

Kat Katsos was trained and certified in the Indra Devi Style of Yoga, and has taught Indra Devi Yoga for six years.  Indra Devi was named the First Lady of Yoga by Krishnamacharya, and died at the age of 102.  Indra Devi focused on the healing qualities of yoga and maintained a restorative style of practice.  Always beginning with pranayama practice (breathing technique), followed by inner awareness and intuitive responses to the asanas (postures), then finishing the practice with a deep savasana (relaxation) bringing the body and mind into harmonious state. ~Om, Shanti~

Teaches Restorative Yoga & Mid-day Stretch 
Yoga Teacher Heidi MalamoHeidi Malano

Heidi provides an active blend of strenght, balance, and power elements into her yoga style to inspire her students to challenge themselves on the mat, as well as in every adventure or sport they enjoy in life.  As a certified fitness instructor, personal trainer, and fitness competitor (2nd Place Ms. Fitness USA 2007, 8th Place Ms. Fitness World 2007, 1st Place Ms. Fitness Colorado 2006, 1st Place Ms. Physique Colorado 2006), Heidi believes that yoga is a wonderful complement to any fitness or athletic program.  Certified in YogaFit, her style appeals to those who seek a wonderful yogic experience through an alternative approach to the traditional yoga practice.

Teaches YogaFit

Felicia Meyer Yoga TeacherFelicia Meyer

Felicia's Hatha Yoga classes are a blend of breath and movement in a flow style, combined with focused alignement and body awareness in standing and seated postures.  She began doing yoga in 1986 and was certified at the Center for Yoga in Los Angeles in 1992.  Since her certification, she has been teaching hatha yoga classes for people of all ages, and loves to observe the myriad of benefits that yoga brings into people's lives.  She is grateful to all of her teachers and students for their contribution to her yoga path.

Teaches Hatha Yoga

Laura Simon Yoga TeacherLaura Simon

Laura Simon was introduced to yoga while training with the US Women's National Rowing Team for the Sydney Olympics as a way of dealing with the emotional and physical stress related to being an elite athlete.  After retiring from rowing, Laura dived into a daily practice of yoga, exploring the different styles of asana.  She did her teacher training at Greenpath Yoga Studio in San Francisco, which focused on the Astanga tradition.  Shortly after completing her teacher training, she turned her focus toward pre-natal yoga.  She spent time as an apprentice at Enso Yoga Studio in Half Moon Bay teaching and observing pre-natal yoga classes.  She recently completed her training to be a Doula with Debbie Lavin and is currently working on her Doula certification through DONA International.  She recently moved to Pagosa with her fiance and two dogs and is looking forward to becoming part of the birth community in town. 

Teaches Pre-Natal Yoga

Eric Selelr Yoga TeacherEric Seller

Eric started practicing yoga daily, to see what would happen, in the spring of 1999.  He was struck by yoga’s immediate, consistent, and lasting positive effects in all aspects of his life.  Intrigued, after just a few months of practice,  he moved to Massachusetts to study yoga full-time at Kripalu Center.  He then dedicated two years of intensive study to the powerful alignment techniques of Anusara Yoga, and began teaching full-time in 2001.  A longing to dive deeper into yoga’s potential through meditation led Eric to his teacher, Yogarupa Rod Stryker, and the Himalayan tradition of Swami Rama.  Continually inspired by the results of his practice, Eric’s wish is to share the science of yoga with as many people as possible.  He brings additional skills to his yoga teaching as a certified Rolf practitioner and massage therapist.

Teaches Sunday Morning Yoga

Sherry Ponder Yoga TeacherSherry Ponder

Sherry is committed to inspiring lightheartedness, playfulness and joyful creativity through the practice of yoga. Her instruction also incorporates her excellent foundation in alignment and sequencing. She has done intensive training with senior Anusara yoga instructors, and has acquired hundreds of hours of training in Iyengar, Viny and other yoga styles as well. She has studied structural and therapeutic principles extensively, and has been a certified fitness instructor since 1999.

Teaches Grace & Alignment Yoga

Susan Ward Yoga TeacherSusan Winter Ward

World recognized yoga teacher, Susan Winter Ward's company, "Yoga for the Young at Heart," produces award winning yoga videos especially for seniors, "baby boomers" and beginners.  Her classes feature accessible yoga.  They're inviting, encouraging, and un-intimidating. Susan "wrote the book" on bringing the benefits and joys of yoga to seniors and beginners.  She has produced five video classes, a book and a CDRom & ScreenSaver  for the beginning yoga student.  Her aim is to bring yoga to everybody, regardless of age or physical condition.  Susan is dedicated to presenting yoga as a transformational tool that can guide people to recognize their own inner wisdom, power, and beauty.

 Blue Lindner

Kundalini yoga was designed as the yoga for everyday people.  It is a yoga created for people who want to be healthy, joyful, and centered as they carry out lives in the working world as members of families and communities.  Kundalini works fast and powerfully to give you fortitude and integrity in your life.  Blue's classes are inspired by her years in Austin studying with her two mentors, master teachers GB Khalsa and Shannon Potts.

Teaches Kundalini Yoga

 Tina Marie Valles

Tina Marie Valles has trained in Yoga for over 20 years.  Her background also includes Shotokan Karate Black Belt; Danish Champion & Best Fighter Shotokan Cup; Former member of The Danish National Karate Team; Certified in Shiatsu Massage; Certified Sports, Dance, and Swim-instructor; Certified in basic LEP Body Therapy.  She has taught Yoga for the last 19 years.  “As a child I loved all sports, and was dedicated to making my own training programs. When I was on The National Team in karate, I signed up for yoga to support my training. In the yoga room, I discovered that “my” exercises had already been invented thousands of years ago.  I had naturally been doing yoga postures, because it was fun and gave me a sense of connectedness and well being.” 

Teaches Strong Yoga Flow

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