January 6, 2015 | Cindy Ulshafer
In a secluded yet inviting subdivision, a class is held every Thursday afternoon. Located off of Industrial Drive SE, a few residents call Pringle Creek Community home, and it also is the setting of Painters Hall where yoga was practiced on Dec. 18.
A handful of students bring their yoga mats every week. The class is open to the public, according to resident and community general manager Jane Poznar, who sponsors the class and also participates.
Teacher Alyson Budde asks a nominal fee to help cover the rent of the hall. She said she leads the classes which are designed for the students who attend in a relaxed, noncompetitive atmosphere.
Susan and Alan Wilson are regulars; they have taken Budde’s yoga classes for two years. The couple was the first to build and move into the subdivision, and they still value the standards set for the community. “It’s been great” to live here, said Alan.
Painters Hall, built about 80 years ago, was used for decades by painters who maintained the buildings of the former Fairview Training Center. Most of the original building remains and was renovated four years ago to meet the community’s Net Zero Energy Building standards. The building earned several national awards, including LEED Platinum. A ground‐source geothermal loop heats and cools it, and the rooftop solar panels produce electricity.
In the late afternoon light afforded by the windows, Budde discussed yoga techniques. Even “sitting and breathing correctly for an hour is yoga,” explained Budde. As the students started out cross-legged on their mats, she told them, “Focus on the out breath until your body forces you to breathe in” because the lungs draw in air naturally. “Listen to your body,” she said. Gentle music in the background enhanced the relaxed atmosphere.
“It’s going to be interesting,” said John Doland. He had never tried yoga before; he had been invited by his friend Chantal Barton, who has been practicing yoga with her sister Phoebe at home.
The students moved to their hands and knees, “a cat-cow combination. You’re following your breath,” Budde said quietly. The light from a nearby office automatically turned off, and the room dimmed.
“Pull abdominal muscles up to your spine,” Budde said as the students slid their hands forward into a puppy dog pose. “Be intentional about that out breath.”
The students modified each pose as fit their ability. Moving onto their stomachs, they lifted their heads, arms, and toes from the mats into a locust pose. “Breathe because you’ll want to hold your breath here.” Budde said. Still on their stomachs, they moved into a bow, hands reaching back toward their toes. A final light clicked off and the room settled into dusk.
The students rested in a child’s pose and then stretched into downward dog. “It’s easy to find those lower abdominal muscles here,” said Budde. “Take your time.”
She moved the class into more positions, but everyone felt comfortable to stretch within their own limits. A song ended, and the room was quiet except for regular controlled breathing.
After a water break, the students worked from a standing position. “We have a bicyclist so we’re going to start with warrior one,” said Budde, and she stepped over to correct Doland’s position.
As Budde modeled the chair pose, she said, “Balance is a very shifty thing. It comes and goes.” When you stop exercising, balance is the first to go but the first to come back, she explained.
No adequate light remained for photographs as Budde led the class into the darkness. “Let the breath drive your movement,” she said.
View original source at The Statesman Journal. Article by Cindy Ulshafer.