Shala Living Yoga helps Zags to de-stress and regain their inner zen | Culture & Leisure
Cura personalis is a key part of campus culture. From mental health to physical well-being, there are many avenues offered by Gonzaga University to take care of yourself.
People at Shala’s Living Yoga looking to take it to the next level.
Located at 412 W. Boone Ave., Shala has partnered with GU since 2014 to offer yoga classes to students. Zags can participate in this optional physical fitness class, giving them a complete gateway to the world of yoga. With access to an unlimited number of lessons per week, students can try their hand at a myriad of practices.
“I want to give people the opportunity to really see what it will be like for them to have a regular yoga practice,” said Ara Lyman, owner of Shala Living Yoga.
The studio focuses on the practice of Tantric Yoga, which relates to worldliness and the perception of a divine being.
Most of Shala Living Yoga’s classes aim to help bring about unity and balance within oneself. With two main rooms – the Hot Room dedicated to classes like Hot 26 and Kundalini fitness and the Goddess Room which hosts introspection-focused classes – students have endless possibilities to take different classes and determine which practices and which ones. styles resonate the most with them.
“We get up in the morning and do a practice called saadhana, and it relates to my Kundalini yoga system that I love to practice,” Lyman said. “We’re going to do mantras – like, lots of phrases of words spoken somehow to land [ourselves] in a specific mantra that we do, and we will do it for 30 minutes. We will do warm-up exercises, then think for 30 minutes. It’s incredible.
Before becoming the owner of Shala, Lyman had a long, revealing journey to where she is now.
“I started doing yoga about 20 years ago,” Lyman said. “I had hamstring tendonitis and couldn’t really get physical therapy for it. I used to take long walks, run, and then walk, run, and couldn’t do that anymore, so I found a VHS tape and started making this tape called “The Joy yoga “, and by far, I loved it.
She quickly followed Alison Rubin’s study at Harmony Yoga in Spokane. Since then, she has achieved several instructor certifications, including a 200-hour certification through the Yoga School of Spokane and a 200-hour Radiant Body Kundalini yoga certification from Kia Miller.
After his certifications, Lyman taught for five years at Yarrow Yoga, now closed, before a short sabbatical. She then bought the original Shala Living Yoga from her previous owner along with her partner. Things were going well until the pandemic hit.
“I lost my space there because they sold the building, and basically I was asked to leave because they were going to turn it into condos,” Lyman said. “It was a really strange series of events. We were broadcasting everything live because of the shutdown, and I knew it wasn’t sustainable. “
Fortunately, the stars have aligned for Lyman, as Yarrow Yoga closed last July, around the same time Shala Living Yoga made the transition online. As other studios began to open during the vaccine rollout, Lyman purchased the old Yarrow Yoga location, coming full circle.
For students, the establishment offers them a multitude of opportunities to take care of their well-being.
“They were super welcoming,” said Grace Strutzel, GU senior. “The staff walked through the door and immediately answered questions and then just explained it to you. “
As an instructor, Lyman derives great joy from knowing that the studio serves not only as a place for physical improvement, but also as a place to take care of his mental health.
“The students who have learned to exploit this, they always tell me how much it has helped them,” Lyman said. “Their notes and everything, even though they took that extra time to do it, they feel like it actually created more quality time for it. [the students] long-term. They work better, they can think better, their projects are better, their writing is better because everything is clearer. “
Alexander Prevost is a sports writer. Follow him on Twitter: @Alexanderprvst.