The Yoga Den will be closing its doors November 25th.
I will contune to practice Massage (Table & Thai) at a different location. Please call or email me for more info or to book a session.
32 Years ago inspiration from a book and little interest in working out at a gym, I tried my first yoga class.
Yoga wasn’t [the thing] back in 1986. The class I attended was in a basement turned yoga studio in the house of the instructor. Guilt has plagued me many years as I do not remember his name, though I do remember his face and the sound of his voice. I also remember his approach to the practice and that is what has kept me doing yoga all these years. He was a true Yogi. Hindu, vegetarian, modest and humble and a true desire to teach the path of Yoga.
It was my third class when, as the nine other students were filing out after class had ended that the instructor came to me to share a few things about the practice and how to approach it and to tell me… I was a reincarnated yogi. I had returned to once again learn the practice of yoga to teach it one day. I looked at him thinking his hair in a bun must be too tight.
After missing a few weekly classes due to lack of funds, my teacher shared another thing that has stayed with me. He asked why I have missed class, it was important that I come. I started to make a lame excuse when he silenced me with, “Lack of money is not an excuse for not practicing. I don’t care about the money. You pay when you can but you come to class. This is important.”
Since then I have practiced intensely as well as taken long breaks. I practiced as I was originally taught as well as incorporated the teachings of a few incredible teachers along the way. Practice off of the mat was just as important as on it. Many books, a few movies and lectures have kept yoga foremost in my approach to life and daily living. Which was also enhanced by my studies and practice in Soto Zen Buddhism.
Becoming a yoga teacher was never my intention. Many people strongly suggested it but I really didn’t feel a, or the calling. It was only a circumstantial experience that led me to open The Yoga Den eight years ago. Inspired by teaching all male classes I was comfortable with doing something different from all the neighboring yoga studios. And it wasn’t only different because it was a men’s only yoga studio, it was different because I held naked classes and advertised it like any other class. Naked Yoga or Nude Yoga had already been [a thing] mainly within the gay community and what I had seen and read had erotic or sensual tones to it. Understanding that nudity is not equivalent to sex my naked yoga practice has been just like any other yoga class sans clothing. My main focus for the naked classes was for men to become comfortable in their own skin, in their own body as well as with other naked men in an open and safe environment without pressure, judgment or sexual energies.
Having been in business for 8 years I can say the experience has been a success though not without its challenges, headaches and heartaches. I had never intended to be a business owner. Like most challenges I have faced, I approached it with a “why not” attitude and jumped in.
Now has come the time to move on. The Yoga Den will close its doors 1:30pm November 25 2017. The building will be renovated and with that an obnoxious rent increase. The building has always suffered issues so this is no surprise and I have just been biding my time over the past two years. I close The Yoga Den without regrets or sadness.
Teaching yoga became a new and different approach to my practice. One I never expected. I have learned so much about myself, and men in general. With the time, space and availability, The Yoga Den opened me to my newest profession and practice, Massage Therapist.
The Yoga Den has also entertained Tango classes, Meditation groups, Feldenkrais and other movement classes, photo shoots, film sets, play rehearsal space and an indoor playground for Tobias.
In opening The Yoga Den I wanted to create a space for men - gay, straight, bi, transgender - where they could feel safe and be able to express themselves. I never intended it to be for gay men only. Though there were some hard challenges it has been an incredible experience. The compliments and acknowledgements I have received from men from all over the world (I have worked with a lot of travelling yogi’s!) who have visited or practiced at The Yoga Den is an honor and a gift I could never have imagined. My regular students and the ones who were irregular (wink) have always been an inspiration to me to move beyond my comfort zone and to push myself further. I have seen and heard how I have pushed and inspired others and it is a blessing, an honoring gift that has strengthened me and has allowed me to grow and become proud w/o the pride. The most common thing I hear from guys is, “I hear your voice in the back of my head, telling me how to adjust my spine and engage my core”. I must say it is thrilling and a bit unnerving to know my voice is living in someone else’s head.
I have met so many wonderful men through The Yoga Den. So many friends have been made. My cup overfloweth with honor and respect.
Without me you would… I mean, Without you, I would be nothing as a yoga teacher. Many heartfelt thanks to every man that has crossed the threshold of The Yoga Den. So many memories, so many stories. In the end, it has been an incredible experience. I bow in your honor.
Teaching yoga has not left me and I hope to pick up a class or two very soon in a nearby studio and I hope to continue to teach a men’s class and will be more than happy to teach women as well. Yoga really is for everyone!
There are no classes at The Yoga Den this weekend as I have a CE class to take but there will be the regular Saturday classes on the 18th and the last on the 25th. Thursday Naked Relaxing and Restorative 7pm class will continue until the 16th.
If it has been awhile since you have been to class or have yet to take a class with me, please drop in. Saturday Clothed 10:30am and Naked at Noon. It would be great to see you and include you as this chapter of my life closes. And of course Tobias would love to see you as well. He would love to give you one last Downward Dog and a kiss.
Whether I have expressed this to you or not, please know…
I honor the place in you that is the same in me
I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides
I honor the place in you that is love and light and peace
The spirit within me bows to the spirit within you
I greet the place where you and I are one.
Welcome to The Yoga Den,Seattle's premier yoga and massage studio for men, where we provide a great space for guys to experience the physical and meditative aspects of yoga and the relaxing and restorative qualities of massage.
You may have a vision of yoga as being something only women do, but the practice of training your body and breathing has incredible benefits for everyone. In order to try yoga, you don't need to be the most flexible person in the room. There is a modification to every pose to fit your needs, your body.
Join us for one of our classes and deepen your connection with yourself in a community of men.We offer several clothed andnakedyogaclasses as well as on-going workshop series to fit your needs. Our classes blend Kripalu, Ashtanga, and Viniyoga styles and include yoga postures, breath work, and meditation techniques to bring peace and relaxation to your mind and body. We look forward to seeing you at the studio!