A new series: Yoga for Absolute Beginners

I’m so pleased to offer a Yoga for Absolute Beginners series in March – the 19th through the 23rd of April, from 6:45 PM to 8 PM on Sundays!

In addition to our class time, each student receives a personal one hour session!

I’ll share a bit about what to expect from this series, then answer a few questions I’ve been asked.

What to expect:

Introduction to the history of yoga
Yoga is over 5,000 years old. I can’t possibly cover the history in six sessions even if I was a big expert (and I’m not)! But what I can do is give you the foundational information I wish I’d had, when I first started practicing twenty years ago!

Yoga language, yoga concepts, and Sanskrit
I’d like you to feel comfortable in a class – to know what to expect, whatever class you may end up in. Even though there are many, many types of yoga classes there are a few things I feel I can safely – and smartly – teach you, to prepare you for any setting you walk into.

The Eight Limbs of Yoga
What are the Eight Limbs of Yoga and why do they matter? Our physical health may be important to us, and that’s a good thing. But there is more to yoga than just corporeal exercise. We are more than just the strength and flexibility of our bodies.

While most the time you meet with me at Little Switch – in a group class, or private practice – we will be employing the physical arm of yoga – asana (or poses) – I want to touch on all eight arms of yoga for context. I promise: you’ll be glad I did.

Physical alignment
When it comes to asana, alignment and form are more important than trying to “look” like the instructor, or form an impressive-looking shape or feat of strength. In our six weeks I will get you grounded in alignment so you can enjoy practice, so you can stay safer in practice, and so you can benefit from practice.

Families of poses
I will lead us through varying degrees of depth of all basic families of yoga postures: standing poses, twists, hip openers, inversions, forward bends, backbends, arm balances, yin, and restorative yoga.

Yoga in Western culture
“Yoga” means an awful lot of different things. I want you equipped to find the classes – and instructors – that work best for you. My goal is for these six weeks to empower your own path. You deserve to enjoy every minute of your practice – it shouldn’t be a chore, or a competition.

Connection with the community
Six weeks together – we’ll get to know one another a little bit! I promise, you’ll feel a special fondness for the students you share this time with. Over time, I think you’ll find that’s the highest value experience of the series.

A personal hour with yours truly!
That’s right! Each one of you who enrolls receives a one-on-one hour with me to talk about your practice, about any modifications or variations that may suit you, about any injury history, and your intentions and goals for your practice.

A one-on-one session currently carries $75 fee but, if you enroll in the six week course, you receive this time complimentary. Upon enrollment you’ll receive a link and packet explaining how to claim this hour.

Again – my every intention is to bring you a safe, powerful, joyful experience that can boost you in your continued practice.

And finally…

Yes, you will get a workout!
While we won’t be huffin’ and puffin’ through a vigorous flow during the entirety of our six sessions together – make no mistake we will be moving, challenging, and strengthening our bodies!

My goal is not just to teach you more about yoga – but to help you fall in love with yoga, so you’ll be motivated and enthusiastic after we part ways!

And remember –

You can join a regular group class – anytime!


Am I too “out of shape” for this class?
No. However, you will be signing the same waiver every student does, affirming that you’ve discussed a yoga practice with your qualified, trusted practitioner.

If you can breathe, you can take this series.

Am I too “advanced” for this class?
Possibly! However, I am a fairly advanced practitioner and I’m designing a class I would want to take – if that makes sense! If you are fairly practiced I believe you will enjoy getting to work on the finer details of alignment – as well as connect with a grounded community. 

I don’t want anyone in the series who doesn’t want to be there, and who doesn’t benefit from the experience. If after reading this post you’re still unsure – feel free to email me, or meet with me after a group class.

Will you be teaching modifications in each asana (pose)?
Absolutely – although I call them variations. But: yes!

How many people will be in the series?
In order to provide a quality experience for all, I will accept between five to eight students. Any fewer, and I feel that puts too much pressure on each student. Any more, and I wouldn’t be able to provide quality attention to each student.

What happens if the series doesn’t get five signups?
You will be refunded in full, with my gratitude. But – tell your friends, so we can fill this roster and you can take the series with a buddy!

What happens if the class fills up?
Stay on my waitlist! If these series are popular, I will be sure to run them again.


Any other questions I haven’t responded to? Please feel free to email me directly.

I’d love to see you March 19th!

You can sign up here.

What to expect in group class

Group classes – at a studio, YMCA, or gym – are by far the most common yoga experience for most Americans.

You know the drill: you show up, take off your shoes and socks, unroll your mat, and begin with some breathing or light stretching, then soon you’re off to doing synchronous poses (called asana) with the rest of the class.

That’s the general gist!

Here’s what to expect at Little Switch.


Make sure to arrive five minutes before classtime at the latest – because it will take you time to remove your coat, shoes and socks, and to find a place to unroll your mat.

If you haven’t yet reviewed my paperwork and signed the waiver, make sure to be there at least fifteen minutes early – that’s 5:15. Don’t worry, you just have to read and sign the waiver once!

All are welcome!

I know almost all yoga studios say this kind of thing, but I have been to many “Beginner” classes where suddenly the instructor was throwing down incredibly difficult asana or vigorous flow sequences.

This can feel so incredibly discouraging for a Beginner.

As an instructor leading a group class, it’s not possible to personalize each asana for each student (that is what private instruction is for). My job is to hold space.

But I often teach TO the beginner (inasmuch as I can in a group class), trusting that the more seasoned practitioner can still find usefulness in each asana.

If you ever have a question if a class or particular Series are a good fit for you – simply ask me!

I do not touch students without consent.

In my first few months of class, I won’t be touching you at all! This is so I can focus on setting up the space, my verbal queueing – that sort of thing.

I am more likely to provide adjustment during private instruction, but only when needed (and usually it is not needed).

But in every case I ask before I adjust a student. I will never assume consent – ever.

I like to use props.

I am currently working on gathering more props because the more we have access to – the better!

I’ve written about props a bit before. My preference is that EVERY student brings them nearby before class starts. Even if you think you “don’t need them – they will benefit your practice a great deal, and lead you into a better and stronger place for the times you practice without them.

We conclude on time.

Just like you can expect me ready to start class on time – I’ll end class on time, too. In the first limb of yoga we practice the Yamas – and the third Yama is Asteya: non-stealing. I don’t steal your time. Your time is your most precious resource.

We end class with a longer savasana.

If you want 59 of your 60 minutes to be booty-toning, abs-busting sweaty workout – frankly, I’m just not the instructor for you.

Savasana (final resting pose; corpse pose) is important to allow our bodies and minds to absorb our practice, to allow us to begin to feel gratitude – and to let our parasympathetic nervous system kick in and provide us that rest and recover stage of physical exertion.

I recommend you bring cozy socks, blanket, hoodie, et cetera – feeling warm, supported and restful during savasana is worth it!

You can trust me.

Again: my job is to hold space for my students, and to lead you through the practice of yoga asana. I continue

I did not start Little Switch as a money-making enterprise – I am only teaching a handful of times each week.

I started Little Switch to teach all eight limbs of yoga, to foster more health, wellness and self-care to Grays Harbor, and to create a strong yoga community here.

I’d love to see you in class!

You can sign up here.

What to expect in private instruction

If you are considering private instruction with me – congratulations!

This is one of the smartest and deepest investments you can make in your practice.

My private practice with my own teachers has been one of the most helpful, exhilarating, and deeply moving yoga experiences of my life! I get stronger, stretch better, work safer, breathe deeper, and experience more confidence and joy in my practice!

Not to mention I get to work on those extras that are fun to play with: headstands, splits, upward bow pose. These asana aren’t necessary to master (or even attempt) but under the guidance of an instructor I was able to progress in these advanced asanas safely! By myself and in group class, I wasn’t making headway.

Now, as an instructor myself I am so glad to be in the position to provide private sessions to my students.

If you’re thinking about private practice, here is what to expect:

I bring my particular ethos to every session.

If you don’t like what you read here, it is likely I am not a good fit for you. I am always happy to clarify any questions you have.

If you’re into my vibe, then let’s meet!

Getting ready for private instruction:

You don’t have to over-prepare. Like all my students, you need to affirm you have discussed yoga practice with a trusted and qualified professional, and you need to  review and sign my three forms: the liability waiver, attestation of health/Covid status, and photography policy. You may request these before our time together, and come to me with any questions – or we can go over them in our first session.

While we can of course meet in your home, I advise we meet in my studio space or my home.

Here’s why.

Being away from your home environment will help you put all your to-do list aside (like housework, bills to pay, et cetera) and will relieve you of any (subtle or overt) pressure to “host” me in your space.

Being away from your home environment will help you segregate your practice, and focus on your practice. You may in time develop a solid home practice (although that is hard to stick to, for many), but in many ways meeting in a private studio setting, is more impactful.

Just you and I!

You will want to come dressed comfortably, and to bring your mat. I will have props available and we will be discussing them during our time together.

Our first meeting:

You get to relax and let me ask you some questions, and take notes. This will help me better get to know your history, your goals, and your hopes.

The orientation and intake part of our session will take anywhere from fifteen to forty minutes. Then we’l get moovin’ and groovin’!


The asana, pranayama and pratyahara we work through we work through will depend on our initial discussion, as well as check-ins at the beginning of each session.


I do not touch my students without consent – no exceptions. Never worry that I will touch you in class or in private instruction without first asking.

Similarly, I do not take photographs of students without their verbal or written consent (and I don’t take many photographs in general, so you can relax about that)!

I also do not publicly identify my students without prior written or verbal consent. (Although I love it when you identify, tag, and refer me to your friends!)


Our time together and the work we do will remain entirely confidential.

Attendance and tardiness:

I will arrive on time, fed, rested and ready to focus. I ask the same of my students.

If you are feeling stressed or pressed when we get together – that is okay! We will take care of that in our time together!

But I do ask that you arrive on time, for each session. Since I booked time with you and therefore could not book time with another, there will be no refunds if you are late or do not make it to our session. However if I am unable to be there  – regardless of reason – you will receive a full refund.


Private practice is one of the deepest gifts you can give yourself. You will not regret this commitment to your yoga practice. You will also be so glad to bring a stronger, more stable practice the next time you’re in a group class!

If you’d like to purchase a multi-session package, reach out via email and we can have that conversation.

I look forward – so much! – to our time together.

“I don’t need props” – a different perspective

I believe in using props for yoga asana practice.

If you are starting a home practice, the supplies I recommend are (in relative order):

Comfortable, clean clothing
A yoga mat
Two yoga blocks (standard size of 4″ by 4″ by 9″), preferably foam
A yoga blanket (or two) – any firm, throw-sized blanket will work
A strap (non-stretch)
A bolster (firm)

If you have the above, you are well on the way to creating a safe, joyful practice!

If you are short on funds and/or time resources, or you cannot find a friend to loan you these items – please know that really, any nonslip surface (including your carpeted floor) will work for yoga.

But I want you to think about something.

By even considering making yoga a part of your life, you are investing your most valuable resource – time.

If you are willing to invest time, finding some funding is a way to respect that commitment. It is worth the time – and saving pennies, even – to invest in a mat and blocks.

You can find both for under $25.

Don’t worry if they’re not “top of the line”. I didn’t start with “top of the line” stuff – and by the way, I still mostly wear t-shirts and sweatpants to practice.


Don’t get too over-worried about props. There are loads of accoutrement for yoga! So if you’ve made a start on the basics above, you’re doing well.

Yoga has been around about 5,000 years! Unfortunately in America, yoga is often looked at as a workout, a fitness regime, or an extreme flexibility practice. Due to the Western colonization of yoga we’ve developed a distinctly white-washed, classist, fatphobic, culturally appropriative, ableist, Capitalist and FITSPO concept of yoga.

I have a lot more to say about the above at some other time!

But for now I will say: all of the above are problems. But when it comes to “I don’t need props” – fitspo is probably the biggest obstacle.

Fitspo transforms the practice of yoga into another workout in which we want to:

demonstrate impressive-looking results to the class (or instructor),

and/or achieve a certain look, physique, or series of abilities, 

and/or compete with other students.

Fitspo focusses on results like weight loss, or getting “smaller” – but fitspo may also focus on making your poses (called asana) LOOK good.

And that’s where people will refuse props, telling me they “don’t need them”.

I see this all the time. I’ll help lead a class into their version of a split – hanumanasana. I’ll encourage them to use blocks under their front extended leg – as many blocks as they need to feel stable. I’ll further encourage them to use blocks under their hands as well, so they can “rest” in a split – feeling a wonderful sensation without pain – and let gravity help them find ease and exhilaration in the asana.

Inevitably, the student who told me they “don’t need props” will be struggling to get their pelvis as low to the ground as possible, propping the weight of their body on their arms, and not only looking shaky but risking a very real injury – a hamstring or groin strain or tear.

If you’ve been that student – if you’ve ever hurt yourself while trying to “keep up” or look good –

Well, so have I!

Welcome to the club!

So: no one should feel bad about this!

It can take a long time – sometimes even years! – to start listening to the instructor’s cues, and (far more importantly) to begin listening to our body’s signals.

It can also take a lot of time – and hard work – to feel confident about using props, instead of being worried what other students (or the instructor) will think. It takes courage or self-confidence to stop while the other students are practicing, and walk over to collect more props to assist you in the pose.

But that is exactly what I invite you to do.

Students who behave this way – who listen to their bodies with care – show me they are invested in the journey, and they’re going to learn to love the practice.


One more point:

Props don’t just help you stay safe.

They can help you achieve an alignment, posture, or relaxation which allows you to more fully experience the benefits of the pose.

Here is one example.

If you are not able to comfortably bring your forehead to the mat in child’s pose (balasana), even with your knees apart, the use of props to provide support to your forehead, chest, belly, knees or arms – may make all the difference in the world! Instead of feeling pain, strain or uncertainty – and trying to mask your ragged breath – you’ll relax into this restorative pose and access your pranayama (breath-energy) all the better.


I invite you to stop seeing props as a challenge to your ego.

If nothing else: please trust me that if you make yourself miserable on the mat, you won’t want to come back.

So if you’re planning on making yourself hate practice – well, why start in the first place?

You began your practice of yoga because you believed in it – or at least, you were willing to approach with an open mind.

So let props help your body.

You’ll come to love them as much as I do!


I did not include links in this post for two reasons: I am not trying to sell anything (or get a kickback for link sales), and also – these things are pretty simple to find. If you have any questions, schedule a private session or come to class!

My every aim is to be helpful.

Here’s a pretty good article breaking fitspo down. If the link doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll update this post with a new one!

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