Our Approach & Class Descriptions

Our Approach to Yoga

At Sellwood Yoga, we are committed to being a welcoming and respectful studio for everyone. We have a non-dogmatic approach and believe that there are many valuable traditions, styles, and practices of yoga. Therefore, we offer a variety of styles and classes so that individual students can find the best classes for them, and our teachers can teach using their own unique and authentic voices.

As of August 13, 2021 there is a Multnomah county and state of Oregon mandate requiring all students wear a mask while indoors. Students practicing on the outside deck for classes will not be required to wear a mask. Indoor class sizes will go down to 50% capacity to provide more social distancing space.  Weather permitting we offer outdoor yoga on our outside yoga deck that is directly behind our studio.  Many classes have both in studio spots as well as outdoor spots that you can reserve in advance.  Most classes are hybrid with a Live Stream feed via Zoom from the indoor practice space.  That way you can practice yoga with us from your home, office or when you travel.  

Many of our classes contain teachings that draw from the more traditional roots of yoga, while also representing the current yoga disciplines of today. Our teachers all understand the personal nature of yoga, and we encourage students to feel safe and supported above all else.

Students of all ages, sizes, and levels are welcome and encouraged to attend classes. There is something for everyone at Sellwood Yoga, and you can start practicing yoga at any level of flexibility or fitness. In addition to yoga, we offer pilates and mindfulness class, including Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction courses (for more info on MBSR, click here). We also offer a variety of workshops.

Below, you will find descriptions of our classes. Be sure to check the schedule to see which classes are currently being offered. For information on live stream classes, please click here.

We cater to a wide variety of students by offering different types of classes and levels. Please email us (info@sellwoodyoga.com), call us (503-575-9982), or contact our studio advisor if you have questions about which classes to try and why.

Class Descriptions

Chair Yoga

This gentle form of yoga is practiced while seated on a chair. Just like a regular yoga practice, Chair Yoga helps with flexibility, circulation and strength, improves balance, and relieves stress. The class incorporates breathing exercises, stretching, modified yoga postures and final relaxation. Sometimes standing poses are included and the chair is used to both help with and improve balance. Chair Yoga is ideal for students with limited mobility or those who find other types of yoga too challenging. This 45-minute class is only on Zoom and the instructor will be available to answer questions before and after the class. No yoga experience is needed and all ages and abilities are welcome.

Gentle Yoga

Soothe your stress with this healing, calming, and rejuvenating class. This class combines slow and supported strengthening poses with gentle movement, stretching, and breathwork. Relax and reconnect to your body, breath, and energy. Experience distance energy work (Reiki) during an extended restorative savasana.

Gentle and Restorative Yoga + Yoga Nidra

The perfect blend of Restorative yoga with guided Yoga Nidra meditation, specifically tailored to help you sleep and to decrease worry, stress, and anxiety. Restorative yoga is all about slowing down and opening your body through passive and supported stretching. Props such as blankets and pillows support your body, so you can focus on letting go of tension. The Yoga Nidra portion is a guided meditation. The combination of Restorative yoga along with Yoga Nidra has the potential to profoundly nourish your connection with yourself and the world around you, as well as open a deep sense of calm and well-being. No yoga experience is necessary for this class.

Hatha Yoga

Drawing on principles of Iyengar (alignment-based), Vinyasa (flow), and classical Hatha yoga, Hatha classes move through a variety of postures, themes, and focuses. The content of the classes will be chosen to suit those present and the energy of the group, working toward a balanced body and mind: aware, powerful, and present. The pace may be slower than that of a Vinyasa Flow class, which makes Hatha classes valuable for both beginners and experienced practitioners, providing time and attention to the foundation, alignment, and subtleties of each posture. Students are guided out of their trouble spots, so they can express each pose in a way that suits and addresses their individual needs. The class will include asanas (poses), pranayama (breathing practices), and meditation in order to address health and well-being on all levels.

Morning Vinyasa

An alignment-based Vinyasa Flow class that focuses of using awareness and breath to drop deeply into a variety of poses. Classes place a strong emphasis on each student finding an authentic practice that fits their current needs. The class is appropriate for practitioners of various levels. Modifications and variations will be offered in a supportive way for each person to practice being where they are. Most classes will include sun salutations, standing poses, seated poses, and inversions.

Pilates Mat

Pilates mat classes are designed to help you build core strength, increase flexibility and range of motion, and improve coordination, while focusing on control of movement, alignment, and deep, full breathing. With practice and intention, building strong abdominal and postural muscles (also known as the “powerhouse”) is invaluable in the support of the skeletal system. Pilates exercises focus on using the breath to channel core energy into the center of the body and out to the limbs.

Restorative Yoga

Come unwind during the intensity of these times. This class is open to all levels and is for those looking to calm their nervous system, release stress and anxiety, and deeply relax. This practice will incorporate breathing exercises and a series of restorative postures, using simple props to help support tending to the body, mind, and heart.

Saturday Yoga (mixed levels)

Saturday Yoga (Mixed Levels) classes are designed to be adaptable to a wide range of students, from beginners to more seasoned practitioners.  Emphasis is on alignment with skillful instruction, as well as time for exploration to see and feel how yoga poses differ by design, body type, and approach. Many Saturday Yoga (Mixed Levels) classes revolve around a particular theme (making for a mini-workshop style of class) or are set up to look at a few specific poses.  Each class involves time for relaxation, breath awareness, and stress reduction. Different techniques and instructions will be explained in order to adapt poses to fit the needs and experience levels of the class.

Stretch and Strengthen

This class starts with a warm up and transitions into a series of body-weight based strength exercises. Modifications and progressions are always offered, so you can start where you are and continue to build from there. The last quarter of the class cools down with stretching; a refreshing start to your day.

Stretch and Yin Yoga

The Stretch and Yin class is open to all levels of students including those who are newer to yoga. It is a great complement to other styles of yoga, especially more active forms such as Vinyasa Flow. Basic stretching is part of the warm up before spending longer periods of time in Yin yoga poses. Yin yoga can be a slower-paced, more passive type of yoga that targets tighter areas of the body (especially around the pelvis/hips, spine/back, shoulders/neck, and hamstrings/legs). Most Yin poses are practiced on the floor and are held up to a few minutes per pose. Stretches in between some of the Yin poses helps to further unblock and release tension. Yin yoga allows you to explore deeper into your physical body, while also connecting with your breath and thoughts. Many people say they experience deep relaxation, less stress, more clarity, and enhanced feelings of well-being after a Stretch and Yin class.

Strong Vinyasa

A more challenging and moderately-paced Vinyasa Flow practice. The class is structured on developing strength and stability, endurance and focus, as well as balance and mobility.

Take A Breather (a mindful breathing and movement practice)

Join Margaret Townsend, certified breathwork facilitator since 1993, in a guided mindful breath experience to soothe your nerves, calm your mind, and settle into yourself. Expand awareness of your breathing and what you need in the moment, free and open your breathing with movement exercises, take a breath bath, and experience the healing power of conscious breathing and self-compassion.

Vinyasa Flow

An ever-evolving and creative form of yoga, Vinyasa Flow classes integrate breath and movement, awareness and alignment. Vinyasa is a logical arrangement and placement of asana (postures) where the intelligence is guided from within. Each class is unique and influenced primarily from Hatha yoga traditions, as well as other healing and expressive arts.

Vinyasa Plus

Vinyasa Plus is a well balanced Vinyasa Flow class that builds from foundational poses to create dynamic sequencing.  Each class incorporates stretching and strengthening along with mobility, flexibility and balance. Alignment in poses will be emphasized along with with trying out different techniques, options and variations. This Vinyasa Plus class is designed for those that have a basic understanding of common yoga poses and who want to progress and expand upon their movement and breathing practices.

Yoga Basics

Yoga Basics classes are designed to be adaptable to a wide range of students, from beginners to more seasoned practitioners. These classes are slower moving and more detail-oriented then the Vinyasa Flow classes. Emphasis is on alignment with skillful instruction. Each class involves time for relaxation, breath awareness, and stress reduction. Different techniques and instructions will be explained in order to adapt poses to fit the needs and experience levels of the class.

Yoga for a Healthy Spine

Suboptimal postural habits in daily life and in your yoga practice can cause pain and sensitivity in different areas of your back.  When coupled with the unconscious movement habits and compensations we develop as yoga practitioners, this can cause long-term, not-so-positive effects to your spine.  Back issues are common to all and are often misunderstood.

Focusing on practicing postures in a way that enhances the health of the back and spine, you will learn to relieve tension in the back body, from the neck to the sacrum, and strengthen your core to support proper alignment of your spine, especially to support your lower back. This class suited for those new to yoga, seasoned yoga students, yoga instructors and those who have never practiced yoga before but are curious.  You may currently have back issues you want to explore or you may have no current issues, but want to develop a preventative practice.  All are encouraged to attend.

Yoga for Athletes

*Improves balance and flexibility
*Builds muscular strength and stability
*Increase smental alertness and focus
*Prevents injuries
*Helps to induce deep relaxation

This class is not just for athletes and is suitable for most people even those who are new or newer to yoga.  Come in and give the class a try.  Besides traditional yoga poses, the Yoga for Athletes classes sometimes includes myofascial release techniques.
In the Yoga for Athlete’s class you will:
  • increase your breath awareness to stay centered and present
  • practice with good alignment to help prevent injuries and to repair and recover from overuse and training.
  • try some challenging poses to build overall strength and improve balance
  • work with longer more passive holds, in certain poses, to help open tight or sore muscle groups
  • experience deep relaxation that is important for integration and restoration.