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 classes so that individual students can find their best match and our teachers can teach using their own unique and authentic voices.

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 current yoga methods. 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. 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), or call us (503-575-9982), if you have questions about which classes to try and why.

Class Descriptions

Afternoon Yoga

A class for the inquisitive student at any stage of their practice, beginners and long-time practitioners alike. Within the framework of a hatha yoga class, Afternoon Yoga classes engage the student in deep body/mind focus through guided attention, somatic (felt-sense) exploration, and various approaches to yoga poses and practice. You can expect clear verbal instruction into a gentle physical practice with various options for movement and stillness.

Functional Strength & Yoga (formerly Strong Vinyasa)

Start your Saturday strong with a deliberate flow through a thoughtful, often challenging sequence of poses, pausing to build muscular strength and fine-tune each pose with clear and precise cueing.  This class is intentionally sequenced making the challenge a welcome and new way to align both mind and body in your yoga practice.  Many students remark that the class has a “steadying and energizing effect through the body and mind”.  Functional strength based movements are woven in to  improve endurance, mobility and focus.  This is a mixed levels class with many regulars as well as newcomers.  All are welcome and encouraged to kick off their weekend with this challenging yet calming class.  Students have nicknamed the class: “Slow, Steady, Sneaky Strength”, “Om-Mazing Saturday Strength”, “Work Your Asana Off” and “Weekend Warrior Vinyasa”.

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 Yoga

Morning Yoga  combines mobility, balancing and strengthening movements with more traditional vinyasa yoga postures.  Variations are skillfully incorporated into each flow so that everyone can find their best experience of  poses and the transitions between poses.  Suitable for those new to yoga and for experienced yoga students, each morning yoga class provides opportunities for quiet stillness and for more dynamic movement.

Pilates & Fitness Fusion

This workout class combines elements of pilates, dance, yoga and strength training. Pilates reshapes your muscle tone, improves mobility and supports good posture. This well-designed sequence of specific movements will target areas like your abs, back, hips, arms, glutes and legs. Expect a low-impact workout that aims to strengthen muscles while improving postural alignment and flexibility. Stretches are incorporated throughout the class to tone and elongate your muscles. You will work your entire body.

Power Vinyasa

A fast-paced Vinyasa Flow practice focused on building strength, balance, flexibility and endurance with each movement paired with the breath. Structured to slowly build and transition back to the stillness of savasana, this strong moving flow class to have you smiling and sweaty throughout.  

Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga is a restful practice that is about slowing down and opening the body through passive holds done on the floor with the support of props such as blankets, pillows, straps and blocks. Through the use of props, many of the postures are held almost effortlessly. In a restorative class there may be very little movement, doing just only a handful of postures over the course of an hour. Each posture is typically held between 7-10 minutes. It is a practice of deep relaxation that emphasizes the meditative aspect of yoga.

Saturday Yoga (mixed levels)

Saturday Yoga 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 sense and feel how yoga poses differ by design 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.  Often the classes will include stretches,  movements and exercises that help to support a yoga practice and to further adapt poses to fit the needs and experience levels of the class.   Each class involves time for relaxation, breath awareness, and stress reduction.

Stretch and Strengthen

Strength training is for everyone!  Each stretch and strengthen class starts with a warm up then transitions to a series of exercises that train the major muscle groups. Classes are planned so that regular students will progressively build strength over time. Clear instructions, demonstrations and options are provided for each exercise.  People new to strength training and those with more experience lifting can feel both challenged and successful.  Concluding with guided stretching and relaxation, this class is a fantastic compliment to a yoga movement practice.

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. Yin Yoga is a slow-paced, therapeutic style of yoga. Yin postures are more passive postures, mainly done on the floor either seated or lying down, sometimes with the use of props. There are no sun salutations, no planks, no warriors.

Basic stretching is part of the warm up before spending longer periods of time in Yin yoga poses. 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.

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.

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 Healthy Aging

Yoga is a wonderful way to maintain and build vitality as we age. In studio classes are a great opportunity to connect with others and meet new friends.
This slower-paced class is accessible and energizing for students desiring a yoga and mindfulness practice to support a healthy body and mind. Similar to a Hatha class, movement includes some traditional yoga poses, stretching and breath work, all done with the help of props. Focus is on maintaining and building balance, flexibility, and overall well-being. Each class will finish with a restorative pose and/or a final resting pose.
All ages, bodies and experience levels are welcome, including beginners and those that have been off the mat for a while.