In Inquiry
In Inquiry
Yoga is at its essence the study of the Self. The path to Self-realization requires inquiry, study and reflection. What are the important questions? Where can I look for answers? What does it all mean?

Creating Satsang

Satsang: (sanskrit) being with good/righteous companions. This typically involves listening to or reading scriptures, reflecting on, discussing and assimilating their meaning, meditating on the source of these words, and bringing their meaning into one’s daily life.* 

Starting in February, we will be creating Satsang once a month at the studio. The source for our discussion will be the Yoga Sutras, which have been described as one of the foundations of classical Yoga philosophy. Specifically, we will read and discuss The Yamas and the Niyamas by Deborah Adele.

Last year, one of our SPY students gave me this lovely little book and I was quite taken by it. I have been studying the yoga sutras since 2005, and they can often be arduous and seem very esoteric. This translation and treatment of the ethical principals and guidelines set forth in the sutras is neither…AND I’d love to spend some time in our community discussing the ideas and principles this wonderful author presents.

On Wednesday, February 21st we will kick off a year long inquiry into how to live a good life, by working our way through the Yamas and Niyamas, one at a time. Each month, one of our SPY teachers will lead the discussion and help us reflect on, discuss and assimilate their meaning into our 21st century lives. These gatherings are intended to be a dialog and an inquiry into how we can align ourselves with these principles and bring them into our thoughts and actions. 

If you are new to the Yamas and Niyamas, here is a primer. I think of them as a set of guidelines that teach us how to be in community with others and in alignment with our own spiritual compass. 

The 5 Yamas include:

  • Ahimsa - non-violence
  • Satya - truthfulness
  • Brahmacharya - moderation in all things 
  • Asteya - non-stealing
  • Aparigraha - non-covetousness

The 5 Niyamas include:

  • Saucha - purity i.e. internal and external cleanliness
  • Santosha - contentment
  • Tapas - austerity; discipline
  • Swadhyaya - study of the sacred texts
  • Ishwara Pranidhana - constantly living with an awareness of the divine Presence

These ideas are universal and very similar to many spiritual teachings and guidelines. And yet, it is not always easy to navigate and adhere to these principles in a balanced way. For example, Ahimsa, (non-violence) seems like a commonsense approach and many of us consider ourselves to uphold this value in our daily lives. If we look at our words, though, and not just our actions, we might find that we gossip and malign others in private conversation, which is not in alignment with a broader view of Ahimsa. 

Bringing this kind of awareness to our way of being may not eliminate all of our shortcomings, (we are human after all!) but it will bring the light awareness to our words and actions and start us on a common path to being in community, together, and making each other good. 

I hope you will join us as we embark on creating Satsang together. To read more and preregister for these monthly gatherings click here



* definition sourced from wikipedia


Yoga Camp, Day 3

The last couple of days I can best describe as demanding: we start with morning meditation, then 3+ hours of Yoga practice, interactive lectures and fine tuning our individual Yoga poses and transitions.

I started Yoga June 1, 2015 because a good friend strongly suggested that I try Yoga and since I had recently retired I thought, why not? Of course, I met Kim and Kate at the counter and I have been coming back ever since.  I find the Yoga community at Savannah Power Yoga to be an astounding group of people and the members of my teacher training class are even more astounding as I get to know them better, day by day.  We share our thoughts and problems, both on the mat and off, and watch out for each other, both on the mat and off.  Tired as we are, emotions can run high from time to time, and yet we are there for each other and keep pushing forward to learn and improve our practice.

Yesterday I flipped my dog for the first time and after class as I was going to my car to get a change of clothes I ran into a delightful member of our SPY community who asked me how I was doing at Camp and I told her about flipping my dog and with her marvelous dry humor and not skipping a beat she said “Oh, what kind of dog do you have”.

Today we start with a Power Hour and then investigate back bends, break for lunch and come back to discuss the Yoga sutras. After that, Kate has more for us, but has kept exactly what that is as a surprise.


Yogis on a Quest

Have you ever wondered what was involved in becoming a certified Yoga Instructor?

Ten of us applied for and started Yoga Camp this past Friday, June 9, 2017.  One from Kentucky, one from Athens, GA and the rest from the more immediate Savannah area.  Yoga Camp is a seven day ordeal of back-to-back yoga sessions, lectures and inquiry, in mainly 10-12 hour days. Our lead instructor is Kate and her number two is Kim.

After Yoga Camp we pick up 4 more students for the four in-depth weekends of instruction across the summer.  Teacher training ends Aug 27, 2017.

We started last Friday evening with a Fast Flow class led by Biza; for those of you that don’t know her, she is a short, energetic woman who almost vibrates with energy even when standing still. I had taken a day and a half break from my practice to prepare for Camp and felt really happy to be back on my mat and then class started and Biz played a great playlist to practice by with some occasional commentary thrown in.  Fast Flow feels like an hour's worth of Yoga in 45 minutes; a great energetic way to start Yoga Camp.

After class we got to change clothes and then meet each other, received our training manuals and we dug right in establishing expectations and procedures for the rest of Yoga Camp and Teacher Training.

Saturday morning at 9:00AM we started our day with 90 minutes of Power Max led by Kim, another energetic woman who does Roller Derby for fun, followed 30 minutes later by an hour of Power Basic led by Kate, our lead instructor and owner of the studio, then followed by about 15 minutes of meditation.

We had time to change clothes, hydrate and grab a quick bite between classes and then participated in a discussion about What is Yoga? The afternoon and early evening were spent in a fairly intensive investigation of Mountain Pose and how it carries into the standing poses. This included lecture as well as physical demonstration by Kim and our own efforts to properly perform the poses.

We finished our first full day tired but satisfied with our efforts and the amazing amount of information passed on to us by Kate.

-written by Steve Bellmoff


Yoga as Technology

Technology: science or knowledge put into practical use to solve problems

It’s hard to admit out loud, but I have problems. They range from the mundane - I have to get the laundry, grocery shopping and house cleaning done - to the complex - I run a business with 25 team members and 500+ customers. These responsibilities in and of themselves are not problems, but sometimes it can feel overwhelming. 

Right now, my problem shows up as me feeling overwhelmed. At other points in my life my problems were different - I was unemployed, I was taking care of a sick parent, I was heart-broken.

This is where yoga comes in and this is why I often think of yoga as a technology. The breath, the movement, the practice of constantly redirecting of my attention to the present moment are the practical tools I use to help solve my problems. Time on my mat can put little  distance between me and the problem at hand. Yoga reminds me that I do have control over my thoughts and actions and I am at the helm, setting my own course and creating my own experience of my life. I can choose to feel overwhelmed or I can keep coming back to the present moment and directing my attention to what I am doing right now. 

Yoga doesn’t work, in the same way that technology sitting on a shelf doesn't work. Getting on my mat or meditation cushion - using the tools of breath and present moment awareness - is what works.

Jane Gray

Everything Is A Practice

I think of my teacher training experience as one that taught me the very basics of how to be the human I wanted to be. I learned that everything I do is a practice, and it started with getting on my mat. Relationships are a practice, eating nutritionally is a practice, getting enough sleep is a practice. Nothing I practice will ever be perfect, but every time I slip up there is a chance to come back and try again with mindful awareness. I used to think that being a yoga teacher meant my practice was over and I couldn’t be the student I wanted to be. Now I understand that teaching is a practice too. Read More


8 Reasons Why I Practice and Teach Baptiste Power Yoga

The most important reason I teach this Baptiste yoga is because it makes me happy and it makes my students happy. At the end of my own practice, I am filled with a powerful joy that comes from my very center. After I finish teaching I get to witness this joy in my students. To see a bunch of sweaty, smiling, empowered yogis leaving class brings me more satisfaction than any other job I have ever had. Read More


Why I Teach Baptiste Yoga

I spent many years dating around in the yoga world. I’d try one style of yoga for a while, then be over it and find something new to satisfy my need for physical and spiritual nourishment. Some of these forays into a certain style of yoga didn’t last past the first date (e.g. Shiva Rea’s Trance Dance) while others went on for years (Ashtanga) and became an important part of my day-to-day life. Even in the long term relationships, though, I always had a sense that the practice was not exactly right for me. While I was deep into the second year of my relationship with Ashtanga, I went on a date with Baptiste Power Vinyasa. Read More


Celebrating Some Outstanding Yogis

Last night was our 6th Birthday at SPY so we threw ourselves a party. The practice was nice and sweaty and the refreshments were tasty. Just as important as the fun was the opportunity to recognize some the folks who have helped to make SPY the awesome community that it is. Without YOU, this place would not be, so thank you for all that you do to make SPY special. 

If you missed the Yogi Achievement awards, we had some fun. Some of the awards are based on real data, some are just for giggles. All are part of makes our community great. Here is the breakdown:

Highest Class Attendance  2016 (Male)
Cory Weston (446)

Highest Class Attendance 2016 (Female)
Heather Downs (334)

Most Workshops Attended in 2016 (Female)
Liz Howard 

Most Workshops Attended in 2016 (Male)
Robert Rollings

Sweatiest Yogi
Jamie Downs

Most Likely to Come in After Class Starts
Maureen Simmons

Most Likely to Flip a Bird to the Teacher
Chad Mabry

Most Likely to Leave Before Savasana
She Left

Most Enthusiastic New Yogi
Frida Raley

Most Likely to Stand Up in Class to Let the Teacher Know its Too Hot
Miranda Marchant

Most Likely to Kick Up in Handstand
MaryBrooke Sligh

Most Likely to Have Glass of Wine after Yoga
Shari Miltiades

Ninja Award - Takes Classes All the Time and You may Not Even Know it
Jennifer Hale

Best Overall Attitude
Amy Hughes

Most Likely to Hold Hands in Savasana
Patrick and Jennifer Carver
Andres Hernandez and  Sara Simmons

Y'alll make SPY what it is  - a place to work hard, play hard and connect with others. I look forward to at least 6 more years with you.

See you on your mat,



Burn away the old. Make space for the new.

A longleaf pine habitat needs fire to survive. Without fire, the seeds can’t germinate, more aggressive plants take over, and new growth is inhibited. Ironically, fire suppression, which was first implemented to protect forests, was actually leading to the extinction of our native longleaf pine forests in and around Savannah.

In the Hindu tradition, Shiva represents this concept. He is the god of creation, destruction and regeneration. He is often pictured dancing in a ring of fire, stepping on a demon, which symbolizes ignorance, and lifting his left leg in an act of creation. He typically has a slight smile on his face, showing calmness despite being immersed in the contrasting forces of the universe.

Faced with fire, we can choose to see ourselves as victims or we can consciously choose to burn away the things that we do not need and make space for something new.

As 2016 ends and 2017 begins, I want to personally invite you to join me in burning away the old and making room for something new.  A regular yoga practice has helped me learn to sit in the intensity of life and resist the urge to flee. Every once in a while I also need to take some time and identify what I want to create and I what I need to leave behind to make space for this new growth.

As we enter the new year, let’s take some time to identify what we need to release and what we are committed to creating for ourselves and others in 2017.


image source: By Chathurasj (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


Commit to Imperfection

As we near the end of the year, if you’re like me, you start to think about and welcome the clean slate of a new year. For me, 2016 was filled with intensity and the unexpected, so I am ready for 2017.

Before I can start fresh, there are some things I need to process and set free. I come from the corporate world, where reviewing "lessons learned" has always been an important part of closing any project. In my new world I like to think of this process as an “inventory and release”. What have I learned this year and what do I need to release?

If you look up the definition of release, you’ll find: “to set free from restraint, confinement, or servitude.” Where am I restrained and confined? What am I in servitude to? Wow. Lots of things. My fears, my drive for perfection, my desire to make others happy. As I sit here considering what is confining me, I can see that all of these things restrain me in some way. What if this year I could commit to fearlessness and imperfection. Just writing down a commitment to imperfection sounds scary AND sort of beguiling. What if I could just show up and do my best and let others be good enough doing their best? What if I could be in service to my higher self and the greatness of others instead of in servitude to my “shoulds.”

That sounds pretty good to me. I think I’ll start there.

See you on your mat,