Almost three years ago my friend Jenny told me about a new yoga class at the Washington Healing Arts Center on 5th Street. I have always wanted to do yoga, and I thought it would be good for me to stretch after spending hours in front of the computer. A little hesitant at first whether I was going to like it and be good at it, I went anyway. I’ve been attending Elaine Blackmur’s Mindful Movement Yoga ever since and I love it!
Elaine is a wonderful teacher and an amazing person. I literally knew nothing about yoga when I started the class, but with Elaine’s guidance I’ve been able to ease into some postures that I wasn’t able to do before. In her class, no matter what level you are at, you never feel like you have to compare yourself to others. We do yoga, but we also have fun with it. Elaine reminds us to be mindful in everything that we do and to honor the limits of our body. Her smile lights up the room and after her class I feel rejuvenated, relaxed and full of energy to do great things!
I’ve been meaning to interview Elaine for the blog for a long time, and we have not found the time until now. So, instead, I asked everybody from the Mindful Movement Yoga Class at the Washington Healing Arts Center to share what yoga with Elaine means for them!
“At the beginning of each class, Elaine asks us to think about what brought us to class that day….what do we hope to gain from the practice? I do yoga to maintain and gain strength, flexibility, balance and to focus on breathing and on the present moment. Elaine’s yoga class brings me all of these things, but much more. Elaine also is a fitness instructor, so when I am done with her class, I feel like she has focused on every part of our bodies and I feel really strong and stretched! But the best part about Elaine’s class is her beautiful energy–positive, grateful and open.”
“I’ve been attending yoga with Elaine at the Center since she started. I had practiced in the past and was so excited to start up again. I love Elaine’s relaxed style. She keeps the practice light which opens up some space for humor and comments. She’s very personal and open to others abilities in her approach. I also really enjoy her use of Sanskrit the spoken language in yogis as well as the culturally influenced music which I find unique and personally grounding for me. In short, she is a wonderful teacher highly recommended. I can’t forget this group I practice with equally important in my quest for peace and balance. I look forward to yoga every week when I can get there. Thank you Elaine. You a gift to our community!”
“My favorite thing about doing yoga with Elaine is that she makes it possible for all levels (beginners to advanced) to practice together with ease. I love the atmosphere of fun and community that she inspires in her class.”
“Elaine has a pure, light energy that seems to envelop everyone around her; allowing others to feel at ease, balanced, and capable with each of the Yoga poses. Her equipoised demeanor invites from the most novice to the seasoned Yogi to her classes, as she offers a Yoga buffet to meet all needs. She flows us from one movement into the next, bringing peace, centeredness, and lightness to each step so that by the end of the class, you feel refreshed, present, and balanced for your day!”
“I have been attending Elaine’s Friday morning yoga classes at the Healing Arts Center for more than a year now and I could not be happier that I made the decision to start going. She is so mindful of each individuals own abilities and is always emphasizing to make the practice “your own” which is great since some days it is nice to take it easier and just breathe. I love yoga for the mental and physical practice, but Elaine really makes it easy to move through the postures and focus in while being mindful of your bodies abilities. Even if I miss a few weeks (often in a row), I can always pick back up like I hadn’t missed a beat. It is such a wonderful group and amazing energy!”
“But what a joy it was to practice with Elaine when I had the chance. She really knows her stuff. Yoga should be part of any healthy lifestyle and Elaine’s classes are so rejuvenating. Heck, her smile alone is worth the price of admission.”
“Elaine Blackmur is a shining, positive, light. She is a wonderful teacher and she does lead the class, but it is more than that. She brings the class into a group flow of positive energy. Yoga to me is working on mind-body unification- that is developing your Ki or Chi or Life Force. That is what Elaine is doing. Yes, we stretch our muscles, tendons, work on our core strength, but we are really working on our Chi.
Elaine is funny but not silly/foolish, she is serious but not too serious, she works the group hard but not too hard, she leads the class but shares in the flow more.
My life has been smashed into a thousand pieces by the loss of my best friend and love, Miriam Krone. There are all these pieces lying scattered about, and they are sharp and jagged. They don’t fit together and they don’t make any sense. When I pick them up they cut me and it hurts. Elaine’s yoga class is helping me make some sense of all the pieces. Miriam really liked/loved Elaine Blackmur. She would be glad I am going to her class.
That is some of what Elaine Blackmur’s yoga class means to me.”
“Elaine is a terrific person, inside and out! The thing that makes her such a special teacher is that she never stops being a student. She is always learning and finding ways to bring new insights and techniques to her classes. She is an inspiration to her students! I have been blessed by the opportunity to work with her and call her a friend. “
Melissa Duchatschek, Elaine’s yoga teacher
Photo credits: Elaine Blackmur and Slava Bowman Photography
Elaine Blackmur teaches yoga at the Washington Healing Arts center every Friday, 8:30-9:45am. You can also find her at the Four Rivers family YMCA. Everyone is welcome to Join her Mindful Movement Yoga Class.