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Special Project~
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Special Project~

Through my teacher training program last year, I had the opportunity to meet some truly amazing and gifted people.  So many varied interests and passions, yet we all came together to learn more about yoga and to deepen our own practice! 

I had the pleasure to talk to Kath before teacher training started in late 2008.  As a fellow knitter, she found me online before we started studying together and we exchanged a few emails before meeting at the studio.  Over the year, we grew closer and I have the joy to call her my dear friend.  We can talk about yoga, we can talk about knitting and yarn ~ it just flows and it is beautiful. 

~Yoga Kath~ 

One of Kath’s many offerings is that she is also fluent in American Sign Language (ASL), and she just started teaching her first yoga class in ASL at a local studio.  When she asked me to help her with a little photography project for her class, I jumped at the chance for this special project.  She wanted to put together a visual set of poses with the proper alignment for her students.  Since she is teaching the class in ASL, she cannot always demonstrate the pose because her hands will be used in the pose.  That is where the photos come in!

We met up at the studio on a quiet Sunday afternoon;  the air was cold and there were flurries of snow, but inside, the sunlight cascaded in the windows, and set a perfect scene for the yoga photos.  Above (clockwise from the top left), Kath does sukhasana “easy pose” with her hands in Anjali mudra “offering gesture”.  This is the way that we begin and end each class.  In the next photo, she demonstrates a full body pose called eka pada svanasana, or “one legged dog pose”.  This pose is a preparatory pose for hip opening and also works on upper body strength and balance.  The next is the recognizable adho mukha svanasana “downward facing dog pose”.  The final pose is utthita parsvakonasana “extended side angle pose” which also opens the hips, as well as the shoulders and chest.

Just a note on the use of Sanskrit terms: the style of yoga that I practice (Anusara) honors the tradition by using these names while also realizing that not everything can translate word for word.  Additionally, Sanskrit can be the universal language of yoga (similar to how Latin is used for biology in Linnean taxonomy) no matter where you are in the world.  It’s a nice fit.  Plus, the language is phonetic, and if you sound it out, it is pronounced exactly as it looks.  I love learning more Sanskrit as I study yoga.

While this photo project was a true joy to do, Kath must have felt that she wanted to give something back~ and while there was absolutely no need to do so, it was a pleasant surprise when she presented this lovely yarn to me this past weekend:

Special Gift 

 She says that this bulky yarn is the perfect tonic for my small needle/fingering weight projects of late.  I look forward to casting on for a bulky cowl or hat on size 15 needles once I finally finish my Olympic sweater :)




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14 Responses

  1. cici

    great post. I love yoga and wished I had pursued it more when I was younger. I love the photos and the way the sun is shining on Kath♥

  2. Cyndi in BC

    I love reading about your yoga and knitting! I want to learn yoga, do you know of a good beginner website? Have you ever run across doing yoga for people with mobility problems? I use a powerchair but I’m fairly flexible as I do my range of motion exercises and stretches on my bed every morning. Thanks!

  3. Susan

    Cool!!!!! I always want to take yoga class but could not find any deaf or sign language instructor. Can you tell me where can I find the information that Kath teaches?

    I’m so impressed with your photo work and am looking forward to see more of your work. The yarn is gorgeous!!!


  4. Sockbug

    It’s such a small world. We have done printing for Anusara here in Houston. They are the nicest folks to work with.

  5. Josiane

    What a wonderful project! I have no problem believing it was a real joy for you to be part of it. Kath’s students are very lucky to have the two of you dedicated to helping them learn.

  6. Clare

    I love the idea of yoga classes with sign language and photo-aids. Opens yoga up to another audience. Your photos are really beautiful.

  7. whitney

    What a fantastic project! I hadn’t even thought of what it would be like to teach a yoga class when you need to use your hands to communicate. The city I live in has a very large deaf community, and it saddens me that I don’t know more ASL.

  8. Nicole

    You’ll love Vancouver for Yoga. Studios are almost as common as Starbucks, and you wont believe how many Starbucks locations there are here. I’m currently within a four minute walk of about six!

    Too bad the weather here wont be great for your sweaters. They’ve shot down the mountains because it’s so warm all the snow is melting. It’s about 50 degrees here (10 celcius).

    However, you’ve inspired me to make my own sweater, though I doubt mine will have the awesome color work.

  9. Leslie

    what a neat collaboration!!!

  10. Brenda

    You did have wonderful light for those photos! And what a great way to teach yoga using ASL.
    Lovely colors in the yarn too!

  11. Heather

    Those are great photos and a fascinating project your collaborating on. I’m very glad I came across your site, its a great combination of things and a lovely style of writing.

  12. Jenna

    Not only are the photos instructive, they’re beautiful with the color of Kath’s shirt and the natural lighting. I’m glad that you’ve made such a lovely friend who’s doing great work to broaden yoga’s reach. And a knitter to boot, you can’t beat it :) I hope you’re having a great new year and I’m thinking of you lots. xoxox

  13. emily

    That yarn looks scrumptious! Can’t wait to see what you come up with for it :)

  14. Cindy

    Photos are fantastico Lolly :) Kath looks amazing…as always of course!

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