Yogaclasses focus on athleticism, strength

Published on Thu, Jun 1, 2006 by ara Nelson

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Yoga classes focus on athleticism, strength

By Tara Nelson

Blaine resident Tera Drake is taking her yoga practice to the streets.
Drake, who opened Temple Body Yoga in May, will be offering on-call yoga instruction through her mobile yoga business along with a variety of drop-in classes based out of her studio on Peace Portal Drive.
She said she got the idea while visiting Orcas Island and several bed and breakfast owners there approached her to teach on a weekly basis for their guests.

“I started thinking about it and I thought why not have a route in Blaine?” she said.

For $35, individuals can arrange a 90-minute home or office visit tailored to their own specific level of instruction, plus a small fee for out of town visits. Drake also said she is open to teaching larger classes at schools and senior centers.

Drake, who moved to Blaine from Custer with her husband and children, Savannah, 4 and James, 7, earned her yoga teaching certificate from Maureen Freurers Ashtanga/Iyenga Yoga college in Ladner, B.C., and lived for several years in Point Roberts where she taught yoga and martial arts.

She grew up learning martial arts from her father, Thomas Drake, of Blaine, who teaches free-style Goju Kai karate in Blaine and Lynden. Subsequently, her teaching style incorporates many of the same principles that are pivotal in martial arts, such as strength, grace, athleticism and discipline.

Drake also spent several years teaching various forms of martial arts from kickboxing to karate, and said she has since incorporated a more athletic approach to yoga through Ashtanga and Iyenga, two intense styles that focus on breathing and alignment.

“I’ve been in martial arts my whole life,” she said. “So my classes are definitely more geared toward to someone who is looking for a more athletic style of yoga. We do have meditation at the end of each class, but it’s a fairly good work out. Most people sweat pretty well.”

Her “fusion” class on Monday and Friday at noon, for example, is a hybrid of yoga, martial arts and ballet to create a more intense workout.
“With the fusion class, it’s more of an aerobic, cardiovascular workout, and it’s a very challenging class,” she said. “You’re not going to build a lot of muscle, but it’s a toning and sculpting class. For that alone, it’s worth its weight in bone.”

Drake trained under physiotherapist Wendy Epp, a physical therapist for Canadian Olympic athletes but it was the hands-on experience from her former job working and teaching at the Whatcom Physical Therapy office that gave her a deeper understanding of the anatomy and alignment of the body.

Drake said one of her goals is to help correct body posture and alignment early before those imbalances cause more complicated problems.

“My emphasis is on the physicality of the yoga, particularly on adjusting incorrections in other people’s body, and bringing people back into alignment and balance,” she said. “I fully believe in the power of yoga to heal both through alignment and through strengthening.”

Beginning classes are scheduled Tuesday and Friday at 9:15 a.m. as well as Tuesday and Thursday at 5:15. Her intermediate class, or level II class is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Tuesday.

The level III class is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. on Thursday. Drop-ins are welcome and cost is $7. Month-long passes for two classes per week can be purchased for $35; three classes per week for $50; or unlimited classes for $65.

For those interested in yoga but are just beginning, Drake recommends at least one private instructional yoga lesson that can be held at your home.

Temple Body Yoga is located at 1610 Peace Portal Drive. They can be reached by calling 543-5642.