Beth Umba is excited! After over 20 years of yoga classes and practice with local yogis, Beth recently completed 500 hours of training to become a yoga instructor. She began teaching her own classes in May, and we’re so happy that she’s teaching them at the Arnold Block.
A little background: Yoga means “union” or “yoking.” It is the unification of the Self (soul) and the self (ego). The Self guides the self, and that creates gratification as the self is recognized and given attention.
In yoga practice, as in life, when you split your focus and pay too much attention to what others are doing, what you’re doing isn’t yours anymore and you lose your way and your balance.
According to Beth, yoga provides an opportunity to get your Self and your self back into your body. “You tune back in and, when you do, you discover how your body communicates with you. Yoga practice restores your ability to listen to what your body is telling you. That’s my role as teacher – to get you back into your body so you can understand how you feel.”
Beth’s style of yoga is a melting pot, taking the best parts from several traditions. The slow flow class she offers on Wednesday evenings is informed by Vinyasa. She also leads a meditation class on Wednesday afternoons. She says, “Yoga to me is any and every time you ‘presence’ yourself in your body, every time you make the effort to consciously inhabit your body, whether in movement or stillness. Meditation is yoga because you’re bringing your presence to bear on everything you do.”
On Saturday mornings Beth offers Whole Body Wisdom Yoga, where participants are led through a series of poses and encouraged to work through any discomfort (which is not to be confused with enduring pain). Whole Body Wisdom Yoga is for all body types and all eager yogis looking to get back or deeper into their bodies. In all her classes, Beth will tailor her approach to the students present and will adapt her instruction to their abilities, modifying poses as needed for different ages and levels.
In her teaching Beth will also call upon her 20 years of experience doing bodywork and as a “desire” coach for women. She looks forward to finding the synergies that will naturally arise from teaching, eager to see “what comes up.”
“There’s something that happens when people come together in a class, breathing together, moving together… We become a community through our shared experience. The commitment we see in other students also helps us follow through with our own practice.”
What if you haven’t practiced yoga in a while? Or if you’re new to it? “Come!” says Beth. “If you’re not experienced, you might feel uncomfortable at first, but just keep trying because you will improve. Surrender to the uncomfortableness because it’s gonna be there with yoga just as it is with every new thing we try. Understand that even deeper than the pride you feel when you try something new is the reciprocity with your whole self that comes from committing to something – really showing up has big rewards.”
Beth’s classes are…
Deep Relax & Rejuve: Attain a blissful deep state of relaxation, where you'll have the opportunity to recalibrate and create for yourself, through guided meditation, a fresh state of rejuvenation. Wednesdays at noon.
Slow Flow That Moves Your Mojo: A Vinyasa-style practice. Slow Flow connects accessible yoga postures with breath & fluid movement for a well-rounded practice. Wednesdays at 5:15 pm.
Whole Body Wisdom Yoga: WBW yoga is a practice for all levels, with optional modifications in most poses. Through poses, breathing, and tidbits of wisdom from Beth’s life experiences, students will follow a sweet sequence that leads to both challenges and empowerment. Saturdays at 8:30 am.