Weekend with Doug Keller at The Yoga Studio of Johnson County
However, The Yoga Studio of Johnson County in Lenexa, Kansas now has over 400 students who attend 25 classes per week. Along with these amazing numbers, the world's top yoga instructors, including Aadil Palkhivla and Judith Lasater, come to the Kansas City area to train students and teachers. Imagine a yoga retreat in the middle of the country with some extremely prominent names traveling around the world to teach, train, and certify participants! That's quite an accomplishment.
"Yoga Balance" by Suzette was published in 1997 by New Leaf Publishing and her tape earned two thumbs up from the monthly publication Yoga Journal. The Yoga Studio of Johnson County is also a part of the National Yoga Alliance which offers accredited training to teachers. The school is a sister school with the Institute of Interdisciplinary Yoga Studies to help broaden teacher training. Some more amazing accomplishments!
Nationally-known Doug Keller came to the heart of our country to teach the Anusara principles. Anusara's discipline opens the heart and teaches "flowing with grace" in body and mind.
Being an instructor, I was a little skeptical, wondering what I could possibly learn and would I be challenged. My questions were quickly answered as I was mesmerized by Doug's knowledge of the practice, the anatomy, and by the words he used to paint a progressive mental picture which complemented the poses. He also added splashes of humor into his classes. It's no wonder the studio was bursting at the seams for it was a full house that weekend.
I was surprised to find that by simply turning one finger or by making a slight adjustment of the shoulder, you could make a big difference in the poses, the breath, and the experience. Perhaps I knew this but could not really focus since I was always the instructor. Whatever the reason, I learned to focus deeper and to adjust even the smallest part of my mind, body, and spirit and was able to get out of yoga what I truly needed and desired, and what I've always taught my own students, whether it be relaxation, strength, stress relief, proper breathing or all of the above and even more.
Doug took basic poses, broke them down, and covered every aspect, including proper breath, the purpose of each pose, and what areas these poses affected and used. He showed variations and went around the class and corrected form. He threw in inspirational quotes and stories and a joke here and there.
The kicker for me was when he showed the advanced version of each pose. I was already in the advanced pose, or so I thought, until Doug corrected my shoulder just a bit and moved a finger a couple of centimeters. Then I was eased into what I never knew I could do as he explained what he was doing. And the adjustments felt terrific, a sense of advancement and achievement along with complete renewal.
Doug teaches Anusara yoga because it provides for our heart, spiritual life, and physical health. Anusara yoga asks that we open to the possibility of gaining more wisdom and more goodness of our own hearts. To open our minds to the development of our own strength and ability even more than we normally think we are capable of, this is what Anusara teaches. Doug's goal for his students is that they have a simple, enjoyable practice that honors the traditional yoga teachings while maintaining an easy attitude with a sense of humor.
Also visit The Yoga Studio of Johnson County online at www.theyogastudio.com. Check out their classes and workshop schedule for national life-changing events. You may also contact Karim Memi and Suzette Scholtes at 913/492-9594.
Continue to strive for balance of mind, body, and spirit! Namaste. - Feature and photos by Lena Hunt Mabra, Kansas City Correspondent.