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Lasting Motivation

Hey There-

As we here in Portland , the US and the World continue to respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic shut down and the space that remains where what seemed a possible future is shunted or galvanized by powers outside of our control, my thoughts continually turn to what is yoga now that our present self and our future self are relegated to the same domaine, in the same moment. In this I mean to ask, when the lofted goal of anticipating a state of developed enlightenment or even happiness has had the wheels removed, or the rug pulled out from underneath, what do we have left? I believe we have the means to be witness to the temple within, if we are present, even with the state of chaos that engulfs us currently.

Back in 1995 or 96 I was getting my first taste of the discipline of yoga. I would follow a teacher to the various classes she taught around Portland. I had been goaded into going by a friend who thought it was funny that I could run a 1/2 marathon and do 25 pull-ups but could not touch my toes. Once in the realm of the language and the effort of yoga, I was hooked as a seeker of the path. I began collecting yoga texts and eventually sought pilgrimage to Mysore India to learn the self-motivated style we call Ashtanga Yoga.

In the age of branding and marketing, Ashtanga Yoga is a relatively new word that, for many in the yoga world, stands for a set of movements supported by a breathing technique, done in a frequent and sequential manner. This “method” was very attractive and also the only means made available in those days to accomplish, by appearances anyway, what I had hoped to be authentic yoga. By 1999 I was on a plane to India and took my first steps toward pilgrimage that have continued to this day.

So much has changed since that first trip; the guru fell hard, new styles emerged, India became enamored with the west, as we have come to love India. For different reasons, for better or for worse (better for both I think, once the merger becomes fulfilled) what I was seeking on my journey was not an exotic new flavor of humanity to occupy, colonize or otherwise appropriate but a host for my personal ambitions to outgrow the toxic nature that can accompany the seeking of materialism for its own sake. That said, to pursue a career in yoga has survival at its core but with the caveat that to survive is to be accompanied by authenticity. this might include being poor.

In my case, I became a subsistence yoga teacher in order to support my desire to remain close to the teachings and grow into a practitioner of substance and service. I needed this more than anything else. Maybe you can relate if you are rich in dharma but poor in dollars and can appreciate holding a dharma space for its own sake.

How I got inspired to hold a space ,for a long while now, was a product of the way I think about expressing my beliefs and values and then how I act this out. This ‘way” of mine has locked into some endeavors that were not always to my benefit but in a way revealed a teaching I needed. For the community I support, to carry on, it was always about my commitment to myself that brought me to my mat etc. The community was perk and also a means with which to learn and grow. Putting our practice first is in my opinion the most important aspect of an authentic yoga practice. Serving from his place come in a very close second. Being served follows in the same flow.

As it went on my first trip to Mysore (Mysuru) , my companion and I would, in the evenings walk the 5 or so miles from where our residence was, in the suburb of Laxmipuram, near to the yoga school, to the Lalith Mahal Palace on the then outskirts of town, near Chamundi Hill. We would have chai and eat french fries for dinner in the restaurant there.

Nowadays this road is a 4 lane main thoroughfare out of the city but then traffic was sparse and it was rare to be passed by a car bus or even lory. Usually it was just a few others walking or biking. Between this road road and Chamundi Hill is a horse track and golf course held over from the colonial era, the emptiness of land adding to the quiet that pervaded our long walk. Those days are gone and I am grateful I was able to experience them.

To have easy access to this veritable countryside near the city, we would have to cross “Double Road”, a treacherous stretch of accelerated gridlock that required jumping a cast iron waist-high fence, down its center. This freeway in current times was eventually connected to the tranquil road out to the palace, pulling a large swath of traffic across Mysore and out of town to Bangalore (Bengaluru).

Before the end, where we could make a quick journey past the hospital and then side along the funeral/charnel grounds, through a short run of forest, and some railroad tracks, there was the beginning of Double Road, a large roundabout bringing in traffic from many feeder roads. In the chaos of this raging and deadly road, there lay directly in the middle, a small temple, about 20 feet square, making the four lanes of the road bubble out and around and create a need to compete with alms givers coming from all directions, to be blessed by the wave of a few smiling priests, sound of the ringing bell and drum and the strong scent of burning incense.

I was amazed that this little tiny temple had over time, held so much power that it was capable of bending this insane road around it.

I have thought many times over the years of this little temple as a metaphor for the heart of a yogi, holding the inner space while the forces around it simply must allow themselves to be bent to fit the shape in occupies. I saw it in myself as I headed home after three months of being in a place that fully supported the spiritual seeker without commercial intrusion. In the US I know that “temples” that were not fully sanctioned but the community were subject to desecration. I felt a great deal protective energy well up in me related to my yoga practice and teaching which eventually became a resource from which I derived the means to rise each morning for many years and protect a space from the ravages of a world that sees yoga, at worst the pursuit of fitness and even worse, a heresy to an insane fundamentalism that leads to violence when pressed or confronted.

To me the body-temple of the yogi themselves was at risk from the ignorance of a world on its way to oblivion, lacking an understanding of the sensitivity of others who will take the time to look within rather than seek only to occupy a place of dominion over others to the degree that they either cause their pain to be held by others who are like them or inflict it on those who are different. The yogi is direct confrontation to this way of thinking and threatens the status quo where violence reigns by being a stable call to do what it right, just and good.

In the times we live, the 4-lane road of oblivion seems to be crashing around us, there are obstacles in its crossing, but the inner forces that drive us in building the temple at all, keeping it open and stable, knowing how to stand up and be counted as a force and to not be run over but driven around, this comes from the heart of yoga which stems from an inspiration of truth from the Divine source. We continue to hold a place of silent power that comes from this inner domain and it will outlast what seeks to overwhelm it.

…. recently I was reminiscing about this temple and wanted to know more about it. As it goes the place is actually an annex to the Chamundeshwari Temple on the top of Chamundi Hill. A place where devotees can pray without having to go all the way out of town and up a 700 step hill. This reveal itself was inspiring but for now I will save that story for another day. For now I will just say I was happy to know I served to hold a space inspired by a warrior hag who brought prosperity to a land that had been ravaged by a toxic male archetype by being clever and resourceful.

Don’t let your temple be run down. If it feels it has, stand-up, just build again. You are not alone.

Years end at Near East Yoga


Dear Friends,

The following text is also the content of my email newsletter. My primary source of communication about Near East Yoga is in person, via email, text or phone. Feel free to sign up for the email under the tab “new students” posted above- most emails will not be “years end letters” in length and mostly reflect what is currently happening in the room or trainings I am involved with outside.

~Thanks for taking the time to read my refection about 2019 ~

Here we are in the last days of fall 2019 and a long way to go before the holidays are fully satisfied, where we can then settle in for winter. With Solstice, Christmas Day (also the new moon day) and New Years falling mid-week, many of our usual activities will take a back seat to a needed and maybe for some, forced, two weeks to care for ourselves and others.

Not everyone will be so lucky though and I encourage you to offer a “hand-in” any place you can. Supporting the homeless during the days around Christmas is especially needed. It is very expensive to live without the amenities of a home, so a few bucks extra helps them have a better time to. 

Sadly, the local community  is saying farewell to Portland Ashtanga Yoga, supported by Jason Stein. Jason has been part of Near East Yoga since his family moved here in 2007, supporting my absence while I visited India for 6 months that year. Our friendship began in 2002 where we were both active contributors in an online forum dedicated to ashtanga yoga leading to spending time both in India and various yoga adventures on the west coast. 

I was surprised when I heard of the closure but not that Jason was taking a step in a new direction. We have been friends for a long while, through many variations of form. I can certainly resonate with the fact that to do yoga for a long while, you are going to change a lot- and so will the need to express the growth brought by yoga practice. 

His departure from teaching gave me a lot to think about both in our shared history with the practice but also what it means to transform via yoga, how we don’t really know what will rise up in us and if we will have the presence to receive and activate in what has been revealed. 

Jason trained to be a firefighter and is taking the empowerment of his many years of practice and bringing that energy to the greater community. I can’t think of person more equipped to shape and serve the world via an institution like Columbia River Fire and Rescue. For those who know Jason, you can imagine the benefit of his energy and personality in a crisis. 

Near East Yoga is going through some changes as well. Not in so much with me personally holding space, as I am more committed than ever. In October I signed a 5 year lease with an extended 5 year option. The owners  actively sought to keep the unique community in the Lithic Building intact rather than evict, teardown then re-develop. We, the tenants, are all grateful to be able to carry on while much of Portland changes quickly and not always for the better.  One of the main perks is they have given me permission to install a mini-split heat and a/c unit, which is nice upgrade for us. Hopefully that can happen in the spring. 

Anyway, I chose this extended route at a place in my life where I could have taken a path out of teaching and holding space, and gone into new territory where I can express myself through different means. I gave serious consideration to retiring. But under the surface, the reason I opened the studio in the first place and became a teacher at all, is because I have a personal desire to remain close to the teachings and to practice and am called to be a support in the world no matter where I am. Teaching yoga has been an amazing experience and I look forward to the next chapter that unfolds. 

To jump off now, right when the energy is so potent, when I don’t nearly feel done with the work, keeps me coming back. And I am finding many ways to both be an artist as a yogi. What the community has allowed me to explore through service and teaching all these years has been a great gift to me and I plan to continue to give that back in and out of the room. In a deeper way my decision to remain was about the needs of the community to have a space like Near East Yoga. My effort can shift gears to make room for others to support as well and the future is opening up as long time practitioners and a new younger crew merge to keep ashtanga yoga in Portland vital and present. 

2019 is closing out to be a year where many things came into alignment for me. A principle feature was I turned 50 and my time spent in the ashtanga lineage grew to 20 years. The positive aspects of aging combined with doing yoga are hard to deny and this is not just about having a useful body. My view and my mind have been altered.  I am being more careful to take my time and appreciate the moment especially in my vinyasa practice but also in how I direct my effort toward life in general. The adage often touted about “taking yoga off the mat” has resulted in me not using a mat at all. A constant practice has more meaning to me without adding any confines of place or time. I am either in, or not- and really, its only up to me to tell the difference. 

Many of my friends had babies in 2019, like more than 10 couples in my immediate circle… including our own Melissa. This mass birth event gave me a lot to think about regarding my role in supporting others but also being supported in return. and holding a stable place as a new generation comes in. AsI don’t have my own kids to support, staying the course is the best thing to do. 

I also was able to complete the building of a tiny home in my back yard with the help of a knowledgable and trusted friend. Between classes actually… It was cool, educational, hard, sometimes grueling, self-defining and revolutionary for my soul, and then it was done;  just like a yoga practice. Except it lasted 5 months and produced a viable home for someone to live. Not quite having a baby I know. Either way the little house reminds me that we all had a big year and as a resulting symbol, the ritual of building it gave a lot of meaning to the changes and reminds me that effort and intention can have beautiful, lasting results.

Holding Near East Yoga as the stable entity we all know and love comes naturally for me many ways. I really enjoy the dynamic of leadership through service and I do well with routine. The work is  not without some stresses and is not entirely accomplished by my own power. So here are a few gratitudes I like to send out and also shine a light on what the next year will bring. 

First off, let’s all thank the cleaners, our dedicated members who make the effort between class times, deferring to the devoted straggler, only to come back later to complete the work. Throw your hands up in joy over the luxury of possessing the means of  self-practice, a soft start time with dependable keyless access now.

Regarding the teaching support in the room, made possible by long years of  dedication, I’m bowing to the others who share in the practice and help us tend to our focus, the official and unofficial alike. You know who you are. I hope you think of all of us when you need the power to be in your yoga. I have thought many times about this community when it was really needed.

In 2019  I began curating classes to fill the times adjacent to the Mysore classes.  People dedicated to a useful niche are coming in to offer teachings and methods that are worthy of support. I am also aware how hard its for a teacher or healing artist to make an offering. Space is hard to come by and expensive. So the folks you see offering classes are ones I asked personally to be in the space. They bring community in an organic way that shares and grows slowly rather than overwhelms.

Even though there is a dedicated sangha supporting the entity, Near East Yoga needs to add people regularly to continue. As 2020 comes into focus, I am hoping the extra classes offered will help Near East Yoga be better known and well attended. It’s not lost on me the precious and soft vibe of a sparsely filled space. That said, I’d like to add 20 regular ashtangis this year and hope the stable base of people here remains. 

Advertising about yoga seems counterintuitive as I would rather  meet a person who feels called rather than compelled.  The idea of “attraction rather than promotion” appears in the form of a guaranteed room and teacher supported times for Mysore, a robust and informed exploration fo the Yoga Sutra and other vital texts, medicinal singing via the Reunion Kirtan, a pending 5th iteration of the 28 Days of Kirtan and the lasting dedication of the Pranayama cohort. My goal has been to vertically integrate many aspects of a yoga experience in a one room schoolhouse. 

In addition these in-house offerings I have been scheduled in 2019 by four yoga teacher training programs to provide the yoga theory aspect of their curriculum and believe this growing trend will continue. This kind of work means a lot to me. People deserve to be more informed but it takes a practiced attempt to convey the information. Considering what I have put into my study I feel well suited for this role. 

A situation that requires a light that I have needed to communicate and publicly address is the lingering issue in the ashtanga community regarding the sexual abuse perpetrated by Pattabhi Jois, the founder of the ashtanga yoga method and who I learned from starting in 1999. Yes, him too. Sort of a downer for a holiday email. You may have noticed the removal of his image from the studio earlier in the year and the absence of the regular invocation (there are few layers here that I will explain later). 

In a follow up to this email, after the new year I will write something about the issues related to Pattabhi Jois and how I have been addressing them, immediately and for a long time. I was not aware of him being a sexual abuser until 2017, although I  intuitively omitted many of the boundary crossing and possibly inappropriate adjustments he was prone to offer.  I do have first hand knowledge of his power to injure his students. This might offer an understanding regarding the origins of my own adjustment style.

Jois’ teachings were not just positive, he damaged a lot of people under the banner of yoga and lineage. People allowed him to get away with it for years because they were attached to an outcome based on the false idea of reciprocating powers projected on to him. The issue is grounds for a deeper study which hopefully can come to pass early in 2020. As it stands, I never brought the role of Jois into our room and kept my distance from Mysore and what changes came about there,  so I don’t have much of a voice of influence in the greater community of ashtanga yoga. But for us, I’d like to see the Jois Abuses be a teachable moment pointing toward actively seeking knowledge from within as self-ownership of the power seat in anyone’s experience of yoga. 

For now please be aware that the topic has been covered extensively during the Yoga Sutra discussions on Fridays and I will be covering the topic in a future email. Your thoughts and feedback are wanted and appreciated. 

Beyond what is going on in the room, my personal life is very full in partnership with Mandy, tending to our home, 3 dogs, 3 cats and our community outside of yoga . My desire to make music and collaborate with others has good roots and branches (years of kirtan has helped) but needs to be explored to fully manifest in me feeling satisfied. Maybe this will be the year I finally take the stage and share whats been wanting to come out all these years. I am a trained builder now and love working with all materials and hope to create more either in forms or sounds. Maybe there is a poet in there someplace. I’d like to find this part of myself as the years pass. 

My wish for you, in the classic version of wishes made in the  holiday season, where the potency seems high and the intention strong- is that you remain uninjured in your body and can see perfection in whatever stance you take. That as the physical world of things and movements unfolds, you remain stable in your self and can roll with the changes. That you feel safe in your homes and personal identities, free to be with whomever and whatever you love. That you have the poise to be the support in the needs of an aging parent, an ill friend or a troubled child. That your yoga practice brings you to both an understanding of both personal power and peace in the present state, where doing and accomplishment reside in the same moment. 

Happy 2020 to everyone. The space at Near East Yoga is open  for you and I hope to see soon and often- 


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Pranayama Notes-

Thinking about checking out the pranayama sessions Tuesdays and Thursdays, 630-730am? Curious about whats in it for you and why make the investment of time, energy etc? Questioning the process makes for deeper inquiry, as does trying it on and seeing if it fits. I wholeheartedly suggest you come if interested at all. Yoga is an answer to a call from the spirit. You’ve heard it and heeded it before. And now there is a deeper call.

The asana/vinyasa process cultivates the field of body consciousness and awareness to expose the gates of the subtle and soft realm. Done with grace and with accessibility pranayama practice can reveal these hidden gages without words, just by doing it, for anyone inclined to take it on.

Pranayama is often functionally described or defined as breath control or regulation of breath. While both of these concepts are part of the process, its rare to have explained what the outcomes might be. Patanajajli makes a few statements about it later in chapter 2 of the Yoga Sutra. Worth a look for reference and worthy of a discussion on Fridays.

Who can really know but the doer/seer what this “control” really means, what the implications are… And who gives it the time it deserves for that knowledge to be revealed? I have my ideas and would love to share but its a subtle realm. Best saved for a special time and place.

Pre the insights of my personal experience, I will say the basic practice, the one learned and done, is one phase of a many layered process that can’t be defined simply as “breath control”. This is way to simplistic and denotes a type of wrangling. Theres no deep struggle in authentic pranayama. It’s not easy either.

Once the initial cultivation of the work has been established the “subtle” practice belongs within the yogin who takes it on, the one who takes the road that passes the beginning stages beyond the pop and the trivial. Is now the time to make this a priority? I think it is and thats why I am giving it the time and place to happen.

The exploration of pranayama brings to mind the image of the wave as a wave is one of the first exposures we encounter when we take on the practice of pranayama. There is the nascent stage of getting started, slow and steady, followed by a growing exploration and ultimately leading to a full expression of the form.

Then we do it again; and an entirely dimensionally hidden subtle wave is encountered. And then?

Come by check it out and sit with that developing wave, see it for what it is, how it is unfolding and what that can reveal.


Eclipse Notes and Special Schedule

Greetings and Welcome

Thanks for taking the time to read up on Near East Yoga

Please Sign-in for all practices, it helps to keep the studio running smoothly!! 

PCC is coming to Near East Yoga!!

Patanjali Now! starts Tuesday September 19th 

There’s a total eclipse of the sun happening nearby, on Monday… in case you hadn’t heard. 

Sign Up for BBHS retreat soon- October 30th – November 3rd 2017

 Please Read the Notes for more info-

Monday August 20th is a New Moon and a rare total solar eclipse.  Please note the special schedule during the next few days leading up to and just after the 2017 Eclipse. Look skyward during our regular practice time and witness la luna passing between the earth and sun. Wear authorized protective lenses.

Otherwise Near East Yoga is open for led- classes and will run on the “open practice” method until Wednesday morning. Please see the schedule here to verify the studio hours this week.

Thank you for your participation and support as we bring our attention to a rare celestial intersection that, might stop traffic or open doors that seemed otherwise shut. I believe there is a special drishti automatically invoked when our attention has found a focus beyond our domaine, one we will simply ride-out or collect insights about our souls journey- these and other aspects are natural and what may or may not be changed or otherwise revealed will at least be punctuated by a major celestial event right in Oregons back yard. I am so happy we can share this together.


Near East Yoga will host Patanjali Now! A Yoga Sutra Intensive September 19th-November 19th 2017 this event is non-vinyasa in the classic sense and is open to everyone. If you are a teacher and want to be incorporating Patajali theory into your daily work please read the course info. Click here for those details.

Portland Community College and Near East Yoga are teaming up to bring students closer to ashtanga yoga by hosting them in house on Saturdays at 11am of 11 weeks, with all the classes taught by Melissa Pellitier, who has been teaching at PCC and Near East Yoga of over 4 years. This class might be the perfect one for your friend, or spouse. It includes a number of weekly classes at Near East Yoga besides the one on Saturday. So that also makes it a good deal financially and lets Near East give back to the community. Thanks Mel for bringing together. Make sure to sign up with PCC course number 47691. Its also posted here.

Lastly- check out the fall Mysore and More at Brietenbush Hot Springs, check the info page here

to sign up- go here to sign up. Jacob Handwerker and I are hosting this event together for the 3rd time. BBHS is an ideal setting for yoga as we know, so through daily practice and amble space to reflect renew and rejoice- out group covers the spectrum with a lot of yoga, soaking, and singing. I hope you will join us-  the deposit is the cost of your lodging . sign up soon with BBHS.


Have a great Eclipse and see you on the other side!!  Casey



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Patanjali Now! Working Syllabus

Hi Everyone,
Please feel welcome to join the first session of Patanjali Now! to see if its a good fit. And mark you calendars for the pending sessions. Remember there is a make up session every Friday at 9am
As I prepare for September 19th’s opening session I am growing in excitement working with this information.  Thinking about holding space and time for such an event makes me realize both that I cherish these teachings and to take on learning them is a powerful moment, not one to be wasted, cursory or trivial. A lot of ground we cover will lead to a developing understanding of how to work with Patanjali in our lives. There is much to said for a simple list that can quite convey what we are about to embrace- we need more than anything a few good visits to solidify our view.
Patanjali Now! Class Schedule
7pm Tuesday September 19th New Moon
Opening Session introductions resources, sketching future inquiry with sound. 

11am Sunday September 24th
A brief layout of classical yoga and theory paired with contemporary examples and anecdotes.
w/ Resources, Chanting Practice and Meditation/Discussion 
7pm Tuesday September 26th 
Resources, Chanting Practice and Meditation/Discussion 
11am Sunday October 8th 
Patanjali, Past and Present : Classical Patanjali and the 21st Century Yogin.
Tuesday October 10th 7-830PM
Resources, Chanting Practice and Meditation/Discussion
11AM Sunday October 15th
Art, Song, Story and How to remember the Teachings 
7PM Tuesday October 17th Tuesday 
Chanting Practice and Meditation/Discussion
11AM Sunday October 22nd
It’s all in our hands- The Number 5 in Yoga Philosophy
7pm Tuesday October 24th
Resources, Chanting Practice and Meditation/Discussion
7PM Tuesday November 7th
Resources, Chanting Practice and Group? Meditation/Discussion
11AM Sunday November 10th 
Ashtanga Yoga and the 9th Limb, working with  24/7 yoga 
Tuesday 7pm  November 14th
Resources, Chanting Practice and Group Mediation/Discussion
11am Sunday November 19th 
Closing Session, Chanting, Meditation, Group Discussion

notes on the pending Patanjali Now! workshop

I am honored and excited to be offering this course on the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali from September 19th to November 19th, 2017.
For the yogi of any school, the YSoP is a central text in the cannon of study and deserves attention and application. If we are really seeking to know what we are capable of and how this great boon of yoga in our age could beget the dawn of a new way of integrating in times of uncertainty, we owe it to our past, present and future selves to learn Patanjali, now.
I am teaching this course because, I want to learn and also understand yoga in a cohort of thinkers and seekers. This has been the way yoga all along- discussion and inquiry amongst a cohort of seekers and thinkers. When I read what people write about yoga, I can see that much of what the YSoP has to offer is either presented as a gloss of the “eight limbs” and the first 4-12 sutras of chapter one, with little or nor emphasis on the YSoP as a whole. The text is rife with contexts as intriguing and supportive as the known popular versions.
This is limitation is due to a lot of factors, primarily the language barriers we find in Sanskrit, with time made available to inquire and especially the over emphasis on body shape and external images. There are also corresponding theory with supportive texts that enliven these theoretic dry bones, leading the student to be inspired, live in the moment and see what the sensory minutiae of life has to offer.
Having studied, chanted and explored the YSoP and its corresponding and supporting texts that make it understandable and accessible, I want to help steer the the local conversation and application of the theory to a deeper, personal, user-friendly place where a cohort can talk about YSoP in an extemporaneous way and exemplify its knowledge in our lives. The fruit of this is happening now as we converge here on the topic of yoga. Take this workshop to further your and our inquiry.
I chose the days and times, Sundays at 11am and Tuesdays at 7pm, with a make up on Fridays at 9am, so folks who have missed the long running YSoP study I have been offering at Near East Yoga, would have a chance to delve deeper into the philosophy and weave this powerful thread of information into their continuing karma of a regular yoga practice.
The YSoP is prevalent in our age because of countless sages who chanted it, practiced it, taught it , unchanged, for nearly 2000 years. It still holds up as an aggregate of its many supporting teachings and allows the sadhaka (student) to progress beyond yoga being merely a path to take but to actually exist in a state of being latent in the form of the body that without insight of the YSoP can remain unrevealed in this lifetime- even when so much effort has been expressed in the spirit of yoga.
Sri K Pattabhi Jois often said yoga was “99% practice 1% Theory”. I am offering this workshop in the spirit of that small but important 1%
Cheers, Casey J Palmer
Patanjali Bw White Bg

Patanjali Intensive Starts September 19th

Patanjali Now! A Yoga Sutra Intensive – $285 dollars

Tuesday’s and Sunday’s September 19th to November 19th 2017. 

Spend an interactive 8 weeks with Patanajli

First Class- Tuesday September 19th- Introductions, Chanting, Philosophy, Discussion  

A special rate of $95 dollars extra includes daily Mysore practice for one month.

Tickets can be purchased here

OR, mail a $100 dollar deposit before August 10th to reserve a spot.

Understanding Patanjali, the revered Sage most associated with yoga philosophy cir. 2000 years ago. The information is so old  seems to take nearly half that time to digest, a long while anyway, maybe forever. But not without insight along the way. This workshop/seminar is designed to show the basic structures and connections Patanjali makes throughout the YSoP. Without support we can loose our determination. This does not need be the case if we take the time to keep pressing toward understanding and allow the process of introduction reveal a few doorways of interest that lead deeper into the wonder of a wider knowledge of Patanjali.


This is all done via a regular reading and discussion of The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, and adding in supportive textual references along the way, allowing  the experience of understanding  to reveal itself to us over time.


Having a steady introduction allows a beginning minded person or group a chance to uncover the basics of Patanjali, put them to trial and digest the results then compare notes with other active students. Some of this introduction has already occurred in the form of living life, learning the path of cause and result and learning from our karma which way best suits us and our destiny. Patanjali does less to tell us what to do and more to help us see how we are designed. In a way this is the heart of the yoga sutra- seeing the framework for how we are made and express and developing ourselves as We see fit and as the forces and elements allow.


This course will be four-sections, in 14 classes, over eight-weeks. The classes are held at 11am on Sundays and 7pm on Tuesdays. Each 2 weeks will offer time to learn the structure and format that opens up the YSoP for the next part.The classes will include chanting, theory and discussion.There will be, spaced apart, 2 weeks over the time we won’t meet.Relevant handouts will be offered weekly and an opportunity to write about the experience will be introduced. Every week offers a Friday 9am make up session.


If this workshop is attractive and you have the time please contact Near East Yoga to submit a $100 dollar deposit by September 10th and to receive further instructions and information. 

Tickets can be purchased here



Guru Purnima 2017 and Schedule Notes

Summer 2017

Dear Friends-

Wednesday through Sunday (7/5- 7/9) a few of the Mysore sessions will be “open practice” or without the support of a teacher. If you need help accessing your practice, please come to the led classes offered Monday and Wednesday at 7pm and Friday morning at 7am. If you need help accessing the studio please text me at 503-890-2212 for information. Saturday (7/8) is a full moon and Near East Yoga will be closed.


This Saturdays full moon is a special one being the traditional day in July celebrating the birth of all Gurus. Ashtanga Yoga’s founding guru, Sri K Pattabhi Jois was born on Guru Purnima, July 26th, 1915. He lived 93 years and his life and work became a bridge between the ages, where he left behind a powerful legacy to carry the classical yoga tradition forward, long after his passing.

In the present age, encountering the classical Guru is not an easily revealed reality. While there are many teachers, only a few uphold a classical lineage transmission, where the heart of the ancient guru can be found along with the means to reveal the spirit of “self and things”, through studying and practicing the methods codified and offered during ancient times. Ashtanga Yoga is for sure a transformative and gratifying process for which there is much to be grateful for and a place where the guru lingers. If we take the initiative offered by the karma of  process, we gain insight that can aid us as we grow and change through the process.

Like all entities born of  “things”, our minds and egos will change as our body changes, leaving the soul as constant and unchanging observer, abiding in svarupe- vasthu or the self-form, in its place. We can witness a new form of our body, individually, simultaneously and collectively, arise in every moment if we have the “bandhas” to pay attention and we do not look away.

In this continuum the long practice of vinyasa, pranayama, drishti reveals the intermediary stillness, silence that lingers, as we go off the mat and about our lives, with the spacious bubble of a self-created environment that cant be bought or taught. Pretty cool stuff if one can get that going.

So, If you are wondering how to celebrate guru purmima, a simple  “Thanks Guruji!” is a good place to begin as our thoughts around this time of year turn toward the great teachers we have known, whoever that Guru is for you. It’s part of the process to work for a good and beneficial life, with right action and intention. For our teachers, who help us everyday, we are most grateful.

As a teacher it is imperative that I both hold close the working tradition of Ashtanga Yoga and support the inquiry of foundational,  sacred texts and practices, the ones where we find the inspiration of the Guru and connect with and reflect our own inner teacher. This mission of Near East Yoga has always been to hold a space for physical expression, spiritual inquiry and personal revelation. This reveal constantly unfolds and supports us, as a group and as individuals, as we continue our life and karma.

With practice and inquiry we have all we need to “get ripe on the vine”, for the time when the guru we have been moving toward all along arrives in our life. Maybe this ripening will simply be knowing ourselves as a wordless understanding that we can not be taught but only choose to abide. This state is always within us, well within our reach if we know how to see it and take the steps to cultivate it. May there be no limits or hierarchy regarding who achieves this state.

As 15 years opens up to a beautiful future I say; thank you all for bringing your intention and energy to Near East Yoga and supporting the legacy of Pattabhi Jois and those that came before him. We souls are each a part of a long continuum with yoga as the theme- blessings to you everyone this Guru Purnima 2017!!

Casey, July 4th, 2017


Upcoming Events at Near East Yoga

The Magic of Sacred Story with John de Kadt
Saturday, May 27 at 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Story means “store house”. When a story possesses reminders and meaning needed during challenging times they become wisdom stories, sacred stories or places of treasured remembrance. It is then, when we have lost our way, that we can reach back into the “store house” of our ancestors to remember and revision what it is we burn for and how to awaken.

For all of human history we have been sharing in the oral tradition of storytelling. It was a central vehicle for humans to impart wisdom, entertain, teach and retain information from generation to generation. Only in the past 100 years has this enchanting, educational and heart-warming art been all but lost on modern culture.

Come join us for a mesmerizing evening of wisdom stories and drumming with acclaimed world traveling percussionist, poet and storyteller John de Kadt. This event is oriented towards adults however it is certainly a magical journey for all humans big and small who love to be carried on the wings of adventure, myth and magic.

$30 Admission




Breath Ceremony with Chad Charles Berscheid

Tuesday May 30th 730PM
This isn’t yoga
This isn’t therapy
This isn’t meditation
This doesn’t come from a plant
This is a numinous experience with your breath!
Please call me if you have questions. I want to hear from you!!!
514.296.9217 |
For more information on what breathwork is for me, visit my site:
The spots fill up so pre-registration is required! Scroll down to learn how to reserve your spot in the circle. “Going” or “interested” does not count.

The contribution asked is on a sliding scale: $40 – $50

It’s actually your participation that makes it all happen. Please send an e-mail to to learn how to confirm your spot. Or, you may register directly using the “tickets” button on this page, offering a minimum $40 via PayPal (as FRIEND or FAMILY please).
I also accept bitcoin.

I will announce, on this page, if/when the circle is full. Cash is accepted at the time of the session IF there are still spaces.
You will be very happy if you bring:
-mat or mattress (you’ll be laying on your back for one hour)
-blanket(s) or cushion(s)
-water bottle
-loose, cosy clothing
-eye mask (optional)
-journal or sketchbook (optional)

Think ‘nest’ and comfortable!

You are invited to bring any precious objects that accompany you on your journeying.

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Happy Lunar New Year- The Year of the Bird

Dear Friends,


I hope this change in the lunar year finds you well. Keeping with the theme of my prior post, I’d like to bring up the change in cycle as an opportunity to review and take action/ inaction regarding the fruit available to act upon  when spring approaches in March and beyond. The Solar new year six weeks ago came with a very durable snow and for me one of the worst colds I have a had in many years and a lot of time for reflection . Although short, the cold was quite potent and caused my body to really kick into gear and heal. I feel in someway purified in many levels and ready for what happens next. Sort of  like what happens when I practice yoga- but way more intense and fast.


Many of my thoughts have been turning toward the energy moving in our culture and the sudden and stark reveal of how the vulnerable people are deeply affected by the change in political landscape. It is not lost on me the beauty and grace of an enhanced space such as Near East Yoga, becoming more of a refuge everyday, offering a safe place to develop stability and grace. I have a firm resolve to support and engender unity and community as an act of rebellion to what I see going on on the Federal stage. As it goes I have been aware of peoples need to grieve as they move toward resiliency and revolution. But also morph into resolve and strength. Yoga, if anything is a confirmation of a personal domaine for the purposes of revealing the divine through anything that comes up. Everyone is entitled to pursue this end as a function of their freedom and happiness. Let’s work of for this as we explore our practice.


Under the effect of the lunar new year, now is a great time to recommit to the channelizing and stabilizing effort found in regular practice. I’ve been watching a new found strength erupt out of people, some affected by the storm, or the state of the population and the spark of late winter sun. There is a lot of joy floating about stemming from steady yoga practice and heart-lightening song-circles. In a way we offer each other a protection that comes from just being present and available- even in the silence of Mysore. You are not alone and there is very little to be said. This is called trust and is the root of who we maintain a sangha. Come be together, strong and clear through practice.


Look for these offerings over the next few weeks and months-

Yoga Sutra of Patanjali 4-5pm Tuesday February 7th

28 Days of Kirtan starts February 25th

Devis Lunch Puja returns for the 28 Days

Wednesdays March 1st, 15th, 22nd and 29th


See you all soon and often- Casey

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