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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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Blessings for 2017, Notes for Winter

Crow SpacerHi There-

Happy New Year! The Holidays sort of just came and went. They were wonderful to behold and I was happy to see you all during these special times. I have been left with the overwhelming sensation that we have entered a new chapter of life with this turn of the earth, a beginning to a new age where we are going to utilize our potency and power of adaptability, for and along side each other.
Witnessing the state to where the world has arrived, I am even more grateful for community, the stories we share, the places we inhabit and the home we make together here in this great City of Portland. As these new ways of how we relate with our environment are revealed to us, as we shift and grow, I keep reminding myself that following the old ways certainly has it’s merit. When properly blended with the widsdom of the times the root teachings of what we call yoga, offer space, clarity and vision that can be an antidote to what ails or an engine of transformation. May we all be the bearer of this result in the world.
The Near East Yoga sangha is a beautifully diverse group of mindful individuals, each a servant to others, Self and the Divine, who shares this self-effecting method for making better the organization of maya or the illusion of being. The community shares a trust which is a precious item to behold and is a principle component in how we express and enjoy liberty. The animation of a good life can come when we know not only who we are, but also how we are and where we are, in a world where to try is to succeed, if the method is there. Four walls don’t make a yoga studio alone- the many different threads of lives and choices, successes and sufferings are what make the fabric with which we live and love. “Grist for the mill” as Ram Das has said is of a turn, the very prana we employ in the simplicity of breath and the base of all our actions.
We are friends with the lineage of being blessed with success, if we try- its what the Elder’s wanted for us when they sought the truth and tried to map thier way, to then offer us. Patanjali wanted us to succeed, Pattabhi Jois, Dr. Jayashree, Kathy Cooper, our first teacher, the other yogi in the room, the Godhead- all are bent on helping us find the path and take it alone for the sake of all everywhere and the ultimate destination of Now.
As this year of 2017 gets rolling, look from where you have come, and the strength or even the stretch by which you came through and know you can and will stay upright this year. Look to the Sun, Moon and Earth to show you the passing of the high and low, move with them like a living vinyasa, keep your drishti both internal and external, breathe in the free air, be the seer, held in spontaneous awe of the magic found in the mundane. Release the unnecessary hooks that the illusion has over you and polish the ones that serve and support.
The future brings the Lunar New Year at the end of January and then Mahashivaratri in late February. Near East Yoga will continue to offer the support of Ashtanga Yoga, weekly philosophy discussions, special visiting teachers, music and chanting, with new opportunities to engage and explore the dharma-arts as a community. “Get Your Bhajan On VI” and the 2nd Annual “28 Days of Kirtan” complete with a 3 night retreat at the Oregon Coast  are pending in late winter. The weekly chant sessions continue in vigor and a special night version of the YSoP group will be starting on Tuesday’s at 4pm. We are bringing back the Beneficial Sounds Gong Bath with Wayne Marto every month and have a few Tea and Meditation Ceremonies with Leora in the works. Combined with such a great group of supporting teachers Melissa, Martina, and Brady (including the great fill in teaching of Dena and Jordan) and the stewardship of Cameron, Near East Yoga is set to be a home for many wonderful experiences for our community.
Thanks for making Near East Yoga the hub of your asana practice, even your day or your life (like me). It would never be as it is with our your presence. Thanks for showing up and improving what would otherwise be just a room.
Blessings in the New Year and Always- Casey
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October at Near East Yoga

Dear Friends,

Friday September 30th is the new moon. There will be no 7am group led class  but the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali study is scheduled for 9am as usual. This is the second new moon for September. I’m not aware of any special significance but it seems rare none the less.

Keep in mind we sing 4 times a week and all are welcome to attend these sessions. We make special considerations to incorporate the novice chanter so please feel welcome. These sessions are intended to be a chance to connect to the community and learn about yoga theory while opening up channels in the body only available through song. See the schedule for details. No reservation is required.

On October 15th (the full moon) from 5-7pm, Near East Yoga will host “An Exploration of Grief through Tea Ceremony and Meditation”. Please see the attached flier for information about the session and Leora Gonźalez, the facilitator. Please inquire with me if you’d like to sign up.

Now is the the time to book your accommodations for the Breitenbush Hot Springs hosted by myself and Jacob Handwerker, October 30th through the 4th. We had a great time last year and I look forward to a repeat. Hope you can make it. Here is a link to the Breitenbush Hot Springs website for more info about making a reservation.

See you all soon and often- Casey


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