As busy and studious college students, it’s important to decompress and take a deep breath. Take a break and stop by Anasa Yoga! This yoga studio is located in the Laurel at 4234 MacArthur Blvd., just a mile away from Mills College, making it a convenient escape from an academic atmosphere to one of complete relaxation.
The Anasa Yoga studio teaches Iyengar, a relaxing style of yoga that focuses on your body alignment. The studio offers Flow classes, also known as Vinyasa, which includes poses linked together in coordination with the breath. Hatha classes, where slower movements paired with yoga props which are available at the studio.
As college students who sit around and study all day, this kind of movement can be especially beneficial for restoration and relaxation. Clients often come in with back, neck, hip and knee problems, issues that are often associated with body alignment.
When visiting Anasa Yoga, students are likely to meet the studio’s founders. Katrina Lashea and Jean Marie Moore are some of the first African American women to open up a yoga studio in Alameda County.
Katrina, co-owner and yoga instructor at Anasa Yoga, is also a recent graduate from the Lorry I. Lokey School of Business and Public Policy with a masters degree in management with an emphasis in social impact and innovation at Mills in 2017. She is a member of the Mills Business Alumnae Consulting Group, a business advisory team providing growth and support to Bay Area social entrepreneurs and mission-driven ventures facing barriers to growth.
Katrina has instructed both yoga and meditation at Mills. She taught yoga at Alameda Health Systems for five years and has worked with Kaiser Permanente and various East Bay yoga studios for over 10 years. She took her first yoga class in 1985 to manage pain from a back injury. Katrina’s teaching style is influenced by her background in dance and teachers who have studied directly with BKS Iyengar, Mary Lou Weprin, Donald Moyer, Maty Ezraty and Marla Apt.
Jean Marie, co-founder & instructor, teaches a gentle vinyasa flow and emphasizes the awareness of anatomy to create a safe and beneficial practice. As a UC Berkeley Architecture grad, a LEED AP in the green building industry and a 2013 graduate of Oakland Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Oakland program, Jean Marie retired her construction management business at the end of 2015 after building K-12 schools for 17 years. She used her green building skills to assist in the design and certification of Anasa Yoga as Alameda County’s only green-certified yoga studio.
Read more about her here: www.anasaoakland.com/instructors/
Founders Katrina Lashea and Jean Marie Moore both turned to Iyengar yoga to help recover from injuries relating to body alignment.
Katrina had severely injured her back and feet while doing dance. The doctors informed her that she would be in back pain for the rest of her life. Her feet had also healed incorrectly, which prevented her from running, an activity she previously enjoyed doing. “What exercise can I do?” Said Lashea, “There’s got to be something.”
She found that yoga helped to alleviate most of her pain. Also, as an aging woman, she was inspired by other older practitioners and how they became masters of such a grounding practice.
In 2004, Jean Marie “discovered the joys of a regular yoga practice as a means of coping with daily stress and healing spinal and leg injuries.”
Thanks to Jean Marie and her experience as a green architect the studio is not only sustainable but also caters to people who are sensitive to environmental pollutants. Having a certified green space decreases rates of asthma, a common chronic illness amongst African American communities.
Anasa Yoga offers events, workshops and trainings. They offer five and 10 class packages as well as drop in classes. They offer contribution classes where anyone can come and pay what they can to participate.
Here are some of the events happening over the next few weeks.
The Yoga of 12-Step Recovery (Y12SR): The issues live in our tissues
Sundays 7:00–8:30 p.m. 45 minute meeting + 45 minute yoga class Weekly rotation with Annabelle, Jean Marie, Joe, Tina and Chris Meetings are by donation
“Y12SR is a 12 step based discussion and yoga practice open to anyone and everyone dealing with their own addictive behavior or affected by the addictive behavior of others. This is an open and inclusive group. All A’s are welcome.”
Restorative Yoga and Sound Healing, Saturday, March 10, 2:00–4:30 p.m., Elika Aid and Shree Shyam Das, $40 early fee, $45 after March 4
“This is a practice for every body experiencing the effects of common stressors, or major life challenges, who would like to restore and renew body and mind to cultivate harmony…We will be led by Elika and guided by the sounds of Shree Shyam Das, playing the Halo Drum, creating a healing and mystical space for this practice to unfold.”
Listening Circle, Community Yoga & Shared Meal with Kimber and Jean Marie
Saturday, March 17 2:00–4:30 p.m. Kimber and Jean Marie A free community event
From anasaoakland.com: “Spring is the perfect time to plant “seeds” in your community. Come celebrate the spring equinox with us on St. Patrick’s Day. We’re hosting a 45 minute community yoga class, a simple and delicious late lunch by Communitē Table and a chance to share appreciation and ideas about what you’d like to see your yoga center offer to the community. Get out of your mind and into your body and heart in Kimber’s 45 minute mindful slow flow yoga class. Then we’ll share ideas and listen to the collective wisdom we each have to offer as we nourish our bellies with Kimber and Anasa Yoga Co-founder, Jean Marie.”
“Pre-registration required for meal planning. Gluten free and vegan choices by Communitē Table. Beginning yogis and yoginis are welcome.”
For more events and classes check out the Anasa Yoga website: anasaoakland.com/events-workshops