Yoga on the Patio: Interview with Annie Price of RTPB

Did you know that you could enjoy a session of yoga OUTSIDE every Friday morning this summer at Ravenna Third Place Books? Weather permitting, of course.

We sent to a session ourselves, and did a little email interview with yoga instructor and bookseller Annie Price to learn more.

Yours truly, Denny and Liz moving through Cat and Cow

Ravenna Blog: Yoga on the Patio at Ravenna Third Place Books.  I didn’t see that coming.  How did the idea come about?

Annie Price: Well, we have this great patio space at the store and a while back we were having a meeting about how to better use it this summer. We talked about hosting events out there, having clubs use the space, etc… We really want people in the community to feel they can use our patio to hang out, and be in their “Third Place,” so I thought a yoga class would be great. I have also been looking for a good space for an outdoor practice this summer. (Coincidentally, I am a yoga teacher.) The store’s needs and mine met up and it worked.

RB: The Lake Forest Park location does seem to have the edge where “Third Place” SPACE is concerned.  How has the outdoor practice experience been for you so far?

AP: It’s been great. It’s a small group so far, but a beautiful space. In fact, depending on interest, I am hoping to add Wednesday mornings as well. We’ll see.

RB: Tell us a bit about your yogic education.  Hatha?  Ashtanga?  Childhood friend ofRodney Yee?

AP: I’ve always practiced. In high school our math teacher, Mr. Cornell, lead classes at lunchtime in the wrestling room. I was one of the four people that would show up. I’ve always been teaching, too. My first memory of teaching yoga was after French class in middle school. I got everyone down on the floor in a twist… Aside from the constant giggling, I think we were pretty good.

My formal teaching education began about five years ago in the neighborhood. I took from Richard Schachtel at the Center for Yoga on 65th. He is great. He threw me into teaching classes the second week of my training. He is an exceedingly knowledgeable Iyengar practitioner and has been teaching for longer than I’ve been alive. Iyengar is great. No coddling, no nonsense, no woo woo stuff. Just good alignment and a good practice.

Since then I’ve broadened my style of teaching to include other lineages. I’ve taken trainings from Shiva Rea here in Seattle, in San Francisco and in India. The yoga I teach now is a mix of what I’ve learned from my teachers, from my friends and from my students.

RB: India!  The source.  How do you feel the visit affected your practice the most?

AP: Indirectly I am sure it has. But my impressions from my trip were mostly just a traveler’s impressions, rather than a teacher’s. It’s a wonderful place to meditate, away from all the distractions of modern life (no worries about the cell phone ringing or that awful high pitched almost inaudible sound electronics make that you get so used to you barely even notice). And people there are very, very nice. It’s a wonderful place to surrender ego and expectations (which is a huge part of the practice of yoga).

RB: Favorite pose?  I’m a big Savasana fan, myself.  Feels so good after all that work.

In balance

AP: Some of my students laugh at me when I say “This is my favorite pose right now” because I say it about everything. For myself my favorite pose right this second is coming from a seat to Urdva Danurasana (wheel) because I just figured out how to reach back instead of coming from the floor. It’s so rewarding when something you’ve been not quite getting for years finally just… works. Because of that my favorites are the “hard” poses. My favorite pose to teach is a headstand for that same feeling. People will be frustrated as hell with it for months and then one day it is just.. AHA! and you’re up.

RB: You do work at the bookstore, so I feel obliged to ask a book question:  How about a personalized staff pick, for our readers.  What could you recommend from the stacks these days?

AP: Everyone who has been willing to listen to me in the last six months has left the store with a copy of Aimee Bender’s “The Third Elevator.” It’s a great fable written by one of my favorite authors. In it a swan and a bluebird fall in love and have an egg that hatches a little blue cloud. And a logger who loves trees tries to find better things to chop down… It’s just great. And tiny. A carry in your pocket and give away type story.

RB: And I just read in the Ravenna Third Place twitter feed that the one hundredth copy of “The Third Elevator” went out the door today, in no small part due to your prosthelytizing. Congratulations to you and Ms. Bender.

Anything else you’d like readers to know about Yoga on the Patio?

AP: Yoga is a hugely rewarding art to share and I love to have it available affordably outside of a studio setting, which is why I am donating my time and experience to lead these outdoor practices; however, the realities of rent and groceries can’t be ignored, so I would welcome a 5$ donation per practice.

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Annie Price is a bookseller at Ravenna Third Place Books, and teaches yoga at Sutra Yoga Center in Wallingford, Epicenter Fitness downtown, the Patio at Ravenna Third Place Books and soon on the Lawn at Green Lake.

Yoga on the Patio at Ravenna Third Place is happening on Fridays from 7-7:50am through the summer, weather permitting.  No experience necessary.  Donations thankfully accepted.  Bring a yoga mat if you have one (she’s got loaners, too), and a sweatshirt: Mornings can be chilly!

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