Stan in Vasisthasana 2
Stan Andrzejewski opened the now oldest ongoing school in Baltimore, devoted exclusively to the study of Hatha Yoga in 1986. Our earliest classes were strictly Iyengar style. At the time, several of our instructors were advanced level students of John Schumacher, a senior teacher in the Iyengar tradition, founder of the Unity Woods Yoga Center in Bethesda. Stan was certified in the Iyengar tradition in 1988. But our journey brought us into explorations of breath, subtle energies, imagery, and simply movement, in ways the Iyengar system did not allow.
In 1984, Stan met a visionary yoga teacher, Victor van Kooten. But it was not until 1994, that we realized how profound his teachings are. As the saying goes, “when the student is ready, the teacher appears”. Victor teaches Hatha Yoga as an inquiry, giving us license to explore movement, utilizing tamas, the letting go principle, evolving into sattva, spacious, skillful, graceful movement, instead of just from rajas, the active principle. Victor teaches movement from the center outward, rooting into the foundations, and then into the intended direction and space.
Victor had been a senior Iyengar teacher, has acknowledged the incredible impact that BKS Iyengar made in his life, but his journey is now in his own direction. None of us adhere strictly to Iyengar tradition.
What distinguishes our classes is their therapeutic value. Stan has been a practicing physical therapist for over 45 years. He uses the awareness and skillful movement of Hatha Yoga as a modality for physical therapy treatment. He has influenced our yoga teachers to look at each of their students biomechanically, then to teach their students the elegant motor skills of Hatha Yoga. He holds regular Physical Therapy continuing education workshops, entitled “Hatha Yoga as Physical Therapy”.
Our Mission is to share the magic of yoga and meditation to our community. We want to empower our students with the tools of Hatha Yoga and meditation to support them to live satisfying fulfilling lives into wellness.
The Yoga We Teach
A typical class begins with a focus on the breath and a warm-up series, followed by a flowing series of yoga asanas (postures) that range from gentle movement to challenging workout. Asana practice is coordinated with conscious breathing to promote a steady, comfortable experience. A warm down series ends the 75 or 90 minute class. Our studio, clean, quiet, air-conditioned, and free of distractions, is designed for the exclusive practice of Hatha Yoga. We have changing rooms and a supply of yoga mats and other props (available at no extra charge).
Classes are available at several levels to accommodate the varied skills of our students,
whether new to yoga or experienced.
The atmosphere in classes is casual and supportive with class sizes varying from 5-30 students. We feel strongly that yoga is therapeutic. As one develops the consciousness and skillfulness of posture and movement of yoga asana, our bodies are facilitated to heal.
Each class is different.
There is a beginning, a middle, and an end to each class, as well as each session. Though students can start anytime within a session, to experience a session course from its beginning allows most continuity, especially for beginners.
50 weeks over 4 sessions a year
Over 20 classes a week
From gentle to intermediate yoga
Each teacher is different
The influence of Iyengar’s approach is evidenced by our teachers’ emphasis on precise alignment of bones, joints, and muscle within the poses. This keen awareness of anatomical detail allows the experience of the inner movement when integrated as breath and energy. The practice of Hatha Yoga can be safe for most people regardless of their level of conditioning with skillful instruction. The asanas are performed with a yogic attitude that balances right effort with mindfulness and open celebration. The actions and alignments of the poses are in accord with precise principles of both biomechanics and subtle energy flows in the body.
Among us who teach are a physical therapist, massage therapist, dancer, musician, equestrian, landscape architect, artist, and nutritionist. Our class presentations are influenced by our personalities, life experiences, and the particular place our yoga practice is. All of our teachers have a strong personal practice that guides our teaching. We are continually mentored by our own yoga teachers as well as ourselves.