Thursday, February 15, 2018

Recap: February Clay Club at YaYa Yoga & Market

Thanks to Anita Blackwell for hosting Clay Club at YaYa Yoga & Market! YaYa Yoga & Market is located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Spruce Pine. It is a “a yoga studio, sanctuary, art gallery, gift shop, healing space, indoor market and a space for holding beautiful events for empowerment and celebration.” The yoga room is a calm space with wonderfully decorated walls. It is truly a lovely place.

Anita led us through series of yoga movements, concentrating on areas of specific concern to potters and ceramic artists. Among the tips she shared: a lot of us work in a way that has our body hunched over, while throwing or otherwise working with clay. Be aware of that and remember to move in the opposite direction to counteract that. She suggested the idea of “qualifying your pain”: paying attention to your pain and rating it, then trying to address it with movement. So, for example, if your back hurts and you rate the pain as 7/10, try some movements to counteract that, then qualify your pain again and see if it has lessened. (Anita was also clear that if you’re experiencing pain that needs to be addressed by a physician, that should definitely be done to rule out anything that needs to addressed medically.) While you’re working, Anita suggested pausing every hour to consider your body and how you might move to counteract or prevent pain.

I am just barely touching on everything Anita shared with us! Anita is a Registered Yoga Teacher *and* a ceramic artist - she understands what we do and how to address it. If you have an opportunity to take a class or private lesson with her, I highly recommend it. Here’s a little about Anita's path to teaching yoga and owning and running YaYa Yoga & Market:

After 15 years working as a nurse practitioner in Florida, I was diagnosed with a rare cancer. My life was changed forever, and yoga would become my “go to” in life — a path out of suffering. I quit medicine and started my healing touch and art career.

I moved to Spruce Pine, NC in 2008 to retire and be near Penland School of Crafts and to continue my exploration of clay and art. Excited to find a wonderful afternoon yoga class at our local bookstore, I began to attend class and substitute teach on occasion. That was the beginning of my passion to teach yoga and open a studio. In 2008, I completed a Yoga Alliance approved teacher training in Subtle Yoga with Kristine Kaoverii Weber, in Asheville, NC, and I am a Registered Yoga Teacher.

Here’s what’s going in February at YaYa Yoga & Market:

Check out more about Anita and YaYa Yoga & Market (including the current schedule of yoga classes) on their website:

YaYa Yoga & Market is on Facebook, too:

Thanks again to Anita, and to everyone who came!

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