special moon classes in May.

On new moon and full moon days, the convention in Ashtanga yoga is to take a day of rest from your usual practices. The full moon (May 16) and new moon (May 30) both happen to fall on Mondays this month… Since we only meet once a week, instead of canceling class I will be leading a guided practice on these days in place of the usual self-paced Mysore practice. This will include guided asana (postures), pranayama (breathing technique), and meditation – with some chanting and singing bowl, of course. I hope you’ll join us!

In summary, we will have class every Monday from 5-7 pm:

Mysore: May 2, 9, 23

Guided full moon practice: May 16

Guided new moon practice: May 30

Please register here in advance: https://www.opendooruv.com/somatics-yoga/mysore-ashtanga-yoga

First Friday in WRJ, April 1: Free Ashtanga “Appetizer” class

I am happy to be offering a free introductory Ashtanga class at Open Door as part of the First Friday art festivities in White River Junction, Vermont. See you there. 🙂

Details HERE and below.

Join Open Door Friday, April 1st at 5:30pm
Ashtanga Yoga Appetizer with Aleah Sommers

In the tradition of Ashtanga yoga, we practice yoga postures and techniques as a daily personal practice that can be adapted for any individual circumstances. This style of yoga takes shape as a full-body meditation, with attention on the breath and internal forms. We open the body through deliberate movement, cultivating mental focus and clarity, and balancing the nervous system.


To celebrate First Friday on April 1, join Aleah at Open Door for an introductory Ashtanga yoga class. In this guided practice, you will move through surya namaskar (sun salutations) and a selection of standing and seated postures, grounded in the breath and sublime embodied experience.


All are welcome. Please bring a yoga mat.

Tuesday evening Mysore class starting in January!

Starting January 4, we will have Mysore class every Tuesday evening from 5-7 pm at Open Door in White River Junction, Vermont.

Masks are required, as well as Covid vaccination.

Description: In this class, each student learns and practices a series of yoga postures from the Ashtanga tradition, adapted and modified according to individual circumstances, with a focus on breath and internal awareness. Students are welcome to arrive and leave any time within the Mysore class time, except during the final rest period in the last 10 minutes of class. You practice at your own pace, with individual assistance and guidance from the teacher, progressively building on and refining your practice. No experience is necessary to begin. The only pre-requisites are sincerity and curiosity (a sense of humor helps too).

Register for classes here: https://www.opendooruv.com/somatics-yoga/mysore-ashtanga-yoga

See you soon! Happy new year.

Introduction to Mysore-style Ashtanga Yoga

I am very happy to be teaching an introduction series to Mysore-style Ashtanga Yoga, taking place at Open Door in White River Junction, Vermont! A couple of weeks ago, I was curious to see if there were others in the Upper Valley practicing yoga in the Ashtanga form, if anyone would be interested in meeting up to practice together occasionally, and/or if there was interest in learning. So I sent an inquiry to the community email listserv, and the enthusiastic responses I received were heartwarming! We’ll see how this goes. We begin November 30, details below. Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Introduction to Mysore-style Ashtanga Yoga – 4 week series:

5:30-7:00 pm, November 30, December 7, 14, 21

Open Door Integrative Wellness, White River Junction, Vermont

Register here.

In this 4-week series, learn the foundations of Ashtanga yoga to establish a grounding, uplifting, and sustainable personal yoga practice. We will begin from where we are, progressively adding on to the practice each week, with attention to proper alignment, breath, focus, and internal awareness. Individual adaptations will be presented to serve any circumstances. By the end of the series, you will be equipped with a well-rounded yoga practice to do at home and take with you anywhere, and you will be ready to practice in a Mysore class (in which each student practices at their own pace, with personal assistance and guidance from the teacher). This series is appropriate for those new to yoga (or simply new to the Ashtanga form); more experienced students will also find it enriching to revisit the foundations in detail, look again, and begin again.

Week 1 (November 30) – Foundations of breath, prana/apana, Surya Namaskar A/B

Week 2 (December 7) – Backbends and closing sequence postures

Week 3 (December 14) – Standing sequence

Week 4 (December 21) – Seated postures, introduction to Primary Series

Register here.

Note: Following this 4-week introduction series, this class will become a Mysore-style class.

from Kenya, with love.

It has certainly been an interesting year so far, everywhere in the world. I am now living in Naivasha, Kenya for the next few months and will likely return to the US in December if all goes as planned. I do not currently have any classes, workshops, or retreats on the calendar, but please stay in touch! I would be delighted to hear from you.

And most importantly, keep practicing – and let compassion radiate into every aspect of your comings and goings, every relationship and conversation, every thought and interaction. This life should be sweet for us all.

still in India.

It is now August 2020, and I am still in India, despite all the difficulties and unfortunate circumstances associated with the current pandemic.  My husband and I are safe and well, living in a village in the Himalayas near Uttarkashi.

During months of lockdown at Parmarth Niketan ashram in Rishikesh this spring, we filmed many yoga practices.  If you are looking for some guidance or inspiration for practice, you might find something interesting in the archives here (all given freely).

I hope to connect again in some way, sometime soon.  In the meantime, I’ll be sending love.  Stay in touch.

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unstoppable.

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At some point, in this lifetime or perhaps in another one, a fire will be lit inside you.  You will become insatiably curious about the nature of reality, of consciousness, of what this all is, and how the pieces fit together.  You will no longer hide away the overwhelming thoughts of infinite time, of space, of the certain death of your body.  This longing to know will not be satisfied by any theoretical, measurable, philosophical, or intellectual understanding, nor by faith in words passed down over centuries or millennia, in an epic game of miscommunicated “Telephone”, from those who may have understood.  No, this deep, intimate craving must be fulfilled by direct personal experience, an understanding of Truth well beyond the capacities of the intellect – and you will realize that this is possible, and has been done before.

Day by day, moment by moment, you will train, with great persistence and discipline, and gradually things will change, sometimes in thrilling leaps, but mostly in imperceptibly small gradients over time.  The physiological control, comfort in the body, quality of the breath and the thoughts, the texture of awareness, a sense of fearlessness (what is the worst that could happen?).  With perfect timing, the appropriate teachers and teachings will show up, in ways and in forms you could not have imagined.  After experiencing unbelievable physiological and sensory phenomena, you will come across descriptions of precisely these experiences, articulated in texts written thousands of years ago, and you will know that you are not alone.  This path has been walked before, and the trail is marked well, if you know where to look.  There are many ways to find the trail, and an infinite number of trailheads.  The fire will grow.

Pieces will come together, and you will increasingly see or sense different layers within the tapestry of space-time, and perhaps become aware of something brilliant and unchanging behind the tapestry.  You will follow your trail, wherever it leads, with great determination and effort, but in an unhurried, efficient way.  There will come a time when the inner fire becomes irresistible and all-consuming, and it will be time to let yourself jump fully into the flames.

Then you will be unstoppable along your path – despite all the obstacles and distractions, the suffering, the sickness, the injuries, the sun, the storms, the joy, the pain, the guilt, the hunger, the bliss, the slog, the peaks, the valleys, the deaths, the births, the doubt, the trust, the love.  You will be unstoppable, until you are free.

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