The Power of Embodiment

A 3-part workshop at Upper Valley Yoga

September 25 / October 2 / October 9, 2022

Register here (opening early September).

What is the point of being in a body? In this three-part series, we will explore the fundamental patterns involved in the practice of yoga, tasting for ourselves the enormous potential held in our own bodies. Each 2-hour workshop will involve a guided practice, based on postures from the Ashtanga tradition, along with seated visualization and breath practices.

Apana, the downward pattern of sensation typically associated with the exhalation and curling-inward forms, is stabilizing to our nervous system and psyche. 
Prana, the upward-rising pattern of sensation typically associated with the inhalation and front-opening forms, has an uplifting and energizing effect on our nervous system and state of mind. 
The true magic of waking up to the world and finding ourselves in a balanced, calm, clear state of equanimity depends on the successful merging of prana and apana. This powerful union is at the heart of all potent yogic practices and holds unfathomable potential. 

Register here.

glaciology summer school success.

In June, I had the joy of teaching for a couple of weeks as part of the International Summer School in Glaciology held in the remote town of McCarthy, Alaska. I spent some time in McCarthy back in 2014, helping with fieldwork on Kennicott Glacier, and it was sweet to be back in this quirky town and out on the ice.

A few highlights: lecturing about glacier hydrology in bare feet in a log cabin, getting to know graduate students and faculty from all over the world, advising two students on a research project applying the SHAKTI model to simulate water drainage beneath Haute Glacier d’Otemma in the Swiss Alps, spending time with senior faculty over breakfast, beers, and scientific discussions, learning more about remote sensing and glacier mass balance terminology than ever before, swimming in ice-water lakes, exploring an ice cave, practicing yoga in the mornings on the rocky beach of McCarthy Creek with a stunning view of Mt. Sourdough and thousands of mosquitoes, a soccer game between the US and the rest of the world (the rest of the world won), and lots of inspiring questions for research!

Thanks for having me. 🙂

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:

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:

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.