To many local practitioners, yoga is way more than a workout. While you can find plenty of teachers who focus on the fab ab results from a regular yoga practice, there is a solid community of Portland yoga studios that provide connection between the poses (known as asana) and the traditions, spirituality, mantras, and cultural heritage of the myriad paths of yoga. Count Kimi Marin as a member of the latter group. Since the summer of 2012, Marin has led groups of bendy (and not-so-bendy) bodies through Yogic Lore Flow classes, where she dives deep into the stories, myths, and lessons of yogic tradition to inspire students' movements in class—and beyond.
"Students tell me my Yogic Lore Flow class takes them deeper into their own body and experiences, and helps them connect with the actual postures they are making," Marin shares. "No longer is Virabhadrasana II (warrior II) just a common pose they know, they are actually able to become a warrior: strong, steady, focused." She asks, "What kind of warrior are you right now? The truth is, sometimes we are fierce warriors and sometimes we are gentle warriors."
While in graduate school studying literature with a focus on mythology and fairytales, Marin discovered the world of stories behind yoga. Based on these myths, Marin developed a method of movement that incorporates traditional postures with traditional myths woven throughout the class. "In Yogic Lore Flow, I tell a story and relate it to the human experience. The energy in the room is palpable and students whole demeanor is more attentive and contemplative. The story becomes about each person in the room. I see students respond to my words. I see students go deeper within. No longer are they twisting and breathing, but they are churning their body, removing the arising poisons of doubt, low self-esteem, belittling thoughts and discovering the hidden jewels of strength, forgiveness, and compassion...they are the hero of their story." Check out the video above to see the method in action!
Kimi Marin teaches Yogic Lore Flow every Saturday at 9 am at Yoga Bhoga, located at 1028 SE Water Ave, as well as regular events and workshops. Check out Kimi Marin's website or the studio website for more information.