Seattle Yoga News is on a mission to find and highlight all of the hidden, and maybe not so hidden, gems in our yoga community and beyond. We want you to learn about their experiences and perspectives, but also a bit more about their personalities, so we have a few fun questions for them. This week’s spotlight is turned towards Anne-Phyfe Palmer.

We asked Anne-Phyfe to share a word with our community and this is what she had to say:

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH PRACTICING YOGA & EVENTUALLY TEACHING IT?

Anne Phyfe Palmer

Anne-Phyfe Palmer:

I was taking and teaching classes at a creative aerobics studio off Greenlake called Physical Culture in the early 90s. One of my mentors there recommended Kathleen Hunt’s yoga classes. After one class I was HOOKED. Kathleen taught with such physical and mental rigor, and it met my love/need for physical challenge and offered a spiritual path I hadn’t even realized I was seeking.
I started to teach my friends in their living room about two years after I started to practice, and opened 8 Limbs nine months later! It was a bit of a stretch (ha), and I had lots of catching up to do in my yoga training, but I had such a strong feeling about the idea that I plowed ahead.

WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU ALWAYS GIVE YOUR STUDENTS?

Anne Phyfe Palmer

Anne-Phyfe Palmer:

         Listen to your body. It is always sending you messages.

WHAT IS IT LIKE BEING A YOGA STUDIO OWNER IN THE SEATTLE AREA & HOW HAS THAT CHANGED OVER THE LAST 20+ YEARS?

Anne Phyfe Palmer

Anne-Phyfe Palmer:

So satisfying, and at the same time so challenging! I love what we offer, and the amazing people I work with, and it is a lot of hard work. There is, of course, so much amazing yoga in our city, which pushes us to keep clear and focused on what we do best.
We always want the yoga experience at 8 Limbs to go beyond the physical. This is a mindbody practice from India that is thousands of years old, and we want to honor its source, and the many lineages of teachers that have brought us such a powerful gift.

YOU HAVE RECENTLY PUBLISHED A BOOK TITLED “THIS LIFE OF MINE”, CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT WHAT THE BOOK IS ALL ABOUT & WHY YOU DECIDE IT TO WRITE IT?

Anne Phyfe Palmer

Anne-Phyfe Palmer:

This Life of Mine: A Legacy Journal is a guided workbook to inspire people to record the unique details and stories of their lives, both for themselves and for those they will one day leave behind. It is illustrated by papercut artist Sarah Trumbauer and it is really just gorgeous! I came up with the idea after all of my grandparents had passed away. I’d been busy for more than a decade having kids and running a business and hadn’t taken the time to ask my grandparents about their lives. So I went about creating an accessible way to get all the details, and the stories from the family members still with us; it’s like an adult baby book!
This Life of Mine is broken into seven sections: In the Beginning gets details about your name, family, childhood, and schooling. Love prompts reflection on friends, romance, dating, commitment, children/grandchildren, and animals. Body asks about how you’ve card for, moved, and fed your body. Expression is interested in creativity, hobbies, personal style, and art you’ve experienced. Home & Away is about places we’ve called home, and where and how we’ve traveled. Purpose gets into career, how one lives fully, activism, and service. Beyond asks the deeper questions about spirituality, death, and life wisdom. The prompts are designed to not overwhelm, to be easy and fun to answer.

this life of mine book by Anne-Phyfe palmer

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE YOGA RELATED BOOK?

Anne Phyfe Palmer

Anne-Phyfe Palmer:

The Heart of Yoga by TKV Desikachar is my favorite yoga book, and Pandit Rajmani Tigunait’s Yoga Sutra books are my favorite translations of The Yoga Sutra.

 The Heart of Yoga by TKV Desikachar

WHAT IS ONE THING MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

Anne Phyfe Palmer

Anne-Phyfe Palmer:

Something I’ve only just discovered myself is that I have ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Learning that helped many of my challenges in life make so much more sense. I am really grateful I know, and have had access to resources to learn about how to work with it. The ADHD brain just works differently.

OUTSIDE OF THE WORLD OF YOGA, WHAT ARE YOU REALLY PASSIONATE ABOUT?

Anne Phyfe Palmer

Anne Phyfe Palmer:

I am quite passionate about racial justice, and the environment, and my electric bike!

WHO ELSE DO YOU THINK WE SHOULD SPOTLIGHT ON SEATTLE YOGA NEWS?

Anne Phyfe Palmer

Anne-Phyfe Palmer:

I think Genevieve Hicks and Laura Humpf are both yogis doing amazing things in our community. Genevieve is a yoga and meditation teacher, and a physical therapist. Laura owns Rainier Beach Yoga and is also a yoga therapist. The three of us have worked together to bring Rev. angel Kyodo williams, co-author of Radical Dharma to Seattle the last two years.Nationally, I’d like to highlight Michelle Johnson, a yoga teacher who wrote Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World, an amazing (essential really) guide for yoga teachers that asks us to explore the deeply transformational practice of yoga, and to become social change agents. She teaches at several local yoga studios in their Teacher Trainings, but splits her time between Portland and North Carolina.

 Radical Dharma

 Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World by Michelle Johnson

Anne-Phyfe Palmer’s Bio: Anne-Phyfe, ERYT 500, dedicated to the practice of yoga in 1994 after 10 years of teaching aerobics and movement. In 1996 she founded 8 Limbs Yoga Centers to provide an inclusive and welcoming home for yoga in Seattle. In addition to acting as Studio Director of 8 Limbs, Anne-Phyfe (double name!) trains other teachers in the 8 Limbs Yoga 200, 500-hour, and Pre/Postnatal Yoga Teacher Trainings. Her teachers are Rod Stryker and Shari Friedrichsen. Anne-Phyfe is also a writer and has almost completed her first memoir about yoga and ambition and how grief brought the two into alignment.