Last month, a new yoga studio called Kerala Ayurveda Academy and Healing Sanctuary opened its doors in Seattle and is located at the corner of Lake City Way at 8234 17th Ave. NE. Based at the Seattle Kerala Ayurveda Academy, this new studio is designed to provide different classes that would address the needs of a variety of practitioners. The studio offers classes such as yogaspirit flow, ashtanga flow, beginner yoga, healing classes, prenatal yoga, restorative yoga, Iyengar style hatha and different advanced levels. We asked Suzanne Silvermoon, the academy’s coordinator who also leads the majority of the classes, a few questions to better understand who the people behind the studio are and what their vision is for the community.

(Yogaspirit is based in the Boston MA area, Silvermoon has brought the yogaspirit style of yoga instruction and teacher training to Seattle’s Kerala Ayurveda Academy.)

SYN: Why did you decide to open a yoga studio?

Silvermoon: As you may know, Kerala Ayurveda Academy has been conducting training in Ayurveda and offering ayurvedic services here in Seattle for many years now. Kerala has just aligned itself with yogaspirit to provide the traditional teachings of yoga to its rich curriculum of ayurveda training. We firmly believe what the Vedas have revealed to humanity. The integration of yoga and ayurveda is a beautifully interwoven guide of physical, mental, and spiritual practices, coupled with lifestyle guidance. By teaching this integrated approach, we offer our students and clients the tools to cultivate a vibrant state of wellness on every level of being.

SYN: What kind of classes will you be offering?

Silvermoon: We are a traditional Yoga and Ayurveda School offering certification training in all of the disciplines of Yoga and Ayurveda. That being said, our yoga classes offer a transformative physical, mental and spiritual healing practice. We have a variety of classes from an “Introduction to Yoga” series taught by Certified Yoga Therapist Girija Iyer, beginner yoga classes, hatha yoga, some gentle vinyasa flow style classes, prenatal yoga, Healing Journey Yoga for PTSD, and yogaspirit style classes. Yogaspirit style focuses on proper physical alignment in the asanas, use of props to support individuals in finding their greatest ease within each asana, coupled with guidance to maintain calm, balanced breathing, thus assisting students to engage their inner awareness. With time and practice of yogaspirit style, the subtle energy body is cleared, then infused with an abundance of prana, resulting in a resilient, balanced, supple, and energetic physical body.

SYN: What are your vision/goals for the studio/the community?

Silvermoon: Our intention is to skillfully and compassionately teach traditional yoga and ayurveda as a complete and time-honored healing path. The Healing Sanctuary is also a retreat space available to those seeking to receive support in their healing through traditional Panchakarma (purification). We are equipped to lodge either an individual or a couple from three to seven days while they receive counsel from our Ayurvedic doctors, practitioners, counselors, and yoga therapists. We also intend to use the beautiful kitchen and gathering space to create a yoga and Ayurveda sangha (community gathering) for those wishing to learn more, and put into practice what they have learned. This space is open to other teachers and practitioners coming to share their wisdom through workshops. So, our vision is to not only provide a space for teaching those seeking yoga classes, or healing through yoga and Ayurveda, but also education for those seeking to become teachers and healers.

SYN: Tell us about yogaspirit studios?

Silvermoon: Kim Valeri, the founder of yogaspirit, lives and breathes yoga. She has been practicing her entire adult life and has been training certified yoga teachers for over a decade. She has drawn from her direct experiences of Iyengar style yoga, kundalini, surat shabda, and personal exploration of many esoteric practices to create a rich and unique 200 hour yoga teacher training certification program that sets the foundation for those seeking to use yoga as a therapeutic tool of positive life transformation. Many of her students have gone on through her advanced 300 hour program and beyond to become Certified Therapeutic Yoga Practitioners. Yogaspirit offers those seeking certification a rich understanding of the compensations that can get locked into the body and the mind, and how the specific yogic techniques developed by Kim Valeri can aid in unwinding these compensations. As well, the training offers a course called Sacred Life which guides students through the inner practices and reveals yoga philosophy in a sacred space rooted in safety, wisdom, love and compassion.

SYN: Why Seattle?

Silvermoon: The yogaspirit community on the east coast has been blessed by its association with Kerala Ayurveda Academy. Many of the yogaspirit alumni have either completed their Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor training, or are in the process of it. As well many have gone on to pursue the next year of training to obtain their certification as Ayurvedic Wellness Practitioners. Just as Kerala has brought its wonderful ayurvedic teachings to the east coast, now I am blessed with the opportunity to bring yogaspirit to the west coast.

[Photo by Nicola Braga Marques – CC BY]

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