Visiting teacher offers classes

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Sara Davis, photographer and yoga instructor, will offer outdoor yoga classes this summer on the platform above the south Marina Center in Guttenberg overlooking the Mississippi River. (Photo credit Susie Bryson and Courtney Atinsky)

"Body is the bow, asana is the arrow, and the soul is the target." - B.K.S. Iyengar 

Sara Davis, professional photographer and yoga instructor, is offering outdoor yoga classes in Guttenberg this summer. Davis is spending the summer in Guttenberg with her parents, Kim and Ken Davis. 

Yoga class offerings

Sara's yoga classes will be held on the platform above the south Marina Center overlooking the Mississippi River. Class schedule includes: 

Root to Rise: Wednesday 6 p.m.,  a nourishing slow flow class.

Free offering: Sunday 8 a.m., a 45-minute nourishing warm-up class. 

Devotion in Motion: Sunday 9 a.m., a vinyasa flow intended to invigorate the breath, body and spirit. 

Additional information can be found at www.saradavisyoga.com, Instagram @saradavis yoga or Facebook at www.facebook.com/saradavisyoga.

Inspired through adversity

"I was living and working in San Francisco, Calif., when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. I lost my job as director of photography and began to dedicate my free time to my yoga practice," said Davis. "I realized that the values that I held as a photographer were actually yoga in action – the teachings of respect, curiosity, kindness, deeply seeing, and authenticity."

The kind-hearted, athletic woman began to ramp up her practice in an effort to center herself during the stressful time. Her teacher and mentor, Janet Stone of San Francisco, who teaches bhakti and devotional yoga, inspired Davis to embrace her journey on and off the mat. "Curiosity to see and observe more deeply and compassionately played into my yoga journey," Davis shared. "I come from a very spiritual family and that has influenced my photography as well as my yoga teachings and practice. I ask my students to connect with the God of their unique understanding to illuminate their time on the yoga mat." 

Davis, who noted she would always be a student, began teaching online to reach out to other yoga students during the pandemic. Her teaching style addresses tapas, a Sanskrit word related to heat, specifically the kind of heat generated by certain yogic practices, or a certain approach to yogic practice that refers to the burning off of impurities. "I teach my students, through movement, mantra, and pranayama breath control, to come home to their true nature. Yes, it is about stretching, but it is more about bringing the mind, body and spirit together on the four corners of the mat. A place to practice and remember our divine nature so we can take it off the mat and into our daily  lives."

The yoga student/teacher found inspiration overlooking the ocean. "I attended a yoga teacher training at Esalen which has hot spring baths overlooking the ocean," Davis said. "My desire was to enhance my own yoga practice, but by the end of the training my spirit was awakened to share my knowledge."

Gratitude

After selling her home on the West Coast and moving to Guttenberg, unsure exactly what she was to do once she arrived, Davis received a message during a daily meditation. "For the past year I'd been practicing online daily and was also doing some teaching online to my community," she noted. "When I arrived in Guttenberg, I received a message during my daily meditation from the teachings of Ram Dass – 'Be here now. Love. Serve. Remember.' I have dedicated this season to serving my family, my aging grandparents and the community.  

The yogi expressed her gratitude and respect for fellow teacher Sadie Hefel. "I give a deep bow to Sadie," she said with admiration. "She is the perfect example of yoga in motion; she doesn't have a competitive bone in her body. She is my teacher and a friend."

Davis further shared her philosophy and her experience in Tibet where she spent some time. "The only positive change that can come into this world is through touching the heart," she explained. "You can find these opportunities in the world, but you must be willing to be vulnerable and have acceptance for self and others. Yoga is so much more than a physical practice. In yoga, there is a lineage of teachings and sutras, or philosophical teachings, about the way in which to conduct your life, and I go directly back to the spiritual texts and revisit the words of my teacher to see how I'm applying yoga to my life.  Most of us are constantly seeking the large sensations in life – whether through our taste buds, our own personal dramas, or the deep stretches and dramatic poses, but yoga helps us to focus on the subtle sensations. The most advanced pose is the one where the mind is at ease. In Tibet, yoga is a form of devotional prayer. People dedicate their lives – every breath and every movement to the Divine. People whose role it is to work and be householders pay these individuals in an energetic exchange for their prayers for the liberation from suffering for all beings." 

Davis is enjoying her journey in Guttenberg. "I am enjoying my time here. I feel very connected to the area through my ancestral roots. I have been volunteering my time with a local organic grower and attempting to grow my own vegetables that I hope to share with others – if I am successful. I feel very honored to be part of this community," she concluded with a smile.

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