Beyond the basics

The Yoga Seed Collective is located at 1400 E Street. For more information, visit, or call (916) 978-1367.

I recently looked at my calendar and realized it was 2012.

But wait, what happened to 2011? It’s not that I wasn’t ready to kiss the past year goodbye, but I had spent so much time meticulously planning all my life changes for 2012, I completely forgot that it already started.

Of course, the first step in changing my life is bragging about it on Facebook. And, while I was busy boasting, I saw that the Yoga Seed Collective, a downtown nonprofit yoga center, was hosting a new Basics and Beyond class. It had been so long since I last practiced yoga, I figured this was just the kick-start I needed.

When I first entered the Yoga Seed building I found a minimally decorated room—perfect for distraction-free self-improvement.

There was incense burning, but the flame was quickly put out after one of the students said it was bothering his sinuses.

Before we could get started however, we had to tend to business.

Zack Pasillas, the studio director, asked new students to fill out a waiver and we all put our belongings in cubbies. New to yoga? No worries, there were extra mats, blankets, towels and blocks for anyone who needed them.

When the session started, everyone laid out his or her mats. There were seven students in addition to Pasillas, who also participated, and the instructor, Wendy Devore—or as she referred to herself, our “tour guide.”

The journey took a while to get started, however.

For the first half of the session, everyone sat on their mats and went through introductions. Here, we talked about our previous yoga experience and what brought us here. Devore passed out a handout that talked about the eight limbs of yoga and led the discussion.

Tall and slender with long curly hair and a body covered in tattoos, Devore exuded a rocker vibe and kept the mood lighthearted and fun.

If I was going to be guided through meditation, this is how it should be done.

Throughout the session, music played in the background at a sound level that was calming. And, because the group was small, Devore had time to move throughout the room, helping everyone with poses.

In fact, when I started whining about my knee injury, she helped me with some variations that were less painful.

For once, I felt like I was doing the poses right and not just making up my own.

After class was over, those who hadn’t already paid online made donations to the yoga center. Each class is available for a $7 to $15 donation but the beauty of Yoga Seed is that nobody will be turned away due to a lack of funds. The collective also offers volunteer options for those who want to exchange work for classes.

Yoga Seed’s motto is, after all, “For people, not for profit.”

Inspired, I checked out its class schedule and found it offers a beginning class on Tuesdays. Looks like I might be making some life changes after all. Now, finally in 2012, I’ll chant something other than “I’m never drinking again” when I wake up.