Debbie Rasmussen

My first encounter with yoga was 20 years ago while reading Alice Walker’s novel, The Temple of My Familiar. Intrigued by a character who grows two inches taller from practicing yoga, I began looking for a yoga class. I took some classes occasionally, but it wasn’t until several years later when I stumbled upon a Vinyasa class that I felt my life begin to transform. I’m probably not taller from practicing yoga, but that hope was eclipsed by the much deeper effects of an internal steadiness, grounding, calm, strength, and healing — all from the practice of connecting breath to fluid movement.

 

I completed my 200 hour certification with Alex Pfeiffer and 21st Century Yoga on the Mat at The Studio in 2017 as a way of celebrating and strengthening my practice, and finding ways to invite and support others in theirs. Teaching to me means being a learner just as much as a guide, and I aspire to co-create a space with students that encourages humility, friendliness, lightheartedness, humor, and compassion toward oneself and others, with an emphasis on body-acceptance/positivity. My intention is to create a space in which all people feel comfortable to practice, and I especially welcome people who are LGBTQ, those who live with chronic physical/mental wellness challenges or who feel disconnected from their bodies, and anyone who’s felt discouraged in a yoga class who’s willing to try it again. My pace tends to be slower to encourage intentional, spacious breathing, connecting it to movement that’s activated from the inside out, and to allow time for integration and precision. I offer variations and modifications using props to make my classes more accessible. I hope people leave feeling a greater inner peace and equanimity, along with an energized, activated spirit.

 

My yoga practice unfolded along with my passion for social change activism. I’m particularly focused on the intersections of veganism, feminism and body sovereignty, racial/economic justice, the cooperative movement, media literacy, compassionate communication and reconciliation/forgiveness practices, and healing through plant foods/medicines. I strive to find a balance between compassion and critical thinking; those who know me describe me with words like “soft and fierce.”

 

I am eternally grateful to Alex Pfeiffer, Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau, Cass Hanson, Aja Lefebvre, Shelly Klotzbach, Nelle Rutecki, Kim Rosenthal, and all of the teachers, staff, and students at The Studio for the endless encouragement and support they’ve offered to help me reach this point.

 

Recent Inspiration:  Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear, Get on the Mat, Love Your Body, By Jessamyn Stanley.