That’s the first lesson of yoga, says Creswell’s Samantha Perroni, who is a yoga and shamanic practitioner. It’s something we do every day, and if we’re mindful of our breathing, it can promote relief, relaxation and a better mapping of our inner selves.
Yoga classes have a strong emphasis on the mindfulness of breath and physical alignment. Perroni offers two weekly yoga classes – one in Eugene and one in Creswell – and private sessions by appointment, wilderness wanderings as well as other engagements with nature.
Perroni has been teaching yoga at Creswell Coffee Company at 116 Melton Road on Tuesdays for about three years, and has an extensive background in this form of ”tuning in.” Through yoga, she’s learned the deeper benefits of this work, including greater health, vitality, stimulation, and healing from trauma and illness, as well as regular daily stress.
Perroni came to Oregon from Chicago on a feeling of intuition, fueled by the desire to be more connected to the natural earth. She found home at a small farm in Creswell, where Perroni raises animals and tends to her land.
Perroni said that breathing is the mediator between your mind, body and soul. Learning how to breathe can help remove obstacles in your life.
”We learn to become aware of our breathing, then we begin to pay attention to it, then we work to creating a direction for it,” she said.
She has taught yoga for 14 years and has been practicing for 20 years.
Back in Chicago, where Perroni worked as a hairstylist, she gave her first yoga class a whirl. She said that after participating in this class ”something shifted” inside of her, and she’s been practicing yoga ever since.
That ”shift” Perroni spoke of is what she describes as ”connecting to your inner landscape.” Yoga is good medicine; it’s all about intention and awareness with self, she said.
Perroni said the yoga crowd at Creswell Coffee is mellow and inviting. It’s a relaxing atmosphere for ”gentle yoga” which is considered easier, less intense, non-strenuous, minimalistic, quiet, meditative and restorative. Her Creswell students’ ages generally range from their 30s to their 70s, she said, but anyone and any age is welcome.
”I teach to whoever is (at my classes) – whatever types of bodies show up,” Perroni said.
Props can be available at Perroni’s classes for those with disabilities; please contact Perroni before the class so that she can better make the accommodations.
So, where to start if you’ve never partaken in yoga?
Perroni admits that with the plethora of different types of yoga, and different types of yoga instructors, it may be overwhelming to figure out where to start.
There are many different forms of yoga and all serve their own purposes, she said. Newbies would be best suited in a beginners class to start, so that they can learn building block poses and movements before graduating to a more experienced class. Some classes are more rigorous and work with certain postures. The class she offers here in Creswell is well suited for beginners, Perroni said.
Perroni also offers an ”Enlightened Darkness” three-day personal retreat. The journey takes place in ”a vessel of complete darkness,” Perroni said.
It’s an experience that closes you off from the rest of the world for a few days. There is only darkness – not light – and offers the unique experience of being truly with yourself.
Perroni is present at the retreat but not with the participants at all times. Sometimes she incorporates singing, drums and movement into the retreat for a more expansive experience.
”This opportunity provides a space and time for restoration of the body and the soul,” Perroni said.
This retreat is offered November through March, correlating with the dark months of the year and ”the natural call to rest,” Perroni said. ”It is here in ‘The Temple of Darkness’ where one can reflect on their inner hearth and become enlightened by the darkness.”
Each experience is unique and customized to the individual. All basic accommodations are provided. She said the space used is simple, but the work is deep and profound.
She also teaches yoga at Celebration Belly Dance and Yoga at 1840 Willamette St., B side, in Eugene on Saturday mornings.
Try yoga and see how it feels on your body. Drop in from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at Creswell Coffee. The cost is $10 per class. Please bring your own yoga mat.
Samantha Perroni can be reached by calling 541-513-3385, by emailing samanthadawnperron[email protected] or by visiting www.samantha-perroni.squarespace.com.