Sacramento Seva Yoga: Yoga Reclaimed

Photos  by Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography.

What does 'yoga' mean to you?

In my eight years practicing and two years teaching, I've come to discover yoga is about union. Unifying the body, mind, spirit. Uniting the breath with movement. Showing up together as a collective, empowered community.

Yoga means uniting forces with other like-minded, high-vibration, compassionate humans and spreading love and kindness out into the world. Yoga is about learning to love more, feel more, and experience life more fully.

So with those things in mind, I recently launched a project with Respiro Photography and Sac Sierra Yoga where I'll be blogging about seva, or selfless service, and all the local Sacramento yoga studios where you can take free yoga classes.

I want to get out into new spaces, talk to yogis I've never met, learn from the amazing teachers in my local community, and say thank you.


As an added and incredible BONUS, Brynna of Respiro Photography is also giving back to our community by offering one lucky yoga student or teacher a free photo shoot this summer. During our travels around the area and our visits to local classes, we'll be talking to yogis to try and find someone who could benefit from having head shots taken, so if you might be that person, feel free to email me (aliveinthefire at gmail dot com) and I'll send you the application.

Photo  by Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography.

Sacramento Seva Yoga: Yoga Reclaimed

My second stop on the tour was Yoga Reclaimed in Auburn. Full disclosure: in January, I started teaching the Tuesday and Thursday noon classes at you could say my deep love and appreciation of this studio is a somewhat biased perspective on the space :) But let me just say that even though I'm on staff, and therefore not necessarily a 'neutral' point of view, I'd still love to tell you about Reclaimed's free community class and believe it definitely belongs on the Sacramento Seva list.

The Saturday morning community yoga class at Reclaimed is a truly unique and wonderful experience. Studio owner Ryan Bailey teaches an upbeat, inspiring, and challenging 90-minute balance class. To me it feels like a cross between a sacred kirtan gathering and a dance party you'd have with friends-- the music is loud, the energy is intense, and the yogis all around you are working really hard, so you feel motivated and encouraged. 

The space has the energy of transformation. You leave the studio feeling a lot different than when you arrived -- sweatier, more lighthearted, and more connected. 

Vibe of the space: Sacred, grounded, authentic (and during class, fierce)

Favorite moments from class: I loved immediately grounding and joining together as a community with the call-and-response chant to Ganesha. Very powerful mantra, and great drumming :)

I also loved the intensity of the warm up sequence, and all the core work we did to get our bodies ready for twisting and backbending. Ryan teaches the kind of class where you can't run and hide from what's going on -- a lot is being asked of you, physically, and at the same time you have the opportunity to connect inwardly on an emotional and spiritual level. As he described it, it's like being at a buffet... you get to pick and choose what you want to eat, and you don't have to choose everything. And the poses that you do participate in, those are the ones to savor.

My favorite moment was toward the end of class, when Ryan offered a profound reminder to become a witness to our own experiences. Not only on the mat, but also in our lives -- to be willing to step back for a second, see ourselves and our reactions for what they truly are, and to go from there.

Ryan teaches yoga in an incredibly powerful, raw, and authentic way. He meets you right where you are, whether it's your first time rolling out a mat or you've been to his class for years. He acknowledges and sees his students, and he is willing to push you to be the best version of yourself. Thank you, Ryan, for sharing the love and devotion of Bhakti yoga!

Above photo by Adam Perron.

Reasons I can't wait to come back: The community at Reclaimed is vibrant. The yogis here are open-minded and open-hearted, incredibly willing, and committed to their practice. The teachers bring their heart and soul each time they step into the room to teach, and often the classes are blessed by generous, mindful assistants too, meaning that your practice will be enhanced by touch and sometimes even a massage of your temples or feet during shavasana. Most days I leave the studio having hugged someone and/or laughed wholeheartedly, too, and that is a beautiful thing.

Studio location530 Grass Valley Hwy, Auburn, CA 95603

Phone: (530) 305-9408
Seva (free) community class offerings: Saturdays from 9:30am-11 am

Photos  by Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography.

At Yoga Reclaimed, all are welcome. Come kick off your shoes, roll out your mat, and dive right in!


Stay tuned for the next update in the Sacramento Seva Yoga series, and as always feel free to reach out to me with feedback or any questions.

Sacramento Seva Yoga: Studio Lotus

Today I'm honored to bring you my first Sacramento Seva Yoga studio review.

In case you hadn't heard, I'm teaming up with Respiro Photography for a project all about local Sacramento yoga studios. Over the next few months, my friend Brynna and I will be attending classes all around the area, learning more about the community offerings, thanking teachers for the incredible work that they do, and searching for one lucky yogi who will be given the chance to do a free photo shoot this summer.

I'd love to hear your feedback on the project, and if you're a yogi or yoga teacher who is interested in doing a photo shoot, please feel free to contact me at aliveinthefire at gmail dot com for more details.

My first stop on the tour was Studio Lotus in Rocklin. I took a Sunday morning community class with Lucy Somers. Lucy teaches an empowering and encouraging all-levels flow, and the energy of the group for this class felt enthusiastic, warm, and lighthearted. Thank you, Lucy, for sharing your passion for yoga and your kind heart with your students!

Sacramento Seva Yoga: Studio Lotus

Vibe of the space: Cozy, welcoming, down-to-earth

Favorite moments from class: Before Child's pose, Lucy asked us to meet our neighbors and say hi to someone we didn't know. I love when teachers offer the opportunity to get to know other yogis and build a supportive environment in the room! I also loved Lucy's cue about Halfway Lift / Standing Half Forward Bend pose (Ardha Uttanasana)-- she said to pretend like her favorite Starbucks drink, a matcha green tea latte, was resting on your upper back. Later she reminded us, "Don't spill my latte!" It was a clever and memorable way to cue engagement of the upper back :)

Reasons I can't wait to come back: Not only is the community at Studio Lotus welcoming and fun, but the people there are very genuine and just happy to be able to practice together. I chatted with several other teachers who attended the class, and each person I talked to invited me to come back. I left feeling uplifted and grateful, and I'll definitely be back!

Studio location: 1150 Sunset Blvd #154, Rocklin, CA 95765
Phone: (916) 624-9642
Seva (free) community class offerings: Sundays from 9am-10:15am
Is this studio on the Sac-Sierra Yoga list? YES (see all participating studios here)


Thanks for following along, and if you feel inspired to share, please send the link for this post to any local Sacramento yoga students, teachers or studio owners you think might be interested in being part of Sacramento Seva Yoga!

Our goals with this project are to:
  • explore the local Sacramento and northern California yoga community
  • experience classes from teachers who are making a difference in the world and have the opportunity to thank them for what they do
  • meet new yoga friends
  • give back to our community with blog publicity and the photo shoot offering
  • share love and kindness
Stay tuned for the next studio visit at Yoga Reclaimed in Auburn.


Sacramento Seva Yoga

Photos in this post by Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography.

Calling all Sacramento-area yogis!

I'm stoked to tell you about a project my beautiful friend Brynna and I are teaming up on.

It's called Sacramento Seva Yoga and it's all about spreading love and kindness through yoga in our local community.

Brynna is the creative genius behind Respiro Photography and she's also an incredible yoga teacher in the area. We met at Veera Yoga and you've seen our photo collaborations many times here on the blog :)

Brynna is a dear friend and I'm so grateful to work with her on photo shoots -- she knows me better than any other photographer and is always able to capture my true, heartfelt energy in the photographs.

Over the next few months, Respiro Photography and Alive in the Fire will be teaming up by visiting local yoga studios to attend community classes, speak with local teachers and yogis about our work, and search for a yogi who is in need of a photo shoot.

I'll be writing posts about each studio we visit -- what the vibe was like, how it felt to practice in the space, and what inspiring stories I heard and awesome people I met.

Brynna will also be talking to students and teachers from the classes to see if she can find someone who is in need of headshots. In early summer, she'll be offering one lucky yogi a free photo shoot experience.

Our goals with Sacramento Seva Yoga are to:
  • explore the local Sacramento and northern California yoga community
  • experience classes from teachers who are making a difference in the world and have the opportunity to thank them for what they do
  • meet new yoga friends
  • give back to our community with blog publicity and the photo shoot offering
  • share love and kindness

The project is an offshoot of the Sponsored Yogis program, and it pairs up well with our Sac-Sierra Yoga passes.

Sac-Sierra Yoga is a team of yoga teachers, healers, event producers, and community organizers dedicated to integrating the Sacramento & Sierra yoga community while offering a way to make the yoga practice more accessible to members of our greater community. 

You buy a pass for only $40 and then you can visit over 40 different yoga studios in the area for 1 drop-in class at each location. The studios are all the way from the heart of Sacramento and Davis, into the hills of Auburn, Grass Valley, Placerville, Truckee and Tahoe.

To me, this project is about the heart of yoga: building a loving, supportive community that encourages people to grow, to spread kindness, and to foster balance, awareness and understanding in our world.

Cheers to the launch of Sacramento Seva Yoga! Please stay tuned for my first studio experience blog post about Studio Lotus in Rocklin, and of course reach out if this project resonates with you and you'd like to be a part of it.