An Authentic School of Yoga
Our school emphasizes development of conscious awareness. Practices cultivate skillful use of body, mind, emotional and subtle aspects with the intention of Yoga. Intense flowing sequence and pranayama are balanced with dharma talk, reflection and restorative posture. The postures and practices are placed within the larger context and intention of yoga practice.
This process involves looking with open eyes, beyond the limitations of preference for or against at ourselves and our posture. It’s the way we hold our “self” in relation to Self, the world, and others. We offer a holistic approach to health and vitality. We emphasize asana, meditation, gratitude, study of classical yoga texts, and exploring nutrition as a means to become more fully awake in your being.
Directors and founders Jaina and Matthew Portwood teach locally in Minneapolis, and lead international retreats and training. They teach and write on yoga philosophy, meditation, energetic anatomy, nutrition, detoxification, and herbalism for healing and vitality. Their work has impacted students and teachers from all over the world.
Jaina L. Portwood, C.M.T., E-RYT
Jaina has been practicing yoga since 1998 and teaching since 2002. Jaina’s classes are challenging, opening, and spiritually expansive. She uses pranayama, asana, nutrition, chanting, intuition, and insight to take students beyond the seen world and into cosmic consciousness. She has a wealth of yoga experience through over a decade of svadhyaya (study of Self), bhakti (devotion), and has trained with yoga masters all over the country.
As a youth, Jaina accomplished incredible achievements as a competitive athlete. She consistently rose to the top, even as a young swimmer, breaking state records at the age of 7. This confidence and physical power has allowed her to see the world in a different paradigm, what some athletes call “the zone.” Yoga is to go beyond the mind and body and into the infinite awareness of Self. Jaina has the ability to translate this ancient esoteric information as a spiritual guide. She also stands out as a powerful healer through hands on healing, massage therapy, and intuitive work.
Jaina’s leadership in the RLY teacher training program includes alignment training, anatomy, biology, physiology, living foods, massage therapy, craniosacral therapy, meditation, fasting, and explorations of consciousness. As a community leader Jaina’s teachings have uplifted and inspired thousands. She sees yoga available to us at all times during the day, whether or not you are on your mat. This integration of form, awareness, and intention opens doors to experience pure presence. Yoga is to go beyond the senses, and to merge the observer, the act of observing, and the ego-thought-stream into one luminous experience of life. May every moment of your day be dhyana, and every interaction satsang.
Jaina has a love for all things beautiful. She enjoys meditation, surfing turquoise tropical waves, basking in the sun, and lush green plants. She has led 200 hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training to hundreds of students over the last decade, and touched many more through daily classes. She also offers private yoga study, nutrition & clinical massage therapy.
Matthew J. Portwood, E-RYT 500
A student of the sacred mystery hidden in the mundane. In the ritual of daily life. Then practice is the intention which turns all encounters into the invocation of your True Self. This moment becomes the portal into that which is beyond words, though the intrinsic consciousness from which words arise. Your Self. Who you Are!
Matthew is a respected yoga instructor, nutritional wellness expert and herbalist in the Twin Cities. He is committed to informing and inspiring well being through practice and teaching. A practitioner since 1995 and teacher since 2002, Matthew has been blessed to serve thousands of people with classes, nutritional consultations and herbalism. Matthew’s unique teaching style utilizes pranayama, bandha, and meditation to guide awareness through the layers of mind and resistance to the ever present and underlying wisdom that is in each one of us.
Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota Matthew was an early advocate of yoga and living foods lifestyle in the Twin Cities. After high school Matthew was sick and suffered from chronic ailments which he was able to heal using nutrition, yoga and other natural alternative methods. In doing so he discovered his calling. In the years since Matthew has immersed himself in the art of healing using food, herbs, yoga and meditation as well as fasting. Matthew leads Yoga teacher training along with Jaina.
Intention of Yoga
The practice is not exercise, nor medicine. The intention is to yoke all aspects to the Supreme.
Honoring the Guru
By acknowledging the teachers in our life, we open up to the Inner teacher, the teacher in all experience, the Guru. When we respect our teachers, we open a relationship within our self. It is very important to honor our teachers and all teachers.
Yoga is a Service
Yoga is distinguished from other energetic practices in that the intention is selfless. Ego and selfishness are obstructions from the awareness of yoga.
Holistic Approach – acknowledge the whole Self
Acknowledges the multidimensionality of being human. Body, mind, emotions and subtle aspects are all connected, one affecting the other.
Conscious Connection to the Earth – asana = seat = matter = prakrti
Conscious awareness that through the body you are physically, electrically, economically, and in every way connected to the Earth. The Earth supports your weight, the Earth supports your needs. Asana is the practice of embodying who you Are.
Conscious Awareness of Breath – pranayama = breath control
Conscious awareness of that you have breath, which is life. The fragility and impermanence of life. Pranayama is conscious awareness the the flow of life force.
Centerforce drawing inwards – bandha = lock
Concentration of awareness to a single point. Energetic integrity through awareness of center. Aligning to the intrinsic inwards and upwards directional flow (not necessarily 3 dimensionally).
Intensity of Practice – tapas = burning desire for God
Intensity, that when offered to the Supreme serves as transformational energy and a purifying force which removes obstacles from our awareness. The fire which animates intention.
Conservation of Energy – brahmacharya
An awareness of the divinity in everything, such that any simplification in the form of thought, judgment, preference, desire, etc. becomes a reduction of the joy of “this”. When we “indulge” in identification with thoughts much energy is spent. Brahmacharya is the practice of not “losing yourself” in the senses and mind.
Transmutation of Energy – turning attention towards the Divine
We have the ability to access a tremendous amount of energy in this instant and we do. Usually this is done unconsciously and our life force drains out in the direction of the mind’s distraction. Transmutation is the conscious decision to turn our available energy towards Highest intention. This can be done through discriminating awareness or by choosing a frequency which points towards the supreme.
Surrender to the Supreme – Isvara pranidhana
Place awareness in proximity to Self. Acknowledge the impermanence of all things. Release the fruits of action. Allow the highest awareness/intention to flow through us. Surrender to the flow. May this practice and this life in some way be of service.