(PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERIKA SWANTEK)
Your unique celebration can be as simple or elaborate as you would like. Cynthia LaRoche, Yoga instructor and creator of inspired bridal showers, will help you coordinate the perfect theme, design a yoga class to fit your specific group, bring in beautiful readings and poetry and create a playlist your group will love.
Prior to yoga, Cynthia LaRoche, did not possess the tools needed to navigate the challenges of everyday life that we often face. She felt conflicted, never believed that her accomplishments were good enough, she was disconnected with who she was and what talents she possessed; unaware that being herself was all she ever had to be.
“I stepped onto my yoga mat the first time for no other reason than to get sculpted arms like Madonna,” she remembers. “After a short time, my external body results mattered little in comparison to how the practice made me feel internally. On the mat I became grateful for the person I saw in the mirror every day and experienced more energy than knew possible, became more intentional in my actions and gained clarity.”
Today, Cynthia teaches both strong alignment based vinyasa flow and restorative yoga classes in Bend. She facilitates yoga workshops nationally, teaches one-on-one and group yoga private sessions to those that want to deepen their practice and leads yoga retreats in Mexico. In each of her classes you will find: a theme weaved through to allow for the conscious knowing of your own inner strength, tools to navigate the challenges of everyday life, a carefully sequenced yoga class, sometimes strong and powerful, other times relaxing and restorative, precise alignment cues and meditation and breath work.
Whether it’s group yoga classes, private yoga lessons, yoga workshops, celebratory yoga parties or life altering yoga retreats, you can expect an intentional experience with Cynthia. An experience that leaves you feeling grounded, strong in your body, open in your heart and mind, energetic and free to be connected to the truth of who you really are.
Can you think of a better way to celebrate your engagement with your favorite gals than private yoga instruction and a vintage bohemian bridal shower? “Seriously, who doesn’t want to celebrate with sun salutations followed by a party with your very own catered spa appetizers, scrumptious desserts and signature cocktails?” according to Cynthia. “I recently teamed up with an amazing group of wedding vendors and this was the inspiration behind our styled vintage bohemian bridal shower.
“We chose bright jewel tones which really popped against all the natural woodwork and clean lines of our urban venue, as well as the rustic and vintage furniture and decor. The color palette is reflected in all the details from the yoga mats to the gorgeous bouquets, the yoga wear and the floral arrangements, the vintage decor and place settings, and the signature cocktails and delicious desserts.
“The food table added another rustic element, using an old door as the tabletop and antique treadle sewing machines for the legs. The spread of delicious spa appetizers and delectable desserts filled the table. A hand-lettered menu was created on an old leaded window and the girls’ gorgeous bouquets were added, along with additional brilliant flowers to create a stunning spread.
“The intimate lounge area was designed using an eclectic blend of vintage furniture, accessories, lighting and textiles. As the party moved into the lounge, the ladies enjoyed signature cocktails and yummy treats while sharing their messages with our bride-to-be.
“I have found that people are becoming more intentional in how they are wanting to celebrate their wedding. Sure, they still want to have a fun party but bringing a yoga class into the bachelorette party or the bridal shower is the perfect compliment.
“Most brides are truly blown away with how special a class like this becomes. I have all of the participants write an intention for the bride and her marriage. Some want to share them with the group and others tuck them away for the bride to read privately. I had a yoga bridal shower when I got married and I still have the box of intentions my girl friends wrote for me. When I’m having a hard time with my marriage I take them out and am reminded of what marriage truly is and the incredible support and love that I have in my life.”
THE BEST THING ABOUT YOGA?
The best thing about yoga is it embodies a physical workout with a spiritual connection. I recommend yoga because it cultivates a deep sense of relaxation in the body quiets the mind soothes our nervous system and is a holistic approach to practicing self-care.
~ Rebecca Bell , Vinyasa yoga teacher, teacher trainer, leads yoga retreats internationally, co-owns The Yoga Lab
If you are stressed, if you are exhausted, if you fight anxiety, depression or you are not in good physical health, yoga is the best thing for you. It’s for ALL ages, ALL body types, ALL social, economical, cultural, religious and non-religious backgrounds. If you like feeling like sh*t, don’t do yoga! If you want to feel better physically, emotionally and spiritually then come to yoga! It’s that simple!
Stephanie J. Lewis, Baptiste trained teacher, Yin Yoga teacher
For me, the best thing about yoga is the community because you always have a bunch of people who are looking to be their happiest and healthiest selves in the same space together. Especially in our field where a lot of the yoga styles require a partner and/or a spotter (acroyoga, aerial yoga, slackline yoga, etc) you get to apply the principles of yoga that you practice on your own mat to the people around you. In these practices you literally get to be the one holding people up and/or letting people hold you up. You learn how to trust yourself and others, how to communicate effectively and efficiently, how to ask for what you need, sometimes even how to say no, you learn how to support and how to be supported by others both physically and emotionally — and that is when all the magic starts.
Lotsie Cash, Yoga, Acro Yoga, Aerial Yoga, Slackline Yoga (YogaSlackers), owner of Tula Movement Arts
During the early part of the 20th century, the teachings and practices of Patanjanli’s yoga sutras (5th century CE) began making their way from East to West through figures like B.K.S. Iyengar, K. Pattabhi Jois, Indra Devi and Paramahansa Yogananda. And thus, throughout the last near-century (e.g., beginning around the 1920s through today), yoga has slowly moved from the fringes into more-mainstream American culture.
What many in modern-America still don’t know, however, is that ‘yoga’ does not just refer to the physical practice of doing yoga asana, or postures — rather it is an eight-limbed teaching of and system for living a holistically healthy and overtly spiritual life.
On one hand, yoga in America has become another commodity we, as consumers, enjoy purchasing and participating in, often through the lens of getting a good workout. On the other hand, the more robust teachings and esoteric aspects of the eight-limbs of yoga are slowing making their way into the mainstream: more and more celebrities are touting yoga and meditation as a part of adopting healthier lifestyles.
Western science and medicine continues to spend more time, energy and resources exploring and validating the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits of practices like yoga and meditation. More organizations, businesses and corporations than ever before are dedicating resources to employee wellness and fulfillment endeavors that include things like corporate mindfulness and yoga at work programs.
As all of this happens, the question arises: “what do yoga and meditation have to offer modern American culture particularly as we find ourselves living in an era of high-stress, continued global conflict and heightened environmental crisis?
Breyn Hibbs, Sol Alchemy Temple
The best thing about Yoga is it is a 24/7 practice. In the studio it reminds you to be non-reactive and breathe. Outside of the studio it reminds you to be non-reactive and breathe. Yoga teaches you to treat your breath like the fine treasure it is. Yoga is always kind, it is never disrespectful. Yoga walks you home.
For every person over the years who has told me they can’t do yoga because “they are not flexible” I’ve told them flexibility is of the mind, not the body. Yoga is not about touching your toes; it’s about what you learn on the way down.
Quite simply, Yoga is for Every Body.
Tracy Treu, Groove Yoga Bend
The best thing about yoga is that it reduces the stress and tension that build up in muscles and minds, which is the cause of 90 percent of pain and disease. Yoga practice is for anyone looking for greater energy, health and balance — if you can breathe you can do yoga!
Suzie Newcome, Yoga Resource
The best thing about Bikram yoga is how you feel after a 90 minute class. The system of postures were developed to work every single part of the body and it’s systems. It can be done by almost every person, any age, size, fitness level, even with physical or emotional limitations. We all walk into the studio each day with a beginner’s mind no matter how long we have been practicing.
Susan McLagan, BIKRAM Yoga