The 8 Limbs 20th Anniversary Party took place on Saturday, October 15, the night of Big Storm 2016! We were grateful that the storm spared us, and a lovely group of revelers came up to 8 Limbs Capitol Hill for a night of community and celebration.  Big thanks to Sam Fisher for being party planner extraordinaire. To Natasha Lady Krishna for creating Lady Krishna’s Peppermint Lounge in the Chandra studio and Darek Mazzone for the spinning tunes. Thanks to Farestart and Cupcake Royale for food and cupcakes, to Chateau St. Michelle for wine, Digiphotobooth for, well, the photobooth, Roniq Bartanen for photography, and Graeme Aegerter for video documenting.

Please visit Facebook for shots taken by our staff, Roniq Bartanen’s website for some lovely professional photos, and the Digiphotobooth website for our event shots (enter your email to view the shots).

Our MC for the evening Alice Pedersen has been a student at 8 Limbs for more than ten years. She also worked behind the desk and was a nanny for Anne Phyfe’s daughter for several summers. Here are Alice’s words of introduction of Douglas Ridings, longtime 8 Limbs teacher and Odissi dancer.

“Douglas began practicing at 8 Limbs soon after it opened in 1996. He was a regular in both Melina and Anne Phyfe’s classes in those early years. One day in the spring of 1999, he was walking down Pike Street and ran into both of them. He expressed his lack of enthusiasm for the career in Opera he had just finished training for and they encouraged him to consider a becoming a Yoga teacher. Douglas thought to himself “that’s a job where I can be barefoot” and never looked back.
 
Tonight he will perform an item of Odissi dance, a 2,000 year old art form whose roots are historically entwined with Yoga. At one time dancers were known as Yoginis and Yogins. This evening he will perform  “Arabhi Pahlavi.” It is a “pure” dance, meaning that it does not tell a story but is instead an elaboration of form, movement and rhythm. However, it does express the character of the Raaga. In classical Indian music, Raagas are modes or scales which express particular emotional flavors. The Raaga of this item, Arabhi, expresses passionate and courageous devotion. Each Raaga is also said to have a “Rupa” or a human form that can be visualized. Here is how the Raaga Rupa of Arabhi is descirbed:
 
Endowed with hue of molten gold, has her forehead decorated with kumkuma powder, eyes as beautiful as the blue lotus, and she is as brave as a rock. She is invigorated with life, when amidst a group of musicians. Such is the beauty of Ragini Arabhi.
 
Douglas has chosen this particular dance and Raaga because the spirit of energetic boldness tempered with compassion that it expresses reminds him of Anne Phyfe and Melina, not only when they founded this studio 20 years ago but also today as they refine that spirit with the wisdom of experience. He dedicates this dance to them and would like to thank them for their suggestion on the sidewalk below 17 years ago.
 
The choreography is by Pankaj Charan Das, known as the Adi Guru of Odissi dance. Douglas also wishes to honor his Guru, Dr. Ratna Roy, who taught it to him.”
Next Alice introduced Melina Meza, who was the very first teacher at 8 Limbs, and currently co-directs the 8 Limbs Teacher Training. Here is Melina’s speech:

“I’m here to share my thoughts with you about why I believe 8 Limbs is successful. I believe 8 Limbs is so successful because of our teachers.

At this time I would like to invite everyone who has taught on the 8 Limbs schedule up here beside me. Let’s also take a moment to bring into the room all the teachers that aren’t here tonight.

It is my personal honor to thank you all for the ways you support the 8 Limbs and the Yamas and Niyamas

  • Ahimsa – in the ways you create safe environments for students to blossom
  • Satya – for your authentic voice and truthful understanding of what you teach
  • Asteya – in the ways you demonstrate being a student of yoga and so generously share your resources and inspiration
  • Brahmacharya – healthy boundaries you create in and out of the classroom
  • Aparigraha – in the ways you’ve shared the work load and helped each other over the years subbing and being subbed for
  • Sauca – Thank you for the ways you care for the space, for the hundred times you’ve sweep or made the space tidy for your students. Thank you for the inner cleaning you do in the privacy of your own home. —-made the space looking nice for the next group coming in.
  • Santosha – Content – when things went well for you and also for the times when things didn’t go as planned
  • Tapas – for the discipline you have to practice and all the ways you stay passionate about yoga and teaching year after – often without taking sabbaticals or breaks like a more traditional school teacher.
  • Svadhyaya – I salute you for all the personal work you do on yourself with your teachers, therapist, psychics, coaches, astrologers to see and understand yourself more clearly.
  • Isvarapranidha – We appreciate the humility you demonstrate in offering the fruits of your practice and teaching to the divine, nature, whatever.

I thank you for being part of 8 Limbs – the one in me acknowledges the light in you.

Next…is Community ~ Community, without you and without your continued support we would not be here. Thank you for returning to us and for each friend that you’ve brought to 8 Limbs over the years. Many of you are like family to use now and we hope to continue to grow together in the years to come.

I also believe that at the root of 8 Limbs success is a courageous, intuitive, creative, powerful woman and dear friend Anne Phyfe Palmer. How many of you have been inspired by Anne Phyfe over the years? I know I have. Anne Phyfe founded, funded and filled 8 Limbs with her creative energy over the last 20 years to help promote and spread the positive effects of yoga with this great city. I see 8 Limbs as an extension of who she is as a person and know how hard she has worked and continues to work to honor the many paths of yoga.”

For Anne Phyfe’s speech, click here!

Posted by: 8 Limbs

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