Did you miss our 20th Anniversary Party but want to get a sense of what it was like? To find links to photos and speeches from MC Alice Pedersen and longtime 8 Limbs instructor Melina Meza, click here. And here is the speech from Anne Phyfe Palmer, 8 Limbs Founder.
“I’d actually like to start by asking us to all stand and sit here together, as if we’re starting a yoga practice.
I’ve really come to realize for myself that sitting, in community, in silence, is deeply nourishing. You can close your eyes, or leave them open, but can you bring your attention into yourself, and your breath, and your body, in this moment, this moment of community, of celebration, and the energy of nature.
Now can you remember when you first encountered yoga, be it here, in your home, in another studio.
What did it look like?
What did it feel like?
Who was your teacher, or was it a book or media?
Now take a few moments to consider your own yoga timeline. Maybe you’ve been to class here, or a retreat, or a training. Who are the teachers you’ve received from? Where are the spaces you’ve rolled out your mat, or made do without one?
These experiences, these timelines, are what our practices are built on. This is what 8 Limbs is built on, people coming to yoga, in community. This is the foundation from which everything has come.
And my what we’ve grown together!
Take a moment to look around at the people here.
8 Limbs started down the hall in the corner room of this building. We’ve added on every few years ever since, first Wedgwood in 1998, then an office and boutique right here, then the current office, boutique, and Chandra studio. In 2005 we opened West Seattle, and Phinney in 2009. Our most recent change was moving from the first Surya studio into this room when the owners of Brocklind’s sold the building to Hunter’s Capital and they gave the building a fabulous remodel, and we consolidated our studio to where it is today.
There have been tens of thousands of students in our classes and hundreds of teachers and staff and workstudy that have worked at 8 Limbs over the last 20 years. To all of you, I offer my deepest gratitude. There would be no 8 Limbs without you. Thank you for your commitment to practice, to teaching, to working at 8 Limbs. You make up the tapestry of 8 Limbs, the fabric that keeps our business running smoothly.
It would be impossible for me to thank everyone who deserves it, but there are several people I will call out tonight.
For me, the foundation of practice was my very first yoga class with Kathleen Hunt. It was a class at Physical Culture, where I met most of my closest friends in the mid-90s. I think I wore a baggy tshirt and some leggings from aerobics. I distinctly remember the shirt falling down to my nose, and that special adjustment that Kathleen gave where she came up behind your elbows, hauled your heft up by your ankles and used her feet to whittle your elbows closer together. I walked out of that first class and knew I’d be doing yoga for a long time.
Kathleen, thank you for being my first yoga teacher, and the embodiment of a yogini. Your classes hooked me from day one, and instilled a tremendous sraddha, faith, in the practice of yoga.
I’m not sure she was at that very same class, but Melina Meza and I also met at Physical Culture – she’d been with Kathleen for a while and we both took Kristi Rudolph’s barefoot and live drumming Anthrobics class. The moment I met Melina I know we needed to be in cahoots, and Melina, along with Jonna, was on board before we opened, cleaning walls, painting trim, cutting that first roll of mats.
Melina and I shared the Saturday morning classes, which almost always ended with tofu scrambles at The Green Cat on Olive.
Melina, our creative journeys have been some of the highlights of my adult life. Thank you for your endless and inspiring Shakti, for being on board at the very start, and for sticking with me for two decades of co-creating and sisterhood.
Next I’d like to give a shout out to Ashley Dahl, the Executive Director and guiding light of 8 Limbs.
Ashley Dahl, you embody the concept of buddhi, that aspect of each of us that is most discerning and wise. Often, in the 8 Limbs office, when we encounter a tough situation or decision, we think, or even say aloud: WWAD: “what would Ashley do?”
Ashley, your intuitive, realistic, compassionate, and clear way of working with all of us has not only made 8 Limbs a more successful and sustainable business, you’ve made 8 Limbs a much better place to be. You’ve consistently and kindly challenged me to continually shift my idea of what being a business owner means. Thank you for your brilliance and your huge sweet heart.
And, of course, my family, my sweet, somewhat private, adorable family. I actually met my husband Bez for the first time right in the 1st Surya studio. He came to the studio on a recommendation from my godmother, who is his mother’s college roommate. I saw him in classes off and on for two years before something clicked and we started to date. We were married a year and a half later. Bez, I love being in partnership with you. Thanks for being thoughtful, patient, wise, supportive, and evolutionary.
Lily and Coco, you are the reason I continue to try to be the best person I can be. You are the brightest lights in my day. Thanks for putting up with me.
PEOPLE are the heart and soul of 8 Limbs, through your comings and goings, your intersections with us and with other students, your joys and sorrows shared in these rooms, you make 8 Limbs more than a business, but a living, breathing entity. We are all students of the 8 Limbs of yoga.
THANK YOU for being here!
Lastly, 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.
Posted by: 8 Limbs