Hatha yoga is a system of practice that integrates breath and movement to release tension from our body and mind so that we can experience the flow of  creative energy. Regular practice promotes the body's innate vitality by increasing flexibility and range of motion, clearing toxins, and creating a feeling of relaxation.

desk pose

Asana practice promotes health throughout your body by stretching and toning muscles and joints, the skeletal system, internal organs, glands and nerves. Yoga postures effectively lengthen and strengthen each of the major muscle groups. The slow, prolonged stretching practiced in hatha yoga is the best kind of exercise to gain flexibility.  As muscles become stronger and more flexible, practitioners notice that their posture improves. They also see improvement in breathing as the result of the release of tension from the chest and upper back muscles.

While hatha yoga practice has significant physical benefits, the deeper purpose of asana practice is to awaken the vital force that we call kundalini, the energy that is the source of real change within us. All authentic change is based on our contact with that vital force. Through practice, we bring our breath and our attention to a stillpoint, and there we find that consciousness is always at the forefront. It is this contact with the highest state, whether all at once or in stages, that transforms our minds, our emotions and our body. At that point, we express our strength and flexibility mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This is the deeper meaning of total range of motion, and it emerges as we refine our system.

The Movement Center’s yoga studio offers classes to suit a broad range of levels and interests. The quality of the program has been recognized in the Portland community, and the Movement Center yoga studio has won best of awards from CitySearch as well as Natural Awakenings readers for Portland yoga studios.

Our facility is in a garden setting, with abundant natural light, and features sprung hardwood floors, which are a perfect surface for asana practice. 

The core yoga curriculum provides a deep practice where asana, breath awareness, and meditation are equally important. Classes are geared for every kind of body, fitness level, and age. Beginners and continuing students alike can count on a deeply healing blend of breath-centric asanas that will increase strength, vitality, and connection with spirit. Careful alignment and the ability to adjust and adapt asanas keep classes safe and interesting.

The main benefit of asana practice is that you will be able to experience the movement of the energy within your body. Having experienced the energy movement within your body, you’ll understand that you no longer are a victim of whatever mental state it is that you fall into in any moment in time. You can shift your own mental state at any time simply by becoming aware of your breath. Then, that recognition, that clarity becomes the basis by which you can develop all your finer qualities.
— Swami Chetanananda