WYC is more than a place to practice yoga poses. It’s a place where we all share yoga on a teacher-level, and though anyone can afford to attend, that’s also what makes it a college. We help everyone who loves yoga share what they love. So the yoga happens as a two-way teaching process even for beginners. All it takes is love. Everyone who loves yoga, or feels like they have the potential to love yoga is welcome at WYC. Unlike regular yoga studios, however, we do hold to some publicly stated political positions. Check out the WHAT WE BELIEVE link for more on that, but our beliefs are consistent with yoga. If the yogic love is there, a person connects with social justice and religious understanding. That’s why we can still say that WYC is for everyone who loves yoga.
We call ourselves a college to emphasize what we do most: run Teacher Training Programs. In fact, WYC’s founder and director, Scott Miller, conducted the first studio Teacher Training Programs in the Inland Empire. That was back when he was also running the largest non-coastal yoga studio in California. The studio (Inland Yoga) no longer exists, and WYC is not a studio. It’s a college where everyone is taught to do yoga on a teacher-level.
That also goes for our Open Regular Sessions. They are open to drop-ins, and beginners are welcome, but there is a prerequisite. It’s the aforementioned sense of love. Before coming to WYC, you should either already love yoga or have a strong sense that it could happen.
MEET SCOTT & LAURA
WHAT MAKES US SO DIFFERENT
Our ideas conflict with western society’s fantasy image of yoga. It’s an elitist fantasy. It makes yoga out to be something that only rich, superficially satisfied people do, and that idea serves society’s commercial interest in yoga. WYC is involved in commerce too, but we want to serve the interests of yoga lovers in a way that at least threatens society’s ruling class on some level. In India, where yoga was born, a Hindu Orthodoxy has run society for several thousand years. But the priests never loved yoga. The people of India once loved yoga and we honor their gift to the world. But the Hindu Orthodoxy never loved yoga and the Hindu Nationalist movement seeks to exploit the business of yoga as much as any American yoga company ever has. People who really love yoga don’t trust society, which is why it’s confusing to live in a society that merely likes yoga.
But here we are. We live in the first yoga-liking society in history. And even at WYC, things are challenging. We love yoga, but sometimes we fall prey to the foibles of our culture. That’s the truth, and we try to be truthful. We recognize that all yogic institutions have issues. We’re not practicing yoga in a cave like the ancients. We’re part of society, and we know that affects us, so we try to have a sense of humor about it. That’s why our college logo is a funny twist on a well-known cartoon college logo.
WYC in FT. BRAGG-MENDOCINA
It is WYC’s great fortune to have Justine Lemos as an administrative faculty member. Justine conducts her own WYC Teacher Training Programs in the Ft. Bragg-Mendocino area. Far from just being a Yoga Alliance-registered Teacher – E-RYT – Justine holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology with an emphasis in Indian dance and South Asian embodied philosophy, as well as Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in other areas of dance and anthropology. She has extensively studied anatomy and kinesiology as the subjects apply to dance and yoga, has received training from Guru Ranjanaa Devi in classical Indian Odissi dance since 1996, and has performed as a principle dancer with the Nataraj Dance Company in the United States, India, Japan, and elsewhere.
Justine’s training and studies both in the U.S. and abroad also include Mohinniyattam classical dance, Belly Dance, Balinese Legong dance, Chauu dance, modern dance, and ballet; guided interpretation of classic yoga texts; and, most recently, intensive yogic instruction from her five-year-old son.