About Ara & Her Mission

About Ara & her mission: For the last 20 years Ara has dedicated her life to the practice and teaching of yoga. As a beginner, Yoga was a powerful healer for her painful tendonitis and depression. Her new practice changed the course of her life and she has been going strong ever since.

Ara has invested considerable time and funds into her yoga education. Over the years she has continually sought training to bring the highest quality teachings to Spokane and beyond. Including a 200hr alignment based yoga training with the Spokane Yoga Shala, a 300hr Bikram training with Beth Gallis, a private Baptiste training with Rhea Slichter, a 200hr Radiant Body training with Kia Miller, a 200hr KRI training with Guru Singh and Sada Simran at Guru Gayatri and she is currently completing her 300hr with Kia Miller. She continues to research the science behind yoga as well as focusing on sound healing therapy for private and public class sessions.

While starting as a physical yogi, she has delved into the spiritual benefits of yoga especially over the last 6 years. She believes that this is where the true healing power of yoga lies. It is her dharma or life’s mission to share these benefits with others.

For the last five years, the Spokane Yoga Shala has been a home and platform for Ara and other teachers in sharing these essential practices with our community and beyond. Especially now that our lives have been shifted drastically with covid-19, she believes that we need yoga now more than ever.

Why is yoga so important and why would you want to practice with us and support us?

As we look at what’s going on in the world, emotions are running high. Our health is at risk from many directions. Yoga teaches us that it is our birthright to be conscious, healthy, happy and harmonious. That we can remain calm and proactive under fire. That we can be proactive in our own healing process. That we have the ability to remain in parasympathetic nervous system rather than fight and flight —and as a yogi’s, it’s our responsibility to teach others that these rights and abilities are theirs as well.

This is a time that calls for action—for activism rooted in our spiritual understanding of oneness and universality. Yogis are spiritual warriors, and our spiritual foundation strengthens our movement for progressive change. This calls for strength and steadiness, for compassion and understanding, and for the ability to keep up and share.

So how do we do this with our yoga offerings? 

  • We teach people to have a daily practice/Sadhana. It’s incredibly important to have a regular personal practice. When we do this, we stay connected to our universal oneness, which keeps us steady. Often our practice is physical. The health benefits of a physical yoga practice as well as meditation have been documented since the 1970’s. I teach how to start small and provide regular classes for practitioners to learn as they build their own practice.
  • We teach and participate in group yoga classes and private classes. Online and in person, we have power in numbers. When we practice together, we develop group consciousness, and through this group energy, we uplift others, who then uplift others, and so on. Bring people together to share their hopes and fears. Create a safe space so that ALL feel welcome.
  • Chanting and sound therapy. Vibrate the Cosmos. Change the vibratory frequency around you, so that others feel it as well. Speaking and singing sacred sound is a powerful method of meditation and transformation. Sound therapy has been proven to combat stress and promote relaxation. Thus triggering the healing response
  • Take action. Yoga and meditation are great stepping stones for concrete actions that we can take to make the world a better place. Yoga gives us the confidence and passion to talk to students/friends/neighbors/strangers. Write letters, sign petitions. Organize house meetings, participate in rallies and engage in non-violent resistance. Ghandi’s convictions and life path were taken directly from the teachings of Yoga. In short, it helps us to do what it takes to raise consciousness.
  • We all want to create a better world. We want our children to thrive, the environment to be clean, all beings to live safely. We’ll get there, but it’s going to take a lot of work—yoga and otherwise. Myself and the other teachers at the Shala are committed to upholding you so that we can effect this conscious shift. It is a co-creation too! We need your support so that we can in turn support you. 

Thank you for your support, we are grateful for you!

What Others are Saying about Ara & The Shala

“I started practicing Yoga a little over 3 years ago. I have gone to several studios throughout Montana and Eastern Washington. The Yoga Shala is my home studio and I always look forward to coming back to practice here with Ara and her team of instructors. Ara just has an unmatched attention to detail. Whether it is the studio itself or her actual instruction. I have gotten to know Ara pretty well over the past 3 years and her passion for continuous growth and her overall enthusiasm for all of the different kinds of yoga she offers at the Shala is impressive. I can’t even tell you the extent of the importance of introducing yoga into my life. I began at the Shala with 26 & 2 classes. I have taken most of what the Shala has to offer but along with the 26 & 2, my other favorite class to take from Ara is her Kundalini classes.  I won’t go into describing the classes but will just say that whenever I go elsewhere to practice, its rare that they measure up. Ara has this natural ability to maintain a playful, fun class (she is rarely not smiling) while pushing you to a level of healthy discomfort that is not dangerous and I always feel amazing when I leave her classes. Other than creating more physical vitality, Ara’s classes have taught me how to breathe through life’s discomforts and allow myself to be the (as she would say) “observer, not the reactor.” This has been so key to me for so many reasons. I am better able to cope with past traumas in my life as well as new issues big or small that I am met with moving forward. Ara has shown that she truly cares about her clients and has done everything she can during this pandemic to provide instruction via livestream. Ara is one of the most inquisitive, self-learners I know and so I am very lucky to have the opportunity to receive her instruction from home. As much as I miss the studio, I still utilize her teachings from my Ipad at home. It’s just too important to me to not have her guidance in my daily routine. Life is crazy. It’s a hurricane out here!  I see my practice with Ara and the Spokane Yoga Shala as strongest tool in my box to help me navigate and be the foundation for further growth.” Jake Headlee 

“I have been a yoga student of Ara Lyman for a decade now.   I find her classes to be invigorating, dreamy and detailed when it comes to proper alignment.  Ara has a dedication to teaching and practicing yoga that is inspirational.  Her passion for yoga shines through and she definitely has a glow about her.  I highly recommend Ara as one of the most skilled yoga teachers/studio owners in the Inland Northwest.” -Mona Caruso

“I have known Ara for the past year through her passionate work at Spokane Yoga Shala. When I first walked into her yoga class I knew immediately that I had found not only an amazing yoga teacher but a community. I was new to Spokane having relocated from Rochester NY and needing connection with people outside of my stressful job. I found that connection at the Shala and through the community that Ara has built through her love and compassion towards everyone that walks through her door. I now live in Dayton NV. I don’t miss my stressful demoralizing job in Spokane, but I have yet to find the spiritual yoga community I had at Yoga Shala. As difficult as this pandemic and quarantine has been, it had also allowed me to participate in Ara’s classes and connect with the Shala community virtually. As an essential worker, this has been essential to keeping my spirit strong and anxiety at bay.” Kimberely Bliek

“The Spokane Yoga Shala has been a beacon of hope for me since early 2018. I began by taking a $5 Hot Yoga class with a trainee of Ara’s. This class would be my entry into the vast world of yoga, self exploration, and holistic healing. I began attending Kundalini Tantra Flow and was gently introduced to a diverse blend of movement, meditation, breathwork, and energy work.These classes, especially when taught by Ara Lyman presented a spacious spiritual element. This was something that had been missing from other community-based experiences. Ara’s classes combine more than 15 years of diverse experience, and this plays out as an interplay between intuition and structure. Ara Lyman has been a deeper teacher as well, for I am a graduate of the 200HR SYS Kundalini Flow Teacher training of 2018-2019. During this time I was pushed to my edge, and sometimes beyond(by myself and others). These experiences allowed me to see myself in a different light, with time, practice, and persistence. I am currently in the process of sharing these teachings through personalized yoga, intuitive body work, and mindfulness coaching. The kindness, compassion, ferocity, balance, and keen intuition, embodied by the Teachers of the Spokane Yoga Shala, touch each individual who chooses to enter through their doors. The classes offered by these teachers has spanned from a self-intimate somatic flow class, to an Ashtanga mash-up throwback, to a wild and energizing Buti class. Each class and teacher has their own personal strengths, but all sharing the same vision in mind. Share Yoga With Spokane and the World. I am deeply grateful for the experiences, energy, and individuals who have formed what is known as the Spokane Yoga Shala. Sat Nam, Namaste” -Tanner Tietjen

“It is my pleasure to share with you my impressions of and recommendation for Ara Lyman. I became acquainted with her in my travels, over which I have visited studios across the country. Her space and her teaching have by far left the most lasting impression on me. Permit me to be concise: 1. She is genuinely interested in the development of her students, and able to scale learning to their level of receptivity while steering them toward a more full understanding of yoga. Many enterprises teach staff the importance of finding person connection with students in order to ensure their business’s prosperity. Ara is not so contrived: she is a consummate teacher who meets us as pupils instead of customers. She is supportive but unafraid to show us the blind spots in our practices. 2. She is knowledgeable in movement and theory, and shows her expertise without pretenses of being a guru. Her directions and corrections are easily understood and non-judgmental, and her dialogue is delivered with practiced ease and a balance of seriousness and playfulness. She is aware of her merits and flaws, and treats herself as a work in progress. 3. Her studio is treated as a sacred space, but not in such a way as to overly mythologize the décor. She draws her teachers from a variety of styles, and thereby provides students with options ranging from secular ‘gym yoga’ to bhakti classes such as Kundalini, meeting than where they are and drawing them into deeper understanding as they are ready. She approaches her staff as first among equals, rarely assuming an overly managerial posture.4. She develops her personal practice, but not with the end of credentialing (although I imagine that happens in the process) so much as her seeking to increase her depth of understanding as a lifelong student. This commitment to study has made me a loyal follower of her instruction. She models a balanced life and practice that sidesteps to students that they can be yogis without becoming ascetics. I enthusiastically recommend her as a reliable investment to anyone committed to bringing yoga to the people in a way that honors its traditions and teachings.” -Sigma Starspawn

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