Yoga Classes

John in Yoga ClassesThe Willow Tree has classes for Beginning Students as well as Advanced Students . We even have “Yoga in A Chair” for those who can’t or just don’t want to get down on the floor. It’s also a great stress reliever for those days when you spend so much time in a chair.

John is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with the Yoga Alliance. He has 500 Curriculum Hours in Compliance with National Standards.

John has completed 2 years of study with Yogi Amrit Desai, John is a Graduate of Yogaversity. He has completed a Course of Study in Equilibrium Yoga.

 John studied with T.K.V. Desikachar of ViniYoga in 2000, Yogi Amrit Desai in 2003, 2004 and ongoing.

Yogi Amrit Desai has a unique position in the history of yoga in America. He started teaching yoga in the 60’s making him one of the earliest proponents of yoga in America and he continues to be active. He also developed the largest yoga organization which still exists today. It is the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, Massachusetts.

He also holds the dubious distinction of being asked to leave Kripalu in the mid 90’s. For those who are interested in Yogi Desai’s resignation I refer you to the book “Yoga and the Quest for the True Self” by Stephen Cope pages 273-289. He left in relative disgrace according to the principles of yoga.

Sometime later, possibly 2000, he resurfaced as a yoga teacher after becoming a normal householder with his wife and children. Several of his students sought him out and he formulated the Amrit Yoga Institute. He taught at a Chopra Center seminar I attended in 2001. As a yoga teacher and registered member of the Yoga Alliance I knew he held the keys to my yoga future. His ability to share the truth of yoga and through dedicated practice and lifestyle inspired me to become his student and to share his wisdom.

In my heart I witnessed the transformation in his return to yoga as the rebirth we all seek when we expose the shadow of ignorance to the light of transformative practice. Knowing nothing about his past I chose to study with this present incarnation knowing his teachings held deep truth. On top of that the depth of redemption must be expressed in such a rebirth which can only be truly expressed in the return to a life of service to which can now be added dharma redemption. This redemption is laced with true compassion because he became socially stigmatized by the yoga community and returned to serve those community members as one of them, broken but mended and living the life of redemptive zeal as an example of true transcendence.

 John has been an active volunteer at Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI) in Ontario, Oregon since 1997. He brings Primordial Sound Meditation (Deepak Chopra) and Amrit Yoga (Yogi Amrit Desai) to inmates who otherwise would not be able to receive these life changing opportunities.

Continuing in the spirit of Ayurveda and the mind/body/spirit combination, the Willow Tree offers yoga for health.

Through the practice of yoga, the body, mind and spirit are integrated. A sense of well-being, balance and flexibility is created. A state of balanced, free-flowing and expanded awareness is our goal. We want to establish a state of kindness and respect towards our bodies.

The foundation of yoga comes from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Patanjali was a scholar sage who lived in 200 or 300 BC. His manuscript is regarded as the highest authority on the subject of yoga. Our foundation stems from these same roots through meditation and asana.

In the Ayurvedic tradition, our existence has three levels:

  1. The physical body, which is divided into matter and energy;
  2. The subtle body, which is divided into mind, intellect and ego; and
  3. The casual body, which is divided into soul and spirit. Yoga is the unification of all of the levels. Exercises through practice guide us so we can have the experience of all.


Yoga equals unity, which is the progressive settling down into the field of silence. A silence which is not overshadowed by the activity of the mind. It is our wish that yoga will bring control to your body and peace to your mind.

The movement of the breath mirrors the activity of the mind. The activity of the mind mirrors the movement of the breath. In our practice, we consciously link breath and body. It is the basis for our whole practice. A conscious process is established between breath and movement.

We become fully involved in our actions. Our attention is enhanced and we raise our consciousness. This stabilizes the mind and achieves a healthy body, allowing us to achieve our personal goals.