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Namaste - DC Yoga classes: Bethesda, Woodley ... Namaste Unity Woods Yoga Center-spected yoga centers in the country. We offer classes for students at all levels in posture (asana)

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  • Every day is a day. The sun comes up. The sun goes down. But we attach significance to certain days over others: birthdays, holidays, etc.

    Anniversaries are among the days we take note of. They are mile markers along the road of our lives, stations that stand out in the flow of days. We had one in August: the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. In 1969, Woodstock was a big cultural event. The media played it up then, and again this year on the 50th anniversary. It was also a major event for me, as I was fortunate enough to be there. The music was the big draw, of course, but overall, the peaceful and loving gathering of the countercultural tribe played as important a role as the music did to most of us who were there. Sharing what we had and taking care of one

    another in the face of adversity (rain, mud, scarce food, scarcer toilets), along with reveling in the

    amazing music, turned what could have been a cataclysmic catastrophe into a spiritual adventure. Indeed, a spiritual note was sounded for me as soon as I arrived at Yasgur’s farm. No sooner had I climbed over the

    already flattened fence, than up came a guy who handed me a bunch of flyers with Meher Baba’s picture and the words “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” on the cover (Meher Baba was a major spiritual teacher). “Here,” he said. “Hand these out.” I met a lot of people early on.

    On another spiritual note, most people don’t know

    See Namaste, page 2

    Inside John’s Workshop

    Schedule ......................2

    Special Events ...............4–5

    Class Schedule .............6–7

    Teacher Information ......8–9

    Studio News .....................9

    Course Descriptions .......10

    Boutique Information ......10

    Fees and Policies ............11

    Registration Form ............12



    Unity Woods Yoga Center one of the best known and most widely re- spected yoga centers in the country. We offer classes for students at all levels in posture (asana) and breathing (pranayama), special courses for tar- geted needs and interests, workshops with some of the world’s finest teachers, and programs covering various aspects of the science and art of yoga.

    At Unity Woods, our purpose is to offer uncompro- mising, expert yoga instruction to as broad an au- dience as possible. Our teaching staff is the area’s most experienced, comprised of highly trained, certified instructor s who help guide you to im- proved health, serenity, and expanded awareness.

    © 2019 Unity Woods Yoga Center, LLC. 4853 Cordell Ave, PH9 Bethesda, MD 20814 Phone: (301) 656-8992 Fax: (301) 656-7792

    All of our classes are based on the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar. Named by Time magazine as "one of the 100 most influential people in the world", Mr. Iyengar is widely regarded as the 20th century's foremost yoga teacher. His approach develops self-awareness through precision in movement and attention to the subtleties of body, breath, mind, and spirit.


    First Class Free for New

    Students Newcomers to

    Unity Woods may take their first class free anytime during the session. Contact

    us for details.



    John’s Workshops

    September 20-22 Friday-Sunday Montreal, Canada

    October 25-27 Friday-Sunday Teacher Training: Topic: Practicing and Teaching

    Back Bends SERENDIPITY

    Berkeley Springs, WV

    November 17 Sunday Advanced Pranayama

    Unity Woods Yoga Center Bethesda, MD

    November 17 Sunday Discussion Group

    40 years of Unity Woods Unity Woods Yoga Center

    Bethesda, MD

    November 22-24 Friday-Sunday Iyengar Yoga Association of

    Greater New York New York, NY 212-691-9642

    December 27, 28 Friday, Saturday

    Postures Naples, Florida 212-691-9642

    December 29 Sunday iYoga Delray Beach

    Delray Beach, FL



    January 10-12 Friday-Sunday Yoga Institute of Miami

    Workshop for experienced students. Miami, FL

    January 18 Saturday An Iyengar Yoga Workshop Sun and Moon Yoga Studio

    Fairfax, VA

    703-525-YOGA (9642)

    February 9-23 37th Annual Yoga Vacation in

    Negril,Jamaica See

    for details

    Namaste (continued)

    that the formal beginning of the festival was not the music, but Swami Satchidananda leading the half million people in chanting Om. In a way, that set the tone for the next three days. A half million voices and minds in unison.

    We had another major anniversary in July: the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing. The 50th anniversary of that huge historical moment focused a massive amount of attention on the incredible technological accomplishments and awesome illustration of the power of the human spirit. And rightfully so. Yet another aspect of that monumental achievement was its spiritual element. Michael Collins, command module captain, said, "I really believe that if the political leaders of the world could see their planet from a distance of, let's say 100,000 miles, their outlook would be fundamentally changed. The all-important border would be invisible, that noisy argument suddenly silenced." By traveling outward far beyond any previous journeys, the astronauts came to realize the underlying unity of all humankind.

    I need to mention one more anniversary occurring this year: the 40th anniversary of the founding of Unity Woods Yoga Center!

    In 1979, I had been practicing yoga for nine years and teaching for six. I was also a professional musician, and had been playing at clubs, halls, and colleges in DMV since 1963. I loved music and I loved yoga, but at that point I realized that to do justice to the possibilities each offered, I would have to choose one and dedicate my time and energy to that choice. According to an old saying: “If you want to find water, don’t dig a lot of shallow holes; dig one deep one.” I didn’t want to be a Jack-of-all- trades; I wanted to go deeper. After realizing that I would have to pick one or the other, a series of events finally led me to choose to devote myself to yoga, and I threw myself into practice and teaching with greater determination than ever.

    I also figured that to make a living teaching yoga, I would have to be more “professional” than I had been. One of the first steps I took in that regard was to set up an LLC. In doing that I needed a business name so I pondered what to call the business. At the time, I lived in a rustic A-frame on 48 acres of mostly forest between Frederick and Thurmont. It was my intention

    to establish a residential retreat center on that property, so in thinking about what to call the business, I decided to put together what is at the heart of yoga – unity – and combine it with the fact of my living in the woods and named my yoga business Unity Woods Yoga Center. That was forty years ago.

    Unity Woods in Triangle Towers didn’t come into being until 1985. At that point, I was teaching yoga classes for the Montgomery County Rec Department, numerous small classes in private homes, classes at the GoTaCh wellness center in Frederick, and my own classes held at the United Church of Christ on Wisconsin Ave. By then, I was tired of lugging equipment from one place to another, arriving at class to find sometimes dirty, disorganized venues, and having to switch my schedule around because of a facility’s unpredictable and changing needs. I decided to open my own studio. To my knowledge, no one had operated a full-time yoga center in the metropolitan Washington area up to that point. Who knew if it was possible? Bear in mind that yoga was not a household word in the mid-80’s. People would call and ask if I had vanilla and strawberry flavors. By 1985, I had about 250 students attending my classes weekly, and I began to look for a suitable space around Bethesda (most of my students were from the Bethesda area). I crunched some numbers to see if it could work and signed a one year lease for a room on the third floor of Triangle Towers. It was actually quite a gamble. I had to borrow $10,000 (a princely sum for me at the time) to outfit the space with no guarantee that Southern Management, who owns Triangle Towers, would renew my lease. And to make the numbers work, I would have to charge twice what I or anybody else was charging at the time for classes. Nonetheless, students came, the classes grew, and by the end of the first year, I had paid off the loan, and Southern Management renewed my lease.

    When, in 1986, my A-frame in Thurmont burned to the ground, I moved into Bethesda. This put a serious damper on my plans for a residential center, but brought me closer to my newly opened studio on Cordell Ave. More students came, and when a larger space opened on the Penthouse floor, we moved up and added a second studio. Quite a few of the students were

  • - 3 -FALL 2019

    John Schumacher is the founder and director of Unity Woods. He has prac- ticed yoga for over 45 years and has taught in the Washing-

    ton area since 1973. John