About First Street Yoga

At First Street Yoga, we teach hatha yoga with an emphasis on precise physical alignment, a method developed by BKS Iyengar, of India. This careful attention helps prevent injury, develops a relaxed and balanced body and trains concentration. We use simple props, such as blankets, blocks and chairs, to make asanas accessible to people of all levels of fitness and flexibility.

Our Yoga Teachers at First Street Yoga: Jane Carlsen

hatha yoga

Hatha is the Sanskrit word used for the physical practices of yoga – asana (posture) and pranayama (breathing). As such, most all of what is called “yoga” in the United States is, more properly, hatha yoga.

Hatha means will-power or force, and consists of the syllables ha, meaning sun and tha, meaning moon. We may practice hatha yoga in order to lengthen our hamstrings or ease back pain, but as we do so we are learning a deeper lesson: how to balance our active energy, represented by the sun, with our ability to reflect and think, represented by the moon. That balancing develops will-power, the ability to use our intelligence (or will) to choose a course of action and then follow through with energy (or power) even if our course is difficult or uncomfortable.

health benefits of yoga

Our careful attention to physical action helps us develop balanced strength and flexibility so that we can learn to move with greater ease and efficiency. This efficiency often yields a significant increase in energy. As the body opens and relaxes, students generally experience increased digestive and respiratory function, enhanced athletic performance, as well as a reduction in chronic pain and stress-related symptoms. The benefits of a regular yoga practice are often experienced in the first few weeks of beginning practice. (Learn 40 Ways Yoga Heals »)

BKS Iyengar

BKS Iyengar was born in India in 1918. He was sickly as a young person and as his family could not afford conventional health care he was sent to live with his brother-in-law, the scholar and yoga teacher Shriman T. Krishnamacharya. Through his own struggles, Mr. Iyengar learned how to pursue the benefits of asana despite limited strength and mobility. Although he was ridiculed as “the furniture yogi”, he used simple props like chairs and tables to maintain proper physical alignment while guiding the individual toward deeper movement. Named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, Mr. Iyengar’s innovations are substantially responsible for the flowering of interest in asana in the western world. His book “Light On Yoga”, originally published in 1966, remains the most complete and in-depth text on asana. (more about Iyengar »)


“there is a beginning to knowledge, but there is no end”

Teachers at First Street Yoga are, first and foremost, dedicated on-going students of Yoga. FSY teachers demonstrate their long term commitment to personal practice through mastery of asana, good working understanding of Patanjali’s Sutras, basic understanding of anatomy and physiology, and the study and practice of sound teaching techniques.