Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 12:17 PM on Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Visiting yoga instructor makes humor part of practice



Photo provided

Yoga instructor Bobby Hoyt will offer five different workshops at the Bay Club next week.

If your idea of yoga is that it's serious stuff and only for the elite and trendy with bodies much more elastic than yours, you might need to reconsider.

Next week is being billed as "Yoga Week" at the Bay Club, with an internationally known yoga instructor teaching five different yoga classes Sept. 17-23. All ability levels are welcome.

Among the things that make Bobby Hoyt's teaching style unique is the way he employs humor and music in his teaching, said Kellie Blue, Bay Club's owner.

He brings a combination of playfulness and intelligence into his classes that's refreshing, she said.

Hoyt has spent the past 12 years teaching classes in North Kohala and Waimea on the Big Island of Hawaii; in Peru, Vt.; in San Francisco; at the Burning Man event on the Black Rock Desert of Nevada; and in Florence, Italy. Originally trained in Shivanada, Hoyt then was certified with more than 300 hours training in Asthanga Vinyasa with Larry Schulze from Its Yoga in San Francisco.

Before he even arrives in Homer, Hoyt has a fan base, including Eva Saulitis, who has been taking Hoyt's classes in Hawaii for several years.

"He's one of my favorite teachers," said Saulitis, who has been practicing yoga for about 20 years.

"He lets people laugh at themselves. He's very self-effacing as a teacher, but a gifted teacher, very generous."

In fact, humor is one of the four words Hoyt uses to describe his teaching technique. The others are breath, variety and music.

He has assisted in multiple teacher trainings at Its Yoga, as well as practiced and studied Ivengar with multiple teachers on an in-depth level.

"Continuing to expand his horizons, he has taken multiple workshops and retreats in Tripscore and Universal yoga. Bobby's class incorporates all that he studies and practices, which equals a class that allows the practitioner to move with one's breath while quieting the mind and strengthening the body. His use of music and light-hearted humor adds to a unique practice soaked in many traditions," according to a press release.

Four two-hour evening classes will be offered. All levels are welcome. There also will be a three-and-a-half hour workshop on Saturday. People are encouraged to register at the Bay Club now, as space as limited. The workshops are:

• Monday, from 6-8 p.m.: Hips. Cost is $30 for Bay Club members; $40 for nonmembers.

• Tuesday, from 6-8 p.m.: Shoulders. Cost is $30 for Bay Club members; $40 for nonmembers.

• Wednesday, from 6-8 p.m.: Backs and Inversions. Cost is $30 for Bay Club members; $40 for nonmembers.

• Thursday, from 6-8 p.m.: Backbends. Cost is $30 for Bay Club members; $40 for nonmembers. This workshop is free with the purchase of the first three workshops.

On Saturday, Sept. 21, Hoyt will lead a workshop from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It is titled "Integration-Synthesis-Bliss: Breath and Movement Unified; Free Form Vinyasa Movement." Refreshments will be served at 12:30 p.m. Cost is $60 for Bay Club members; $85 for nonmembers.

For more information, call the Bay Club at 235-2582. The Bay Club is located at 2395 Kachemak Drive in Homer.

Through email, Hoyt answered some questions posed by the Homer News:

News: What makes your yoga teaching unique?

Hoyt: My classes are unique because I incorporate a variety of yoga disciplines into a well-balanced class focusing on moving with one's breath. Living and teaching in the tourist town of Kapaau, I never know who's going to come into my class — sometimes it's people who don't know how to spell yoga and other times it'll be a room full of teachers. This has led me down the path of seeing who's in the class and creating the sequence of class based on the energy of the people in the room. Each class gets a brand new playlist and can include everything from Krishna Das, Rolling Stones, The Doors, Norah Jones, Beth Orton, AIR, Bob Marley, and Garth Stevenson — as diverse as they are, the class flows from one song to another. Music helps quiet the mind and allows people to turn their mind to their breath. Finally, I keep it light and somewhat humorous. (I laugh.) I've seen too many studios that take themselves WAAAY too serious, and for me, it's called a lifelong practice. If you're unable to giggle at yourself in a hard asana, how are you going to be able to laugh when life throws you a curve ball? So four words: breath, variety, music and humor.

News: Why should people enroll in one of the classes here?

They should come to all of them. But really, if someone practices yoga, the opportunity to change it up will only allow you to grow more. If you are practicing yoga to stay out of the rut of life and get stronger, but are going to the same studio, same time, same teacher, putting your mat in the same place, suddenly you're only working the same parts of your body and mind and that doesn't help you grow. So be flexible and try something different. It's called a practice. And if you can breathe, you can do my class, you may not be able to do all of the asanas, but honestly, if you could, what fun would that be?

News: Can you tell us a little about the Homer-Hawaii connection? We understand you already have a fan club here. Is this your first trip to Homer?

I'm humbled by that thought, I'm a fan of my friends in Homer so we're all members of the mutual admiration society for sure. Fortunately, for a few months out of each year, Eva Saulitis rolls into town and is always at class with the most beautiful energy and positive spirit. She has brought family ... and friends from Homer to my classes. The conversation started a few years ago when Eva suggested I come to Homer and share my passion up there. With the help of Kellie from the Bay Club and the host of teachers offering their support, it was easy to make the decision that this would be the first year and certainly not the last.

News: Do you teach at your own studio in Hawaii?

I used to own House Of Motion in Kapaau. However, at one point I moved to Italy to teach and sold the studio to a friend for $1. It has grown and changed into the North Kohala Community Yoga Center where I still teach three times a week. I also have picked up two classes a week in the town of Waimea at a studio called No Place Like Om. While I'm in Vermont I teach at a gorgeous studio called Wild Wings in Peru. And of course, I have just returned from Burning Man where sharing I was yoga in the dust — incredibly unique.