Spotlight

3 OMS Yoga: A community sanctuary, hidden in plain sight

3 OMS Yoga

1319 Cornwall Ave., Suite 200

Bellingham

(360) 671-3510

http://www.3omsyoga.com

If you’re not looking for it, it’s possible to walk by the entrance to 3 OMS Yoga without being aware that you’ve done so.

But once the door leading to the Cornwall Avenue studio has been located—a clue is that it shares an address with Kids Northwest and Dragon River restaurant—those seeking better physical, mental and spiritual health will find a warm and welcoming spot in which to explore the ancient practice of yoga.

And once you’ve left your street shoes behind on the stairwell and entered the expansive, naturally lit space, it will soon become clear that 3 OMS offers more than a chance to stretch your musculature—it also brings opportunities for human connection.

If you’ve attended classes there before, employees at the reception desk will more than likely remember your name, and even students who arrive harried from the effects of the outside world don’t seem to stay so for long.

Owner and teacher Amy Robinson designed the eco-friendly studio to her own specifications after moving 3 OMS from Bay Street to Cornwall Avenue late last May, and says she couldn’t be happier with the results.

“It is bright, energy-efficient, spacious and a beautiful sanctuary for our community,” she says. “There are two studios, a beautiful lounge for people to connect before or after class, a meditation room, a reception desk made out of recycled products, showers and more. The location is perfect—right in the heart of downtown. And I am in awe that I own part of a building in Bellingham, my forever home.”

As a Western Washington University ecology graduate who stuck around town after receiving her degree, Robinson came to opening 3 OMS through an organic process that included a 1999 trip to India, where she lived in an ashram and deepened her understanding of the roots of yoga and her personal practice of it. Ten years later—after completing 500 hours of training and teaching for seven years—the yogi opened her own studio with the intent of creating a community sanctuary.

Assistant manager Jen Fairey has been taking classes with Robinson since shortly before she opened 3 OMS, and attests to the fact that the yoga haven is a safe place for everybody, regardless of their age, size, political affiliation or prior experience. Additionally, Robinson and crew are dedicated to supporting local causes, and have raised funds or donated items or services to nonprofits such as Lydia Place, Northwest Youth Services, Whatcom Peace & Justice Center, and the Max Higbee Center.

Fairey says it’s also important to note that all of the 3 OMS teachers are staff, not subcontractors, and every instructor—including her—has gone through extensive training on the path to getting certified.

“We’re a team together,” Fairey says.

With important milestones in the near future—May 30 will mark one year in the new space, and a June 9 party will commemorate eight years of business—now might be the time to consider furthering your own connection to yoga.

For the uninitiated, a Beginners Yoga Course starting May 2 and continuing twice a week through May 25 will focus on everything from form to breathing techniques, yoga philosophy and concepts that promise to inspire you “whether you’re on the mat or off.” And with as many as nine classes happening daily, both newbies and longtime practitioners can find something to fit both their schedule and lifestyle.

Additionally, upcoming workshops such as “Embody Love” (May 5), “Dynamic Anatomy” (May 6), “Prenatal Partner Yoga” (May 6), “AcroYoga Foundations” (May 13), “Yoma: Yoga and Massage” (May 21), and “Yoga and Mindfulness” (May 27) will allow students to delve even deeper into their own practices. (And, as part of June’s anniversary celebrations, new and returning students can sign up for two months of unlimited classes for $180 anytime that month).

Whatever classes you choose to sign up for—whether it’s an Iyengar Yoga class, Power Yoga, Intuitive Flow, Yin Yoga, or Ashtanga Flow—keep in mind that the ethos that caused Robinson to pursue yoga as a livelihood aren’t just lip service. Cultivating connections with herself, the greater good and others remains her priority.

“3 OMS Yoga’s number-one core value is that we are a welcoming, inclusive community,” Robinson says. “This is important to me because that is in alignment with the philosophy of yoga and is essential for the healing of our community and planet. The first tenant of yoga is ahimsa (non-harming)—respect for all. It’s basically the golden rule. We are contributing to healing our community one yogi at a time—mind, body and spirit.”

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