8 Limbs Yoga - Capitol Hill
Anne Phyfe Palmer’s 8 Limbs Yoga honors all eight limbs of yoga practice through workshops, events, and regular classes for all levels. With a strong social justice mission, 8 Limbs strives to examine and dismantle systems of oppression through yoga and beyond.
|8 Limbs Yoga Centers offers its students a holistic approach practice of yoga. “We have never wanted to present yoga as simply a physical practice,” says owner Anne Phyfe Palmer. Anne Phyfe was first exposed to yoga in the 80’s. “Initially I got into a very strong, physical practice of yoga, but also very respectful of the whole of yoga that brought it meditation, pranayama, and a lot of philosophy. So right away I was introduced to the potential of yoga, and that’s what interested me,” she says.|
Two years after being introduced to yoga for the first time, Anne Phyfe opened 8 Limbs Yoga Centers. “It was like this baby that just had to be born,” she says. Although she was very new to yoga, Anne Phyfe understood the importance of offering this ancient practice in a way that honored its history and wholeness. The name 8 Limbs comes from the tenet that there are eight aspects to yoga, all equally important. The first two, yama and niyama, are sets of ethical guidelines on how to treat others, the world, and oneself, all based in nonviolence. Then there is asana (physical postures), pranayama (breath awareness), pratyahara (withdrawing the physical senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (ecstasy or bliss). “We try to offer programming that involves all the different aspects, and offer series and workshops on topics such as Nonviolent Communication, pranayama (breath practices) and meditation,” Anne Phyfe says.
8 Limbs also has a strong social justice mission. “The desire for social justice has existed in our organization for a long time,” says Anne Phyfe. “But my awareness of my whiteness really shifted in 2015.” Since then 8 Limbs has been holding public events and trainings around social and racial justice, and working to create spaces both for white folks to understand the depth of their white privilege and for folks that have been ostracized from the Western yoga community to experience yoga in a safe and healing space. They offer POC Yoga, Queer Yoga, classes on Unpacking Whiteness, and often partner with other yoga studios and community leaders for anti-oppression trainings. Anne Phyfe says 8 Limbs has also changed the way it runs as a business to be more collaborative and less top-down. “I’m proud that we can offer a space where people can access tools for to be more present in their lives,” says Anne Phyfe. “And that we’re balancing being a yoga business with our social justice values and making core changes to align with that.”
|Prior to discovering yoga, Anne Phyfe was an aerobics teacher for years!|
|Anne Phyfe Palmer|