The Yoga Place has offered Iyengar Yoga in La Crosse since 1988. Chris Saudek, the director and senior instructor, started teaching Iyengar Yoga in the extension program of the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse in 1981 after studying Iyengar yoga for 3 years and attending classes in Pune, India at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute for 2 months in 1980. As the number of participants in her classes grew, The Yoga Place came into being in 1988. Originally, The Yoga Place was in a small studio on Pearl Street but as classes grew it was moved to the present location in 1998. With the help of several devoted students, renovations were made, the floor was refinished, the bathroom installed, and the rope wall was constructed. Since that time several other Iyengar studios around the country have installed a similar rope wall with Chris’s guidance.
A part of many Iyengar studios now, the rope wall is used for “Yoga Kurunta”. “Kurunta means puppet and in Yoga Kurunta, one learns to manipulate oneself in the various yoga postures by means of a suspended rope as if one were a puppet. There are many advantages to performing asanas with the use of ropes: more difficult asanas may be practiced with ease, the ropes can be used to help with balance, to provide traction for the spine and other joints, to adjust the alignment of poses, and even to help the elderly get up from and down to the floor for seated and supine postures.
The Yoga Place also has a wide range of props used in Iyengar Yoga and is one of the best equipped Iyengar studios in the country. Props such as belts, blankets, blocks, and other wooden objects, bolsters and chairs are used to help students achieve precise postures safely and completely according to their particular body type and needs. Props also allow for deeper penetration into the postures, a longer stay and a more profound experience.
Our teachers are committed to maintaining the purity, excellence, and high standards that have been demonstrated and emphasized by B.K.S. Iyengar. Chris and Francie were both given their senior teaching certificates by B.K.S. Iyengar and have studied with him many times. They also serve as assessors for the Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States (IYNAUS). Chris and Francie have been mentors for and long-time teachers of the other instructors at The Yoga Place. All the teachers at The Yoga Place are highly trained, knowledgeable and very experienced, maintain a personal practice and continue to study with senior teachers or by traveling to study at the Iyengar Institute in Pune, India.
At The Yoga Place, students are guided in a way that is practical, experiential, and intensely personal. The teachers at The Yoga Place look forward to helping each student experience the profound benefits of a yoga practice. The Yoga Place is where yoga is more than exercise and instruction is individualized.