There are a few squeaky floorboards in Resurrect Art Coffee House.
The old church was built in 1916, though, so it’s to be expected. It’s not like the original designers thought it would one day be host to coffee drinkers, art appreciators and namaste-ers. They had a few more sermons and psalms in mind.
Still, Sunday night found my palms pushing into my yoga mat on top of a squeaky floorboard, trying to get into down dog without chirping my way into everyone else’s practice.
It didn’t work, but luckily no one seemed to care. It had been months since the coffeehouse tables were moved to the side and replaced with yoga mats, blocks and an ambiance fueled by tea lights and soft music.
Yoga in Seward is my most fickle friend. I’ll find her at the gym sometimes, but never when I want to see her. Other times I’ll invite her into my living room, but a relationship through a screen is a bit less authentic.
Each Sunday throughout the summer, Kellyann Cavaretta would lead a vinyasa flow at Res Art to a soundtrack riddled with folk music and a lot of talk about unwinding from the busy throes of summer in Seward. But, as summer moved to fall and to winter, people traveled and unwound in different ways and in warmer climates.
So, when I saw a flier about Res Art’s Health & Wellness Winter Series — five days of yoga and meditation each week across two months — while waiting for my morning Americano I was stirred.
I was back in the movements of sun salutations, warrior varietals and a few god-awfully good hip openers with Kellyann at the front of the coffee shop, nearly every inch of the floor covered in yoga mats. The smell of coffee was in the air.
It became easier and easier to ignore the squeaks of the floorboards and chorus of dry coughs — squeaks and choruses that were heightened because although it is winter in Alaska, and snow may dampen noises, it hasn’t been snowing and there is something going around right now.
Instead, I focused on how my muscles and bones were waking up after months of slamming the snooze button. I’ve been moving throughout the colder months, but in stark contrast to how I move on a yoga mat. Skiing has left my legs bruised and running has led to blisters on my heels — yoga helps to bridge the gap between sport and mind, and give those blistered and bruised muscles a strong hug.
“Yoga’s root meaning is to ‘yoke,’ to blend together, to unite,” Kellyann said. “And what a great union Res Art is creating this winter. Yoga and coffee, meditation and community, a welcoming movement integrated in a sacred space. I am so happy to be a part of it.”
And I’m happy to be a part of it too. Without a set yoga studio, I have a feeling that my friend will stay fickle. But, a few weeks with a good friend is nothing to complain about, and neither is a squeaky floorboard.
Reach Kat Sorensen at firstname.lastname@example.org.