Down Under Yoga: Many Traditions, One Essential Practice
Nov 16, 2011 02:55PM
By Kim Childs
On a recent Saturday morning at 9 a.m., the Down Under Yoga studios in Newtonville are full of students. Practitioners of varying ages and abilities are here to learn from master teachers who are well known far beyond Boston, including Barbara Benagh, Peentz Dubble, Chanel Luck, Coeli Marsh, Natasha Rizopoulos and Patricia Walden. They came together to create a studio where each teacher is cultivating a different aspect of the students’ practice. “It’s an environment in which the essence of yoga is best represented,” says Rizopoulos.
Studio director Justine Wiltshire Cohen is equally passionate about giving Down Under students a well-rounded, authentic yoga education. “We wanted to bring together some of America’s best yoga teachers to ensure not only different generations of students, but different traditions and generations of teachers,” she says. “After I teach my class, I get on the mat and learn from the teachers who trained me. It also means that students who know how to ‘flow’ but who know nothing about alignment, anatomy, stillness or breath have the opportunity to deepen their practice.”
Doris Fine has been a Down Under devotee since 2005, when classes were taught in a local church, before the studio’s move to Walnut Street. She’s participated in the community potluck suppers and charity events, but her real commitment is to her teacher, Wiltshire Cohen, and the practice.“I’m a physical therapist and, when I started with Justine, I could tell immediately that she really knew her anatomy and understood what she was asking people to do,” Fine recalls. “She has a great knowledge base, a commitment to learning and an openness and understanding that we could learn from each other.”