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Res Art Winter Health & Wellness courses run through March.

There are a few squeaky floor boards 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.

But, I found myself on Sunday night, palms pushing down into my yoga mat on top of a squeaky floor board while 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 coffee house 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 travelled 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.

“Yay!”

“This is an opportunity for the Seward community to experiment with a deeper level of physical activity: strength for mental clarity and personal freedom,” KellyAnn said. “With classes ranging from movement-based vinyasa with emotion-stirring playlists, to stillness-based restorative yoga for rest and rejuvenation, to public mediation for holding space with your community, to a whole educational course on mindfulness-based stress management.”

I was back in the 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 floor boards and chorus of dry coughs (it is winter in Alaska, the snow may dampen noises, but 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 on 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 ResArt 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.”

The Resurrect Coffee House Health & Wellness Winter Series meets from Jan. 6 to March 28. Classes include:

Sunday @ 7 p.m. – Sangha Sundays Vinyasa Flow with KellyAnn

Mondays @ 6:30 p.m. – Restorative Yoga with KellyAnn

Tuesdays @ 6 p.m – Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with Micheley (starts Feb. 12)

Wednesday @ 6:30 p.m. – Vinyasa Flow with Jillian

Thursday @ 6 p.m. — Open Meditation Group with Micheley

There is a $10 suggested donation for all classes. Yoga and meditation props are provided.

“Come add new tools to your life toolbox: a grand expanse on health and wellness in Alaska,” said KellyAnn.

I’ll see you there! I’ll be the one on the squeaky floorboard (I’ve come to like it)