Archetype Yoga brings Katonah Yoga to Pasadena
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Chris Mortenson/Staff Photographer
Dancer, footwear designer and yoga practitioner. Sara Blumenkranz has had a lifelong connection with movement and feet. She spent a decade designing shoes for well-known companies and traveling the world.
At the time Blumenkranz was living in New York City, she developed chronic plantar fasciitis, which significantly hampered her mobility. As a former dancer, she knew intrinsically that the relationship between mind and body needed repair.
Blumenkranz’s journey into yoga is one motivated by pain. She looked to yoga as a remedy to help her foot condition. Everything changed after she experienced a foot reading by Katonah Yoga practitioner Abbie Galvin of The Studio in New York. Katonah Yoga is a hatha yoga practice developed by Nevine Michaan over 40 years ago. She was so intrigued that she immersed herself in the study.
“In New York City there are only a few studios that offer this type of practice. Katonah Yoga is not your typical yoga class. It’s more of a workshop style where students learn to investigate ‘the why’ behind the pose,” she says.
Over the pandemic, Blumenkranz returned to her native California, brought with her the skills she honed from New York and founded Pasadena’s newest studio, Archetype Yoga.
“I wanted to turn my relationship with movement into a viable source of income — rather than being at a computer. In the last few years, my time shifted between designing shoes to teaching yoga, and having left my communities back in New York, it seemed like a natural progression to open a studio,” she adds.
“At Archetype Yoga, we focus on the awareness of moving into a pose that combines greater stability, competency and imagination. We like to say we’re like a yoga hospital.”
She and her teachers read bodies and get to the root cause of where an injury is coming from.
“We give our students the tools to develop a formal practice by learning how to measure their poses, find a 90-degree angle, orient themselves on a grid and use their imagination to map out a pose, then we use repetition to refine them,” she says.
Students of all ages and stages are welcome at Archetype Yoga.
“Our instructors have a trained eye and can ease students into a pose with the use of lots of props, like chairs, straps, blocks and blankets. Then, we use powerful adjustments to give students a pathway to experience a pose that might otherwise be limiting.”
Yoga sometimes carries a perceived notion that some poses are too difficult or you have to be flexible to practice.
“I was a dancer most of my life,” she says. “But even still, some poses seemed impossible, that is until I learned how to measure up in a Katonah Yoga class.
“At the core of our work is body and foot reading,” she says. “Most students experience a fundamental shift in their bodies, and this becomes the inciting catalyst for change.
“Private sessions would be a really great option for a more mature adult,” she says. “They are the best way to understand how your posture changes over time and reveals how you inhabit your body. They are informative for all and are particularly well suited for individuals experiencing pain.”
Blumenkranz compares her teachers to Jedi masters.
All Katonah Yoga teachers receive an additional 200-hour yoga certification. They are trained in adjustments, body reading, face reading, pranayama, the five elements, and body mapping known as the ‘magic square,’ just to name a few. These training sessions produce laser-focused instructors able to use their detailed eyes to understand their students’ practice. They are armed with an arsenal of unique body-altering poses and adjustments that take students to a new place. They leave their mark by enhancing a students’ capacity for breath and achieving a level of alchemy that is euphoric. Thus, our teachers leave a lasting impression by the potency of their work.
At Archetype Yoga, Blumenkranz and her teachers host daily yoga classes, monthly workshops and trainings. The studio serves as a place of study for students to learn technique, measure up on the mat, have fun and hang out.
“We want to make it easy to practice,” she says. “We offer snacks, coffee, tea, water, a charging station, complimentary yoga mats and all the props needed for practice. Upon arrival, no matter how their day has been or how busy they are, our studio is a refuge of calm and ease. You just have to show up.”
638 E. Colorado Boulevard, Suite 301, Pasadena