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Move your body 

click to enlarge PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER

The Yoga Centre is celebrating 17 years of dance, yoga, and movement in SLO with a 12-hour festival of free classes April 18. The curriculum includes Gyrotonics, women’s ecstatic dance, adult and kids’ yoga, and pole dancing, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. That’s just the beginning.

Owner Amy Swan said she’s on a mission to change people’s perception of yoga.
“It’s amazing what yoga does,” Swan said. “It’s not just about flexibility. People think ‘oh, I’m not flexible’, ‘I’m not a pretzel’ or it’s just too hard. It’s exercise but it’s more than that: It can be used as physical therapy; people are using it to treat addiction; it’s being used as therapy in prisons and for people with cancer. Yoga improves everything.”

Swan has brought a host of new classes to the Yoga Centre’s line up that prove yoga is more than stretching. Beginning with the Yoga Challenge. This is a month-long experiment that includes yoga six times a week and uses Cal Poly kinesiology students to track the physical results of participants. Swan is confident that participants will see real results in body-mass index, flexibility, and strength.

“Also,” Swan said, “the group will be participating in a mass intention experiment—if you have seen or heard of The Secret movie you know what I am referring to here—the group will set an intention for both the well being of the city and a personal intention that are measurable.”

Swan said the group will be connected via a blog and will be journaling daily in a personal yoga journal. The Yoga Challenge begins April 18 and continues until May 16. It costs $60.

Yoga Centre is also starting a series of restorative yoga classes, aimed at people with advanced age, injuries, chronic pain, fatigue, or for people who are just not at their peak physical health. Swan said she hopes this type of yoga becomes so accepted that doctors will begin prescribing yoga in the same way they prescribe physical therapy to patients. 

“My goal for the Yoga Therapy program at the Yoga Centre is that we bridge that gap,” Swan said, “and make yoga accessible and normal for those that are healing.”

If none of that sounds like fun, Swan is also starting pole-dance classes for women. Really. There will be an introduction to pole-dance classes on Sundays, starting on the 18th, and ongoing classes every Wednesday night. Swan said she can also bring the classes to birthday parties and bachelorette parties. The parties are just for fun, but pole dancing, Swan said is great exercise.
“I think it’s good for San Luis,” she said, “it’s a little more edge and a little more fun.” The Yoga Centre is located at 3422 Miguelito Court in San Luis Obispo. For more info visit: or call: 598-7100.

Fast Facts:

Cal Poly is bringing noted physicist Dr. Barbara Goss Levi to SLO to  speak on the subject Understanding Climate Change: Probable Causes, Possible Solutions Tuesday, April 21, in Philips Hall at the PAC. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Dr. Levi has been a writer and senior editor at Physics Today magazine for more than 30 years. She is co-editor of the book Global Warming: Physics and Facts. In addition to writing, she has studied energy and climate change and has been a consultant to the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment. Her presentation will address the science of climate change and examine some of the tactics and strategies, from individual actions to national policies, for dealing with global warming. There will be a Q&A session after the talk. The program starts at 8 p.m. For more info, call Prof. Pete Schwartz at 756-1220 or contact him via

The City of SLO is ready to dedicate phase four of the railroad safety trail, between Hathway and Foothill Boulevard in SLO. On Thursday, April 30, at 11:30 a.m. enjoy light refreshments and celebrate the conclusion of another section of the trail. Walking or cycling to the dedication is encouraged, however, if you must drive, Sierra Vista Hospital will allow parking for the event on the top deck of their new parking structure at the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Casa Street. The bike path is located only two short blocks east on Foothill Boulevard, between the railroad tracks and California Boulevard.  For more info, or to RSVP contact  Barbara Ehrbar before April 28th, at  or call:

Strokes and plugs was compiled by Kylie Mendonca. Email your events and news to

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