Member Feature: Constance Steinkamp

11084142_957095420975888_3007410871668966632_oFor the past few weeks, yoga teacher Constance Steinkamp has hosted Reboot, a 50-minute, mid-week refresh session, held on Wednesday mornings at 8 a.m. The class is a free perk for Nebulites, allowing them engage their mind, body and breath in the Events Space.

“I would say that Reboot is just that,” Steinkamp says, “a recharge, a midweek pick-me-up. It helps you to get into your body, into embracing your fullest potential. I think of this style as a fluid meditation. The more tension that we can release from the body intrinsically releases tension from the mind. So that’s why the physical practice is so important. The fact of the matter is that we have bodies and if we’re holding a lot of tension in our body, it’ll create blockages; mentally, emotionally, socially. When we can work out the physical tension, it causes this visceral effect that enlivens the mind the creative process and your ability to feel inspired and enthusiastic about what you’re doing.”

She adds that “Another thing prominent throughout my teaching career is making yoga accessible to everyone. I find that my teaching varies from space-to-space. I’m always interested in teaching to the people that are right in front of me. I don’t have a preconceived notion of ‘this is what it is.’ I feel like a bit of a chameleon in that I want to make it accessible and appropriate to the people I’m teaching that day.”

For Nebulites, she feels that “maybe we won’t get into chanting in this space, for example; it’s more about releasing. I’m thinking of people who are sitting at a desk all day; a lot of techies. I know when I’m sitting at a desk, I’m building tension in my neck and shoulders. So, at Nebula, my focus is on guiding a practice which releases tension from a person who is sitting at a desk much of their time.”

Steinkamp’s been practicing yoga for a dozen years, starting out with an ashtanga practice at the old Marbles studio in Lafayette Square and moving through a variety of coursework, studios and teachers since. She became a teacher, herself, in 2012, after a year-plus spent living in ashrams in India. She’s also practiced and taught in the American west, in California, Oregon and Arizona, as well as a summer spent living in New York. Noting that she’s been “bouncing” through St. Louis for the past few years, she also co-operated a collective/yoga space called Annex, just around the corner on Cherokee, now home to the TOCO Shop.

1965542_726891867351513_2061285882_o“It seems that basically since I’ve found yoga, I’ve been in-and-out of St. Louis wandering around doing what feels right, following directions that feel good,” Steinkamp says. “I’m starting to feel inspired to make something a little more substantial. I’m doing the full-time yoga thing now; I’m studio manager at Shanti Yoga in Maplewood, as well as offering a full schedule of classes.

Classes in other settings may be longer than the class at Nebula. Yet she says that while the session at Nebula may be compact, it can be a part of a larger whole of healthy, aligned living. And good work can be done in three-quarters of an hour.

“The ultimate goal of yoga is to become the observer,” she says. “The experiencer of the experience, if you will. When you’re in alignment – your body, muscles, bones — you’re able to work more efficiently, you’re at a more-peaceful place in your heart and mind, you’ll connect with the world in a way that’s more-cohesive.”

With Wednesday’s Reboot session, Steinkamp also feels that she’s adding something to the culture of Nebula.

“I think it’s important, in this kind of space, to bring people together in a community aspect,” she says. It’s good to have healthy engagements together, to have that balance. This is what I’m trying to bring to the table: a way to connect to one another on a different level..”

“That’s what’s great about Nebula,” she adds. “It’s a co-working space that’s all about connecting with each other and working on whatever it is you’re working on, and seeing if there’s a possibility for collaboration. That is yoga, in a sense: the union of people in harmony with each other to create larger vision. You can’t do that as an individual satellite floating around in outer space. You need to be connected.”

The next Reboot is Wednesday, May 25; a limited number of mats are provided, or bring your own. Class starts at 8 a.m. sharp and is over by 9 for those drop-in members using the Events Space. Non-members can also join in for a minimum $5 donation.