Verde Is The Color

James Doherty Yoga


As a child I learned yoga from a variety of sources. I got the yamas and niyamas from my mother and grandmother, although we didn’t call them that. Asana was initially passed down via martial arts and summer camp yoga instructors. The first pose I recall learning is crow pose, at 9 years old. Back then they were often taught under the guise of games and challenges, like “who can hold crow the longest?” As an adolescent and young adult, I spent years learning martial arts, and studying forms of Karate and Tae Kwon Do; working on core, balance, concentration and breathing.

A back injury changed my life in 2004. A year of physical therapy combined with lots of pain medicine had me feeling doped up, cranky, and still hurt. Health professionals told me my best strategy going forward would be pain management. This angered me, and yet ultimately inspired me, because I knew there had to be a better way. The injury, which had felt like a curse, led me to the mat, so it was ultimately a blessing.

A couple of years into the practice I noticed something about myself. For a long time I had been obsessed with thought, and rewarded for it by our culture. It was the absence of thought I experienced during and after class that made me notice my other state, the one of constant mental chatter. What started out as a means for physical relief became one of mental relief. From there the growth accelerated, and it’s been a strange and wild ride.

A lifetime of physical training, adherence to safety principles, and a healthy sense of adventure influence the structure of classes I lead. Those are my backbones, but who shows up determines the direction we take as a class. I’ll often use music to help build the flow, and get the blood pumping. I keep the thermostat around 78, give or take a few degrees, so you might call it warm vinyasa flow.

I hope you’ll come wiggle your tail bone between poses. I wish that you find peace of mind, fullness of heart, and bodily strength. You may not get all of those things immediately, but I can promise you that you’ll thank yourself for coming.

I wish I could share yoga with the whole world, as I’ve come to know and love it and I hope you’ll give me that opportunity. Life is co-creation and a gift to be shared. Come join the party, all you need to bring is yourself.