Vacancy: Opening the Body to Pranayama

Rahel Wasserfall is the incredible yoga instructor behind Artemis Yoga’s four-week Pranayama Series. With this interview, Rahel shares some insight into what Pranayama is, what it can do for us, and why Asana practice is necessary before! Join the first day of the series on Saturday, April 7 at 9:15AM to start your Spring off right!

  1. What is Pranayama?

Rahel Wasserfall

Pranayama is breathwork. It’s learning to access the breath in order to localize it in the body, see where it is, and to quiet the mind through technique. “Prana” means energy. So, in Pranayama, we are working with our energy levels in our bodies. While yoga postures work the physical body, pranayama works to create space between the breath and the mind.  When we connect the mind to the breath, we become aware of our breath and by doing so, you can quiet the mind and focus. The result of this kind of work is a feeling of quiet that is centered, and present. Pranayama is difficult because in other work you can extend your arm and feel it and see that your arm is stretching. The breath is hard to localize. It is something that is with us from the beginning and to our end when the breath leaves us in death.  The breath is a companion that we have all of our life. Without breath, there is no life. When we are anxious, so is our breath. When we are able to bring the mind and the breath together to quiet it, we are in a position to be more attuned to what is. It brings us well being. So in a sense, Pranayama is a well-being tool. 

  1. Why is Asana practice necessary before taking a Pranayama class?

Asana is necessary because the breath is such an elusive part of ourselves- we are very much in contact with it and yet not in contact at the same time. We know that we are breathing all of the time, but we are not aware of our breathing. In Pranayama, we are becoming aware of our breathing- that is, how we breathe and how we bring the breath in contact with the body. In order to do so, we need the openness of the Asana. We need to create a body, a container, where the breath can be. And if your body is not strong or open and if you don’t have those diaphragms open (there are three: lower, middle, and throat), we cannot access the breath.  Creating a sequence that is different from a sequence we would do in other classes, but using the same poses, we can create a vacancy, in a sense. We create an opening so that we can then access the breath. Asana is necessary because we cannot start Pranayama until we have a real understanding of opening our bodies through the posture work.

  1. How do Pranayama classes differ from Iyengar or Flow Yoga classes?

We use the same postures from these classes, but we create a sequence that is different in order to use all of the diaphragms. Depending on what kind of Pranayama we are going to work with, we are going to focus on an area of our body to open it. After, we will be able to work with the breath. It is different because it is  quieter; It is a more intimate practice. Students might see that we are using some of the same poses used in Restorative Yoga, but Pranayama is a more quiet practice. We have an hour for each class in this series. We are going to sequence it so that for the first half an hour (or even more), through these poses and with the use of props (blanket, chair, and bolster) we will work to open those three diaphragms. Then, after that work, when we are more quiet, we can start working with the breath.

  1. What is your favorite Pranayama breathing exercise?

There are so many of them! It depends on what we need it for. If I need to quiet my mind, I would do an interrupted exhalation pattern. But, if I need to create more fire in me, I would use another kind of breath. So, it depends. As with Asana, the kind of Pranayama that we do depends on what we want to achieve.

  1. What can students expect from the Pranayama series?

They can expect to become aware of their body and their breath and the relationship between the breath and their body to quiet their mind and focus. They can expect to learn a few Pranayama exercises. This is really an introduction series to Pranayama. We are working on becoming aware, learning Pranayama, and practicing a lot of repetition because that is the way we learn. In this four-week series, we are going to go very slow. Slow is better. We are going to explore becoming aware of the breath and where it is. We are going to work with some basic Pranayama, the sounded breath (Ujayii), interrupted inhalation, interrupted exhalation, and we might touch, at the end, sitting Pranayama. Depending on the students attending, we are going to start with sequencing laying down and then sitting Pranayama. In order to achieve sitting Pranayama, you have to have the spine erect (achieved through laying down Pranayama). You have to be able to keep your embodiment strong and need the muscles that are required. At the beginning, it is a lot to ask of someone to do sitting Pranayama. It requires different ways of putting our legs which we will first learn through laying down. Pranayama always comes after Savasana, or after the deep relaxation.


Privacy Policy

Protecting your private information is our priority. This Statement of Privacy applies to, and Artemis Yoga, LLC and governs data collection and usage. For the purposes of this Privacy Policy, unless otherwise noted, all references to Artemis Yoga, LLC include and Artemis Yoga. The Artemis Yoga website is a business site. By using the Artemis Yoga website, you consent to the data practices described in this statement.
Collection of your Personal Information In order to better provide you with products and services offered, Artemis Yoga may collect personally identifiable information, such as your:
  First and Last Name
  Mailing Address
  E-mail Address
  Phone Number
If you purchase Artemis Yoga’s products and services, we collect billing and credit card information. This information is used to complete the purchase transaction.
We do not collect any personal information about you unless you voluntarily provide it to us.

However, you may be required to provide certain personal information to us when you elect to use certain products or services. These may include: (a) registering for an account; (b) entering a sweepstakes or contest sponsored by us or one of our partners; (c) signing up for special offers from selected third parties; (d) sending us an email message; (e) submitting your credit card or other payment information when ordering and purchasing products and services. To wit, we will use your information for, but not limited to, communicating with you in relation to services and/or products you have requested from us. We also may gather additional personal or non-personal information in the future.
Use of your Personal Information
Artemis Yoga collects and uses your personal information to operate and deliver the services you have requested.
Artemis Yoga may also use your personally identifiable information to inform you of other products or services available from Artemis Yoga and its affiliates.
Sharing Information with Third Parties
Artemis Yoga does not sell, rent or lease its customer lists to third parties.
Artemis Yoga may share data with trusted partners to help perform statistical analysis, send you email or postal mail, provide customer support, or arrange for deliveries. All such third parties are prohibited from using your personal information except to provide these services to Artemis Yoga, and they are required to maintain the confidentiality of your information.
Artemis Yoga may disclose your personal information, without notice, if required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to: (a) conform to the edicts of the law or comply with legal process served on Artemis Yoga or the site; (b) protect and defend the rights or property of Artemis Yoga; and/or (c) act under exigent circumstances to protect the personal safety of users of Artemis Yoga, or the public.
Tracking User Behavior
Artemis Yoga may keep track of the websites and pages our users visit within Artemis Yoga, in order to determine what Artemis Yoga services are the most popular. This data is used to deliver customized content and advertising within Artemis Yoga to customers whose behavior indicates that they are interested in a particular subject area.
Automatically Collected Information
Information about your computer hardware and software may be automatically collected by Artemis Yoga. This information can include: your IP address, browser type, domain names, access times and referring website addresses. This information is used for the operation of the service, to maintain quality of the service, and to provide general statistics regarding use of the Artemis Yoga website.
Use of Cookies
The Artemis Yoga website may use “cookies” to help you personalize your online experience. A cookie is a text file that is placed on your hard disk by a web page server. Cookies cannot be used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer. Cookies are uniquely assigned to you, and can only be read by a web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you.
One of the primary purposes of cookies is to provide a convenience feature to save you time. The purpose of a cookie is to tell the Web server that you have returned to a specific page. For example, if you personalize Artemis Yoga pages, or register with Artemis Yoga site or services, a cookie helps Artemis Yoga to recall your specific information on subsequent visits. This simplifies the process of recording your personal information, such as billing addresses, shipping addresses, and so on. When you return to the same Artemis Yoga website, the information you previously provided can be retrieved, so you can easily use the Artemis Yoga features that you customized.
You have the ability to accept or decline cookies. Most Web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. If you choose to decline cookies, you may not be able to fully experience the interactive features of the Artemis Yoga services or websites you visit.
This website contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the content or privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of any other site that collects personally identifiable information.
Security of your Personal Information
Artemis Yoga secures your personal information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. Artemis Yoga uses the following methods for this purpose:
  SSL Protocol
When personal information (such as a credit card number) is transmitted to other websites, it is protected through the use of encryption, such as the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol.
We strive to take appropriate security measures to protect against unauthorized access to or alteration of your personal information. Unfortunately, no data transmission over the Internet or any wireless network can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, while we strive to protect your personal information, you acknowledge that: (a) there are security and privacy limitations inherent to the Internet which are beyond our control; and (b) security, integrity, and privacy of any and all information and data exchanged between you and us through this Site cannot be guaranteed.
Right to Deletion
Subject to certain exceptions set out below, on receipt of a verifiable request from you, we will:
Delete your personal information from our records; and
Direct any service providers to delete your personal information from their records.
Please note that we may not be able to comply with requests to delete your personal information if it is necessary to:
Complete the transaction for which the personal information was collected, fulfill the
terms of a written warranty or product recall conducted in accordance with federal law,
provide a good or service requested by you, or reasonably anticipated within the context
of our ongoing business relationship with you, or otherwise perform a contract between
you and us;
Detect security incidents, protect against malicious, deceptive, fraudulent, or illegal
activity; or prosecute those responsible for that activity;
Debug to identify and repair errors that impair existing intended functionality;
Exercise free speech, ensure the right of another consumer to exercise his or her right of
free speech, or exercise another right provided for by law;
Comply with the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act;
Engage in public or peer-reviewed scientific, historical, or statistical research in the public interest that adheres to all other applicable ethics and privacy laws, when our deletion of the information is likely to render impossible or seriously impair the achievement of such research, provided we have obtained your informed consent;
Enable solely internal uses that are reasonably aligned with your expectations based on your relationship with us;
Comply with an existing legal obligation; or
Otherwise use your personal information, internally, in a lawful manner that is compatible with the context in which you provided the information.
Children Under Thirteen
Artemis Yoga does not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from children under the age of thirteen. If you are under the age of thirteen, you must ask your parent or guardian for permission to use this website.
E-mail Communications
From time to time, Artemis Yoga may contact you via email for the purpose of providing announcements, promotional offers, alerts, confirmations, surveys, and/or other general communication. In order to improve our Services, we may receive a notification when you open an email from Artemis Yoga or click on a link therein.
If you would like to stop receiving marketing or promotional communications via email from Artemis Yoga, you may opt-out of such communications by clicking on the UNSUBSCRIBE button.
Changes to this Statement
Artemis Yoga reserves the right to change this Privacy Policy from time to time. We will notify you about significant changes in the way we treat personal information by sending a notice to the primary email address specified in your account, by placing a prominent notice on our website, and/or by updating any privacy information. Your continued use of the website and/or Services available after such modifications will constitute your: (a) acknowledgement of the modified Privacy Policy; and (b) agreement to abide and be bound by that Policy.
Contact Information
Artemis Yoga welcomes your questions or comments regarding this Statement of Privacy. If you believe that Artemis Yoga has not adhered to this Statement, please contact Artemis Yoga at: 
Artemis Yoga, LLC
639 Mt. Auburn Street
Watertown, Massachusetts 02472
Email Address:
Telephone number:
(617) 393-3590
Effective as of September 10, 2021

Accommodation Policy

Artemis Yoga is committed to enable individuals with disabilities to participate as fully as possible in classes at our yoga studio. On the first level there is a wheelchair accessible entrance, yoga class studio and bathroom.
All classes on the first floor are wheelchair accessible in our flagship, primary studio. The lower level studio is reached by two stairways. In the event that a class in the lower level is not accessible to a participant, the studio owner or manager on-premise will adjust that class location to the first floor, grade level studio. With reasonable notice, this change will readily be made as an accommodation.

The request can be made in person, via email or telephone and advance notice of the request to the studio is appreciated. Artemis Yoga will make an earnest effort and attempt to provide reasonable accommodation pending timely notice by participants needing such accommodations.

Artemis Yoga will also work with the individual to ensure that participation in class is achievable. This may include providing additional props, chairs or hands-on assistance that the teacher is able to deliver while continuing to teach the class to all participants.

If you have any questions regarding this policy, please reach out directly to the studio owner, Liz Padula.

Newcomer 2 week Pass

Unlimited Yoga for Just $49

Newcomer 2 week Pass

Unlimited Yoga for Just $49


Artemis Yoga offers “live” online yoga classes through Zoom. To join, find an inviting space to practice and follow the steps below:

Step 1: Use your MINDBODY account with Artemis Yoga to register for the class. 

  • Meeting ID in the class description.
  • Please register in advance to streamline attendance and to allow us to send you a recording if you miss the class or join late.
  • Please register even if the class is listed as “free community class.”

Step 2: Log into and enter the Class-Specific Meeting ID then click “Join”.  

  • Meeting ID in the class description. 
  • Start the login process 10-15 minutes before class so that you are ready.
  • We recommend downloading the Zoom client on your computer, laptop, tablet, or phone. You can enter the Meeting ID number from there.

Step 3: Once you click on the Meeting ID, register with your name and email in Zoom. Please use your real name so we can match with Mindbody. You will then be entered in the “Waiting Room.” 

  • The Waiting Room is where Artemis Staff checks attendance. If we can’t identify you from your Zoom user name, you will not be let into class. 
  • You will be asked if you registered in Mindbody, if you had trouble doing so, please click “No” and stay in the Waiting Room, we will assist you after class. 
  • We start letting people in from the Waiting Room 15 minutes prior to class. Large classes take a bit for us to check everyone in, please be patient.

Step 4: When let in from the waiting room, click “Join with Computer Audio.” 

  • We mute participants during class but you may unmute yourself at any time to ask questions or to say hello! We like to see you and greet you, though you may choose to turn your camera off. 
  • Use “Chat” to communicate if you do not want to speak out loud. 
  • Zoom prompts for consent to be in a recorded class, please accept so you may continue to be in class. Note that the recording is set to record only the teacher who is in the spotlight. Recordings are sent to registrants who are absent.