More Client Testimonials

Cassandra’s approach to teaching yoga is genuine and multi-faceted. She understands the benefits of yoga and imparts her wealth of knowledge in a way that is authentic, challenging, and fun. Her adjustments are amazing and she has the gift for helping students achieve the maximum physical benefits in way that is gentle, supportive, and feels right. Her yoga feels good–physically and spiritually. – Christina

I tried a lot of different yoga studio in the DC area before I found nilambu. I love the small class sizes. I know that if I do something wrong she’ll see it and correct it on me. She’s also very intuitive and responsive to the needs and moods of the participants and readily adapts. She takes the time to get to know her students and doesn’t assume anything. Nilambu Classes can be hard work, but I always feel like I’m being pushed in a good way. It’s not just an exercise class that’s reproducing the busy part of my day, making my mind more frantic. The atmosphere is perfect for concentrating on a movement. I’m in good hands and can’t wait for classes to start again. – Carole

What Are nilambu notes?

Welcome to the first edition of nilambu notes! Cass Metzger, RYT, writes this monthly e-newsletter to deepen your understanding of your physical yoga practice. This premier issue also introduces and announces the opening of nilambu: a personal yoga studio in Washington DC. I want to share my new enterprise with all of you, and I hope that you will forward this news along to your friends (especially those who live in the DC area).

Why read a newsletter on yoga? For those who haven’t yet experienced the benefits of yoga, maybe this news will tempt you to try. (To find a registered teacher in your area click here For those of you who already practice yoga, you know the experience on the mat is very important and an essential prerequisite. No book knowledge can substitute for the sensations of actual experience on your mat.

Yet many don’t have the time to investigate yoga beyond the physical practice. Yoga philosophy clearly delineates the difference between intellectual knowledge and experiential knowledge. But the immeasurable riches behind and beyond the physical practice of yoga are not widely known.

What elements of yoga will nilambu notes address? nilambu notes will expand your mind to connect with how your body extends on the mat. Only by fostering flexibility of the body, mind and soul will the full benefits of yoga be enjoyed.

These nilambu notes will be small nuggets; subsequent issues will be half the length of this introductory edition and more substantive. nilambu notes will point you to other reliable resources to enable further investigation for those interested. The scope of nilambu notes includes:

  • History Understanding the evolution can validate your own personal yoga experience.
  • Customs Diet, lifestyle and breathing can all animate your endeavors in yoga.
  • Culture The philosophy can contribute to a better integration of yoga into other aspects of your life. Yoga can seem alien to Westerners, but the culture around yoga is not as foreign as you may think.
  • Literature The popularity of yoga generates lots of books and articles which feature this ancient practice. Reviews will assist you in discerning among the overwhelming resources.
  • Current Yoga Events Special yoga conferences and meetings will also be noted.

If you have any suggestions or specific questions for nilambu notes, please don’t hesitate to submit them.

I hope you enjoy receiving nilambu notes. If this e-newsletter was forwarded to you by a friend and you’d like to register your email address to get nilambu notes directly, click here.

What is nilambu yoga?

nilambu is a place where yoga is enlivening and therapeutic. nilambu’s mission is to provide a place that makes the full practice of yoga fun, nuanced and rewarding for all – young & old, disabled & able, strong & frail, clumsy & coordinated, neophytes & old hands.

A personal studio located on the western edge of Georgetown, nilambu serves as your guide to help you explore yoga in all its facets – physical, mental and spiritual. For a vigorous practice, yoga is offered in the vinyasa style, in which the breath is harmonized with the poses. nilambu also addresses special health challenges with restorative yoga. With tailored teaching, sessions encompass physical postures (asanas) as well as control of the life force or breath (pranayama) and meditation (dhyana).

nilambu classes are very personal to ensure close attention and support. nilambu limits classes to no more than 4 clients. nilambu offers private or semi-private sessions and special weekend intensives as well.

For more on nilambu’s services click here.

Please explore and start your yoga journey by checking out nilambu’s website.

What Does nilambu Mean?

nil : blue

ambu : water

nilambu : blue water : ocean

Washington is awash in words. nilambu, like the ocean, can help you clear away the extras and find the essentials. Water is a source of life and healing. So, too is yoga.

Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind. — 2nd Yoga Sutra of Patanjali

Ocean, who is the source of all. —- Homer, The Iliad, book XIV, line 246.

Your Back – the Upper West Side of the Body

Before Olmstead ever laid out Central Park and created an East Side and a West Side in Manhattan, an east side and west side divided the human body. The east side in yoga is the entire front of the body. The west side is the entire back of the body. These designations presume that you meet the rising sun and face east. The sun sets in the west, on your back.

In yoga, you always look forward to the new day.

Note that even the word “back” is a flexible word. In English the word “back” can act as a –

Noun: backbone; turn your back; on your back; back of the crowd
Verb: Back up; back your allegation; backed by supporters
Adjective: back draft; back pack; fullback
Adverb: stay back; roll back; sit back

Just as in language, the back of the body is often taken for granted though it’s very versatile.
Also never really seen, the back is essential. The central nervous system is central to all the systems of the body. The spinal cord carries messages through out the body and is protected by the vertebrae of the back. Further, the back comprises the largest and most dense area of muscle in the body. A healthy back is a vital part of vitality and yoga increases muscular strength and flexibility of your upper west side.

Seated forward bend is a basic pose in yoga. Health clubs commonly use this posture to evaluate flexibility. In yoga, seated forward bend is called Paschimottanasana, which translates as intense west side stretch pose:

paschima = west;

ottana (uttana) = intense stretch;

asana = pose

Properly done, the entire west side of the body is intensely stretched. Popular activities such as running and lifting weights make us strong but often at the expense of a flexible posterior. Yoga complements and balances the results of these actions.

In sports the fullback is a defensive player. Taking care of your back with yoga is an affirmative defense against illness. A strong and flexible back

  • Ensures the health of your vertebrae,
  • Protects your spinal cord, and
  • Lubricates your central nervous system for the smooth running of your entire body.

Yoga Journal Review of May/June 2004 Issue

This issue is chock full of good infrmation and very worth 5 bucks.

Of note:

  1. Bringing Balance Home by Cyndi Lee (page 85). Cyndi Lee is the founder of OM Yoga Center, where I did 200 hours of teacher training study. Her prescription is, as always, excellent.
  2. Positive I.D. by Nora Isaacs (page 106) Improved body image is an important benefit of yoga not often recognized. Makes mention of Om Yoga Center too.
  3. Living Yoga by Judith Hanson Lasater (page 143). Ms. Lasater is a wise woman and trained me to teach restorative yoga.
  4. Heroes, Saints and Sages by Colleen Morton Busch (page 120). Read for fun and learn the myths and legends behind the names.
  5. For Beginners: Bridge Pose by Claudia Cummins (page 56). A great all around pose with excellent pictures and instructions.

Roger Cole and Gary Kraftsow are both very knowledgeable and reputable. Their contributions to this issue are well worth your time as well.

Confused By All the Types of Yoga?

What are they? What do they entail? Click here.

Also available at the link above are answers to these questions:

  • What is yoga?
  • What’s with all the types of yoga?
  • What is a yoga path?
  • What is hatha yoga?
  • What is the traditional literature of yoga?
  • What is teh Bhagavad Gita?
  • What is the Hatha Yoga Pradipika?
  • What are the Yoga Sutras?
  • What is the difference between Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the Yoga Sutras?
  • What are the Upanishads?
  • Who was Patanjali?
  • Is yoga a religion?
  • What is the best way to relax?
  • Why and how to meditate?
  • What are the 8 limbs of yoga?
  • What are the 9 obstacles in yoga?
  • What are some quick tips on how to meditate?
  • How do you give yourself a hot oil massage?

New Class Sessions to Begin in 10 Days!

New nilambu class sessions begin Monday, May 30, 2004.

Yoga in the summer? Yeah, its summertime, but the cicadas are coming! Get some relief from the sound, smell and annoyance of these bugs with a great indoor yoga class! See this CNN article.

Class levels: The moon governs the tides, and the tides move the ocean. nilambu classes offers classes at various levels. In recognition of the mercurial nature of our bodies, these guidelines simply guide. At any time in any class, should you need to practice at a higher level or lower level, nilambu’s small class size can accommodate. You are the captain of the ship, but I am happy to consult to find your most suitable class.

Monday Evenings
6:30 to 7:45 pm
Full Moon
This session is designed for those who have never practiced yoga.

Tuesday Evenings
6:30 to 7:45 pm
Quarter Moon
This session is flexible for those who are rising or receding in their practice.

Tuesday Mornings
10:00 to 11:15 am
Full Moon
This session is designed for those who have never practiced yoga.

Saturday Mornings
10:00 to 11:15 am
Quarter Moon
This session is flexible for those who are rising or receding in their practice.

For more detailed information on nilambu course structure and offerings click here.

Cost: Classes will run for eight weeks and cost $160.00 per person (cash or check please).

Free: All new clients are entitled to a free 45 minute private orientation session to review goals and concerns. Please contact me directly to schedule at

Schedule: No classes will be held one week in June: on Saturday, June 5th, Monday June 7th or Tuesday June 8th. This summer 8 week session will last nine weeks and conclude the week of July 26th.

Other services: Private and semi-private sessions are a great way to boost your practice or to hone in on a particular challenge. To encourage consistency, special private packages are available.

Neptune Seminars afford time to go to the depths for several hours on a weekend. In this format, students can concentrate and distill aspects of yoga in a manner that a regular class session simply doesn’t allow time to do.

Teacher: All classes are taught by me (Cass Metzger, RYT). Learn about my extensive training and qualifications here

Client Testimonials

“Can I start drooling now?” – Olivia”

All I need now is a Mai Tai with a really long straw.” – Anthony

“I feel less aggravated but I’m not sure if that’s because of restorative yoga or because I’ve been away from my (4) kids for an hour.” – Beatrice

“We miss you; your classes were so athletic.” – Anonymous

“You can feel the energy of her warmth and wit vibrating in the room. The class atmosphere encourages me to strive, not compete. It’s a welcome relief and change from the hectic, pressured pace of my daily life.” – Angela