Gary Olson has decades of experience in yoga, meditation, and martial arts. He has harnessed this experience to develop a unique system of yoga.
Gary opened the Ashram Yoga Studio in Kirkland in 2006. He has taught more than 10,000 yoga classes in his 13 years of teaching , including Power Yoga, Bikrams Yoga, and Hamsa Hatha Kriya classes. He has taught Deva Meditation ( T.M. ) to over 200 students through Raja Yoga weekend courses and he has trained over 100 yoga teachers.
Starting from early childhood, Gary’s life was filled with yoga, martial arts, and meditation. He practiced yoga alongside his mother. His martial arts experience covered many disciplines. He holds various degrees of black belts in Hapkido, Tae Kwando, and Chinese Kenpo Karate, and has studied Muai Tai, Boxing, Kickboxing, Aikido, and Jujitsu. He practiced beside some of the world’s most influential martial arts masters, including Ed Parker, Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, and legendary Hapkido master Bong Soo Hahn.
He learned the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique as a teenager and has continued his twice daily program ever since. In 1984 he received instruction on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali during a three month “TM Sidhis” course in Cobb Mountain CA, becoming a Sidha yogi. Gary developed his unique understanding of yoga during the next 20 years through the combined practice of TM, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and extensive studies of the Bhagavad Gita.
Gary discovered Bikram's yoga in 1998. Finding a deep transcendent state of being through hot yoga, he began his daily hot yoga practice. For two years, Gary dedicated himself to a nearly daily Bikram yoga practice with occasional Power Yoga classes. When Gary completed the "Bikram Challenge", (60 Bikram classes in 60 days) he realized that this extremely effective system felt incomplete. Gary then experimented with his practice, incorporating different stretching and yoga postures borrowed from his childhood yoga practice and his extensive martial arts background. This began his unique system incorporating traditional yoga and Bikram yoga along with the spirit, discipline and focus of martial arts, all combined with over thirty five years of daily TM practice.
Gary opened his first yoga school (Hot Yoga of Laurelhurst) after completing Ana Forrest teacher training in 2000. It was at this school that he refined his unique Power Yoga system to become its own complete yoga structure. In an advanced teacher training for certified Bikrams teachers at the Relational Yoga Manderam in Colorado taught by long-time senior Bikram instructor Mary Jarvis, Gary was inspired to live for two months in the Rocky Mountains. Living in silence and isolation while fasting in a high altitude cabin, without power or external stimulus, Gary learned to teach the Hamsa and the Hamsa Hatha Kriya and Deva Meditation.
Gary returned to Seattle to manage the Sanctuary Yoga of Redmond, teaching his system of yoga for over two years to regularly sold-out rooms. He then opened the Ashram Studio in 2006. Gary continues to teach regular classes, and is expanding his unique system by training new teachers and meditators every year.