GARY OLSON

Gary Olson’s yoga journey began in childhood. He grew up watching his mother practice yoga, imitating her moves and attending classes alongside her. Meditation and martial arts were paramount in his early years, and Gary went on to achieve various degrees of black belts in Hapkido, Tae Kwando, and Chinese Kenpo Karate, and practice with some of the world’s most influential martial arts masters, including Ed Parker, Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, and legendary Hapkido master Bong Soo Hahn.

At just 13, Gary had become so skilled at controlling his vital forces that during a biofeedback program at the University of Washington where he was volunteering as part of the study, he amazed researchers with his ability to control a polygraph.

As a teenager, Gary learned the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique and at 21 years old, he went on to become a Sidha yogi after completing a three-month “TM Sidhis” course in Cobb Mountain, California. Gary developed his unique understanding of yoga over the next 20 years through the combined practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM), the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and extensive studies of the Bhagavad Gita.

Gary discovered Bikram's yoga in 1998 and for two years, Gary dedicated himself to a nearly daily Bikram yoga practice with occasional Power Yoga classes. After completing the "Bikram Challenge" (60 Bikram classes in 60 days) Gary realized this extremely effective system felt incomplete. He began to experiment with his practice, creating a unique system of yoga, incorporating stretching and postures borrowed from his childhood yoga practice and his extensive martial arts background, as well as aspects from more than 35 years of daily TM practice.

Gary opened his first hot yoga studio in 2000 after completing Ana Forrest teacher training and it was at Hot Yoga of Laurelhurst that he refined this unique Power Yoga system. In an advanced teacher training session 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, without power or external stimulus, and while fasting in a high altitude cabin, Gary learned to teach the Hamsa, the Hamsa Hatha Kriya and Deva Meditation.

Gary returned to Seattle to manage the Sanctuary Yoga of Redmond, teaching his system of yoga for more than two years to regularly sold-out rooms. He opened the Ashram Studio in Kirkland in 2006 and the second location in Bellevue in 2016. Gary continues to teach regular classes, and is expanding his unique system by training new teachers and meditators every year. Gary has taught more than 10,000 yoga classes in his 16 years of teaching, including Power Yoga, Bikram Yoga, and Hamsa Hatha Kriya classes. He has taught Deva Meditation (T.M.) to more than 300 students and has trained more than 200 teachers over the years. Though there isn’t much time for other pursuits, Gary’s interests also include skiing, water skiing, tennis and playing guitar. He has a 15-year-old German Shepherd, Jack, and an 8-year-old Cavadoodle called Juno.