A quote from the 20th century world teacher, Krishnamurti:

"To go very far, you must begin very near, and the near is you, the “you” that you must understand.."


Yoga teaches three things worth developing in oneself


my students
Yoga Figure
Tree Pose
Kathleen Wright
Blue Light
Very Near Yoga Studio
Very Near Yoga
Very Near Yoga Studio
Gilpin Place Apartment Bldg.
1301 Gilpin Avenue, Ground Floor
Corner of Gilpin & Franklin
Wilmington, DE 19806

Direct line: 302-981-0777
email: yoga1301@gmail.com

B.K.S. Iyengar

It is with great sense of loss that we have learned of the passing of B.K.S. Iyengar in India. He would have been age 95 in December 2014. I was 30 years old when I came upon one of his early followers teaching classes in San Francisco. It changed my life and continues to do so on so many levels.

In 2005 I was finally able to be in Iyengar's presence, along with hundreds of other Iyengar teachers, when Guruji came to teach in Colorado. It was altogether emotionally, mentally and physically a fantastically important event for me and I am so grateful for all of the people who participated in bringing him to the US for one last time.

Iyengar's enduring legacy appears in this quotation from him made in the year 2000, expressing my feelings as well:

"Even though age is telling upon me, I am still experiencing new feelings. I do not hesitate to share the light of my new experiences with my pupils.

I live in my cells and live in my heart. I would like to practice yoga till my last breath, as a humble service to yoga. My only wish is to prostrate before God, surrendering my last breath in a yogic posture."

Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar, Astadala Yogamala
Volume 1, Allied Publishers, 2000

In a hurry?
Click here to view the 2018 brochure with schedule

What's new at the Very Near Yoga Studio?

We are celebrating our 20th year of continuous operations! Thank you to all of our students who have passed through our studio and those who have been with us throughout!

Regularly scheduled classes for 2018 are now posted. The Spring Series 2018 begins the first Wednesday in March. We will continue our regular class schedule through the end of June. Summer schedule will be announced soon.

Our classes are very different from the norm. You are given personal attention, props and advice on how to restore alignment and improve your overall health. Our classes are longer, smaller and therefore priced accordingly.

Enrichment of my teaching and personal practice has been encouraged in 2018 by studying with two of the superior, senior Iyengar teachers, Kevin Gardner and Manouso Manos. Many thanks to Practice Yoga Studio in Philadelphia and Simply Yoga in Princeton, NJ for hosting their workshops.

Restorative Yoga offers great solutions for the problems of aging and the stress of modern life. Using the principles of traction coupled with relaxation, using specialized props designed to facilitate realignment and energy flow, our 90 minute classes present the student with the techniques to carry on the process at home. Pranayama practice (ancient yogic deep breathing) is essential to understanding of "the how" of the poses and they respond to breath control. We practice reclining breath work, as well as seated upright pranayama. Both ways will enhance every student's experience. All of the above is what occurs in every class no matter what level student you are. At the Very Near Yoga Studio, your experience will be as though you were attending a mini workshop.

restorative yoga

The tradition of yoga in the culture of Thailand derives from both Ayurvedic Indian healing and traditional Chinese medicine. Throughout the year, the Very Near Yoga Studio classes and private lessons will incorporate these more partner-assisted stretching modalities. Your experience in our classes will then allow you to share the practice of yoga with family and friends. Kathleen has been studying with teachers Michael (Mukti) Buck (director, the Vedic Conservatory) and Rose Griscom (director, Institute of Thai Massage - USA), both masters of Thai Yoga. Kathleen's focus has always been in the style of Hatha Yoga and the study of traditional Thai Yoga is a perfect complement and extension of the discipline of physical yoga.

This age we live in creates a lot of wear & tear on the mind & on the body. Our classes are designed to teach the average adult (male & female!) how to cope.

In all of our classes, RESTORATIVE YOGA is discussed & demonstrated as a TOOL for gaining ground on:

  1. refreshing the physical & mental fatigue during the regular workday

  2. how to better manage sleep deprivation and insomnia

  3. which Yoga Poses specifically address chronic ailments such as the onset of osteoarthritis, hypertension, cardio-pulmonary diseases, glucose metabolism, interrupted sleep cycles, etc.

Are you interested in yoga-based art?

A longtime yoga practitioner, accomplished watercolorist and calligrapher, RIVA BROWN, who owns & operates the LIVING LETTERS STUDIO in Wilmington, has a series of beautiful watercolor renderings of yoga asanas for sale. If you want to have a look, follow this link: www.livingletters.biz

BE SURE TO CLICK ON TO VIEW THE ARTISTRY OF THE INDIVIDUAL POSES to admire the quality and detail of Riva's work and consider what a wonderful opportunity to purchase them (3 different sizes are available) for yourself or as a gift.

Remedial Yoga learning applies to anyone coming into class with concerns about their flexibility, endurance and or strength. All classes at Very Near Yoga are going to address the disconnect between mind and body as well as common ailments such as low back stiffness, knee problems, shoulder problems, etc. We start with an evaluation of your regular everyday posture and proceed with re-learning simply how to stand!

Economic Hard Times Policy

In keeping with the yogic tradition of SEVA (which means giving of oneself to alleviate the hardships of others), you may pay according to your ability if unable to pay our regular class fees. Please call Kathleen (981-0777) and let her know your personal challenges and when you would be coming.

Many people tell me that they cannot take a regularly scheduled class because their own agenda is so prone to changing. So that you may elect to come on different days/times, you may purchase a punch card good for 3 months for ten classes for $200. This cost is discounted from the normal $25 per class (90 minutes per class). Able-bodied seniors are eligible for a discount. The drop-in fee is $25 per class.

Most of you know that Astrology (called JYOTISA in Sanskrit) is part of the yogic tradition of bringing the light from within to the conscious mind. I have been a practicing astrologer for many years in the more psychologically based Western tradition and am now studying the more ancient system that came out of India thousands of years ago. Again, in the spirit of SEVA, I am offering non-fee based readings for those who seek solutions to Life issues. Self-study (Svadhyaya in Sanskrit) is one of the premiere principles of yogic philosophy. We look into the natal chart of your birth which can be most amazingly illuminating when you and/or your loved ones are going through difficulties. You may think Astrology has no validity and only read your Sun Sign from newspapers or magazines, but a true natal chart reading based on your birth time/place/date/year can help you understand yourself at a much deeper level. Our approach to Hatha Yoga has the same amazing possibilities of introspection and self-understanding of the physical and mental changes we go through in the process of living.

The Western tradition of astrology shows that currently all who are born in the middle to late weeks of sun signs Aries, Libra, Cancer and Capricorn are NOW being commanded by forces for change and transformation that must be heeded through action, not reaction. (NOTE: every chart contains all twelve zodiac signs, with everyone's chart, each of you will feel the effect to a greater or lesser degree of the changes noted below.)

Everyone on the planet is passing through a "spiritual knot" (Gandanta). Since 2015 and now stronger in 2018 there is a pressing need for change: structurally, in every aspect of life. We mainly look at the transit of the North and the South Nodes of the Moon (Rahu & Ketu in the Vedic system) to somewhat understand the path that we've been following and where we are going.

Note: The Vedic planetary positions of outer planets are not normally included nor do any of the planets conform to same sign positions as Western astrology. The following information is for Westerners to consider according to the Tropical Zodiac as practiced in the USA.

URANUS in the sign of ARIES (the urge to be independent, separate and pioneering your own way forward) and the slow movement of the planet PLUTO in the sign of CAPRICORN (the transformation of the shadow side of self and its integration with the Light) in stressful angles to each other (90 square aspect) is creating a pressure for self-examination and a realignment of our core values.

Materially, we are challenged (this means physically & financially) as well as spiritually to focus on cooperation and compromise. We all need to participate as a CITIZEN-DIPLOMAT during this global change of the governing patterns of all of our political and social institutions. The concept behind Hatha Yoga practice (action taken to alleviate your habitual patterns that create suffering on any/all levels) contributes MIGHTILY to being able to cope with the ongoing changes for the next seven years!

If you are interested in a chart reading, please call the 302-981-0777 number to provide me with your birth time, place, date and year.

See our video clip

When we welcomed WHYY TV 12's DELAWARE TONIGHT reporter, Megan Pinto and her cameraman, Gene Ashley, to the Very Near Yoga Studio to document how we work with our Tuesday and Thursday morning students, WHYY featured in their piece how yoga can help anyone with their balance, strength and flexibility. Click the video play button below to view what we do with props in our studio! (Footage provided by WHYY, Inc.)

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The focus at the Very Near Yoga Studio is more and more oriented to therapeutic and restorative yoga. Partially this is because the baby boomer generation is now entering their 60's and needs to pay attention to the onset of predictable physical ageing, but it is also because we all lead a more sedentary lifestyle: too much sitting! If your experience in other yoga classes has left you wondering whether you're are "fit" enough to do yoga, you will find a different experience at the Very Near Yoga Studio that can help you to understand your particular problems such arthritic joints, bad-back syndrome, etc.

Click here to see the Schedule.

You can now create your own private or small group classes: call for flexible times and locations. You can come to the Very Near Yoga Studio for individual one-on-one spot classes (@ $70/hr) or if you want to bring in another person for a 2 person private lesson, your cost is $90 for 90 minutes.

PRIVATE INSTRUCTION: Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays or Saturdays with flexible times to suit your schedule. Any time slot not on our schedule of classes is open for private appointments.

We will teach you yoga techniques using props to bring pain free movement to any area where you may have weakness or difficulty. We can help you with sports injuries, balance issues, chronic respiratory problems and headaches. The goal of private instruction is to give you the means to be your own therapist. In the long term, THIS IS A GREAT WAY TO SAVE MONEY ON MEDICAL BILLS as you continue the practice on your own at home.

Each private class will focus on different areas of the body: why? ... because everything in the body is connected to your particular ailment. We also use the extremely powerful theraputic tool of deep breathing to benefit the release of the affected areas that are distressing you.

Studio Information

Very Near Yoga Studio classes are held in a quiet, intimate space. Classes are no larger than 8 students. Class levels are mixed, props are provided to assist students in developing strength, balance, flexibility and endurance. You can therefore develop at your own pace. All classes include 15 - 20 minutes of relaxation to foster the art of meditation.

What is Yoga?

Yoga takes the individual student step-by-step to under-STAND the technique of coming alive to one's own balance, strength and flexibility.

Life is rushed and some yoga classes are taught in a fast-paced, rushed manner that does not contribute to learning on a deep level. Yoga is slow, steady learning process thats extends your brain from the bottom of your foot to the top of your head. This takes time!

The use of props, for instance, including blocks and belts to help you stretch when you "just can't reach that far"; bolsters and blankets used to gradually open the back and hips that have become "too stiff to bend that way"; chair, walls and floor to assist the spine in extension eventually will allow all of you who are new to yoga to use it as "the golden key which unlocks the door to peace, tranquility and joy". Return to top

Pricing & Policies:

Our classes are small enough for you to fit in at any level of age or flexibility. In each class you will be developing at your own rate of learning based on the Iyengar method of teaching to the individual. Our pricing is higher than the larger studios based on personalized instruction.

Classes run in 8 week segments based on $22 per class.

Note: Financial difficulties...? Please let us know and we can work together so that you can regularly attend classes.

Drop - In students who do not wish to register for a Series are permitted in any class, if there is space (first come, first served).

Drop - In students may come for a first class & decide to become a regular part of ongoing classes.

You may commence your Series mid-term, by permission of the teacher.

THE SCHOOL YEAR: Please note changes for 2018

All Series are based on 8 week segments which are to be paid for at the beginning of the 2 - month period.


Continuing Students are allowed to join ANY class to make up one of the 8 classes which were pre-paid. All make-up classes must be completed before the end of that 8 - week period (you may therefore come more than once in a given week).


The Lump Sum payment for a 2-month Series is non-refundable. Every effort to accommodate a special circumstance will be made, however, you must bring the situation to the teacher's attention immediately.


Attractive gift cards with envelopes are available for you to give an individual participation at $25/class in group classes or private classes at $70 / hour. Gift certificates are valid for 12 months from date of purchase. Return to top


CLASS SCHEDULE: All classes are not in the same location. Take time to scroll to bottom of the box below for further details. Call Kathleen at 302-981-0777 for further information.

Click here for a printable schedule.


2018 Schedule

After Work

5:30 pm
Very Near
Yoga Studio

9:30 am
Very Near
Yoga Studio
5:30 pm
Very Near
Yoga Studio
9:30 am
Very Near Yoga Studio
11:30 am
Thurs Chair Yoga
(call for registration)
9:00 am
8 - 10 a.m.
Working on your Practice

*Note - please call in advance before attending Saturday classes.

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Very Near Yoga Studio
Gilpin Place Apartment Bldg.
1301 Gilpin Avenue, Ground Floor
Corner of Gilpin & Franklin
Wilmington, DE
Phone: 302-981-0777
Class cost: Based on $25 per class; senior discount available on request.

* Newark Parks & Rec Adult Fitness
This class runs during the school year only.
George Wilson Center
220 New London Rd.
Newark, DE
Note: Preregister @ (302) 366-7000 ext 9416

FYI - Menu

| VNY Studio | | Class Descriptions | | Astrology | | Private Lessons | | Protocols | | Friday Fun |


The dedicated space of our studio is on the ground floor at the rear of the building. It is a quiet, intimate space that allows for 8 -10 students per class. We have natural light, greenery and blue sky views for a harmonious experience... Often you can hear the birds singing and the sound of wind chimes during your relaxation period.

We are located in a residential apartment building, therefore there is no commercial signage. You will see "GILPIN PLACE APARTMENTS" on a plaque on the front of the building at 1301 Gilpin Avenue at Franklin Street (click here for map).

Placed at the entrance to the studio in the hallway is a shoe bin, so that you may remove your shoes before entering onto the wood floors of our practice space. If the shoe bin is not yet outside in the hall space, please have a seat in the lobby.

There is a dressing room for changing and for keeping your personal effects. We provide all props, however, you may choose to bring your own yoga mat. If you choose to use a studio mat or any of the studio props, Chlorox wipes are available for hygiene. There is a bathroom on the opposite side of the practice space.

The studio is normally opened a half hour before the beginning of class. Please come on time for classes, but you may come as early as 30 minutes before. Help yourself to any reading materials, take the time to warm-up or relax before we get started together.


Street parking is easily available on the surrounding one-way streets in the neighborhood. Students should be aware of a two hour street parking limitation increasingly more enforced during the day by the City of Wilmington.


Generally, all classes are going to give you the experience of your body/mind's current level of balance, strength and flexibility. THIS IS APPLICABLE FOR SENIORS!

When you are unfamiliar with the workings of the individual body parts, you will be challenged to address muscle & joint stiffness, poor posture and shallow breathing. THIS IS APPLICABLE FOR SENIORS!

Classes at the Very Near Yoga Studio will teach you about the body's anatomy...YOUR BODY's unique anatomy. We start with FEET... The 8 week series, will progress to develop thorough knowledge of how the lower limbs work in the HIPS/LOWER BACK. Later the UPPER BACK/SHOULDERS/NECK are addressed so that your anatomy is improving both through experience and practice of yoga. Your breathing receives the advantage of all the above and you begin to have more energy in general because the body & brain are getting more oxygen. THIS IS APPLICABLE TO ALL AGES!


You may want to do CHAIR YOGA with us at the VNYoga Studio class on THURSDAY morning @ 11:30 am. It is a good place to start with others in the 55 years plus age range. You must register in advance, the class is now forming for Spring 2018.

You do not have to be a senior to attend the 11:30 am class. You may be simply a person with special needs.


Learn the Fundamentals by attending, if your schedule permits:

VNY Studio class on MONDAY @ 5:30 pm or Tuesday/Thursday @ 9:30 am


You are welcome to come to our classes as a raw beginner or an experienced practitioner. Please let the teacher know your what exposure to other yoga classes you have had and, IMPORTANTLY, whether you have physical limitations bases on previous injuries, surgeries AND ANY & ALL CONSIDERATIONS. Our classes are slower and afford each individual student the time to understand proper adjustments to improve alignment and postural integrity.

If you are a student of another yogic disipline you need these classes to help understand your body's anatomical mis-alignments & weaknesses. Classes at all levels of proficiency are constantly reaffirming the power of proper alignment and refining their understanding of the individual yoga postures.

You can start mid-term, you do NOT need to wait for the beginning of a 2 month series.


If you are uncertain about joining a class, it is useful to book a one hour private lesson
($ 70 /hour) that will give you the fundamental understanding of what condition your body is in and how yoga postures and breathing will help. If you want to bring in 2 or 3 students for a group private lesson, your cost is $90 for 90 minutes. By arrangement with the teacher, the venue can be other than at the Very Near Yoga Studio.


You may want to arrange to have a series of on-site classes at your workplace or elsewhere. Please inquire. Return to top


Arrive on time or earlier. If you do arrive late, please take your mat as quickly as possible to the floor and catch up with where the class is at. No gum chewing! You CAN make SMART comments! AVOID making small talk with your neighbor. LET US ALL hear what you're saying.


The temperature of the Studio is NOT overheated, therefore hydration is taken care of before & after the class ... when special circumstances are at issue, please talk to the instructor.


Noting that your body's shape will allow you to understand how the postures look when alignment is correct, we ask that you wear form-fitting clothing that will not hang away from the body. If you choose leggings (ankle-length, or what is called "bicycle" shorts or any length in between), there should be relatively no "flare" to the bottom. Your top should hug the shoulders and fit snugly aroung the hips/waist.


Having undigested food in the stomach does not allow you to move with ease. HOWEVER, you need energy to work through the class without being distracted by hunger.


When registering prior to class participation, it is important to inform the teacher in advance of any physical disabilities that may impact your ability to undertake this yoga practice. The studio is wheelchair accessible.

When coming into class, OR, during class, TELL THE TEACHER IMMEDIATELY if you are experiencing:

Sinus problems
Sore Neck/Shoulder/Wrist, etc.
Heart Palpitation
Dizziness/Nausea/Shortness of Breath
Aftermath of: Surgery or Accident: Minor or Major
Any condition that requires a physician's care

Take time to consider that YOGA is both FUN and SERIOUS. Your challenge is to meet your SELF, warts and all, and believe that there is more to do than just let age take its course. The human mind loves to learn! The body is its own pharmacy...let the therapeutic benefits of yoga become your best medicine and your own mind become the best physician you could possibly consult.

Practice makes perfection in the moment...that's all you have do, but you must do practice regularly!

Note: Newcomers can join at ANY TIME. Preferably, begin a series of classes with each 2 month period, i.e. Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec, Mar/Apr, May/Jun.

Kathleen's story:

I started learning Hatha Yoga at a time when I thought I was getting older and wanted to stay young: I was only 30 years old. That Christmas Day 1976 B.K.S. Iyengar delivered an address to the International Yoga Teachers Association meeting in India. Now, my truly older self is much stronger, flexible, balanced. With yoga as our "teacher", I want to help other older adults to find better health than they ever expected to have I have!

Overall, I have come to see how our physical characteristics and shapes mirror what goes on mentally and emotionally, as well as in/on the body. Whether we know it or not, the habits of a lifetime are still with us. Just as we learned to walk, or toddle, learning to balance in defiance of gravity at age one or two years old, watching our parents and others & imitating their stance and gait, this is still going on. When I was very young, say around 7, my father recognized in me a rhythmic ability & from that age & for about the next 7 years, I took dance instruction in all its forms. I loved it, although I was very shy and did not like "performing" as we did every year giving a dance recital for our parents. What I did not understand at the time, however, that I eventually did develop because of the practice of yoga, was good posture and the missing self confidence that made my shyness show on the outside. It was my dance teacher in San Mateo, California that first introduced to our acrobatics class the wonder of yoga stretching... I was only 11 years old and I still relish the memory of that first feeling of what yoga can be.

When I turned 30 years of age, looking for a way to stay youthful, my friend from age 9, Gina, & I began a search for some form of exercise that we liked enough to stick with. My dance training as a kid did not have much kick left in it, so after we'd taken a number of classes in modern dance, ballet, folk dancing, etc., we stumbled upon a yoga class with a young man who had just returned from an extended stay in India. He & many others from the West Coast had discovered the genius of B.K.S. Iyengar who was revolutionizing the practice of Hatha Yoga from the university town of Pune. Bill M, our teacher, was a carpenter by trade & was making some of the wooden props that are used in Iyengar-style yoga and he & others in San Francisco like Judith Lasater, Manuso Manos and Richard Rosen were beginning to publish the YOGA JOURNAL under the auspices of the CYTA (California Yoga Teachers Association). That would have been around 1976 or so and I had just begun a business career after having graduated from the University of California at Davis with a BA in French, wanting to go into international business. I remember how my yoga teacher, Bill M, had spoken of his disenchantment with the politics of the yoga community & the business of yoga, but never did I imagine that after 20 years of my own successful business career that I would drop out of that stream and enter into teaching yoga as a means of making a living and serving as a restorative to my soul.

Restorative yoga: what does that mean? When I began to understand my own body I learned that there were clinical names for the type of spinal misalignments that I was "laboring" under: scoliosis, lordosis and kaiphosis the last two commonly known as "swayback" and "dowager's hump". Restoring the spine to its natural alignment and extension was a process that began with just using the wall as a prop to assist me in standing up. Yoga poses and breathing done with folded blankets under my neck & spine allowed me to open the stiff areas of my shoulders & upper back helped release the "dowager's hump". Hip & leg work done with a chair underneath me began to release the "swayback".

My business career involved a lot of desk work and air travel and the pains I had been developing from too much sitting and slouching had become impossible to ignore. I was also needing the restorative of a spiritual sort. Being in the business world exposes one to so much compromise that is "part of doing business", or so one is told. All the years from 1982, when I came to live on the east coast until 1990, my business career took precedence and I enjoyed it, but the yoga that I had learned in San Francisco stayed with me in the form of the book LIGHT ON YOGA written by B.K.S. Iyengar around 1966. His concise overview in the Introduction provides a foundation as to how to practice the 8 limbs of yoga. I was unable to locate a teacher until 1994 or so when I started studying in Philadelphia with Joan White. Never mind what the business world offered in terms of stability & financial security, in 1990 I had decided to quit the business career and to devote myself to the study, practice and commitment to the twin sisters of Vedic Philosophy, yoga and astrology (Jyotish), and by association ayurvedic medecine. I will be a lifelong student of these, but I owe and incredible debt to B.K.S. Iyengar and his personally trained teachers who keep the lineage of his teacher T. Krishnamacharya of Mysore, India, alive and thriving. I was able to open my small yoga studio in Wilmington Delaware, the Very Near Yoga Studio, in 1998 and I am constantly supported by many devoted practioners who come year after year to pursue with me this amazing Iyengar style of learning the science of mind and body called yoga.

There's more to this autobiography than I can possibly write, but, stay tuned, for the riding of the wave of this lifetime.