Seva at Two Dog

Recently I've heard the question..... "How do I cope with the crazy, violent, divisiveness that seems to be ever increasing these days? It effects my mood, my sleep and my hope for the future."

My best answer to this question is to turn toward what you CAN give back.

You do not have to look far to find those who could use your help, your kindness, your care. There are so many ways to give back. When we connect with others we remember that we belong, we are not alone on this journey, and that there are MANY amazing people who are kind, warm and wanting of connection, no matter our differences. Turning towards what is life giving can help mitigate the ache in our hearts that we have for those who are suffering....  and frustration we have towards those who seem to perpetuate hate.


Seva” is a Sanskrit word meaning “selfless service” or work performed without any thought of reward or repayment. In ancient India, seva was believed to help one’s spiritual growth and at the same time contribute to the improvement of a community. This is the art of giving, where the act itself is a gift to all involved. Seva is the art of blessed action.

Ram Dass explains this beautifully: “Helping out is not some special skill. It is not the domain of rare individuals. It is not confined to a single part of our lives. We simply heed the call of that natural impulse within and follow it where it leads us.”

The first time I heard the word Seva was when my husband, Ray and I attended a benefit concert hosted by Ram Das in Seattle in the 1980’s. Ram Das was promoting his work for the Seva foundation, a non profit that has helped eliminate preventable and reversible blindness around the world for millions since it's inception in 1978. I was moved by the dedication and focus of a small group of people to help those in need to see! They are making a difference in the world one simple surgery at a time.

Seva has been part of my vision for Two Dog from the beginning. During the years in Little Dog, 1991-2001, the original home of Two Dog, we squeezed in as many as we could to the snug Little Dog 'yoga womb' for Thanksgiving Day Gratitude Yoga classes. We donated all the proceeds and a car load of healthy non-perishables to the local food bank.

This tradition continues 27 years later, BUT it is in Big Dog now... lots more room! Not so long ago we squeezed in 60 yogis on a Thanksgiving day class! Join us this Thanksgiving Day, 9-10:30am-Flow and/or 11am-12:15pm-Gentle/Restorative.


I took the "act local" and "follow where it leads" guidance seriously. For seven years now we have offered Free Chair Yoga classes in the Lake City neighborhood. From one small class in McDermott Place (studio apartments for formerly homeless and veteran neighbors) and then in Lake City House (LCH) low income senior housing, to now three classes taught by four yoga teachers and supported by five assistants, who are all yoga students at Two Dog! The classes are held at LCH and the LC Community Center senior program. Most of our students are non-English speakers and we have just begun receiving the support of Peggy Hernandez who interprets in our Monday class. 


We are offering yoga to about forty people a week who would not otherwise have access to yoga classes. And we are looking forward to growing. If you have questions about opportunities to participate in this program, contact Annie.


I want to thank:

  • Carol Sanders, Lydia Marshall and Frances Rice - our outstanding instructors
  • Amy Brieger - Administrative lead and class assistant
  • Oui, Suzanne Denby, Cathy Grytting, Linda Robinson, and Nancy Place for their fabulous and kind presence in assisting

You have ALL made this a success!


Last Saturday, 10/24, on the day of the tragedy in the Jewish community in Pittsburgh, we gathered to welcome new volunteers, Carol Sanders, a volunteer teacher, shared with us about the vital and longstanding work of HIAS whose tag line is Welcome the Stranger, Protect the Refugee. HIAS works around the world to protect refugees who have been forced to flee their homeland because of who they are. For more than 130 years, HIAS has been helping refugees rebuild their lives in safety and dignity. HIAS has been the target of many anti-semitic rants from the accused shooter in Pittsburgh on social media.


Ganeshas Guerrilla Garden (GGG) sits at the SW corner of 28th Ave NE and NE 127th, just north of Big Dog. Ten years ago, when the city put in a sidewalk on this corner near the studio, they left a weedy parking strip. At first my dear neighbor friend and stellar 'seva' practitioner Chuck Dickey, who recently passed at 85 years old, was tending it with the help of a work release team he guided each week in community service. Then I offered to take it on. For several years now I've cultivated Zinnias, Sunflowers, Cosmos, Irises, Tulips and the occasional Dahlia. I've met so many neighbors from all over the world, who stop by to tell me stories of their own gardens from childhood. Recently a homeless woman on a bike stopped by to share that she always slows down as she passes the GGG and takes a deep breath as it feels a little like the country to her. At our last two Stir It Up dances at Big Dog, we raised enough money to purchase a peace pole.

An 8-foot tall, 6-sided cedar pole is being carved with the twelve most spoken languages in Lake City in the words "May Peace Prevail on Earth". My hope is to navigate through the permit and insurance requirement needed by the city and plant the pole this winter with a ceremony, potluck and Stir It Up dance, date TBA. If you would like to help with gardening now, please contact Annie. I'm looking to reignite a team of earth tenders and would love some help preparing for the Peace Pole planting ceremony.


Each year Lake City churches provide a winter shelter for our homeless neighbors. They ask groups to provide a hot dinner and continental breakfast for the 30-40 residents of the LC winter shelter.

For the past five years, six Two Dog volunteers have gathered in one of our homes to make lasagna, beef stew or chili. This year we are gathering in the afternoon, Monday December 17th. We need 5 more volunteers to join us in the making and serving of the dinner. Contact Annie for more information..


And... we have FREE teen yoga, Tuesdays, 4:30-5:15pm with Patty Killian, yoga teacher at Nathan Hale High School.


I am so grateful for all of those who have helped and been part of the giving back that Two Dog has provided to our neighborhood over the last 27 years.


Peace --- Annie

Contact her for more info.  -or- 206-367-9608

Our Community

Donate to the Guerilla Garden fund


Contact Annie for larger donations.


Two Dog Tales

Enjoy these highlights from the Two Dog e-newsletter and other writings contributed by and about Two Doggers over the years. It's a story archive that tells the tale of the Two Dog community: its teachers, students, neighbors and friends.

Therapeutic Yoga: Annie's Journey
by Annie Stocker

Annie's journey to discover the benefits of yoga and the Therapeutic offerings at Two Dog
Three villages: Beloved Communities
by Annie Stocker
Yelapa in Mexico, Vaidyagrama in India, and Lake City in Seattle

Gratitude Flows Over at Two Dog
by Annie Stocker

Unexpected sources of Gratitude

Generosity of Two Dog Community
by Annie Stocker
Two Dog Generous community
Annie's Om From Home
by Annie Stocker
How Annie found her voice
Mothers and Daughters at Two Dog
by Valerie Sasson

Sharing the experience of sore muscles on Sunday mornings

A Dog A Day?
by Roxi Smith
A home-practice story shared by a long-time Two Dogger
Turning the Kaleidoscope: Bringing Things to Light
by Sarahjoy Marsh
Bringing awareness to the ever-shifting materials of our inner kaleidoscope
A Year's Journey
by Shannon McCall
The story of a milestone year in the life of one Two Dog teacher
The Two Dogger Next Door
by Jan Mikus
Read about the life and healing experience of a studio regular

To Plan or Not To Plan
by Sarahjoy Marsh

A reflection on how much our habits press on our thoughts, actions, reactions
The Space in Between
by Wendy Groesbeck
What are we really asking for when we want more time in our lives?
Why "Two Dog"
by Annie Stocker

Musing on the name of the studio

Favorite Poses
by Two Dog Teachers

Wendy, Annie and Shannon reflect on their favorite poses

Teen Kumbha
by Annie Stocker

A mother/son yoga experience

About Gentle Yoga and Me
by Bob Scheu

Coming into yoga in the best possible way

Yoga- Another Universe?
by Jack Davis

How Yoga made me a better person

Curve Balls and Fowl Balls
by Annie Stocker

Sometimes things happen

by Shannon McCall


What Yoga Means to Me
by Two Dog Students

Coming Home
by Annie Stocker
Returning from Sri Lanka
Healing in Kerala
by Annie Stocker
A story of healing
Loving Lake City
by Annie Stocker
Reflection of a spring evening in Lake City


Lovin' Lake City

Annie Stocker, Two Dog studio owner, has lived in Lake City since 1986 and feels a warm kinship with the ever-emerging neighborhood. Two Dog students bump into each other at local restaurants, the Lake City Farmers Market, the local hardware store, post office, parks and restaurants. More and more people now make Lake City their permanent home in which to grow their families and friendships. Two Dog is proud to be a part of the growth of this healthy, thriving community. Come explore!


Douglas Park Cooperative Families for Lake City
KaffeeKlatsch Cafe Lake City Branch Public Library
North Seattle Chamber of Commerce Lake City Community Center
Lake City Farmers Market Lake City Greenways
Lake City Live: Blog Lake City Traffic Safety Project
North Helpline Pinehurst Community Blog
Hunger Intervention Program Jamtown Drum School










Two qualities of life that we sometimes give low priority to are surrounding ourselves with beauty and developing community. These are being practiced at Two Dog Yoga studio. The gorgeous unfolding lotus mural secures the room where yoga, singing, dancing, eating, talking and more are offered with open arms to the Lake City neighborhood.
— Cynthia Lair, author of Feeding the Whole Family 



Two Dog Yoga is a compassionate, supportive and nonjudgmental community of teachers and students which has benefitted me in ways I did not expect. I have been able to apply these experiences when I am off the mat to enhance my life as well as help me cope with everything from day-to-day stresses to more difficult times of loss and grief.
—Jodi McClain, Educational Audiologist
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